Rare World War One medal awarded to Brightlingsea woman bought by town’s museum

Clara Gosling's First World War Victory Medal

Clara Gosling's First World War Victory Medal - Credit: Archant

A rare First World War medal awarded to a Brightlingsea woman has been bought at auction by the town’s museum.

Clara Gosling was a nurse in the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps, and was killed just four days before Armistice Day in 1918.

She is the only woman to be commemorated on the Brightlingsea war memorial.

An Allied Victory Medal awarded to her went under the hammer at the Reeman Dansie auction house in Colchester yesterday – where it was snapped up by the Brightlingsea Museum for £300.

Allied Victory Medals were awarded to relatively few women, and even fewer females who died in the conflict.


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Born in Brightlingsea in 1886, Clara is buried in a Commonwealth military cemetery in Rouen, France. It is not known how she died.

Margaret Stone, curator and a trustee at the Brightlingsea Museum, said: “I am so pleased we have got this.

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“We had donations from a lot of local businesses, organisations and individuals to allow us to buy the medal, which was excellent and made a really big difference.

“It is so important the medal stays in Brightlingsea.

“There are so few records about what women like Clara did in the war, and now we will be able to put her medal on display.

“I think it is a real tribute not only to the women who went into the services but those who worked in factories too.

“We had a lot of soldiers and naval personnel here during the First World War, and it keeps coming out what good billets they had in Brightlingsea, and that was because of the women who were left behind.”

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