Bermudian's Great War medal quadruples auction expectation

A military decoration awarded to a Bermudian First World War hero has been sold at auction in the UK — for more than four times its estimated value.

Lieutenant Arthur Rowe Spurling's WWI Distinguished Flying Cross went for £12,650 ($20,890) to an anonymous bidder who was present at Wednesday's sale at Warwick & Warwick auction house in England.

The medal — along with memorabilia connected to Lt. Spurling's distinguished military career — had been expected to fetch about £3,000.


A military decoration awarded to a Bermudian First World War hero has been sold at auction in the UK — for more than four times its estimated value.

Lieutenant Arthur Rowe Spurling's WWI Distinguished Flying Cross went for £12,650 ($20,890) to an anonymous bidder who was present at Wednesday's sale at Warwick & Warwick auction house in England.

The medal — along with memorabilia connected to Lt. Spurling's distinguished military career — had been expected to fetch about £3,000.

Former MP and retired businessman Rick Spurling — whose grandfather Sir Stanley Rowe was an uncle of the Royal Flying Corps bomber pilot — lost out after putting in a telephone bid for £3,500.

He told The Royal Gazette he hoped the winning bidder was Bermudian. "I am disappointed but happy I don't have to pay £3,500!" he joked. "It was supposed to reach £3,000 so I bid above that. Obviously some bidders really wanted this."

Lt. Spurling's daughter Ilys Marsh, of Surrey, England, said of the sale: "It's far more than we expected. I was very pleased. I understand there were a couple of bids from Bermuda."

She said she thought the winner may have been British as he was present for the auction. "It has gone to a collector and apparently he was really pleased with all the back-up that was with it. Hopefully it has gone to a good home."

Lt. Spurling, from Hamilton, was awarded the DFC in 1918 after he flew his bomber into the centre of a formation of some 30 German planes. He and his observer shot three down in flames and sent two others crashing to the ground.

He was injured twice on the frontline earlier in the Great War and is credited with shooting down another German plane in July 1918. He also unearthed a Nazi spy while serving in Canada in the Second World War.

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