Record medal price expected for Victoria Cross

24 June 2006
Jonathon King

Australia's last privately owned Victoria Cross earned at Gallipoli is expected to fetch a world record price for a medal when it is auctioned today.

The medal, awarded posthumously to Captain Alfred Shout, could go for as much as $700,000.

Amid fears it could be bought by an overseas investor, the Australian War Memorial is hoping an Australian will buy it and keep it in the country.

Prime Minister John Howard is also keen to see the medal stay in Australia and preferably at the memorial's Hall of Valour.

The war memorial holds the other eight VCs awarded to Australians for service at Gallipoli.

War memorial director Major-General Steve Gower said he would be shocked if it did not stay in Australia. "It is so important to the whole nation and the only one needed to complete the Gallipoli set," he said.

Captain Shout was mortally wounded when the last of three grenades he ignited blew up in his face.

Captain Shout was the most highly decorated Australian soldier to serve during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, being awarded the Military Cross during the landing at Anzac Cove in April, and then the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Battle of Lone Pine in August that year when he and a small party charged down enemy trenches.

This article can be found in the Age - Monday, 24 June 2006.

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