Harkstead: War hero’s medals are set to go under the hammer

MEDALS belonging to a Suffolk war hero who fought in the Boer War and First World War are due to go under the hammer in London today.

The medals were awarded to Sergeant Charles Ziba Wilding, who survived both wars, and are expected to make around �300 when they appear at Spink in Bloomsbury, London.

Sgt Wilding was born in Harkstead in 1869 and joined the army in April 1890, aged 21, going on to serve in Asia, Africa and Europe.

He enlisted in the Royal Artillery and served with the 24th battery in India from 1892. Between October 1899 and September 1902 he fought in the Boer War in Africa.

He was more than 40 years- old when the First World War broke out in 1914 but he re-enlisted and served with the Royal Field Artillery in the Balkans from 1915.

He finished as a sergeant in the Leicestershire regiment and left the army in 1917 because of “general debility due to military service”.

Sgt Wilding married Florence Baker in 1902 and they had three children. He died in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1935.

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His medals which have been put up for auction are the India General Service, 1895-1902 and Punjab Frontier, 1897-1898, Tirah, 1892-1898, Queen’s South Africa, 1899-1902, King’s South Africa, 1901-1902, 1914-15 Star and British war and Victory medals.

It is thought Sgt Wilding’s medals would have been worth close to �500 if he had been killed or wounded in action, because “casualty medals” are more valuable as they show the collector that the recipient was involved in the battle.

n Do you own war medals that were awarded to members of your family? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.