Louth war hero’s VC medal sells for £312,000

Thomas Watson and his selection of medals, including the Victoria Cross.
Thomas Watson and his selection of medals, including the Victoria Cross.

A Victoria Cross medal awarded to an army officer from Louth has been sold at auction for £312,000.

The medal, which was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Watson, was auctioned in London on Thursday (December 11) and ended up being bought for double the expected price of £150,000.

The buyer was Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, who is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying: “In my opinion, it is one of the finest Victoria Crosses of the Victorian era.”

Will Bennett, from international coin and medal auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, said: “There was strong bidding in the saleroom which produced a price well above the pre-sale estimate of £150,000 to £180,000. We are delighted.”

The medal was awarded to Watson, a former King Edward VI Grammar School pupil, for his heroism on the 
North-West Frontier of India in 1897 which was highly praised by Winston Churchill, then a war correspondent, who rode in with the column that relieved him and his comrades.