Commemorative Somme lapel pins being sold on Ebay for hundreds of pounds

The legion said it is working with auction sites to try and get the listings removed. Image copyright Ebay
Image caption The legion said it is working with auction sites to try and get the listings removed.

Special commemorative lapel pins made from Battle of the Somme shells are being traded at more than 10 times the original asking price, it has emerged.

The pins were created by the Royal British Legion in honour of the 19,240 men killed in the battle 100 years ago.

The legion has sold out of the £39.99 lapel pins. People from Luton, Liverpool, Cornwall are now selling them via online auction sites.

The legion said it wants the listings removed.


In one listing from St Austell, bidders were offering up to £587 for a single 1.6cm (0.6in) diameter pin. A second listing from Liverpool was demanding £450 while a third, from Preston, had bids reaching nearly £400.

Some sellers claim they will give all or a percentage of the profit to the Royal British Legion.

Ebay has yet to comment on the sales.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Last year, ceramic poppies from the Tower of London display ended up on trading sites being sold at a profit

A Royal British Legion spokesman said: "We are aware of previous reports of people attempting to sell items from The Royal British Legion's Somme 100 Collection on popular online auction sites.

"We are working with these sites on the removal of these auctions and will continue to monitor this going forward."

The sales come in the wake of attempts last year to make a profit from the Tower of London poppies.

Some of the £25 poppies ended up on a trading website for £350 each.

The artist who created them Paul Cummins said: "Where poppies are being sold on for personal profit, sometimes in high values, it really kicks dirt in the face of what the installation meant to everyone involved in the project, as well as those who visited in 2014, so it's upsetting to hear."

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