It fetched £230,000 at auction today at Spink's Auction of Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals and Militaria in London.
Pte Godley was a worthy recipient of the VC, the highest military decoration given for bravery and gallantry in the face of the enemy, as, though severely wounded by shrapnel and with a bullet lodged in his skull, he took over a machine-gun from his mortally wounded commanding officer and continued to hold his position, single-handedly for two hours, against a sustained heavy German assault.
When the order came to withdraw, he maintained a covering fire until the entire battalion was evacuated. After much resistance he was eventually taken prisoner of war.
The announcement of his award was published in the London Gazette on November 25, 1914 and read: "For coolness and gallantry in fighting his machine gun under a hot fire for two hours after he had been wounded at Mons on 23rd August."
The original Recommendation, by Lt FWA Steele, Royal Fusiliers, states: "In the defence of a railway bridge near Nimy, 23rd August 1914, Private Godley of 'B' Company showed particular heroism in his management of the machine guns. His Commanding Officer having been severely wounded and each machine gunner in turn shot, Private Godley was called to the firing line on the bridge and under heavy fire he had to remove three dead bodies and proceed to an advanced machine gun position under a sustained enemy fire. He carried on defending the position for two hours after he had received a severe head wound."
Spink medal specialist Oliver Pepys said: "The Godley VC is both hugely important and highly emotive and is one of the most famous medal groups of the Great War. Through his actions at Mons, even to the last, when he ensured that his gun would not fall into enemy hands, Godley set a standard that the British Tommy would aspire to for the rest of the War, and brought honour to his Regiment."