BBC’s Antiques Roadshow valuation stuns son of heroic soldier | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


A proud son was stunned when his father’s rare medal awarded for valour in World War II was valued at a staggering £250,000.

On tonight’s episode of the Antiques Roadshow filmed in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, Charanjit Singh brought in the Victoria Cross awarded to his dad Naik Gian Singh.

Naik Gian Singh was a Sikh soldier fighting for the Allied forces in the Far East campaign against the Japanese in 1945.

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces.

This was the first time the Antiques Roadshow had featured a Victoria Cross awarded to a Sikh Soldier and expert valuer Mark Smith gave it a figure of a quarter of a million pounds.

The medal’s accompanying citation reads: “The enemy were well concealed in foxholes along cactus hedges and Naik Gian Singh soon observed enemy some twenty yards ahead.

“Ordering his Light Machine Gunner to cover him, he, alone, rushed the enemy foxholes, firing his Tommy Gun.

“He was met by a hail of fire and wounded in the arm. In spite of this he continued his advance alone, hurling grenades. . . . . By this time a troop of tanks came under fire from a cleverly concealed enemy antitank gun.

“Naik Gian Singh quickly saw the danger and, ignoring the danger to himself and in spite of his wounds, again rushed forward, killed the crew and captured the gun single-handed.

“Naik Gian Singh was ordered to the Regimental Aid Post but, in spite of his wounds, requested permission to lead his section until the whole action had been completed.

“This was granted. There is no doubt that these acts of supreme gallantry saved Naik Gian Singh’s platoon many casualties and enabled the whole operation to be carried out successfully with severe losses to the enemy.”

Naik (Corporal) Gian Singh was awarded the highest award for gallantry, receiving the Victoria Cross from King George VI in October 1945.

He would travel to London every two years to attend the Victoria and George Cross Reunion. He died in 1996.

Valuer Mark Smith previously valued a WWI Victoria Cross at the Portchester Castle Roadshow in 2021. He said: “It is always an immense honour to see, let alone, hold a Victoria Cross.

“The humble bronze Cross represents the highest traditions of courage, sacrifice and honour, how can one not be moved to be in its presence. Always a moment to remember.”

Mr Singh’s son Charanjit, who contributed the medal, said: “It was a wonderful day to hear Mark Smith talk about my father, I was so proud and emotional.

“We have never been minded to sell the medal and have not thought about its value so it was a great surprise (to learn what it is now valued at).”

The medal will go on display in November for two years at the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow.

According to the Imperial War Museum, the Victoria Cross is hand-made, traditionally using bronze taken from a gun captured in the Crimean War. The first medal was forged on January 29, 1856.

The Victoria Cross was deliberately intended to have little actual value. Its value lies in what it stands for and what people do to earn it, be extremely brave.

The inscription on the Victoria Cross is “For Valour”, a traditional word for bravery. It was personally chosen by Queen Victoria, after whom the medal was named. The Queen turned down the first suggestion, “For the Brave”, explaining that all her solders were brave.


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