Antiques Roadshow guest in tears after learning incredible value of father's war medals

The son of Sikh soldier Naik Gian Singh admitted: " I never thought it would be worth that much. I was crying."

Watch: Antiques Roadshow guest overwhelmed by medal valuation

What did you miss?

A guest on the Antiques Roadshow was moved to tears when he learned the astonishing value of his father's war medals.

The son of Sikh soldier Naik Gian Singh brought the medals awarded to his father for his efforts in the Second World War — including a rare Victoria Cross — to show military medal specialist Mark Smith on BBC show, and found his verdict surprisingly moving.

What, how, and why?

Smith asked the guest what he thought the bronze VC — of which only 181 were issued during the Second World War — might be worth.

He replied: "Nope. My dad never wanted to be parted from it ever."

When told its value was a quarter of a million pounds (£250,000) he became tearful and said: "Wow, wow. Even if it's worth two million, 10 million, we won't part with it. No way."

Expert Mark Smith evaluated a rare Victoria Cross which revealed a remarkable story of bravery at Pollock Park on Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)
Expert Mark Smith valued a rare Victoria Cross which revealed a remarkable story of bravery at Pollock Park on Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)

He added: "It's amazing. I never thought it would be worth that much. I was in tears actually, I was crying."

Smith revealed he had found a written account revealing Naik Gian Singh received the medal — the highest award for bravery in British military — after he made two lone charges against the Japanese in Burma, now known as Myanmar.

Close up shot of Victoria Cross medal on golden background
Victoria Cross medals are made from bronze but have a high value as they are very rare. (Alamy)

The guest said: "My dad never talked to us about the story, no. He used to get emotional whenever he talked about it. Obviously, he lost a lot of his friends in that battle."

Smith confessed: "[Victoria Cross medals] are some of the most iconic things that we have in this country for our military, all across the world.

"And I will tell you now that meeting your dad and his medals today has been a true honour. Thank you so much."

Sikh soldiers of the 7th Indian Division at an observation post in the Ngakyeduak Pass near Sinzweya during the fierce fighting, 1944. (Photo by Official photographer/Imperial War Museums via Getty Images)
Sikh soldiers fighting in the Second World War in 1944. (Imperial War Museums via Getty Images)

He added: "Because they are now worth so much, the only place you're going to see them now is in a museum, behind armoured glass. So when they do come out, it's just an amazing moment to actually see one for real in the flesh."

The guest said of Smith: "He was more excited than me actually!"

He added: "The medals will be going straight to the bank [for security]. Then I think we as a family will collectively decide they should go to a museum so people can see and appreciate what my father did in the Second World War."

The Victoria Cross was created as a medal for bravery by Queen Victoria in 1856 and has been awarded to less than 1,400 people since.

Fiona Bruce s the host of the Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)
Fiona Bruce s the host of the Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)

It is made from bronze because Queen Victoria said "I do not want this medal to be made of something precious, because it's not about the medal, it's about the deed behind the medal. That's the important thing."

What else has been happening on Antiques Roadshow?

The Antiques Roadshow is currently airing its 46th series, hosted by Fiona Bruce. The latest episode was filmed at Pollock Park in Glasgow.

In the previous series of the BBC antiques show, which has run since 1979, antiques experts surprised guests with their valuations of items including an original Live Aid poster, the first ever Beatles logo designed by a sign-making friend of the band and a signed helmet and overalls belonging to Formula One star Sir Lewis Hamilton to be worth £10,000.

The show also featured collections of locks of hair belonging to romantic poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth were given an estimated value of £30,000-40,000.

Antiques Roadshow airs on BBC at 8pm on Sundays.

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