THE 1914-15 STAR AWARDED TO ORDINARY SEAMAN JOHN CARLESS VC HAS BEEN SOLD AT A DIX NOONAN WEBB AUCTION.
26 November 2015


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Ordinary Seaman John Carless,
Royal Navy ( HMS 'Caledon' )

  • ( Victoria Cross )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • ( British War Medal ( 1914-20 ))
  • ( Victory Medal ( 1914-1919 ))

The First World War 1914-15 Star awarded to Ordinary Seaman John Carless VC, Royal Navy ( HMS 'Caledon' ) has been sold at a Dix Noonan Webb auction planned for Thursday, 26 November 2015. The sale estimate was between £1,600 and £1,800. The John Carless 1914-15 Star was sold for a hammer price of £3,600. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.

The Carless family donated John Carless's Victoria Cross to the people of Walsall in 1986 which is currently held by Walsall Council. The location of the three WWI campaign medals, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, did not accompany the Victoria Cross. The whereabouts of these three medals is not known, until the 1914-15 star came up for sale.

( The impressed naming on the reverse of the Star: J.43703 J.H. CARLESS. ORD. R.N. ).


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 17 May 1918 ], Battle of Heligoland, North Sea, 17 November 1917, Ordinary Seaman John Carless, Royal Navy ( HMS 'Caledon' ).

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.

Although mortally wounded in the abdomen, he still went on serving the gun at which he was acting as rammer, lifting a projectile and helping to clear away the other casualties. He collapsed once, but got up, tried again, and cheered on the new gunís crew. He then fell and died.

He not only set a very inspiring and memorable example, but he also, whilst mortally wounded, continued to do effective work against the Kingís enemies.

The parents of John Carless were invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 22nd June 1918.


John Carless was buried at sea and his name appears on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 25, Column 2.

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Iain Stewart, 26 November 2015