Peter McAleese with some of the items going up for auction

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Medals belonging to a former SAS soldier are to be sold at auction in Lichfield.

Peter McAleese, from Glasgow, has battled drug barons in Columbia, trained bodyguards in Moscow and carried out security work in Algeria and Iraq.

The 77-year-old’s career also served in the Parachute Regiment and the South African Defence Force.

But his personal collection documenting his time in the forces will go under the hammer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 24th March.

The items, which include his three-bar General Service Medal, berets and dog tags, are expected to fetch up to £22,000.

The divorced dad-of-three has decided to part with the archive of a lifetime’s soldiering after downsizing to a one-bed flat in his adopted home of Birmingham, where he once ran The Gunmakers Arms pub.

Some of the items being sold at auction

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“I’m just an ordinary person, who happened to find himself doing extraordinary things. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

“I’ve had a great life. I’m extremely happy at the moment and I have a marvellous relationship with my family.

“I enjoyed the army – the army was good to me. It just came to an end.

“I was a professional soldier and like a guy who is a brickie, for example, you go where the work is.

“I’ve ended up with quite a lot of personal militaria relating to my career and there was just too much stuff – it was just gathering dust.”

Peter McAleese

Peter has detailed his extensive experiences in several books, including No Mean Soldier.

Nick Thompson, medals specialist at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, said:

“Peter McAleese not only served his country with distinction but led a very colourful military career throughout.

“In the world of collecting military medals, those to the British Special Forces hold a particular place in people’s hearts.

“They are the classic British troops dropped behind enemy lines and working undercover, no different to the modern SAS.

“From a collectors’ point of view, whenever groups like this come on the market they’re always sought-after because of the story to tell.

“Because of the secretive nature in which the SAS is run – for all the right reasons – it’s sometimes very hard for the collector to find out the story behind the medals but not in this case. It’s all there in the books.

“This group represents a unique insight to the tough world of a professional soldier.”

Nick Thompson, Richard Winterton Auctioneers

The collection goes under the hammer on 24th March.

For more details about the sale visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.