Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)
Date of Auction: 25th September 2008
Sold for £800
Estimate: £800 - £900
Board of Trade Medal for Humanity in Saving Life at Sea, V.R., large, silver (John Park, Wreck of the “Little Wonder” on the 24th September 1891) fitted with a ring suspension, good very fine £800-900
FootnoteEx Edrington Collection 1980.
‘Rescue of the “Little Wader” 24th Sept. 1891 effected at great risk and difficulty in the N. Atlantic in a heavy sea and high gale’. (Ref. P.R.O. BT.261.5). Note different name of ship. A silver ‘Humanity’ medal was awarded to John Park, Master of the S.S. Siberian of Glasgow; a silver ‘Gallantry’ medal was awarded to the 2nd Mate and bronze ‘Gallantry’ medals were awarded to members of the crew involved.
Between 1856 and 1901 there were 468 silver and 726 bronze Board of Trade Medals issued, with a further 9 undifferentiated. No records were kept on how many of these were for ‘Humanity’ but they were certainly in the minority. The last medal issued for ‘Humanity’ was made in 1893. In general, the Medal for ‘Gallantry’ was awarded to those effecting a rescue; the Medal for ‘Humanity’ was awarded to those making a rescue possible i.e. ship’s captains.