Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

When it came to the February 25 sale of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, London auction house Dix Noonan Webb passed with flying colours.

The honour awarded to Colour Sgt James Harkess of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regt for action in Iraq in 2006 sold for £130,000 (plus 20% buyer's premium), setting a record for a CGC at auction.

Such a result reflects the confidence online buyers are increasingly showing and the large sums they are prepared to bid.

The trend is particularly evident in the militaria market. DNW announced a shake-up of their sales format earlier this year that reflects this. Just 47 lots out of 643 in their December 11 sale last year went to buyers in the room. DNW say they will continue to hold traditional auctions but "the days when internet sales contained only lower-value lots are now over".

DNW director Pierce Noonan said: "The medals awarded to James Harkess are staying in the UK and have gone to a good home. Two bidders conducted a lively online duel.

"This record price shows the strength of the market for modern gallantry awards. It also demonstrates how vibrant the online market is.

"It was the first time that we had offered such an important lot of medals in an online-only auction and the price exceeded our estimate. We had a record overall number of bidders at the sale."

The CGC became the second-highest British gallantry award after the 1993 reorganisation of medals and only 15 of the 58 awarded have been for service in Iraq.

Good prices tend to attract further quality consignments, and so it has proved with CGCs.

Fijian soldier's CGC

Dorset auctioneers Charterhouse announced last week that they have another CGC, estimated at £60,000-70,000, in their two-day collectors' auction on March 19-20.

Lance Corporal Jone Bruce Toge, a Fijian soldier who served with the Royal Irish Regiment, won it for actions in Afghanistan 2008 and consigns it here.

His dog tags, British Forces identity card, operational medical record, numerous letters of congratulation from senior officers, other paperwork, and his provisional driving licence will also feature in the sale.

According to Charterhouse, he is selling his CGC to fund the launch of a new business.

Charterhouse made headlines recently for another noteworthy medal consignment: the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Flying Medal pair awarded to Flight Lt Richard Dacre Trevor-Roper of 617 Squadron.

The squadron is better known as The Dambusters, explaining why the group is estimated at £40,000-60,000 in that March 19-20 auction.