Antiques Roadshow Guest ‘in tears’ over Value of Father’s War Medal

A guest on BBC’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’ was left “in tears” after discovering the value of his late father’s war medal.

Antiques Roadshow Guest 'in tears' over Value of Father's War Medal f

"the most iconic things that we have in this country"

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left “in tears” after learning that a World War Two medal given to him by his late father is worth £250,000.

The guest told antiques experts in Glasgow that his father, Sikh soldier Naik Gian Singh, received the Victoria Cross medal for his contributions to Britain’s war efforts.

Born in Punjab, India, Naik Gian Singh was awarded the medal by King George VI for leading two long charges against Japanese forces in Burma during WWII.

However, his family did not know what his acts of bravery were.

The guest told expert Mark Smith:

“My dad never talked to us about the story no. He used to get emotional whenever he talked about it. Obviously, he lost a lot of his friends in that battle.”

Mark then revealed he had found a book which said what Naik had been awarded the Victoria Cross for.

Mark said: “Firing his Tommy gun and throwing grenades, Naik Gian Singh made two lone charges against the Japanese in Burma… it was essential that the enemy be dislodged from this area and when a Punjab platoon from a nearby village came under very heavy fire Naik Gian Singh ordered his machine gunners to cover him as he rushed the enemy foxholes.

“Our tanks had now moved up and come under fire but Naik Gian Singh, who had sustained several wounds, again rushed forward and annihilated the Japanese anti-tank gun crew capturing the weapon single-handed.

“He then led his section in clearing all enemy positions.”

Reflecting on what he had read, Mark said:

“Wow, I know these things happen really in the heat of the moment but that still takes some bravery to do that.

“To be that involved in the battle and to just keep going, even though he’s wounded, is absolutely incredible.”

Mark then explained the importance of the Victoria Cross, which was first brought in as a medal of bravery by Queen Victoria in 1856 and has been awarded to less than 1,400 people since.

He said: “As a medal collector, this is the ultimate moment because there is only one medal really that every medal collector craves to have in their collection… It is the Victoria Cross, the highest award this country has for bravery.

“The medal itself is made of bronze and when this was instituted back in 1856 by Queen Victoria, one of the things she said was ‘I do not want this medal to be made of something precious, because it’s not about the medal, it’s about the deed behind the medal. That’s the important thing’.”

Asked if he had any idea what the medal might be worth, the guest said:

“Nope. My dad never wanted to be parted from it ever.”

He then became emotional as Mark revealed:

“It’s a quarter of a million pounds.”

Antiques Roadshow Guest 'in tears' over Value of Father's War Medal

But despite its high value, the guest said he would never sell the medal.

Wiping away tears, he said:

“Wow, wow. Even if it’s worth two million, 10 million, we won’t part with it. No way.”

Mark told him: “I can understand that. They are some of the most iconic things that we have in this country for our military, all across the world.

“And I will tell you now that meeting your dad and his medals today has been a true honour. Thank you so much.”

After the valuation, Mark explained that because Victoria Cross medals are so valuable, the only place people will see them is in museums “behind armoured glass”.

He added: “So when they do come out, it’s just an amazing moment to actually see one for real in the flesh.”

On how he felt, the guest said: “It’s amazing. I never thought it would be worth that much. I was in tears actually, I was crying.”

Revealing what he will do with the medals, he added:

“The medals will be going straight to the bank [for security].

“Then I think we as a family will collectively decide they should go to a museum so people can see and appreciate what my father did in the Second World War.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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