First World War Air Force medals are flying high at Wellington's online militaria auction



2015-06-26 12:05:11

First World War Air Force medals are flying high at Wellington's online militaria auction

The sale includes a Distinguished Flying Medal from one of the earliest members of the RAF

This month's militaria auction at Wellington's auctioneers is well underway, with nearly 600 lots of medals and related military ephemera getting ready to go under the hammer. As always, whilst the auctioneer is in London, there is no live bidding: interested parties can email, phone or even mail them in.

As always, a number of attractive pieces are on offer, covering all the services and various conflicts. Most of them are at entry-level for a medal collector with most of the best in this case coming from the air services around the time of the Great War.

Firstly there isa George V Air Force Cross belonging to Captain H T Horsfield of the Royal Flying Corps together with his British War Medal and Victory Medal and a copy of the Aviator's Certificate picture dated 27.4.1916.

In nearly extremely fine condition, the set is expected to sell for 2,400-2,650.

Secondly, an unusual post-Great War France-to-Egypt Handley Page flight Air Force Medal group of three awarded to Air Mechanic Class 1 T. Y. Cordiner, Royal Air Force, late Royal Flying Corps.

The AFM is accompanied by a British War Medal and a Victory Medal The original recommendation states: "Flight from France to Egypt, May to July 1919. A brilliant engine fitter who was mentioned for special services by his Flight Commander."

Thomas Yates Cordiner, had probably joined his Squadron before it moved to France in January 1918, and, having gained experience in Handley Page bombers, took part in the flight from Provin in France to Heliopolis in Egypt in the following year.

For the day, it was very much a pioneering trip, and it is well known that Air Mechanics often had to carry out hazardous running repairs, even as their aircraft were in flight. The awards are in good/very fine condition and expected to sell for around 3,500-3,950.

Perhaps the pick of the bunch is a George V Distinguished Flying Medal belonging to Air Mechanic 1st Class R.A. Miller of the Royal Air Force which appears alongside a British War Medal and Victory Medal as described in the London Gazette on New Year's Day 1919. Only 104 DFM's were awarded during 1918-19.

R A Miller's Distinguished Flying Medal et al R A Miller's Distinguished Flying Medal et al (Click to enlarge)

Reginald Arthur Miller, an electrician, was born in Wandsworth in 1891 and served in the 1st Monmouthshire Territorials from 1909 to 1914. He enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service for the duration of the war in June 1915, with the rating of probationary Petty Officer Mechanic, and from President II was sent to the Armoured Car Division in the Dardanelles.

It appears that he served during 1915 at the Air Ship Station, Mudros, with the rating of Air Mechanic 1. His service record shows that he returned to the U.K. in March 1917 and indicates he was serving at Felixstowe when 'Severely wounded by bombs dropped from enemy aeroplane on 4 July 1917'.

He returned to Felixstowe on 11 December 1917 and continued there to the inception of the R.A.F. on 1 April 1918, when he remustered with the Air Force trade classification of Fitter (A.E.). He subsequently served with No. 231 Squadron which carried out F.3 and F.5 flying-boat patrols of the North Sea.

Previously sold at Dix Noonan Webb in 2000, it is in good/very fine condition and is listed at 3,950-4,500. Bidding in Wellington's auction close on November 1 at midnight GMT.

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Images: Wellingtons

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