A Victoria Cross and other medals awarded to one of Canada’s Second World War heroes have been sold to a buyer in the United Kingdom for $660,000.
Maj. David Currie was awarded the Commonwealth’s highest medal for his service in 1944 at a brutal battle during the Normandy campaign in France.
A spokeswoman for DNW Auctions says Currie’s widow, Isabel, sold her late husband’s medals to a Canadian buyer in 1989.
She says the man, who doesn’t wish to be named, decided to sell the set of medals at the U.K. auction.
Currie, who grew up in Saskatchewan, later served as sergeant-of-arms of the House of Commons.
The citation for his Victoria Cross says the success of his unit during the battle was due to his coolness, inspired leadership, courage and complete disregard for his personal safety.
Military antiquarian Tanya Ursual worked with the seller ahead of the auction.
She said her client, who was a family friend of the Curries when he bought the medals in 1989, agreed to allow Currie’s grandson to see the medals a final time before the sale.
“We had a lovely meeting and he was able to hold the medals again, reflect on them and he seemed to respect the decision of my client who was selling them,” Ursual said.
Ursual said Currie’s grandson didn’t seem upset that the medals had been sold.
“He understands that his grandmother made the choice in 1989 to sell the medals and he respects that choice – she made that decision at the time in her best interest based on the circumstances that she was facing,” she said.
While the collection has now changed hands, Ursual said the original sale continues to benefit Currie’s widow.
“She is, apparently, still alive. She is 105 years old and the family have commented that the money she made from the sale of the medals in 1989 continues to provide for her care today.”
—with files from The Canadian Press