Army

Hero Soldier’s Medal Collection Could Sell At Auction For £120,000

Deacon Cutterham is selling his collection of seven medals, including the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, for "future financial security".

A soldier, who was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for saving his men after hurling away a Taliban grenade, is selling his medal collection.

Deacon Cutterham had just five seconds to plunge his arm into murky ditchwater, retrieve the high explosive device and throw it to safety during a tour of Afghanistan in 2011.

The incident happened as Mr Cutterham and his patrol were wading through an irrigation ditch knee deep in water when the grenade came over a high wall.

"I heard a familiar 'ping' noise and knew exactly what it was, I looked up and in slow motion I could see a hand grenade which had been thrown from the other side of the wall and landed roughly a metre in front of me," he said.

"I liken the sensation to a wasp flying down your top and you can’t move quick enough to get that T-shirt off – only if the grenade explodes, it’s not just a sting, it’s the life of me and my team.”

Having run towards the grenade and thrown it away in a matter of seconds, Mr Cutterham proceeded to extract his men without sustaining casualties.

Mr Cutterham had another lucky escape during the same tour when he was blown into the air by an improvised explosive device (IED).

The following year, he was presented with the medal by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Cutterham was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for services in Afghanistan (Picture: PA).

His medal citation reads: "The action itself was utterly courageous, carried out with composure and clarity of thought. Cutterham’s gritty leadership and gallant act saved lives and inspired his men."

"I will never forget it, truly to this day the proudest moment of my life," Mr Cutterham said.

"The 19 years I served in the Army were the best of my life. I lived 100 lifetimes in the British Army, it felt more like one big adventure than a job. 

"It’s a fantastic organisation and I have a lot to be thankful to it for."

Mr Cutterham, who was a Serjeant with the 1st Battalion the Rifles, is now selling the medals he was awarded, including the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross – one level down from the Victoria Cross.

The collection of seven medals is expected to fetch up to £120,000 when it is sold by Dix Noonan Webb on 12 November.

Mr Cutterham didn't give any further reason why he's parting with his medals other than he wanted to help "ensure [his] future financial security”.

Mark Quayle, associate director of Dix Noonan Webb, said: "Serjeant Cutterham’s gallant conduct epitomises cold, calculated, courage under the most extreme of circumstances.

"The award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross reflects that, and it is a privilege to be handling the sale of his medals upon his behalf."

Cover image: Serjeant Deacon Cutterham with his Conspicuous Gallantry Cross medal following a ceremony at Buckingham Palace (Picture: PA).