Antiques Roadshow expert gives ‘bad news’ after rare war medal vanishes at party

Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Smith had some "bad news" for a guest whose great grandfather's war medals racked up a huge sum.

In Sunday's episode (August 22) of the BBC One show, which first aired in 2019, the team was visiting Castle Ward in Northern Ireland.

During the show, a woman brought in the war medals and explained there had been another, an Order of Saint Stanislaus, but it disappeared in strange circumstances.

She said: "These belonged to my great-grandfather and the medals were brought out at a dinner party by my grandmother many years ago to show a guest who was interested in them.

"And let's just say that this one here was never seen after that, it just mysteriously disappeared. We are not sure what happened."

The guest said she was not sure what the medals were awarded for so Mark launched into a brief history lesson.

Pointing at the collection, he said: "You not only have a military cross, but you have what is known as a military cross and bar.

"So the bar represents the second award of that medal so he’s won that twice, so he is a very brave man."

Mark then points out her great-grandfather also has the 1914-15 star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal, which together are known as the "trio".

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The expert added: "And then you have this wonderful thing, which is the Russian Order of St Anna but the one thing you don’t have here is the Order of Saint Stanislaus.

"I had a look at what your great-grandfather was doing and, whilst he was fighting on the Western Front, when the war finished, he went off to Russia.

"That’s why this medal is called the 1914-1920 British War Medal because it also covers that period when we were fighting with the White Russian Army at the end of World War One."

"Now, he won the two military crosses on the Western Front, one in 1916 and the other in 1917, so he’s probably in the Somme and then Ypres for the Battle of Passchendaele. So, in itself, that is quite spectacular."

He added: "Then he has, in this case, the two Russian awards, both given to him by the Russians for fighting against the Bolshevik armies with the White Russian army.

"This is all actually quite spectacular!"

Mark said the medals would be worth £15,000 "if you had the whole lot".

He revealed the military cross and bar was worth an estimated £3,500, the Order of St Anna £5,000, and the missing Order of Saint Stanislaus also £5,000.

Mark said it would be possible to replace the Stanislaus to complete the set and make it more valuable but it would cost £5,000.

"Good news and bad news," he said.

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