Robert Maxwell’s military cross for his WWII exploits goes up for sale

Bravery medals for disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell for his wartime service are up for sale.

The late newspaper baron, who died in 1991, was awarded a stack of awards for his exploits during World War II, including a military cross.

He was personally presented with the coveted title by the legendary Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in 1945.

But nearly 30 years after his death, a private collector will make about £8,000 from the loot.

The late newspaper baron (pictured with his daughter Ghislaine and wife Elisabeth in 1990), who died in 1991, was awarded a stack of awards for his exploits during World War II – including a military cross

Maxwell's medals are pictured from left to right: Military Cross, 1939-45 Star, France Star, Defense Medal, War Medal, Swedish Order of the Polar Star, Order of Stara Planina of Bulgaria, Order of the White Rose of Finland, Polish Order of Merit, Poland Cross of Bravery, Czechoslovakia Medal of Merit and Czechoslovak Medal Abroad

Maxwell’s medals are pictured from left to right: Military Cross, 1939-45 Star, France Star, Defense Medal, War Medal, Swedish Order of the Polar Star, Order of Stara Planina of Bulgaria, Order of the White Rose of Finland, Polish Order of Merit, Poland Cross of Bravery, Czechoslovakia Medal of Merit and Czechoslovak Medal Abroad

Nearly 30 years after his death, a private collector will earn about £8,000 from the loot.  Pictured: Order of the White Rose of Finland, Order of Stara Planina of Bulgaria and Polish Order of Merit

Nearly 30 years after his death, a private collector will earn about £8,000 from the loot. Pictured: Order of the White Rose of Finland, Order of Stara Planina of Bulgaria and Polish Order of Merit

Pictured: Israel's 40th Anniversary Gold Medal

Pictured: Israel’s 40th Anniversary Gold Medal

Christopher Mellor-Hill, head of customer contact at Dix Noonan Webb’s auctioneers, said: “We are in charge of selling Robert Maxwell’s Military Cross for bravery in WWII and his other awards.

He was one of the most complex and colorful characters who became one of the most powerful press barons in the 1980s.

“Given a near state funeral in Israel after his mysterious death at sea from his luxury yacht, he quickly became infamous for looting the Daily Mirror’s pension fund, leading to the collapse of his business empire.”

Decades before the fraudster stole millions of pounds from Mirror Group Newspapers’ pension fund and then drowned in mysterious circumstances, Maxwell was an award-winning war hero with a tragic past.

Born in Czechoslovakia to Jewish parents, his mother, father and four siblings were killed in the Holocaust.

He survived by fleeing to France to join the Czech army in exile before being evacuated to England where he joined the British army.

Maxwell, then sergeant, took part in the Normandy invasion and fought across Europe towards Germany.

In April 1945 he was awarded the Military Cross for storming a German machine gun post that British soldiers had pinned down on the Dutch-German border.

He was personally decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery just 24 hours after he learned that his mother and sister had been murdered by the Nazis.

In April 1945 he was awarded the Military Cross for storming a German machine gun post that British soldiers had pinned down on the Dutch-German border.  He was personally decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery just 24 hours after he learned that his mother and sister had been murdered by the Nazis (pictured)

In April 1945 he was awarded the Military Cross for storming a German machine gun post that British soldiers had pinned down on the Dutch-German border. He was personally decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery just 24 hours after he learned that his mother and sister had been murdered by the Nazis (pictured)

Maxwell, whose daughter Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in prison in the US awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, became a press baron after the war.  Pictured: British and Polish commemorative coins he was given

Maxwell, whose daughter Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in prison in the US awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, became a press baron after the war. Pictured: British and Polish commemorative coins he was given

Pictured is a note from Elisabeth Maxwell, Robert's wife, stating the medals he had received

Pictured is a note from Elisabeth Maxwell, Robert’s wife, stating the medals he had received

Maxwell, whose daughter Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in prison in the US awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, became a press baron after the war.

He died after a heart attack and a fall from his superyacht, the Lady Ghislaine, off the Canary Islands in 1991.

His companies filed for bankruptcy in 1992 and his family sold the medals the same year as part of the contents of his London home, with the proceeds going to the trustees.

Maxwell was 16 years old when he fled his home in eastern Czechoslovakia in 1939 when the Nazis occupied the country and persecuted Jews.

In May 1940, after the fall of France, he was evacuated to England and served in the Pioneer Corps before being transferred to the North Staffordshire Regiment.

In January 1945, 50 Germans attacked a row of houses with Allied soldiers in the town of Paarlo on the Dutch/German border.

Maxwell’s commanding officer counterattacked with his men, but came under heavy fire and withdrew.

He then offered to lead two sections on the ground, again under fire, reaching the British soldiers who were holding out in some buildings.

In January 1945, 50 Germans attacked a row of houses with Allied soldiers in the town of Paarlo on the Dutch/German border.  Maxwell's commanding officer counterattacked with his men, but came under heavy fire and withdrew.  In the photo: Together for Peace Foundation medal he was awarded

In January 1945, 50 Germans attacked a row of houses with Allied soldiers in the town of Paarlo on the Dutch/German border. Maxwell’s commanding officer counterattacked with his men, but came under heavy fire and withdrew. In the photo: Together for Peace Foundation medal he was awarded

Pictured: Israeli commemorative coins.  The bravery medals awarded to the disgraced media mogul will go on sale next month

Pictured: Israeli commemorative coins. The bravery medals awarded to the disgraced media mogul will go on sale next month

Maxwell reached the rank of captain by the end of the war and was press censor for the Foreign Office in Berlin for two years.  Pictured: Israeli commemorative coins he was given

Maxwell reached the rank of captain by the end of the war and was press censor for the Foreign Office in Berlin for two years. Pictured: Israeli commemorative coins he was given

He then led the men in clearing enemy soldiers from neighboring buildings, inflicting many casualties and causing the rest to retreat.

The citation for his Military Cross was: ‘For gallant and distinguished service in Northwest Europe.

During the attack on Paarlo on January 29, 1945, Lieutenant Maxwell was leading his platoon when a heavy artillery concentration came down on and near the platoon, killing and wounding several men.

“The attack threatened to lose momentum, but this officer, displaying leadership powers of the highest order, checked his men with great skill and continued the advance.

‘In the night another platoon of the company was attacked and partially overrun.

‘An attempt to re-establish position with another platoon failed but Lieutenant Maxwell repeatedly asked to lead another attempt; this request was eventually granted.

“By his great example and offensive spirit, this officer was responsible for relieving the platoon and rectifying the situation.”

Maxwell reached the rank of captain by the end of the war and was press censor for the Foreign Office in Berlin for two years.

He became a British citizen in 1946. His medals are sold on 15 September.

.