Amid calls for laws preventing the sale of Victoria Cross medals to parties outside of the country, the Canadian War Museum raised funds to purchase a WWI VC this week. -Editor The Canadian government spent almost $300,000 at a controversial auction in Toronto on Monday night to buy a Victoria Cross awarded to First World War hero Robert Shankland, preventing the iconic medal from leaving the country.
A set of nine military decorations given to Shankland — who was one of the three "Valour Road" soldiers from the same Winnipeg street who earned VCs in the 1914-18 war — was sold for $288,000 to officials from the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corp., the federal Crown corporation that oversees the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
"It really is a relief," Burt told Canwest News Service minutes after the sale of Shankland's VC and the rest of his medal set. "I don't think there's a better place for it than the Canadian War Museum."
He added that the regiment had "substantial philanthropists on our side" in case a fundraising drive had been necessary to keep the medals in Canada.
The planned auction of the Victoria Cross, awarded to Shankland for "most conspicuous bravery'' in leading an attack against the Germans at Passchendaele in 1917, had prompted the federal NDP — with backing from the Royal Canadian Legion — to introduce a bill last month that would outlaw such sales in the future.
The medal set included the "very scarce" combination of Shankland's VC and his Distinguished Conduct Medal — won in 1916 for rescuing a team of Canadian stretcher bearers under enemy fire.
Shankland died in 1968 at age 80 and is buried in Vancouver.
To read the complete article, see: War Museum pays $288K to buy Victoria Cross (www.leaderpost.com/news/Victoria+Cross+goes+auction
Wayne Homren, Editor
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