Orders, Decorations and Medals (28 June 2000)

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Date of Auction: 28th June 2000

Sold for £1,350

Estimate: £300 - £400

Metropolitan Fire Brigade Silver Medal for Bravery, 1st type (1877-97), (Isaac Gooch) in its original Symelman & Co presentation case, very fine and rare £300-400


3rd Class Fireman Isaac Gooch is included in the first list of 19 firemen to be awarded the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Silver Medal for Bravery, on 6 May 1881, for saving three lives from a burning house in Charlton Street, Somers Town, on 21 April 1880. The following details appeared in The Times on the following day: ‘Shortly before 4 o’clock yesterday morning a fire which was attended with a fatal result to one of the fire brigade men, occurred at 32 Charlton Street, Somers Town, in a public house known as the Coffee House. The house was a very old one, its existence dating from the time when gardens were abundant in Euston Road. The fire was discovered by a policeman who gave the alarm, and engines speedily arrived. Several persons who were in great danger were rescued by a fire-escape under the charge of a fireman named Gooch. The engines were then brought into action. A fireman named Patrick Fitzgerald was standing on the pavement getting the hose up, when the front of the house suddenly fell, burying him beneath the ruins. Every effort was made to extricate him and only a few minutes elapsed before the rubbish was cleared sufficiently to enable his body to be removed. Life however was found to be extinct. The unfortunate man had been in the brigade for 15 months.’