Wing of a shot-down flying bomb used to list successes by British anti-air defences, £11,000 at C&T.

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While shooting the V1s down proved difficult, anti-aircraft guns gradually improved the hit rate with proximity fuses.

Two linked lots offered at Kent saleroom C&T (22% buyer’s premium) on February 14 celebrated such successes. One took the form of a wing section of a crashed V1 rocket which had been painted with details of victories of V1 rockets shot down by a Royal Artillery battery in southern England in 1944.

It was marked THIS IS THE WING OF A FLYING BOMB. IT WAS SHOT DOWN ON 19TH AUG,. 1944 BY A TRAINING BATTERY OF THIS REGIMENT ON OPERATIONAL DUTY IN SOUTHERN ENGLAND. THIS IS A LIST OF THEIR SUCCESSES. It featured the dates of all and a small image of the rocket. Underneath that was a key to distinguish between rockets which were GROUND BURST and AIR BURST.

The wing, mounted in a wooden glazed frame with brass fixing mounts, sold for £11,000 against an estimate of £1000-1500.

Sureshot Smith


Trophy awarded to a Sgt Smith for shooting down a flying bomb, plus ephemera, £3200 at C&T.

The previous lot, from the same source, comprised a presentation trophy of an anti-aircraft gun and medals relating to a Sgt Smith, awarded for shooting down the rocket from which the wing came from. This well-detailed and engineered cast alloy model of a Royal Artillery anti-aircraft flak gun on a rotating base was mounted to a larger wooden base with engraved plaque, AIR DEFENCE SOUTHERN ENGLAND SERGEANT SMITH THE FLYING BOMB VICTOR 1944-1945.

Accompanied by a chromed table lighter in the form of an anti-aircraft round, two postcard photographs including one showing Smith seated and his Second World War and Defence medals, the trophy took £3200, eight times the low estimate.

Dangled by his ankles


The medals of Dr Horatio Sparling, who helped air raid victims, £1700 at South Dorsetshire Auctions.

Medals awarded to a doctor who won an MBE for his lifesaving work during the Second World War German attacks on London after being decorated in the trenches during the First World War came up for sale at South Dorsetshire Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) of Wareham on February 25.

Dr Horatio Sparling lived on Dingwall Road, East Croydon, and was the local divisional surgeon for the St John’s Ambulance before volunteering as a medical officer with the Civil Defence organisation at the beginning of the Second World War despite being too old for active service in the military.

Among his attempts to save lives he was dangled by his ankles in a house damaged by a V1 flying bomb so he could set fractures and give painkilling injections to those trapped within despite the risk of the rest of the building collapsing and taking him with it. Newspaper clippings which came with the medals detailed numerous acts of bravery by Dr Sparling as Croydon became the most-bombed borough in England by the V weapons.


The medals of Dr Horatio Sparling (pictured), who helped air raid victims, sold for £1700 at South Dorsetshire Auctions.

His medals from both conflicts were consigned by a relative of his former housekeeper to whom they were left when he died in 1965 at the age of 77.

Estimated at £600-800, they sold for £1700.