Military Medal to Operation Market Garden Soldier

A George VI military medal given to a soldier who fought in Operation Market Garden is up for auction in Birmingham.

military medal private lygo operation market garden

Private Robert Alfred Lygo, of the The Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, was No.1 of a PIAT detachment attached to No.3 Platoon during the Battle for the Bridge at Arnhem in 1944.

PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank) was a man-portable weapon used to destroy tanks during the war – used by Lygo’s platoon.

Born in Southwark, London, in 1924, the serviceman was only 19 years old when he fought in the Netherlands, and his heroic bravery resulted in the awarding of this medal.

The Battle for the Bridge at Arnhem

Awarded for his service during Operation Market Garden, the medal is named to 14411425 Pte R.A.Lygo A.A.C.

The aim of the Battle for the Bridge at Arnhem was to stop the enemy lines from thwarting the city. British forces fought for nine days and were defeated in September 1944.

Airborne divisions reached Arnhem road bridge before German forces occupied the surrounding territory and the remaining troops were evacuated. Thousands of casualties were reported as a result of the battle.

Lygo fought with his platoon just to the east of the bridge – where MK III panzer tanks and vehicles shelled them at close range. In order to gain an accurate shot, Lygo exposed himself to heavy fire.

The platoon was subject to constant attack, and Lygo’s bravery included firing bombs at armoured cars and exposing himself to tanks, often whilst completely isolated.

After the war, Lygo moved to West Yorkshire. He passed away in Bradford in 1979.

The Auction

His military medal is going under the hammer with an estimate of £3,000 – £4,000. Featuring as Lot 368 in our auction, We are offering free postage on the purchase of the item.

The Silver, Coins & Medals sale takes place on Tuesday 1 March.

The auction offers hundreds of unique and intriguing items, and bids can be placed on our website now. An unnamed seller brought the medal to us.

We previously sold two Panerai watches from Operation Market Garden in 2018 and 2019 – for a combined full total of over £100,000.

medal specialist

Alison Jakeway, Silver Specialist at Fellows Auctioneers, said:Private Lygo’s heroic actions during the Battle of the Bridge at Arnhem were incredibly brave. It is a privilege to auction his medal in our Silver, Coins & Medals sale.

I am sure that collectors of militaria and medals will be desperate to get their hands on this which is a highlight in our auction.”


Our valuations are free, with no obligation to sell with us. Our experts will value your item with an estimate, so you can find out what it could achieve at auction.

The process is simple, so you can get a valuation now:

Fill in a form online. In addition, you can book an appointment to visit our offices in Birmingham and London. Moreover, you can book a virtual valuation appointment.

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