Aylesbury Second World War hero's awards worth £120,000 go up for auction

Experts say the medals could fetch up to £120,000

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 9:06 am

Medals, awards, and additional memorabilia awarded to a Second World War hero from Aylesbury are being auctioned by his family later this month.

Experts value the items, which symbolise the bravery of a pilot from Aylesbury could fetch between £80,000 and £120,000 once bidding has finished.

Awards granted to the Wing Commander Peter Lawrence Parrott, after the Battle of France and Battle of Britain in 1940, will go up for sale on January 26.

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Commander Peter Lawrence Parrott photo from Dix Noonan Webb

Included in the ceremonial lot is a distinguished Flying Cross award given in 1940, another medal dated in 1945 is up for sale.

The top bidder will also gain: an Air Force Cross, a Europe Star, Order of Merit symbolism, an officer's breast badge, and more souvenirs.

London-based company, Dix Noonan Webb, is running the auction showcasing the memorabilia earned by the Hurricane and Spitfire pilot.

Peter ran a Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve unit during the Second World War and nearly earned ‘Ace’ status in a day.

photo from Dix Noonan Webb, the promotional poster featuring Commander Parrott

Before his heroics, he was born in Aylesbury in 1920, and educated at Lord Williams’s Grammar School.

After school, he worked for Bucks Council briefly, before he was called into action.

At 19, Peter went on to fly with 607 (County of Durham) Squadron during the Battle of France, and with 145 Squadron over the beaches of Dunkirk.

He was shot in Dunkirk and had to limp home across the Channel and crash land in a field on the south coast.

some of the items up for grabs, photo from Dix Noonan Webb

Commander Parrott would earn distinction in the Battle of Britain, where he flourished in intense air conflict.

In the same year, it was a photo of Peter from the Battle of France, that was used for a recruiting poster.

Parrott flew Spitfires over Sicily and Italy, and commanded 43 and 72 (Basutoland) Squadrons. After the war he was employed as a test pilot, and flew early Vampire and Meteor jets, and in retirement he even managed to have brushes with Colonel Gaddafi and Idi Amin.

Mark Quayle, Associate Director at Dix Noonan Webb said: “Wing Commander Peter Parrott did more in the year of 1940, aged just 19, than most people experience in a lifetime.

"An ‘Ace’ who distinguished himself in both Hurricanes and Spitfires, surviving the Battle of France, the fall of Dunkirk, and triumphing in the Battle of Britain.

"He also suffered the pain of losing his elder brother killed in action. Parrott went on to lead a colourful life of flying, including surviving the terrifying foibles of Idi Amin and Colonel Gaddafi.”

Peter died in August 2003. He was one of the fighter pilots who had his portrait drawn by Cuthbert Orde during the Second World War.

That painting can now be found at the R.A.F. Museum in Hendon.

The medals will be sold with a substantial archive of original related items and documents including five Royal Air Force pilot’s flying log books and an original R.A.F. recruiting poster, which features a portrait of recipient in uniform, rare, framed and glazed.

In the next lot, three medals that had been awarded to Parrott’s brother, Flying Officer Thomas Hayward Parrott, 77 Squadron, Royal Air Force will be sold.

Thomas took part in the raid on a German town in May 1940, he was the first bomber to crash inside Germany while carrying out a bombing operation on a mainland target.

He was one of four members of the crew to be killed in action, the lone survivor was taken prisoner.

Further details on all the upcoming lots is available on the Dix Noonan Webb website here.