Joseph Stenhouse's medals estimated to make $40,000 in UK



2015-06-26 12:58:58

Joseph Stenhouse's medals estimated to make $40,000 in UK

The medals of Joseph Stenhouse, who served in both world wars and Shackleton's expedition, will sell this week

A remarkable collection of medals that were presented to Joseph Stenhouse for his achievements in both world wars as well as during Shackleton's Antarctic expeditions will sell on September 13-14 in London.

Joseph Stenhouse medals A low estimate for a remarkable set of medals

Stenhouse launched his heroic career as commander of the Aurora, a supply ship serving as part of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition. In the words of Shackleton himself, Stenhouse "accomplished one of the most difficult journeys on record" during the expedition, after sailing the Aurora - which had become stuck in pack ice - over 1,000 miles to New Zealand and therefore saving his crew.

Upon returning to home shores, the first world war was well underway and Stenhouse joined the PQ62 "mystery ship" as first officer. The heavily armed ship famously sank a German submarine by ramming, for which Stenhouse was awarded his DSO.

Following a promotion at the hands of Shackleton, who was now a major in the British Army, the hero was then sent to Murmansk in Russia. Here, he was given the task of equipping and training Syren Force, a north-Russian, anti-Bolshevik unit.

Aged 52, at the commencement of the second world war, Stenhouse enlisted as a senior non-commissioned officer aboard the Thames and Medway Examination Service. The ship was mined and, although there were 11 casualties, Stenhouse managed to survive, engaging in a brave rescue which earned him yet more honours.

His astonishing story came to an end on September 12, 1941, when he was posted missing, presumed dead in the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea.

The collection at auction includes his OBE, DSO, MID oak leaf, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Defence and War Medals 1939-45, Polar Medal 1904, Royal Naval Reserve Decoration and French Croix de Guerre. Accompanied by a limited quantity of career documentation, they will sell with a 20,000-25,000 estimate.

At Paul Fraser Collectibles, we have a superb selection of war memorabilia, including the personal photograph albums of British General Oliver Leese.

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