Antiques Roadshow expert laughs as guest refuses to sell £12k war medals

Antiques Roadshow guest
-Credit: (Image: (Image: BBC))

In a poignant episode of Antiques Roadshow, a guest refused to part with his precious war medals despite their impressive valuation.

The guest shared that the medals were a legacy from his deceased father. "He had a very good eye," Mark praised before delving into the items' history.

He elaborated: "If we look at this one here, for example, it has the Battle of Waterloo on the back, and it has the word Wellington. Now this is really the first ever medal that the British forces ever gave to anybody."

"Before that, we gave out things like coins, they didn't have your name on, you couldn't wear them, you put them in your pocket. But at the end of the Battle of Waterloo, this medal was instituted to be given to every soldier, and instead of it being made in different metals for different ranks, so a gold one for the Generals, on this particular occasion, Lord Wellington said they should all be exactly the same because they all did exactly the same job."

"So Lord Wellington got one of these, and so did the 10-year-old drummer boys who were on the battlefield," reports the Express.

The expert then spotlighted another medal from the collection known as a Military General Service Medal.

He further explained: "So one medal with different classes telling you which battles the man was in was invented by Queen Victoria as a concept in 1847. You personally still had to be alive to claim your medal."

Mark, unveiling the history of the medal, enthusiastically told the guest: "This is quite a rare medal. So you have this one as well and this one is from a famous regiment from the Battle of Waterloo."

"This is the King's German Legion, and they are German troops but fighting with the British as they had done in the peninsula, we have this German medal as well for the same period and they're both named, they really are quite spectacular.

"You don't see Waterloo medals like that unless you go to a regimental Museum," Mark continued before shifting his attention to their worth.

"Do you have any idea what these are worth? " he asked, to which the guest replied: "I haven't got a clue."

Mark playfully suggested the medals were valued at a mere £25, causing the guest to laugh and jokingly dismiss them as "scrap".

"It is getting better by the minute, how about £12,000? " Mark proposed, sparking surprise among the Antiques Roadshow audience.

"Never," the guest exclaimed in disbelief, adding: "I wouldn't part with them, Mark as my grandson will have them."

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.