By Laura Kemp • 10 December 2021 • 14:30
A Royal Marine soldier that was recognised for his bravery in combat has sold his seven medals for £15,000 to “provide opportunities” for his children.
43-year-old Sergeant Major John Thompson who is a single father of three children from Devon, served in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq over 23 years of service.
The medals included a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) for “selfless and courageous actions.”
Before selling the medals, he said that his children already “know their daddy is a hero.”
The medals had been valued at between £120,000 and £140,000 by auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, however, they were sold for a whopping £150,000.
Sgt Maj Thompson, known as Tommo, said before he sold the medals: “I’m a single parent of a six, eight and a 21-year-old and the money will enable me to provide the best opportunities for them as they grow up.”
“Being a father is the most important role I’ve ever had, which I didn’t fully appreciate when I was running around Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’m doing this for them.”
“At the end of the day, the greatest thing for me is not the medals, it is that my children know their daddy is a hero.”
Sgt Maj Thompson became a Royal Marines Commando in 1998.
He received a Mentioned in Despatches medal for exceptional gallantry in 2003 after rescuing colleagues in Al Yahudia, Iraq, who had become surrounded by enemy forces.
In 2007, his company was ambushed by the Taliban in the Helmand province of Afghanistan and this led to him receiving the CGC. He opened fire on the enemy, distracting them, his “selfless and courageous actions” led the company to win the encounter.
Christopher Mellor-Hill, associate director of Dix Noonan Webb, said: “Tommo’s amazing Conspicuous Gallantry Cross group is markedly different from most of the others in that not only was he awarded the CGC for gallantry in Afghanistan but he had been previously awarded the MID gallantry award of a Silver Oak Leaf on his Iraq medal for being Mentioned in Despatches.”
“This makes him one of only a handful of men to have been decorated twice for gallantry in Iraq and Afghanistan and shows that this bravery was in his character as well as a reflection and credit upon on his fellow Royal Marines in those actions and this has been reflected in it making this a record auction price for a CGC group of medals.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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