The Second World War group of eight awarded posthumously to Royal Navy Commander WR Marshall-A’Deane sold for £32,000 against an estimate of £20,000-30,000 at London saleroom Noonans (24% buyer’s premium) on July 27. They were consigned by family.
Not only did they include a DSO and DSC but also an Albert Medal 2nd class, awarded for acts of life saving by civilians and service personnel.
Marshall-A’Deane’s distinguished command of the destroyer HMS Greyhound came to a sudden end when she was bombed and sunk by German aircraft during the battle of Crete in May 1941.
He was among the survivors picked up by HMS Kandahar; however, later in the day HMS Fiji was sunk and Kandahar again went to the rescue. Marshall-A’Deane, despite the ordeal he had already been through that day, dived overboard in the gathering darkness to rescue the men in the water. He was never seen again.
Albert Medal history
Instituted in 1866, an amendment a year later created two classes of Albert Medal, with versions for life saving on land following 10 years after. Several more changes took place over the years and the AM award ceased in 1971, replaced by the George Cross. A total of 211 ‘bronze sea’ honours were given out.
A bronze AM, awarded to Lieutenant John Edward Gibbons (1905-71) for saving life at sea in 1941 during the Second World War, sold for £8000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at Bonhams Knightsbridge in February 2020, offered individually. Gibbons also won a DSC later on.