WWI

Rare Collection Of WWI Pilot's Items Sold At Auction

A soldier's diary recounting the Battle of the Somme was also sold at the auction.

A rare collection of items belonging to a First World War pilot have been sold for more than £2,000 at an auction in Derby.

A flying log book, gun camera photographs and aerial maps that would have been used in the cockpit of an aircraft were amongst the items.

In line with recent Government guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic, all those taking part in the event had to use hand sanitiser to limit the risk of the virus spreading.

A photograph of Lieutenant Stuart Leslie, who owned the items, was also part of the collection.

Lt Leslie was part of the Royal Flying Corps, which later became part of the Royal Air Force.

His flying log book details several crashes, contact had with the enemy, and one entry even recalls how "the undercarriage was riddled with machine-gun bullets".

Other artefacts included postcards and his father's diving license - a symbol of wealth in the days of the Great War. 

The items were quickly sold to an online buyer for a total of £2,500.

Adrian Stevenson, head of Hansons Auctioneers’ medals and militaria department, previously said he expected the items to be sold for "at least £2,000".

Battle of the Somme diary entry being read in march 2020 230320 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
A diary written during the Battle of the Somme also went under the hammer.

Also going under the hammer was a diary by a soldier that recounted moments from the Battle of the Somme.

"I went to the first page and it says: 'Diary starting on February 13th 1916'," said Mr Stevenson.

"Seeing that it starts in 1916, I immediately turned to 1 July, the first day of the [Battle of the] Somme - the most disastrous episode in the history of the Army.

"Apparently, my hands were shaking when I [first] read it."

The diary was sold for £2,600 and Mr Stevenson said he was "very, very pleased" with the sale.

The next military auction is set to take place in the summer.