Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza paid a world record price for the collection at auction 100 years after the VC [Victoria Cross] was awarded to Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell.
The collection, which set a new world auction record for a VC and any group of British medals, will now stay in the UK on public display.
There’s more at the link.
Campbell was a remarkable man in a remarkable field of endeavor. Q-ships were merchant vessels that were converted to carry guns and depth charges, and sent out in an attempt to entice German submarines to attack them. It took great courage for the crews to sit there, waiting to be torpedoed, knowing that they could not take evasive action. Only when the enemy submarine came to the surface, to finish them off by gunfire, could they drop their own disguise and open fire themselves. A summary of their operations may be found here.
Campbell was particularly successful as a Q-ship commander, sinking two U-boats in the course of his exploits. He was awarded the VC and three DSO’s (for American readers, that’s equivalent to the Medal of Honor and three Navy Crosses), among other medals. For an excellent short account of his career, including many photographs, see here.
Campbell wrote a very interesting book about his Q-ship exploits, called ‘My Mystery Ships‘. An online e-book in HTML format may be found here, and the book may be downloaded free of charge in various formats here, being out of copyright. I recommend it.