The dented case has a metal ball which loosely fits inside the crater caused by the near-fatal impact. The ball comes from a Shrapnel Shell. The Shells were anti-personnel artillery munitions which carried a large number of individual bullets, they ejected on impact and proved devastatingly lethal to ground troops. After the First World War Shrapnel Shells were relatively obsolete.

This rare collection of medals along with the cigarette case provokes your imagination into what it was really like to be serving on the front line during the Great War. This lucky cigarette case is an example of something being in the right place at the right time. Duke's Auctions always attract the rare and unusual, and this is no exception to that rule.

In 2015, Duke's Auctioneers sold a similar life-saving tobacco box for £1 830.

Military Cross medals were awarded for exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy, established in 1915. The First M.C. was awarded on January 1st, 1915, with over 40 000 awarded during the First World War alone.

Since the founding of the Welsh Guards, they fought in many of the most well known and challenging conflicts in the 20th century including the Somme in the First World War. The Welsh guards have been awarded numerous honours such as the Military Cross, and others including two Victoria Cross's.

This rare and poignant group of medals and miraculous cigarette case will be sold at Duke's Auctioneers in Dorset on March 10th, as part of their Coin and Medals, Militaria and Ephemera Auction. The collection is expected to sell for up to £1 000.