Family's disappointment after they have to buy Chesterfield war hero's medals at auction

The auction took place in London.
The auction took place in London.

A relative of a Chesterfield war hero has told of his disappointment after his family had to buy his medals at an auction.

Five medals which were awarded to Sergeant John Joseph Cannon are now back in his family's possession after they bought them for almost £5,000 in last week's auction.

Brendan Cannon, who is the great nephew of Sgt Cannon, said the medals were missing from his family for nearly 40 years and he found out about the auction via Facebook.

He said: "It's not right that my family had to buy the medals back.

"We contacted the auction house to ask for a delay in the sale so we could make attempts to speak to the seller and try and establish rightful ownership - we'd like to know how they got hold of the medals.

"However, after much work by members of the extended family and Derbyshire police, we were unable to get a delay in the sale.

"My personal view is that this situation is shameful."

Pierce Noonan, of London-based Dix Noonan Webb, which held the auction, said: "In this case, police didn't advise us to withdraw the medals - so that's why the auction went ahead."

He added that the seller had bought the medals at a previous public auction.

Sgt Cannon, who served with the 19th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, was awarded the medals for his gallantry near the Russian village of Ussuna during in 1919.

Brendan said his family planned to offer the medals to Chesterfield Museum so they can be displayed there.