War hero’s granddaughter wants medal back in Preston

Precious: James Towers' VC and other medals up for sale
Precious: James Towers' VC and other medals up for sale
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  • The First World War Victoria Cross was awarded to Private James Towers who
  • He volunteered to take a message to a stranded platoon, despite having seen five previous messengers killed
  • It will be auctioned off in London by Dix Noonan Webb
  • Expected to fetch £130,000 to £160,000
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The granddaughter of a war hero whose Victoria Cross is set to go under the hammer says she would love to see the medal come back to Preston.

The First World War Victoria Cross was awarded to Private James Towers who, in an act of bravery, volunteered to take a message to a stranded platoon, despite having seen five previous messengers killed.

We thought the correct way forward was to donate the medal to the Harris museum where it could be viewed and read about by many

It will be auctioned off in London by Dix Noonan Webb, alongside other medals, and is expected to fetch £130,000 to £160,000.

But today James’ granddaughter Glynis Castle, from Fulwood, said the family would like to see the VC come back to Preston and be displayed in a museum.

The medal, alongside four others, two of wish Glynis says were not her grand father’s, will be auctioned on March 25.

This week Glynis will go to London to view it, for what might be the final time.

She explained: “Some time before his death my grandfather had put a codicil on his will stating that the VC medal was to be given to my brother David, his gold pocket watch and inscribed chain were to be given to me. “My father and the solicitor were executors of the will.

“Unfortunately after his death the codicil was never found. Initially my nan, James’ wife Ethel did as he had wished but eventually after seeing the amount of money these medals were making she asked for it back and sold in 1983.

“This was much against the wishes of my mum, my brother and myself.

“We thought the correct way forward was to donate the medal to the Harris museum where it could be viewed and read about by many, not just to sit in someone’s private collection who would never know what a wonderful man he was.”

She added: “The George V1 and the Elizabeth 11 Coronation medals put up for sale are not the ones belonging to James Towers. We have both these medals in our possession.”

Glynis said after the medal was first sold her son traced it to Australia.

She added: “I would love to be able to buy them and bring them back to Preston. There’s no way we could afford to.” Glynis has emailed Lord Ashcroft, to enquire if he would buy it and loan it to a museum.