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Up for auction: medals of a Great War hero who found love in Belfast

By Dick Barton

Published 15/06/2016

Sergeant George Augustus Ives
Sergeant George Augustus Ives
The medals up for auction

A Military Medal and three others awarded to a First World War hero who found love and happiness in Belfast are expected to sell for around £600 when they go under the hammer later this month.

Sergeant George Augustus Ives was granted the Military Medal on July 16, 1918, when he was 26 years old, for his "great gallantry" during a battle in France in May 1918, just six months before the war ended, during which he was wounded three times before being taken prisoner.

Sgt Ives, who was born in Gorleston, Norfolk, in 1892, was 18 years old when he joined the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment in 1910.

On June 24, 1917, he transferred to the 2nd East Lancashire Regiment.

Mr Ives is mentioned in its regimental history for his fantastic bravery during an attack at Guyencourt, France, on May 26, 1918. It states that "the company took part in the heavy fighting in the battlezone".

According to the official account, the fighting in this zone continued for some considerable time.

"Lieutenant Davies was wounded and got away, but he mentions that Acting Company Sergeant Major, Sergeant Ives, was behaving with great gallantry, being thrice wounded before he was taken to the first aid post, where he was afterwards taken prisoner," the official regimental history indicates.

Sgt Ives then spent six months as a prisoner of war before he returned to Britain after the war ended. During the 1920s, he served in the Army in Jamaica, Bermuda, Malta and India. In May 1929, he was awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

During a brief break in hostilities on February 9, 1916, he married his girlfriend, Sarah Newell Tedford at Belmont Presbyterian Church in Belfast.

After leaving the Army in 1931, he returned to Northern Ireland and lived in Hillfoot Street, in the east of the city, and worked as a clerk at Harland & Wolff.

He was 81 when he died in Belfast on August 1, 1973.

Now, 43 years after his death, his Military Medal and his three others - a British War Medal and a Victory Medal, as well as an Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - are up for sale.

They are set to fetch between £550 and £650 at Morton & Eden Auctioneers in London on June 27.

The silver Military Medal, with its distinctive blue, white and red ribbon, was awarded for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire".

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