History under the hammer: Victoria Cross of First World War hero who continued to fight despite losing a foot expected to fetch £180,000 at auction

The Victoria Cross awarded to a brave First World War hero who continued to battle on despite having his foot blown off is expected to fetch up to £180,000 at auction.

Captain Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby was posthumously honoured with Britain's highest gallantry award after he fought on during the 1915 Battle of Loos- despite suffering the horrific injury.

The bloody battle, which claimed 7,766 British troops, saw heroic Captain Kilby continue to lead his men after losing a foot. German soldiers were so impressed by his bravery in carrying on under heavy fire that they buried him where he fell and placed a simple wooden cross nearby.

The cross was inscribed commending Captain Kilby and instructing his family to remember him with pride.

He was later reburied in the Arras Road cemetery at Rodincourt, France.

Almost a century later, Capt Kilby's courage is remembered as his Victoria Cross is expected to fetch a whopping £180,000 at auction.

In the citation for his medal, received by his father, Captain Kilby is heralded for his “most conspicuous bravery”.

It read: “Captain Kilby was specially selected, at his own request and on account of the gallantry which he had previously displayed on many occasions, to attack with his company, a strong enemy redoubt.

"The company charged along the narrow tow-path, headed by Captain Kilby, who though wounded at the outset, continued to lead his men right up to the enemy wire under a devastating machine-gun fire and a shower of bombs.

"Here he was shot down, but, although his foot had been blown off, he continued to cheer on his men and to use a rifle."

Among the other men killed at the Battle of Loos were the Queen Mother's brother, Fergus Bowes-Lyon, and John "Jack" Kipling, son of the poet Rudyard Kipling.

The first of 1,356 Victoria Cross medals to be awarded to a private will also go up for sale alongside Captain Kilby's and is expected to fetch the same price. The medal was awarded to Private S.F. Godley, from the Royal Fusiliers, for his defence of the Nimy Bridge at Mons, during the first infantry attack of the First World War, in August 1914.

Although severely wounded by shrapnel, with a bullet lodged in his skull, he took over a machine-gun from his mortally wounded commanding officer. He then continued to hold his position single-handedly for two hours against a sustained heavy German assault.

When the order came to withdraw, he maintained a covering fire until the entire battalion was evacuated. After much resistance he was eventually overtaken by the enemy and taken as a prisoner of war.