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Medals of war hero who survived two days at sea sold at Suffolk auction

PUBLISHED: 14:38 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:38 31 March 2020

Medals awarded to Second World War hero Gareth Jones were among the items to be auctioned online during coronavirus  Picture: LOCKDALES

Medals awarded to Second World War hero Gareth Jones were among the items to be auctioned online during coronavirus Picture: LOCKDALES

LOCKDALES

A Suffolk auctioneers has not let coronavirus get in the way of its gavel, as it sold more than £600,000 in goods in just two days.

Flt Sgt Jones was commended for his heroism during the war, completing 25 operations in an Avro Lancaster  Picture: LOCKDALESFlt Sgt Jones was commended for his heroism during the war, completing 25 operations in an Avro Lancaster Picture: LOCKDALES

Lockdales Auctioneers in Martlesham held the two day auction between March 28 and 29, having been made to close as part of the government’s lockdown efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Among the items sold were a ceremonial Saudi Arabian sword with gold fittings, a £2 coin minted in error, and a football programme for Bristol City v Huddersfield Town in the 1920 FA Cup semi final.

But the standout item was the Distinguished Flying Medal group to flight sergeant Gareth Jones, which sold for £2,300. A rear gunner on Avro Lancaster bombers, Flt Sgt Jones was injured several times in his 25 operations in the Second World War, and once survived for two days clinging onto wreckage in the North Sea after being shot down before being rescued.

A spokesman for the auctioneers said they are pleased with the results: “Having been instructed to close our premises to the public meant that the viewing period was cut short half-way through the first week. We endeavoured to provide sufficient photographs and condition reports to those interested, and the result proves that we will be able operate in this manner for as long as necessary under current rulings from the government.

A £2 coin which was minted in error also sold for £500  Picture: LOCKDALESA £2 coin which was minted in error also sold for £500 Picture: LOCKDALES

“The lockdown doesn’t seem to have dampened spirits in the market for collectables, although there will be economic factors at play here, particularly a surge in the popularity of gold as usually happens in a crisis. Confidence clearly remains in the durability of traditional, portable collectables as reliable assets.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the catalogue was the largest the auctioneers has ever produced – although it was produced before strict measures were enforced on the nation.

The spokesman added it will continue with smaller online auctions until the crisis is resolved.

He added: “We hope to resume publishing in the same fashion at the earliest opportunity.

Also on sale was a programme for the 1920 FA Cup semi final between Huddersfield Town and Bristol City  Picture: LOCKDALESAlso on sale was a programme for the 1920 FA Cup semi final between Huddersfield Town and Bristol City Picture: LOCKDALES

“For the time being we shall proceed with smaller and more numerous online auctions, some with printed catalogues.

“We urge all potential sellers to consign with confidence at this time, as the market remains strong.”

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