Charles Brian Fabris Kingcome was born in Calcutta, India in 1917 and educated at Bedford School. He was one of the outstanding characters of the Battle of Britain, who, during its height, led 92 Squadron with great success from Biggin Hill. Shot down and hospitalised in October 1940, he returned to fly with the squadron until appointed to the command of 72 Squadron in February 1942, leading them as the fighter escort of Esmonde V.C.’s Swordfish detachment for their ill-fated ‘Channel Dash’ action. One of the youngest Group Captains in the R.A.F., aged 25, he commanded 244 (Spitfire) Wing, Desert Air Force, providing fighter support For the Eighth Army from Africa into Sicily and then through the campaign in Italy. His D.S.O. citation stating ‘He has destroyed a total of 11 enemy aircraft, probably destroyed 5 and damaged 13. His claims are traditionally modest...’ [lot 4].
Following the sale, Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director) of Dix, Noonan, Webb, commented: “We are so pleased to see such an outstanding price paid to reflect Kingcome's status as was one of the exceptional “Battle of Britain” heroes who was also one of the leading Aces of WW2. He epitomised the Battle of Britain image of the daring, adrenalin driven young men who became “One of the few” in defending our country from Biggin Hill in Kent were he commanded the 92 Squadron of Spitfire before being himself wounded and later continuing to fight in Italy and France til the end of WW2.”
Also of note in the sale was the exceptional Iraq ‘Battle of Danny Boy’ M.C. group of six awarded to Corporal M. R. Byles, 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment which sold for £55,000 to an UK collector of modern gallantry medals. Byles was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry on 14 May 2004 when he dismounted his Warrior armoured vehicle and led a full frontal assault with automatic fire, grenades and fixed bayonets to clear an enemy trench system – a comrade of Johnson Beharry, whose Victoria Cross was awarded for bravery during the same extraordinarily action-packed tour, Byles is extensively mentioned in Beharry’s memoir ‘Barefoot Soldier’ and also in Richard Holmes’s compelling account of this renowned 7 month deployment ‘Dusty Warriors’ [lot 17].
Christopher Mellor-Hill said: “We are delighted to see such an amazing price reflecting the bravery of one of the soldiers who was involved in the ‘Danny Boy’ incident in Iraq and now portrayed on TV in a new series. This British Military Cross is a testament to what these soldiers had to contend with under fire and its record price is a compliment to his soldiers story.”
FORTHCOMING SALES AT DNW
THURSDAY, MAY 27 - BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY, JUNE 2 & 3 - COINS, TOKENS, MEDALLIONS, ARTIFACTS AND ANTIQUITIES
TUESDAY, JUNE 15 - JEWELLERY, WATCHES, ANTIQUITIES & OBJECTS OF VERTU
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
JULY 6 – COINS, TOKENS & HISTORICAL MEDALS
JULY 21 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
AUGUST 18 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
AUGUST 26 – BRITISH, IRISH & WORLD BANKNOTES
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000. Two years later it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens and in 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar. In 2018, it set up a standalone banknotes department and expanded into premises next door. In the same year, DNW achieved a total hammer price of £11,676,580 and the total number of lots across all departments was 20,273. To date the company has sold in excess of 300,000 lots totalling £155 million.
For further press information and images please contact:
Rachel Aked - Tel: 07790732448/ Email: Rachel@rachelaked.co.uk