THE York Army Museum has bought a soldier’s Military Medal awarded for exceptional bravery in an anti-terrorist operation for £15,000.
The acquisition means the medal can have pride of place in a public display at the museum near Clifford’s Tower when it reopens in the summer following a £1 million revamp.
Museum staff became aware through a recent article in The Press that Ronnie Bradley, of Stamford Bridge, was selling the medal so that he could take his wife Maureen on a golden wedding holiday of a lifetime.
The medal was presented to him by the Queen after he had offered himself as a bait in dangerous operations to ambush terrorists in Aden in 1967.
Mr Bradley said he had discussed the matter with his family and they were only too pleased that he should use the money for an adventure of a lifetime, and he added that the cost of keeping the medal secure had also been a constant worry.
The medal was due to be sold with other items by specialist auctioneers Chris Clubley & Co, of Market Weighton, at an auction on Saturday at Melbourne Village Hall but spokesman Steve Marsdin said yesterday they had been withdrawn after being sold by private treaty to the museum for £15,000.
“Ronnie Bradley and his wife are both delighted,” he said. “They can now go on their holiday of a lifetime and the medals and other memorabilia will be exhibited at the museum.
“Ronnie is pleased that he and his family will still be able to see them there, as well as other visitors being able to learn of his daring exploits.”
Museum assistant curator Graham Dyson said he had alerted fellow museum staff after reading The Press article about the medal being sold.
He said the medal would be the first major acquisition since the museum, formerly the Museum of the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, was rebranded as the York Army Museum and began a major, lottery-funded refurbishment so it could tell the story of the British soldier.
The Press reported last month how the museum planned to transform its regimental collections and reveal stories of national and international importance, ahead of this year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.