Medal Presented to a Grimsby Trawler Man who Helped Protect Britain's Coast During WWI Sold at Auction

27th November 2012

The George V medal for distinguished service was presented to G. M. Barnes for his work in the Dover Patrols on February 14 and 15, 1916. With fierce competition from collectors in the room and on the telephone, the medal sold for a hammer price of £380, well above its pre-sale estimate of between £150 and £200, at the sale at auctioneers Golding Young & Mawer on Wednesday (November 21). Auctioneer John Leatt said: "It was unusual for a medal such as this to come onto the open market because very few were awarded for service during the First World War to civilians.

"With its strong Lincolnshire connection, we expected a lot of interest before the sale but the level of competition was unprecedented. "It finally sold for a £380 which is the highest price such a medal has ever made at auction and almost double the price of a similar medal which was sold locally some time ago."

The Dover Patrol was one of the most important Royal Navy Commands of the First World War. Its primary task was to prevent enemy German ships and submarines from entering the English Channel en route to the Atlantic Ocean. Its duties in the North Sea and the Dover Strait included carrying out anti-submarine patrols, escorting merchantmen, hospital and troop ships, laying sea mines and sweeping up German mines.

All number of vessels were involved including armed trawlers, cruisers, destroyers, paddle minesweepers, armed yachts, motor launches, coastal motor boats, submarines, seaplanes, aeroplanes and airships. After the war in July 1921, a memorial was unveiled at Leathercote Point near St Margaret's Bay, Dover.

Elsewhere in the sale, an ebonised hardwood African paddle carved with a figure and a small wooden spear sold for £2,500 to an international collector bidding over the Internet. Among the paintings, a signed oil on canvas, dated 1830, of an Italianate coastal scene with sailing boats and a rocky outcrop in the manner of the artist James William Giles sold for £1,500, well over its £800 to £1,200 estimate. The painting was being sold on behalf of the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance. A signed oil on canvas, dated 1899, of Moorland in Atholl by the artist David Farquharson (1839-1907) sold for £1,200, well over its £600 to £700 estimate.

A collection of rare Masonic jewels and regalia sold for a total of £500. The items, which includeFounders' Jewels and those from other Craft Orders,were brought into the auction house during a free valuation day and came from a Nottinghamshirehouse. A Clarice Cliff Coral Firs conical sugar sifter, decorated with stylised trees beside

a coastal landscape, sold for well above its £200 to £300 estimate to make a hammer price of £460.

A violin made by Herbert W. Tyson of Louth (b. 1878) in 1928 sold for £380 against an estimate of £200 to £300. A mahogany carpenter's toolbox with satinwood banded interior, which included a number of moulding planes and other tools, made by Cecil Hague of Lincoln sold for £320. A well-known publican and horse trainer, Mr Hague served his apprenticeship in 1925 under cabinet makers Curtis and Mawer of 40 Silver Street, Lincoln, and went on to run the Prince of Wales pub in Bailgate and The New Station at Langworth.

Among 10 longcase clocks in the sale, which were expected to sell for between £200 and £1,000 each, an Edwardian mahogany clock retailed by A.C. Pailthorpe Jewellers of Grimsby was expected to sell for between £500 and £800 and made a hammer price of £2,000. The clock was unusual as it had a musical chime striking on nine gongs.

A rare '78rpm record titled 'Football Match No. 1, Newcastle United v. Man City 1910' sold for £45. The Zonophone Record included crowd noise and banter and was believed to be the first FIFA match recorded. A collection of die cast toys and early 20th century games sold for over £2,000. Among them, an early back-light J. W. Patent card theatre with film depicting London landmarks and another similar toy theatre titled 'Pepper's Ghost' sold for £800, more than twice its highest estimate.

A set of W. Britain lead soldiers depicting the Seventh Fusilier Soldiers and another depicting the Middlesex Regiment (57th foot) sold for £550, and another lot featuring a quantity of lead soldiers sold for the same price.

Meanwhile, a die-cast football game titled 'The Penalty Kick', a table croquet set and a Parlour Golf Game sold for £110. A special section of the sale was dedicated to collectables and decorative items which had been donated to the Lincoln charity for children and young people with disabilities, Strut in the Community. Among the items, which included a Victorian tin trunk, Edwardian dining room china and a collection of walking sticks, a Galanti accordion sold for £400.

An album of postcards including those of images of North Lincolnshire sold for more than five times its original estimate of £40 to £60 to make a hammer price of £320.

The next sales will be held at the Grantham auction rooms on Wednesday and Thursday, December 5 and 6 and at the Lincoln saleroom on Wednesday, December 19.

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