Remarkable array of military medals and artefacts going under the hammer in Staffordshire

A variety of military medals, artefacts and a diver's dagger are to go under the hammer in Staffordshire next week.

Captain Stone's OBE
Captain Stone's OBE

The auction will feature a medal and ephemera to William Green from Stafford, who worked alongside Florence Nightingale in the Crimea;

Lichfield's Richard Auctioneers is specialist militaria sale at The Tamworth Auction Rooms, Church Street, on Wednesday, September 28, starting at 9.30am.

The auction includes the medals and archive of one of the 20th Century's most remarkable Merchant Navy mariners who was made an OBE for his bravery in the Second World War.

Captain Charles Thomas Stone first went to sea at 14 years old, having lied that his age was 15, in 1906 and sailed the high seas for more than 50 years.

Militaria specialist Nick Thompson. said: “This is a complete archive of medals, photographs and ephemera to a very brave captain in the Merchant Navy who saw action in both world wars and received the Lloyd's medal for saving souls in the Atlantic when a convoy was torpedoed by German U boats.

“Born in 1892, the young Stone first set to sea aboard the sailing vessel Latimer – a four-masted barque carrying oil in cans – and when the ship arrived via Cape Horn at San Francisco in 1906 the crew was stunned to find the city in ruins following the earthquake just weeks earlier, of which they knew nothing.

“It was the start of a career which would see huge changes to seafaring from great sailing vessels and traditional steam to diesel ships and the age of the nuclear submarine.”

Stone joined the General Steamship Navigation Company before the First World War and would serve a total of 43 years, all but 10 as master – equivalent to captain – which he became in 1924.

His service in the First World War saw Capt Stone awarded the Merchantile Marine War Medal and in the Second World War he was presented with the OBE and was an early recipient of the Lloyds medal for bravery at sea – one of only 523 ever awarded.

The archive – all contained in a wooden chest – includes the Lloyds medal, named to Captain C T Stone SS Starling October 12, 1940; Stone’s boxed OBE and a miniature boxed OBE; and the named Merchantile Marine War medal.

Additional lots also include a rare Kriegsmarine diver’s dagger from the Second World War and a jerkin which has been sewn with original WW2 patches collected by a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Stamps, Militaria & Ephemera Sale starts at 9.30am on Wednesday, September 28.

The catalogue can be viewed online at bid.richardwinterton.co.uk/auctions/8309/srric10315.

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