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Shropshire SAS hero's medals sell for £72,000

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A group of medals won by a Shropshire SAS hero smashed through their estimated selling price as they went under the hammer in London for £72,000. A group of medals won by a Shropshire SAS hero smashed through their estimated selling price as they went under the hammer in London for £72,000. Sergeant Jack Byrne's eight medals, including a Distinguished Conduct Medal, were the star lot in the auction at Mayfair coin and medal specialists Dix Noonan Webb. "The pre-sale estimate was £40,000 to £50,000," said the auctioneer, Mr David Erskine-Hill. "As I understand it, the collection will remain in a private collection in the UK." Read more in today's Shropshire Star

A group of medals won by a Shropshire SAS hero smashed through their estimated selling price as they went under the hammer in London for £72,000.

Sergeant Jack Byrne's eight medals, including a Distinguished Conduct Medal, were the star lot in the auction at Mayfair coin and medal specialists Dix Noonan Webb.

"The pre-sale estimate was £40,000 to £50,000," said the auctioneer, Mr David Erskine-Hill.

"As I understand it, the collection will remain in a private collection in the UK."

Jack Byrne, who died in 2007 aged 85, was one of the original members of the SAS and took part in the first SAS raid in 1941.

But in retirement he lived quietly - running a wool shop in Teagues Crescent, Trench, Telford.

Mr Erskine-Hill said: "It went very well. There were a few hands, so to speak. It's quite a valuable item, perhaps in many ways beyond the affordability of a lot of collectors.

"Nonetheless, it was quite rightly fancied, because it was such a rare thing.

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"There were so few DCMs, or even Military Medals, awarded to the SAS in the last war, especially to a founder member who was in L Detachment."

The medals had been sold by a private collector.

Sergeant Byrne had an adventurous military career, during which he was wounded several times. He was evacuated in the Fall of France, later serving in the Western Desert with the SAS and, later still, landing on D-Day.

Post-war, he served as a policeman during the Malayan Emergency, and was seriously wounded when he was shot in the stomach at point blank range by a terrorist.

In his civilian life Mr Byrne, who was born in Preston and brought up in a tough Lancashire orphanage, ran a wholesale drapery and fancy goods business in Shropshire.

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