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Dix Noonan Webb is offering the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) awarded to Lance Corporal of Horse Simon Moloney of the Blues and Royals on May 9 with an estimate of £80,000- 100,000.

Moloney, 27, has now left the army and started his own business setting up equipment for television outside broadcasts. He said: “The money that I hope to raise by selling my medals is life changing for someone in my position and will help to set me up for the future.”

Saved by his comrade

He won his CGC in 2013 when his unit took part in a helicopter assault alongside the Afghan army deep inside a Taliban stronghold. Moloney and a machine gunner were ordered to climb onto a roof and provide covering fire. An enemy sharpshooter spotted Moloney and shot him through the neck, missing his vital arteries and voice box by millimetres.

“By rights I should be dead now,” said Moloney. “There was blood pouring from my neck and I thought I had about 30 seconds to live. I was hit by a tracer round from about 400 metres – it was a decent shot.”

Moloney’s friend and comrade Wesley Masters raced hundreds of metres under heavy fire to provide medical aid. He was later awarded the Military Cross. The dramatic incident received widespread press coverage because of the presence of an army photographer.

The CGC is Britain’s second highest award for gallantry in battle – only the VC ranks above it – and as few as 59 have been awarded since the decoration was instituted in 1993. The first to come to auction was the CGC awarded to Lance Corporal Justin Thomas of 40 Commando division of the Royal Marines (the first CGC of the Iraq War). It sold at DNW for £88,000 in September 2009.

On February 15 DNW also sold a CGC awarded to Colour Sgt James Harkess of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regt for action in Iraq in 2006. It made £130,000, setting a record for a CGC at auction.