THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL ROBERT SHANKLAND, 43RD BN, CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, HAS BEEN SOLD BY BONHAMS OF TORONTO.
25 May 2009


( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Shankland,
43rd Bn ( Cameron Highlanders of Canada ), CEF

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal ( DCM )
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal ( 1939-45 )+ Overseas clasp
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )


Today, the 25th May 2009, the Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Shankland have been sold at auctioned by Bonhams of Toronto. The group achieved a hammer price of CAN$ 240,000 ( £135,000 ) and was purchased by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 18 December 1917 ], Passchendaele, Belgium, 26 October 1917, Lieutenant Robert Shankland DCM, 43rd Bn, Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

For most conspicuous bravery and resource in action under critical and adverse conditions ( Passchendaele, Belgium ). Having gained a position he rallied the remnant of his own platoon and men of other companies, disposed them to command the ground in front, and inflicted heavy casualties upon the retreating enemy.

Later, he dispersed a counter-attack, thus enabling support troops to come up unmolested. He then personally communicated to Battalion Headquarters an accurate and valuable report as to the position on the Brigade frontage, and after doing so rejoined his command and carried on until relieved.

His courage and splendid example inspired all ranks and coupled with his great gallantry and skill undoubtedly saved a very critical situation.

Robert Shankland was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Sandringham on the 7th October 1918.


For the award of the Disginguished Conduct Medal ( DCM )

[ London Gazette, 19 August 1916 ],420933 Company Sergeant Major Robert Shankland, Canadian Infantry

For conspicuous gallantry for volunteering to lead a party of stretcher-bearers, under very heavy shell fire, and bringing in some wounded and partially buried men. His courage and devotion were most marked.


Robert Shankland died on 20 January 1968 in Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered in the grounds of Mountain View cemetery.

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Iain Stewart, 26 May 2009