Suffolk: Military Cross under hammer

A MILITARY Cross awarded to a soldier from the Suffolk Regiment for his bravery during the First World War will be sold tomorrow at an auction in Ely.

Very little is known of Charles Havell, who served as a junior lieutenant before being promoted to Captain during the Great War.

It is understood Havell was particularly heroic on the battlefield in 1916 when he was attached to a trench mortar battery.

In an extract from the London Gazette, Havell was commended “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. It was mainly due to him the guns remained in action and were so effective in carrying out their task.”

His Military Cross, which is being sold by Rowley’s Fine Art Auctioneers, is expected to make between �200 to �300.

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William Axon, Rowley’s senior valuer said: “Sadly we don’t know as much we would like to know about Charles Havell’s personal experience during the war.

“In later life he seemed to have led a fairly quiet, responsible existence working for the Westminster Bank and then as a director with the Imperial Tobacco Company – a life that was undoubtedly a contrast to his experiences as a soldier on the front line with the Suffolk Regiment.

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“Havell must have been an exceptionally brave young man. He was mentioned in dispatches twice and won the Military Cross in 1916, an award instituted in 1914 specifically for junior officers who had shown gallentry in the field.”

Mr Axon is keen to pass on any new information to the person who buys his medal.

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