A FLORAL link to life on the frontline in the First World War has smashed estimates at an auction in Dorchester.

An autograph album filled with flowers collected by a soldier in France and Belgium during the conflict sold for £1,434 at Duke’s Grove Saleroom in Dorchester.

The item was discovered during a house clearance and had been expected to fetch between £50 and £100 but easily surpassed that on a busy day of trading in the county town 100 years on from the start of the war.

It sold to a bidder in the room against strong competition from a phone bidder and commission bids.

Amy Brenan, from Duke’s Auctioneers, said: “It was an excellent result and we are really pleased with it.

“I think the owner will be thrilled that we got so much interest and it’s appropriate it sold in the centenary year.”

Last year Duke’s sold the world’s oldest poppy, which had been picked from a frontline trench in Arras in 1916 by Private Cecil Roughton for more than £6,000.