The family of Dams Raid pilot John Hopgood has decided to sell his medals and some other memorabilia to help Water Aid, a charity building a dam in Uganda which will bring clean drinking water to 100,000 people. This very generous gesture is in honour of a young pilot who was, according to his family, an idealistic and deep-thinking man with a big conscience.
Hopgood was only 21, but had completed 47 operations by the time of the Dams Raid. He had become a close friend of Guy Gibson during his time under Gibson’s command in 106 Squadron and Gibson asked him personally to join him in 617 Squadron. By this time Hopgood had already been awarded a Bar to his first DFC, and it is this rare medal (seen above) which is the prize lot in the auction.
There are also a number of other fascinating objects which on their own would have been the star items in many a lesser sale. These include an original telegram from “Wingco and the boys” dated 28 October 1942, the time of his first DFC (see below); an original Buckingham Palace Investiture Ticket; an original letter of condolence from Guy Gibson and a programme for the repeat Royal Premiere of the 1955 “Dam Busters” film.
The auctioneers are estimating that the collection will reach £30,000–£40,000. My prediction is that it will go for a lot more than this, and we can only hope that whoever purchases such important material makes it available to the public.
The auction is being conducted in London on 15 December 2015 by Morton and Eden. The full catalogue is here. Scroll to page 95 to see the Hopgood collection.
[Hat tip: Dave Bradley]
Great story and a good cause.
I hope like you that the Hopgood medals remain in the public domain.
If you are interested there is a businessman named Kerry Stokes in Australia who in the past has purchased VC medals won by Australians rather than see them be sold to an overseas buyer.
I don’t know if he would have the same interest in Hopgoods’s medals but you never know. I would expect that if he were to purchase them they would go on display in the UK and periodically in the Australian War Museum in Canberra where there is very moving audio visual tribute to the Australian contingent to Bomber Command which includes a Lancaster and a ME 109.
Stokes is the owner of TV Channel 7 in Sydney so he could be worth contacting.
I also received my commemorative certificate from Volker today which is very pleasing.
Best wishes to you and your family for the Festive Season.
Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..
Reportedly ended up going for 24,000 pounds, which was well under estimate. No word on the buyer yet.
Not sold today at £25,000
It was NOT sold at £25000 – lets hope the Imperial War Museum makes a bid to go with his logbook that was donated to them?
Hopefully true. Haven’t seen it on the media yet, just a screenshot on another site.
According to the Prices Realised the medals went for £25,500