They were awarded to Trooper Ivan Moody of the Royal Scots Greys who, despite being believed killed in action in Italy, was supposedly sighted on numerous occasions in the post-war years, with an appeal launched to try to locate him.
On September 10, 1943, his tank was destroyed at Salerno and crew members were buried alongside it. Although there was no trace of Moody he too was considered dead but, after former comrades stated that they saw him after the liberation of Rome, his family alerted the Foreign Office.
“The unusual circumstances of the case lead us to believe that there might be a possibility that he was still alive and somewhere in Germany,” said the Foreign Office in a 1948 letter to his father.
Reports come in
Photos had been circulated through displaced persons camps in Germany and a report received from a M Szimanska stated that he saw Moody at a camp in September 1945 – present at the marriage of the daughter of a Col Dejistek, accompanied by two American soldiers.
Moody was remembered well by his actions: firing a revolver at a bottle of Schnapps and not hitting it until the fifth round. He spoke German very badly with a foreign accent.
Moody was also reportedly sighted at a dance in Enlenstedt in 1947 by two Ukrainians, who noted he appeared mentally unwell.
The case was taken seriously and 10,000 missing person posters were put up throughout Europe. However, Duke’s said there seems to have never been a conclusion to the case – and Moody has a headstone in Salerno War Cemetery.
The group came with several original photographs, letters concerning his case and a missing person poster. It sold to a private collector via an online bid.
As part of the same auction Moody’s father Alfred’s medals were sold for £750 (estimate £500-600) to a militaria dealer via a phone bid.
Mostly for the First World War, they included a rare ‘Russian Order of Zeal’. As a musician for the Royal Scots Greys he had played with the regimental band for Tsar Nicholas II on the Royal Yacht Leith, at Edinburgh in 1909 (the tsar being the colonel-in-chief of the regiment). The musicians were each awarded a Russian Medal of Zeal in silver.
The Second World War medal group awarded to Ivan’s brother Malcolm sold just under estimate at £90 to a private collector online. He served in Africa and Italy with the Royal Signals.
The medals were consigned by family.