Auction experts expect a Victoria Cross medal won by a WWI hero after embarking on a suicidal mission during the Great War to fetch the massive amount of £160,000.
It was on October 6, 1918 when Private James Towers did the heroic deed that made him earn his Victoria Cross medal. On that said day, he, along with his troops, were at the wrecked village of Mericourt when orders came for them to withdraw from their position. However, the same message did not reach another group composed of thirty men who were soon surrounded by German soldiers.
So, a volunteer was requested to go through No Man’s Land and lead those men back to safety. The first to volunteer as a runner was Private Frank Dunlop, Towers’ friend. But as soon as he ran out into the open, the Germans shot him dead. Four others followed suit and all of them ended up killed.
Even after seeing the death of his five comrades, Private James Towers stepped forward to be the sixth runner to the cut off group. He successfully ran through No Man’s Land, thwarted the fires coming from the German machine guns by jumping from one shell hole on to the next until he was able to reach his destination.
He got in touch with the lost platoon, delivered his message and stayed with them for the remainder of the night. The next day, he led the group to the safety of the British lines using the knowledge he had gathered about the locations of the German machine guns.
because of his amazing act of bravery, WWI Private James Towers merited the Victoria Cross medal — the highest military decoration for bravery in face of the enemy. the medal was presented to him by King George V in a ceremony held at the Buckingham Palace.
It appeared that Towers had wanted to join the army and fight in the Great War even before he reached the legal age of combat which was eighteen. In an interview years later, he admitted that joining the army and fighting in the war was his idea of fun. But when he was in it, in the Western Front to be exact, he went old beyond his age just like all the young men who fought in the conflict.
Private Towers died in 1977 at the old age of 79 leaving his Victoria Cross medal to his family. It was auctioned off in 1983 and ended up in the hands of a private collector.
Its upcoming sale this March 25 will be the second time the Victoria Cross medal will go under the gavel.
Dix Noonan Webb Auctions will handle the sale of the said military decoration.