Orders, Decorations and Medals (8 February 2010)

Date of Auction: 8th February 2010

Sold for £280

Estimate: £280 - £320

Royal Humane Society, large silver medal (R.H.S. W. C. Hood vitam ob restitvtam dono dat 1810) unmounted, in case of issue, marks to rim, overall good very fine £280-320


Report of the incident by W. C. Hood, M.R.C.S.: ‘Joseph Royal, boat-builder and waterman, of Millbank, and who usually attends at Vauxhall Stairs, say, that on Thursday, the 24th May, about half past two, as the tide was at ebb, he took a fare to cross the river, from Vauxhall Stairs aforesaid, and observed a hat floating about midway upon the water; after having ferried the fare over to the Feathers, he leisurely returned to Vauxhall Stairs and again saw the hat floating; in consequence of which he rowed his boat towards it and on applying his boathook to shove the boat alongside the hat, he perceived his boathook to rest on the body of some person lying with his face downwards, about three feet in water, and soon after had the good fortune to bring the body out of the hole where it lay, to the surface; he then recognised him to be Peter Hack, a boy usually attending the coming in of boats at Vauxhall Stairs; by the help of Edward Hammond ... he got the body out of the water, and placed him on the waterman’s bench near the stairs.

At this juncture, application was made to me; I immediately attended, and from the enquiry I made, am satisfied he must have been under water nearly twenty minutes; the body was generally black, and no pulse was to be felt, I had therefore but faint hopes of being able to restore him. ..... being supplied with brandy and flannels, I directed some who were present to rub his extremities with the latter, while I applied the brandy to his chest and stomach, rubbing them also with the flannels. I continued the operation for about twenty minutes, and had the satisfaction to see him draw up one of his legs nearly in contact with his belly, and fling it out again. I still continued to rub and apply the brandy; shortly after this I perceived him attempt to respire, but with great difficulty; and about half a hour from the first rubbing, he began to groan and respire more freely. I now gave him some brandy internally ....’ (R.H.S. Case No. 7,317). With copied research.