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Falklands 30 - Sale of Distinguished Service Cross. December 2011

Published: 20 Dec 2011


A FALKLANDS war hero seriously injured when a bomb he was defusing exploded on board a ship has sold his medal for bravery for a world record £120,000.

The Distinguished Service Cross won by Army Captain John Phillips, who lost an arm in the blast on HMS Antelope, was bought by a British collector at auction.

A photograph of the frigate exploding after the bomb set its magazine alight became one of the most memorable images of the 1982 conflict with Argentina.

Captain Phillips from Coventry said he was 'very pleased' with the sale price but had been 'twitchy' at first because bidding was slow to pick up.

He sold his medals because, he said, at the age of 68 he wanted the money to help him and wife Christine enjoy their retirement and move to a better home.

Captain Phillips, who was a 39 year old Sergeant Major at the time of the Falklands, was lucky to survive the blast. His colleague Sergeant James Prescott was killed instantly.

The pair of bomb disposal experts were standing just 30ft from the 1,000lb general purpose bomb - which ironically had been sold to Argentina by the British - when it detonated.

The naval medal is thought to be the only one issued to a non-commissioned rank (by webmaster - not so) and possibly the only one issued to an Army serviceman.

From the Daily Express 19 December 2011 by Michael Pickard


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