Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (10 & 11 May 2017)

Date of Auction: 10th & 11th May 2017

Sold for £5,000

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

An Albert Medal Second Class for Land awarded to Mr. J. Carney, East India Railway Company, for saving the life of a native porter who had been knocked down by a shunted train at Dinapore Railway Station on 10 July 1881 and lay stunned between the rails under the wheels of the moving wagon - Carney jumped down on him, and held the struggling and injured man down until the train had passed safely over them

Albert Medal, 2nd Class, for Gallantry in Saving Life on Land, bronze and enamel, the reverse officially engraved ‘Presented in the name of Her Majesty to James Carney for conspicuous Gallantry in saving life at the Dinapore Railway Station on the 10th. July 1881’, reverse of the crown with maker’s cartouché Phillips, Cockspur St., and officially numbered ‘48’, in somewhat damaged embossed leather case of issue, good very fine £5000-6000


Provenance: Christie’s, October 1991.

A.M. London Gazette 21 March 1882:

‘On the 10 July last, a Native shunting porter was coupling up the wagon of a train that was moving through the Station at Dinapore at the rate of two or three miles an hour. A sudden movement of the train knocked the Native down, and he fell half stunned between the rails and underneath the train. The man’s convulsive struggles threatened every moment to throw him under the wheels of the moving wagon. Mr. James Carney, a Subordinate employed in the traffic Department of the East India Railway Company, who was at the time on duty at the Station, jumped down from the platform without hesitation, rushed under the train which was still in motion, and grappling with the injured man, held him down until the train had passed over the two struggling men. In doing this Mr. Carney narrowly escaped being struck upon the forehead by the axle-tree of a pair of wheels as it passed over him. But for this act of gallantry, the Native, in all human probability, would not have escaped with his life.’

James Carney was employed as a subordinate in the Traffic Department of the East India Railway Company when he performed the act of gallantry that led to the award of his Albert Medal.