Orders, Decorations and Medals (28 June 2000)

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Date of Auction: 28th June 2000

Sold for £220

Estimate: £250 - £350

Royal Humane Society, large silver medal (unsuccessful) the reverse inscribed ‘Geo. Brooks, A.B., H.M.S. Mutine, Vit Peric Expos D.D. Soc. Reg. Hum., 27 June 1862’, with double loop suspension, minor edge bruise and some faint surface scratches, otherwise nearly extremely fine and rare £250-350


The following is extracted from Acts of Gallantry, by Lambton Young: ‘On the 27th June 1862 at 10am, H.M.S. Mutine was on passage under sail from Panama to San Francisco. Ordinary Seaman Joseph Holland was knocked overboard by the lower studding-sails when clearing it. George Brooks, A.B., and John Dunn, captain afterguard, immediately jumped overboard after him; the life buoy was let go, a boat lowered, and the ship rounded to without delay, and after some time the men were picked up by the boat, having seen Joseph Holland go down before they could reach him, probably taken by sharks, which had been following the ship before the accident, and continued to do so after it. Although the endeavours of these men were not crowned with success, the fact of their having jumped overboard for the purpose of saving life, when they must have been aware that from the great speed of the ship there was a risk of their own lives from this cause alone.’