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Medal group of Major Henry Milligan of the Royal Army Medical Corps – £5600 at Bellmans.

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The MC and bar (the latter announced in the London Gazette in 1919) featured in a large group offered at Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) in West Sussex on March 8-11.

Sold together with Milligan’s RAMC tunic, belt and officer’s peaked cap, all consigned by family descent, it was estimated at £200-300 but sold for £5600 online to UK private buyer. The lot also included his Coronation and Silver Jubilee medals among other items.

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Major Henry Milligan of the Royal Army Medical Corps, whose medal group made £5600 at Bellmans.

Main factor

Bellmans medals specialist Stephen Thurlow said the main factor behind that impressive price was the “uniqueness and completeness of the collection all having survived together, providing a story”.

Also, the fact that these First World War awards were offered in their original named boxes, remaining unworn and unmounted. They combine with the respective ribbon bars and box of dress miniatures.

The MC and bar have been engraved with his name, which would have been taken place later unofficially.

As for the RAMC tunic itself with officer’s rank cuffs and single crown badge, Thurlow added: “Indicative major cuff rank uniforms are rare due to the wearing of them being withdrawn as they highlighted officers as targets for the opposition.”

He said: “With low savings rates and more time spent at home there seems to be an increase in spend on lot items for investments and also for personal collection and for nostalgic purposes.”