Nine medals belonging to a Falklands War hero have sold for £150,000 at auction. The nine-medal collection, which includes the Distinguished Conduct Medal, was expected to sell for between £100,000 and £120,000.
Sergeant John Meredith, who served with the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment during the conflict, showed outstanding gallantry and leadership in saving five colleagues during the Battle of Goose Green, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
His citation reads: He was a dedicated and devoted leader, encouraging and steadying the younger soldiers under fire and inspiring the platoon by his personal example.
There is no doubt that these five men owe their lives to Sergeant Meredith’s prompt and gallant action.
Mr Meredith later spoke about the part he played during the conflict, saying he was very proud of what 2 Para did, but what he did is not important.
You see, I’m a professional soldier, I’m proud to say I’m a professional soldier, and as far as I’m concerned I did my job, he said. He added: All I had was a few holes in my kit – nothing serious.
My wife was worried about me but I reassure her that the bullet that’s going to get me hasn’t been made yet.
Major Philip Neame’s account of the action at Goose Green was published in the book Above All Courage and he describes Mr Meredith as hard as nails.
Meredith, of course, held it all together and made sure the platoon continued to work together – a really solid number, hard as nails and with the ability to think, he said.
He never appeared fussed, which is what I think really helped at this time, at least for his blokes.
After 23 years' service, Mr Meredith left the full-time military and joined the Territorial Army, completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired as a major aged 60.
Now aged 70 and from Bangor, North Wales, Mr Meredith sold his collection of nine awards with citations and letters, including from the Prince of Wales, to fund his retirement.