Letter from Churchill sells for £800 at Shropshire auction

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A letter signed by Winston Churchill has sold for £800 at a militaria auction in Shrewsbury.

The letter congratulated a subordinate in the Ministry of Munitions on being recognised with a CBE towards the end of the First World War.

Dated January 1918, it also informed Henry Piggott, who received both the CBE and CB and was later knighted, that Churchill had recommended him to the Prime Minister for the award whilst serving as Minister of Munitions. At the time Piggott was assistant secretary of the Ministry.

As a result of the "shells crises" of 1915, David Lloyd George took over as Minister of Munitions and radically reorganised Britain's shell supply before being succeeded in July 1917 by Churchill.

The letter went under the hammer at fine art auction house Halls on Wednesday where an Indian Mutiny medal awarded to Captain B. Johnston, of the 4th Battery 14th Brigade Royal Artillery, who was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, sold for £700.

The medals on offer, which spanned from 1815 to the Iraq War, also included a Crimean War Medal 1854-'56 and a Knight Legion of Honour medal awarded by France to an assistant surgeon John Gibbons, of the 44th Regiment of Foot, which sold for £520.

A collection of military uniforms, ranging from the 1920s to the '60s, sold in 55 lots for £2,500, with the top price £210 going to a Royal Navy ceremonial officer's dress uniform, which was marked G. A. Scott.

Other leading prices were £600 for a 19th century wooden South American block club from Guiana, £400 for a German presentation hunting dagger, £360 for a collection of assorted Army cap badges and £340 for a Second World War Japanese shin-gunto officer's sword.

Highlights of the interiors section were an oak refectory table at £540 and a Coalport porcelain dessert service from between 1820-'40, which made £270.

Halls' fine art director Jeremy Lamond said: "Medals and militaria from private vendors continue to generate the most interest and command the highest prices at auction."

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