On August 23, 1914, Private Sidney Godley of the Royal Fusilliers set the standard for heroism in WWI. Although severely injured, with a bullet lodged in his head, he took control of a machine gun and for two hours single-handedly held off six German divisions from the Nimy Bridge at Mons, France. When his battalion was ordered to withdraw, he provided covering fire until all were evacuated. For his actions, Godley won a variety of medals, including the Victoria Cross, which will be featured at a Spink auction in London on July 19th, when they’re expected to sell for $217,000-$279,000.
Update: the Godley medal sold for way above expectations, achieving a result of $433,653 including buyer’s premium.When he ran out of ammo, Godley threw the machine gun into the canal to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Finally captured by the Germans, he was sent to Berlin for medical care—bullets were removed from his skull and back– and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner. He finally received his Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace on February 15, 1919. and spent the rest of his working life as a school caretaker.