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Last November Spink’s created a new auction record when they obtained £155,000 for a group and there were gasps. This record was shortlived. On April 30 there was a sale, also at Spink’s, of orders, decorations and medals. The first lot was a Victoria Cross group including the ‘tea party’ medals appropriate to WWII. The VC was awarded to Norman Cyril Jackson of the RAFVR for valour in April 1944, just before D-Day and at a crucial moment in the war.

The catalogue makes stirring reading. Briefly, his tour had been fulfilled but he went on another sortie which he referred to as “one for luck”. In short, Jackson climbed out of his Lancaster bomber at 22,000 feet, while wounded, to put out a serious fire on the starboard wing. Despite his subsequent fall, with damaged parachute attached – and further injury on landing heavily – he lived until 1994.

Flying Victoria Crosses are rare, which led to an estimate of £120,000-140,000, which would have been unthinkable until very recently. The estimate was magnificently justified; the group was finally knocked down at £200,000.