Alan Cumming grandfather’s war medal at auction

Actor Alan Cumming's grandfather won war medal. Picture: Getty
Actor Alan Cumming's grandfather won war medal. Picture: Getty
Share this article
2
Have your say

A WAR medal received by Scottish actor Alan Cumming’s grandfather – who died playing Russian roulette – has emerged for sale at auction.

The medal was posthumously awarded to Cumming’s maternal grandfather Lieutenant Thomas “Big Tam” Darling for his role as a police officer in the Malayan Emergency that followed the Second World War.

Lt Darling had previously been decorated for his gallantry fighting with the Cameronian Highlanders in France and India during the Second World War.

But, aged just 35 and traumatised by his experiences, he put a gun to his head in a Malaysian bar in 1951 and shot himself dead.

Cumming was reduced to tears when he discovered how his relative died, while making an episode of the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are? in 2010. The British general service medal (GSM) will be sold at Dix Noonan Webb’s sale of orders, decorations and medals in London on 25 February.

Auctioneers have estimated the “commonly awarded campaign medal” at just £200 to £250, but they believe it could far exceed that figure because of Lt Darling’s tragic story and his link to the Aberfeldy-born actor, who is a former James Bond villain and X-Men 2 star.

The medal, which has been lost to the Cumming family for decades, is accompanied by its original box and a letter of condolence from the War Office.

Darling had also won a Military Medal for heroism in France in 1940.