Antiques Roadshow guest is told father's medal is worth £250,000

Heartwarming moment Antiques Roadshow guest wipes away tears after hearing that his heroic father’s WW2 Victoria Cross medal is worth £250,000 – but insists he still wouldn’t part with it ‘even if it was worth £10m’

  • Naik Gian Singh was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in Burma in WW2
  • His guest was told his father’s medal is worth £250,000 but vowed not to sell it 

This is the heartwarming moment an Antiques Roadshow guest wiped away tears after being told a WW2 medal given to him by his father is worth £250,000. 

The guest told antiques experts in Glasgow that the Victoria Cross medal was given to his father, Sikh soldier Gian Singh, in 1945 for his contributions to Britain’s war efforts. 

Naik Gian Singh, from Punjab, India, was awarded the British Army’s most award by King George VI for leading two long charges against Japanese forces in Burma during the Second World War. 

Antiques expert Mark Smith told of the 24-year-old soldier’s brave efforts to recapture a strategic position from Japanese forces, while wounded – as he said the Victoria Cross medal given to him in recognition is now worth £250,000. 

Wiping away tears, the shocked guest, however, said he would never sell his father’s medal despite it’s high value – ‘even if it was worth £10milllion’. 

A guest on Antiques Roadshow was told his father’s Victoria Cross medal is worth £250,000

The soldier’s son explained his father never talked to his children about his time during the WW2 before the antiques expert read out a citation that offered detailed of his heroic deeds. 

‘Firing his Tommy Gun and hurling grenades Naik Gian Singh made two lone charges against the Japanese,’ Mr Smith said. 

‘It was essential that the enemy should be dislodged from this area and when a Punjab platoon assaulting a nearby village came under very heavy fire Naik Gian Singh ordered his machines 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 a Japanese anti-tankgun crew, capturing the weapon singlehanded. He then led the section in clearing all enemy positions.’

Commenting on the soldier’s bravery, the antiques expert said: ‘I know these things happen really just in the heat of the moment but that still takes some bravery to do that.’ 

Naik Gian Singh won the Victoria Cross for his brave efforts in Burma during WW2

The guest told Mr Smith that his father never talked about his heroic deeds with his children.

‘I think he used to get emotional whenever he talked about it. Obviously he lost a lot of his friends in that battle,’ the guest said.  

The Antiques Roadshow expert then asked whether his guest had ‘any idea how much this thing might be worth’ – to which the guest said ‘no, my dad never wanted to be parted with it’. 

Mr Smith then revealed the bronze Victoria Cross medal is in fact worth ‘a quarter of a million pounds’ as onlookers gasped and the guest brushed tears from his eyes.

He explained that when Victoria Cross medals were first instituted, Queen Victoria had said the bronze medals should not be made of anything ‘precious… because it’s not about the medal it’s about the deed behind the medal.’

The iconic awards have, however, become highly valuable due to their rarity, with the medals having only been awarded to have shown ‘the most conspicuous bravery’ or ‘extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’.

Victoria Cross medals are now worth hundreds of thousands of pounds due to their rarity

All in all, just 1,358 Victoria Cross medals have been given out since they were first introduced in 1856 to recognise acts of bravery during the Crimean War. 

Just 182 Victoria Cross medals were handed out during WW2, and just 15 have been handed out in the years since the end of the second world war. 

Mr Smith noted that ‘because they [Victoria Cross medals] are now worth so much money, really the only place you are going to see them is in a museum, behind armoured glass. So when they do come out it’s just an amazing moment.’

Due to their value, a number of Victoria Cross medals have been subject to thefts and robberies in recent decades, leading to a number of the bonze medals having been put on Interpol’s watch-list for stolen items. 

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