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Suffolk Regiment medals go under the hammer in Stowmarket

A set of medals from the Arthur Sitton collection
A set of medals from the Arthur Sitton collection

A private collection of medals, including some awarded to members of the Bury St Edmunds-based Suffolk Regiment, will be auctioned on Saturday in Stowmarket.

The medals from Hadleigh World War Two veteran Arthur Sitton’s collection, which includes pieces going back to the 1857 Indian Revolt (then called a ‘mutiny’),are lots in the Bishop & Miller Maritime, Scientific and Military Auction.

WW1 death plaques issued to the Bitten brothers of Newmarket
WW1 death plaques issued to the Bitten brothers of Newmarket

Mr Sitton served in the Army in the Middle East and was in the Royal Observer Corps. After the war he found people had differing emotions towards the medals they and their families received and many were freely offered to start his collection.

The collection grew to 100 items which he recorded and researched meticulously.

Arthur was well respected among medal collectors, often guiding new collectors, and was often seen at his regular car boot stall at Portman Road, Ipswich.

The collection includes medals, many connected with the Suffolk Regiment, from the Indian Mutiny, South Africa, Crimea, Baltic, Second China War and Afghanistan, as well as Metropolitan Police medals, naval long service medals and World War One casualty and victory medals.

A picture from the William Rose collection
A picture from the William Rose collection

An unusual World War One lot is a trio of death plaques, also known as ‘death pennies’. These were issued to the families of men and a few hundred women who died in the services during the war.

Millions were issued but what makes the trio unusual is that they are for three brothers, George, Walter and Daniel Bitten, from Newmarket, who served in the Royal Horse Artillery, 2 Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Royal Berkshire Regiment and 4 Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

The trio is expected to fetch at least £200.

Other World War One lots include badges from Zeppelins brought down after attacks on London and Harwich.

Another private collection being offered is that of William Rose who lived near Norwich but had travelled widely in the 1890s. The collection includes his photo albums and artefacts including spears from Africa and wooden war clubs from Tonga.

The auction of 700 lots begins at the auction house on the Charles Industrial Estate at 10am on Saturday. Viewing is until 7pm tonight (Thursday) from 9.30am to 4.30pm tomorrow and from 9am on Saturday.

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