Rare war medal sells for £4,600

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A rare First World War medal awarded to a soldier deep in the Australian outback has sold for five times the expected price after it was unearthed in Chesterfield.

The gold Australian Tribute Medal was one of four wartime gongs sold to a private British collector at an auction in Nottingham last week.

The medals belonged to serviceman Charles Eric Wardell, who emigrated Down Under as a young man.

Tribute medals were awarded to Australians who served in the First World War by their local communities to thank them for their service.

They came to light when they were taken to a valuation event held at St Thomas Centre, Brampton, in April.

The medals had been brought to the UK by Mr Wardell’s widow, who had originally emigrated to Australia with her sister, but moved to Chesterfield in 1929 after his premature death at the age of 45. The honours were sold to a a distant relative of Mr Wardell’s widow for £4,600 following some fierce bidding at Mellors and Kirk’s saleroom. Nigel Kirk, auctioneer at Mellors and Kirk, said: “Tribute medals are relatively small but they are so rare nowadays that this one caused a great deal of excitement on the day.”