Latest News Articles by Tom Derbyshire

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Sinking the Tirpitz

08 April 2019

The largest battleships ever constructed in Germany posed a huge threat to the Allies. A rare medal group sold in London tells the remarkable story of how one of them was disabled.

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Saleroom glory for the 17th Lancers

08 April 2019

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the British were clearly impressed by the French lancer regiments they encountered during the Napoleonic Wars. The first British lancer regiments were established in 1816, just a year after Waterloo.

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Snaring the Scharnhorst

08 April 2019

Once the Tirpitz had been damaged by midget submarines (see main story this section), the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst was left to tackle British convoys to Russia alone. A trap was set by the Royal Navy in December 1943.

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Penning an escape from the Battle of Arnhem

08 April 2019

A 23-year-old paratrooper’s account of escaping the Battle of Arnhem sold for £3200, over 10 times the top estimate at 1818 Auctioneers (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) of Milnthorpe, Cumbria, on March 5.

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Eyewitness sketches of the Indian Mutiny emerge at Olympia Auctions

08 April 2019

A 2m (6ft 7in) pen and ink drawing, estimated at £5000-7000 in Olympia Auctions on April 17 in west London, forms an intriguing eyewitness view of the final moments of the Indian Mutiny.

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The special ops striptease

08 April 2019

When British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents were parachuted into occupied Europe in the Second World War speed was vital. Not only did they have to jump from sub-radar altitudes as low as 400ft, hitting the ground within 10-15 seconds, but they also had to make a quick getaway.

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Tiny 'Protector’ palm pistol offered in Pennsylvania

08 April 2019

This Chicago Firearms Co ‘The Protector’ palm pistol is estimated at $800-1200 in the Pook & Pook auction in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on April 13.

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Field marshal Chetwode’s baton consigned to Spink

08 April 2019

To this day every Indian officer swears the ‘Chetwode motto’ as they commission into the army: The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.

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Protecting the monarch since the days of Henry VIII

08 April 2019

Until March 17, 1834, Her Majesty’s Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms was known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.

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Vice Admiral's medals to be sold at Lawrences

08 April 2019

Lawrences of Crewkerne’s militaria auction on May 16 will include an important set of awards and medals to Vice Admiral Sir HT Walwyn.

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The clasps that make the difference for the NGSM

08 April 2019

Factors dictating the pricing of Naval General Service Medals were clearly demonstrated in the March 6 sale at Bosleys (20% buyer’s premium) in Marlow. Ten NGSMs were offered as part of a large single-owner medal collection.

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Bids for Albert Ball VC’s crash landing

08 April 2019

Captain Albert Ball (1896-1917) is remembered as one of Britain’s greatest heroes of the skies. At the time of his death over Arras in the First World War, aged just 19, he had shot down at least 44 German planes and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

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Private Trickett’s very lucky penny

08 April 2019

A collection of First World War memorabilia relating to British army Private John Trickett – including an 1889 copper penny apparently bent when a bullet hit his breast pocket – brought a multi-estimate sum at Hansons (20% buyer’s premium) of Etwall on March 22.

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Poignant guide for African American travellers that inspired Oscar winning film Green Book sells at auction

04 April 2019

The name of the film Green Book which won the Oscar for best picture in February was based on a motoring handbook aimed to guide African-American travellers away from hazardous areas in the pre-civil rights US.

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Lost Doctor Who Dalek episode exterminates auction estimate in south London

04 April 2019

A Doctor Who archive of photographs and copies of plans from The Power of the Daleks – the completely missing third serial of the fourth season – has been sold at auction in south London.

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Cottingley Fairies hoax photographs that famously fooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on offer at Dominic Winter auction

02 April 2019

Original photographs from the Cottingley Fairies hoax which famously fooled Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are among a group of lots coming up at a Gloucestershire saleroom.

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Pick of the week: Suffragette bravery medal heading to Australian museum is latest in a string of impressive auction results

01 April 2019

A hunger strike ‘Fed By Force’ medal awarded to Suffragette Selina Martin (1882-1972) has been snapped up at auction by an Australian museum.

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Marvel Comics collection including first appearance of the Fantastic Four makes five figures at auction

30 March 2019

A collection of Marvel comics kept in a bank vault after coming a whisker away from being stolen has sold for £15,200 in total at a Staffordshire saleroom.

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Annual Beatles memorabilia auction held by US saleroom Juliens' will be staged in Liverpool for the first time

28 March 2019

Beatlemania is coming to Liverpool. Well, it never went away, but this fresh wave of interest in the ever-popular Fab Four is in the form of an annual auction held by an American saleroom that is now to be held on Merseyside.

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March mega-sleepers: Nine items that sold for more than 100-times estimate at auction

27 March 2019

The month of March produced an unusually large number of sleepers across the UK’s regional salerooms – from an Old Master drawing to a rare Marklin tinplate train.