Antiques Roadshow expert gobsmacked by best WWII military cross

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In an instalment of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, viewers were taken to Sefton Park in Liverpool to see what unique and special items guests brought in to get valued. However, it was one particular medal that was given to one of the first men to land on D-Day that blew expert Mark Smith away.

When the guest brought a selection of medals for Mark to look at, the Antiques Roadshow expert was visibly impressed by the collection.

Commenting on how gorgeous they were, he was curious to discover who they had once belonged to.

The guest explained the set of war medals was her great uncle’s who was known in the war as Lieutenant Colonel Edward Maxwell Morrison.

She explained: “He was the first man on June Beach on D-Day and then he led the liberation of Caen.”

In awe of her relative, Mark highlighted the military cross in the set which he informed the guest was two away from a Victoria Cross.

He added: “It has this on the ribbon, the bar. Now, that means he was awarded the military cross twice.”

Giving some more information about the item, the antique expert commented people want to be able to place the owner of the medal into an exact spot and time on the battlefield.

Mark continued: “Now, the military cross, they issued unnamed.

“However, we have an exact moment in time, because when you look over the back it says, ‘H hour, D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Mike Green, Juno Beach.”

The expert told the guest the medal specifically informed people of the exact piece of beach he landed on.

Thrilled, he added: “That is exactly what a medal collector wants.”

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“Because of that, you’re looking at at least £5,000, thank you so much for showing me one of the best military crosses from World War Two I’ve really ever come across.”

The guest was stunned at the high value as she told Mark she was pleased he was happy to see the collection.

Looking at an old newspaper clipping, Mark told viewers more about the guest’s uncle.

The article read: “As Morrison leapt off the assault craft he disappeared into 9ft of water. But struggled ashore into a hail of mortar and machine gunfire.

“Six of his men were promptly cut down by the machine gun, although the rest reached the dunes where they regrouped.

“They then charged a heavily defended machine gun post further inland. Morrison gave the order Fixe bayonets. In the hand-to-hand fighting, we deserved the post and although we killed many more surrendered.”

Mark said: “As a medal collector, it doesn’t really get much better than that, he was a brave lad.”

Agreeing her family member was brave during the war, Mark told the guest the specific medal was the sort of thing he would have always wanted to collect as it’s quite rare.

Sharing other reasons why the item was so special, he added: “Because of the bar but also, you have that instant time machine.

“He has engraved it on the back, almost to the metre, where he was when he won the thing.”
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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