Spitfire Pilot’s Caterpillar Club Brooch Up for Auction

A Spitfire pilot’s Caterpillar Club brooch is going under the hammer in our upcoming jewellery auction.

Caterpillar Club brooch to Spitfire pilot Sgt Farmer

The 9ct gold red enamel brooch – awarded to Sgt. W. H. T. Farmer for his heroics successfully using a parachute to escape a falling aircraft – is Lot 17 in Fine Jewellery.

Fine Jewellery is an auction taking place in Birmingham on Thursday 26th May, showcasing the best jewels we have to offer.

The brooch has an estimate of £400 – £600 in our auction.

Sgt Farmer

Sgt Farmer’s Spitfire went down on 23rd July 1942, during Operation Sweep. He served in the no. 234 Squadron.

Sgt Farmer flew Spitfire vb AD454 which took off at 15:20 on 23rd July 1942. His aircraft left for a sweep between Plousecat and Guissény – and was subject to enemy machine gun fire near Landerneau.

The aircraft came down and Sgt Farmer was taken as a prisoner of war to Stalag Lamsdorf shortly after.

Caterpillar Club brooches were awarded to individuals who successfully used their parachute to escape a disabled aircraft. As a result, it is likely Sgt Farmer would have been awarded this brooch, which has his name inscribed, at some stage after his Spitfire came down. A private individual has now brought it to Fellows.

The Auction

We have sold several Caterpillar Club brooches over the years – with many fetching way above their auction estimates.

Just under 600 items of jewellery from a variety of brands will go under the hammer in the Jewellery Quarter. Moreover, we are offering free postage on the majority of items sold in the auction.

Physical viewings will take place in London on 17th and 18th May and in Birmingham on 24th, 25th and 26th May. In addition, free virtual viewings can be booked by request.

Jewellery Specialist

Ben Randall, Senior Specialist and Catalogue Manager at Fellows Auctioneers, said: “Much like an unassuming medal to the untrained eye, these tiny badges are a charming indicator of heroism and survival under immensely trying circumstances. Each badge tells a story that we would hope never needs repeating.

“Sometimes it is the material value of a piece that explains its value. On other occasions it is the provenance, the history that you can hold in your hand. Don’t forget to check and see what treasures might be lurking in your family treasure chest.”


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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