A Victoria Cross awarded to a Saskatchewan soldier will be auctioned in England on Wednesday, and is expected to go for at least $500,000.
The rare medal was awarded to Lt.-Col. David Currie during the Second World War. It will be auctioned by Dix Noonan Webb in London.
The Victoria Cross is the highest military award of the United Kingdom and has also been awarded to members of Commonwealth countries for “gallantry in the face of the enemy.”
“They are an award for bravery when you have made a choice, despite tremendous odds against you, that you will not be defeated and you will overcome every task at hand,” said Tanya Ursual, a military antiquarian who is handling the sale.
“The Victoria Cross is the thing movies are made of, except this is a real story.”
Currie was born in Sutherland, Sask., in July 1912. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the 1944 Battle of Normandy, when he was a major in the Canadian Army. He was the only Canadian to receive the medal in the Normandy campaign.
His widow sold the medal to a private buyer in 1989. Now, that buyer is ready to part with it.
Ursual said the Victoria Cross is in a grouping of nine of Currie’s military medals that will close the first day of the auction, at 7 a.m. CST.
She said her client knew Currie and had the utmost respect for him. He decided to approach the Currie family and make an offer for the grouping.
“It is exceptionally rare, in that of the 181 Victoria Crosses awarded during World War II, only 16 of those were awarded to Canadians,” Ursual said. “Of the 16, four were for British units and those are on display in England.
“Currie’s is the last group for sale in Canada that is not on public display,” she said.
War medal controversy
Recently, Currie’s grandson and his wife contacted Ursual to ask if they could hold the medals and her client readily agreed, she said.
She said the grandson didn’t seem to have any ill will about the sale.
“He didn’t seem to be upset about it at all. Obviously, he hopes they find a great home,” Ursual said.
Ursual said Currie’s grandson said his grandmother is 105 years old and her care is supported to this day by the sale of the medals.
While the Currie…