The Collection of Life Saving Awards formed by The Late W.H. Fevyer

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

A Board of Trade Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea group of five awarded to Chief Officer Charles H. Bate, S.S. Charing Cross, awarded three life saving medals for saving life from the Gallina, 1899

Board of Trade Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea, V.R., large, silver (Charles H. Bate. Wreck of the “Gallina” on the 4th January 1899) swivel ring suspension, with ornate silver suspension and brooch bars; British War Medal 1914-20 (Thomas W. Bate) note different name; Mercantile Marine Medal 1914-18 (Charles H. Bate); Lloyd’s Medal for Saving Life at Sea, 2nd type, small, silver (C. H. Bate “Gallina” (S) 4 Jany. 1899); Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society Medal, 5th type, silver (Chf. Officer C. H. Bate, S.S. “Charing Cross” 4th Jany. 1899), fixed ‘double-dolphin’ suspension, silver buckle on ribbon, these four mounted as worn, the three lifesaving medals with edge bruising and contact marks, nearly very fine and better (5) £1200-1500


Ex Edrington Collection 1980; ref. Spink Exhibition 1985, No. 85.

Gallina was in a sinking condition in the North Atlantic when the Charing Cross bore down, launched a boat manned by the 1st Mate and five seamen and rescued six of the crew. Darkness coming on the Charing Cross lost sight of the Gallina. The Kanawha bore down the next day and launching a boat manned by 1st Mate and five seamen succeeded in rescuing the survivors, 16 all told. The rescues were effected with great risk owing to very bad weather and high confused sea’. For their service, the Board of Trade awarded £10 pieces of plate to each of the captains, the silver medal and £5 binocular glasses for each of the mates, and the silver medal and £3 to each of the seamen involved.

The steamship
Gallina of West Hartlepool, bound from Philadelphia to Norway, loaded with grain, was damaged in a strong gale and heavy seas. After drifting for several days and taking on water she was in a sinking condition. Urgently in need of assistance, on 4 January 1899, the steamship Charing Cross of London stood by them for 22 hours but was only able to take off six of the crew and then had to abandon further attempts because of the bad weather and night. The next day the steamship Kanawha of Liverpool succeeded in rescuing the remainder of the officers and crew in difficult sea conditions. Sold with copied research including a newspaper extract detailing the loss of the Gallina, and a magazine article on the rescue.