The 1914 Star Collection formed by the late Eric Knowles

The 1914 Star Collection formed by the late Eric Knowles

Eric Knowles (1928 - 2000)

Eric Knowles was born in Audenshaw, Manchester, on 9 September 1928. His interest in the Great War was fired when still a boy in the early 1930s, hearing tales about the War from his Uncle Robert, who was the victim of a gas attack in the conflict. It was to remain a lifelong passion.

A talented footballer in his youth, Eric spent two years as a youth player with Manchester United under the direction of the late Matt Busby. Any further ambitions in this direction were, however, interrupted when he was conscripted into the R.A.F. in 1946. On completion of national service Eric continued his academic training at night school. His entire working career was spent as an industrial chemist.

In 1966 Eric and his family moved to Edinburgh for four years, where the long and intriguing military history provided by the backdrop of the city's castle prompted him to embark on a collection of war medals. The medals in today's auction represent a sizeable portion of Eric's collection; a small number of pieces have been retained by the family who hope to add to them in the years to come.

Eric died on 17 March 2000, leaving his wife, Sylvia, children Deborah and Ashley, and grandchildren Timothy, Matthew and James. Having taken the decision to sell, the family hope that the new owners of the medals will treasure them as Eric did, always remembering the selfless sacrifices of those who were awarded them.