Veterans

Soldier's Medal Collection Sells For £140,000 At Auction

Deacon Cutterham said "future financial security" influenced his decision to sell the seven medals.

A decorated soldier who was honoured for saving his men after hurling away a Taliban grenade, has sold his medal collection at auction for £140,000.

Deacon Cutterham was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for services in Afghanistan.

During his time on tour there, as a Serjeant with the 1st Battalion the Rifles, his patrol was wading knee-deep in water through an irrigation ditch when the grenade came over a high wall.

He had just five seconds to plunge his arm into murky ditchwater, retrieve the high-explosive device and throw it to safety.

Mr Cutterham said: "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.

"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 got his men out without sustaining casualties.

He had another lucky escape on the same tour when blown into the air by an improvised explosive device (IED).

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

The following year, he was presented with the medal by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, which he described as "truly to this day the proudest moment of my life".

He cited wanting to help "ensure [his] future financial security" and did not give any further reason why he was parting with the medals, which have been sold by Dix Noonan Webb auctioneers.

Eventually going for £140,000, the pre-sale estimate for the collection of seven medals, including the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, had been put at between £100,000 and £120,000.

Speaking before the auction, Dix Noonan Webb’s associate director Mark Quayle 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, The Rifles, decorated with The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross by the Prince Charles for services in Afghanistan (Picture: PA).