Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (8 & 9 May 2019)

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Date of Auction: 8th & 9th May 2019


Estimate: £240 - £280

Carnegie Hero Fund Presentation Pocket Watch, silver, with inner cover inscribed, ‘Presented by the Trustees of the Carnegie Hero Fund to P.C. Herbert Archer, Rosyth, Dunfermline, for Heroism in Saving Human Life, 22nd March 1916’, outer cover ornately engraved with ‘CHFT’ (Carnegie Hero Fund Trust) cypher, hallmarks for London 1914, in John Hood, Dunfermline fitted case, internal workings unknown, cypher details worn through polishing, otherwise good condition £240-£280


‘At 5.20 am on 22nd March 1916, a boy aged 14 years residing in Rosyth Scotland, was crossing the emergency entrance caisson on the docks, when he slipped and fell into the water inside the caisson chamber. A companion shouted for help, and Constable Archer, a London Constable seconded to the Rosyth Dockyards, who was on duty nearby, ran to the spot, but was unable to see the boy, as the water was some 10 feet below ground level, and it was dark at the time. The Constable threw off his greatcoat, and helmet, and lowered himself by the framework, into the water, which was about 40 feet deep, and very cold. Having located the boy by the noise of the splashing, he caught hold of him, and shouted for a rope to be lowered. However, the person holding the rope found the weight of the Constable and the boy too great, and dropped the rope. The Constable then swam to the end of the caisson, and held onto the stonework until assisted out of the water by some workmen. The boy could not swim, and the rescue was effected in darkness on a wintery morning after the Constable had been on duty over seven hours. There was considerable danger to the Constable from the framework on the caisson.’

Herbert Caisson, Metropolitan Police, was awarded the King’s Police Medal (London Gazette 1 January 1917), the Royal Humane Society Medal and Certificate and the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust Presentation Pocket Watch for his bravery in effecting the rescue.