In From The Cold


After considerable worldwide interest in the weeks leading up to todays auction, the Terra Nova medal group awarded to Chief Petty Officer Frederick Parsons, sold to a telephone bidder at £19,000 (plus 22.2% buyers premium).

British history is full of iconic men and deeds of bravery and daring that go far beyond everyday life. One of these is the story of Captain Scott and his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole in 1912. Leaving the British Isles in 1910 aboard the ship “Terra Nova” with a total complement of 65 men and crew on a scientific expedition to the Antarctic with the intention to be the first men to reach the South Pole. Reaching the pole 2nd behind Norwegian Roald Amundsen, Scott’s party perished on their return journey on 29th March 1912 and part of British history was written.

Such was the high esteem this expedition was held in, that a special medal and bar was given to the 65 men that sailed on “Terra Nova”. The medal was the silver Polar Medal with Antarctic 1910 -1913 Bar. One recipient who received his medal personally from the King, was Chief Petty Officer Frederick Parsons, Royal Navy and his Silver medal along with his first world war medals are to be offered for sale in the forthcoming Medals & Militaria Auction at Sheffield Auction Gallery on 1st November.

“This is, without doubt, the rarest medal I have ever had the honour to bring to the market, from one of the most iconic stories in British history”, commented Sheffield Auction Gallery’s specialist valuer, John Morgan.

Frederick Parsons was born on 12th June 1878 in Bridport, Dorset and joined the Royal Navy in 1896, aged 18. Rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer he applied in 1909 to join the British Antarctic Exhibition, led by Captain Scott. One of over 8,000 applicants, he succeeded, following the intervention of his commanding officer, Captain Hall. As one of the ship’s crew, Fred set sail on 10th June 1910 from Cardiff aboard the “Terra Nova”, with the ship arriving in the Antarctic on 4th January 1911; and the rest is history.

Following his return aboard “Terra Nova”, Fred served throughout World War One, leaving the Royal Navy in 1919 to run a shoe repair business and became the last survivor of the famous expedition to die, aged 91 in 1970.

When the Lot goes under the hammer on 1st November it carries a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-£12,000 and considerable interest is expected.

For further information please contact the Saleroom office on 0114 281 6161 or Entries for the next Medals & Militaria Auction in early 2019 are currently invited.