Last written words and Military Cross set to sell for thousands at auction

The whole collection - A�Historic�and�Documentary�Military�Archive�Group,�With�Gallantry� Honors�from�A�Lancashire�Fallen�Hero�Of�The�Great�War.

The whole collection - A�Historic�and�Documentary�Military�Archive�Group,�With�Gallantry� Honors�from�A�Lancashire�Fallen�Hero�Of�The�Great�War.

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The last written words and a posthumous Military Medal from a fallen First World War hero are set to sell for thousands at auction.

A collection of medals, letters, pictures and a compass belonging to Second Lieutenant Frank Clarke Place, from Preston, are estimated to sell for more than £6,000 at an auction at Gerrards Auction Rooms in St Annes today.

Collection: A collection of Second Lieutenant Frank Clarke Place's private belongings

Collection: A collection of Second Lieutenant Frank Clarke Place's private belongings

The auction house revealed the rare lot is attracting attention due to the optimistic nature of the letters Frank sent to his sister Mabel.

Tragically, Frank died just weeks before the end of the war on September 22, 1918.

Frank was attached to the Royal Lancaster Regiment and successfully led his platoon behind enemy lines before he was killed aged just 21 in Northern France.

A spokesman for the auction house said: “The lot is 1321, estimate £6,000-8,000.

Frank Clarke Place

Frank Clarke Place

“We are pleased to offer the family archive of 2nd Lieutenant Frank Clarke Place.

“The basis of the collection, the medals, the military cross and three WWI Service medals awarded to Frank Clarke and the three service medals awarded to his elder Brother Leonard Clarke, framed as two separate collections.

“The more widespread interest is in the quietly optimistic series of letters from the doomed soldier to his family.

“The archive comprises of 30 articulate and descriptive letters, written by the bright, optimistic and brave young soldier, between his enlistment on March 22 1916 to the 22 Battalion Royal Fusiliers and his last posting, as a temporary Officer in the Royal Lancaster Regiment, in September 1918. Two moving letters from an Officer and a Chaplain respectively, describe the events and emotions on the days of his death and burial.”