2 bravery medals from First World War sell at auction for £235k

Two bravery medals awarded to a First World War hero who twice took out enemy machine gun posts have sold for £235,000.

Lance-Sergeant Arthur Evans was awarded the Victoria Cross after swimming across a deep river in northern France in daylight and crawling up behind the fortified German position.

Single-handedly he shot the sentry and another soldier, and made four more surrender, enabling a wounded British officer to be evacuated – earning him the highest honour for gallantry.

Remarkably, a month later the 27-year-old, of 6th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment, stormed another machine gun post, killing 10 Germans and taking one prisoner who provided valuable information.

He received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for that action. Sgt Evans was born in Liverpool in 1891, joined the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) at the start of the war before transferring to the Lincolnshire Regiment.

After the war he worked in Harrods, before emigrating to New Zealand and then moving with his wife to Sydney, Australia, where he had a hero’s funeral after dying aged 45 in 1936.

Both the bravery medals were sold to an anonymous buyer by his relatives at auction in Holborn, Central London yesterday, fetching a hammer price of £190,000 – totalling £235,000 with fees.

Marcus Budgen, of auctioneers Spink & Son, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that an outstanding medal group achieved an outstanding price that reflects Arthur Evans' brave actions.