Britain's Lord Ashcroft makes the market for Victoria Crosses and other military medals. This article describes his proposal to halt
the Dix Noonan Webb sale of WWII medals and associated memorabilia from a new New Zealand recipient. -Editor
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has at the eleventh hour stepped in with a proposal to keep the Munro WWII medals and associated memorabilia
within New Zealand while still achieving aviation war hero, Les Munro’s, altruistic aim of providing funds for the upkeep of the Bomber
Command Memorial in London. This offer comes only hours after local museums confirmed they had not been able to agree to a solution with Mr
Munro and could not participate in the auction of the medals as a consortium.
Lord Ashcroft has offered to donate £75,000.00 to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund that looks after the Memorial in London in return
for Mr Munro withdrawing the medals from auction and gifting them to the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland. Mr Munro’s
awards, which include the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross, are expected to fetch between £40,000 and £50,000
if the auction goes ahead.
MOTAT in turn has offered to cover the auctioneers, Dix Noonan Webb’s, reasonable fees and out of pocket expenses on Mr Munro’s
Lord Ashcroft stated “I believe this proposal is win-win situation whereby Mr Munro secures substantial funds for the upkeep of the
Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, and his medals and associated memorabilia are gifted to the Museum of Transport and Technology in
Auckland for the benefit of the Nation”. The details of the proposal were discussed during a visit by Lord Ashcroft to MOTAT yesterday
where he undertook a personal tour of one of the last remaining Avro Lancaster Bombers housed in the Museum’s Aviation Display Hall.
Lord Ashcroft was one of the driving forces behind the Bomber Command Memorial which commemorates the contribution and sacrifice of the
thousands of young airmen who died while flying with the Bomber Command during World War Two. He donated over £1 million to the initial
Memorial appeal as well as the royalties from his book, ‘Heroes of the Skies’ to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Lord Ashcroft is the author of eight books, including five on gallantry, which tell of his lifelong interest in valour and reveal the
extraordinary stories behind the gallantry medals in his collection.
To read the complete article, see:
Lord Ashcroft’s Proposal to
Keep Munro Medals in NZ (www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1503/S00352/lord-ashcrofts-proposal-to-keep-munro-medals-in-nz.htm)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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