A Military Cross awarded to a soldier from the Suffolk Regiment for his bravery during the first world war was sold for £670 today at an auction in Ely.

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The medal was awarded to Charles Havell, who served as a junior lieutenant before being promoted to Captain.

Although very little is known about his life, it is understood Havell was particularly heroic on the battlefield in 1916 when he was attached to a trench mortar battery.

In an extract from the London Gazette, Havell was commended “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. It was mainly due to him the guns remained in action and were so effective in carrying out their task”.

His Military Cross was auctioned by Rowley’s Fine Art Auctioneers at Ely, and was expected to make between £200 to £300 at today’s event.

William Axon, Rowley’s senior valuer, said: “Sadly we don’t know as much we would like to know about Charles Havell’s personal experience during the war.

“In later life he seemed to have led a fairly quiet, responsible existence working for the Westminster Bank and then as a director with the Imperial Tobacco Company – a life that was undoubtedly a contrast to his experiences as a soldier on the front line with the Suffolk Regiment.

“Havell must have been an exceptionally brave young man.

“He was mentioned in dispatches twice and won the Military Cross in 1916, an award instituted in 1914 specifically for junior officers who had shown gallantry in the field.”

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