Ilkeston war hero’s medals sell for £5k

War medals belonging to a heroic Ilkeston-born fighter pilot have been sold at auction for more than £5,000.

The six Second World War medals, including two Distinguished Flying Medals, were awarded to Frank Geoffrey Woolley, of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 70 years prior to their sale to an anonymous buyer.

They went under the hammer at Spink auction house, in Bloomsbury, London, on April 24 for £5,500.

The medals were accompanied by the citations with which they were initially received, stating the bravery of the fighter pilot.

The print for the first distingushed cross, received in Iraq, read: “In May, 1941, one of our aircraft crashed during an attack on an armoured train in enemy territory.

“In spite of difficult ground, Pilot Officer Woolley landed his aircraft beside the wreckage and picked up the injured pilot and airman.

“By his prompt and gallant action, Pilot Officer Woolley undoubtedly prevented these airmen from falling into the hands of the enemy and enabled the pilot to receive the medical attention he urgently needed.”

Papers in the lot accompanying the medals also describe the pilot as a “determined and aggressive leader whose fighting capabilities are reflected in the success achieved by his squadron.”

Frank Woolley died on November 28, 1959 following a plane crash in Manby, in Lincolnshire. He was 37 years old.