Cambridge University WW1 boat race medal sells at auction

Cambridge University boat race medal Image copyright Keys Auctions
Image caption The person awarded the boat race medal remains "a mystery", said the auction house

A university boat race winner's medal awarded to the ill-fated Cambridge crew of 1914 has gone under the hammer at a Norfolk auction.

The silver medal, one of only nine ever made, sold in Aylsham for £460 to a private collector in Suffolk.

The race took place on 28 March 1914, the last due to the outbreak of World War One until 1920.

Of the nine members of the winning Cambridge crew - all under 25 - four died during the conflict.

The Oxford stroke was also a casualty.

Sarah Prior, from Keys Auctioneers, said the person awarded the medal remains a mystery, as it appeared in a much larger collection of rowing memorabilia.

'Victorious' crew

She said: "The medal was one of nine given to the victorious Cambridge crew of 1914, but we are unsure who it belonged to and if they were one of the four that went to France during the Great War and didn't come home, or one of those that survived.

"This is a very poignant item, something very special at a time when so many are commemorating the centenary of the Great War."

The case of the two-inch (5cm) diameter medal included a hallmarked silver shield listing the names of the Cambridge crew.

Of the 18 men involved in the race, all but one served in the armed forces during the conflict, with the 18th becoming chaplain to the armed forces, the auction house said.

Cambridge won the 1914 race by four-and-a-half boat lengths, the 31st victory for the light blues.

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