Royal Marines Museum Southsea Buys Rare WWI Royal Marine Medals On eBay

By Ben Reus | 21 January 2008
A colour photograph of a woman seated at a desk

Assistant curator Anna Lebbell inspects the newly acquired medals.

Eagle-eyed curators at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea, Hampshire, have reunited parts of a medal group belonging to a Royal Marine killed in World War One, thanks to the wonders of eBay.

The medal group’s original recipient, Private Robert Cosstick, of the Royal Marines Light Infantry, was 32 when he died on February 3, 1915. His ship HMS Clan McNaughton and all 277 people on board were lost in storms off the coast of Northern Ireland, although the exact cause of the sinking was never discovered.

Private Cosstick’s medal documents had already been donated to the museum by his granddaughter in 1995 and finding further parts of Private Cossticks' medal group had almost been ruled out before the lucky find on Ebay.

“The museum has always realised it needs to embrace all the benefits of the Internet and reuniting this medal group against all odds really does highlight this fact,”said curator Ian Maine.

The complete set of Private Cosstick’s medals will now be proudly placed on show in the museum’s medal room, which already houses an impressive collection of over 8,000 medals, including all ten Victoria Crosses earned by Royal Marines.

“We’re currently working towards putting records of our exhibits online,” added Ian, “so it won’t be long before Private Cosstick’s medal group hits the internet once more…”

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