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

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £370

Estimate: £300 - £350

A Great War Sea Gallantry Medal awarded to Chief Steward Thomas Handley, Merchant Navy, for service aboard S.S. Saldanha when she was torpedoed, 18 March 1918

Sea Gallantry Medal, G.V.R., bronze (Thomas Handley, S.S. “Saldanha” 18th March 1918) in case of issue, nearly extremely fine £300-350


Ref. Spink Exhibition 1985, No. 116.

The Ellerman & Bucknall Line S.S.
Saldanha, registered in North Shields, was sunk by a German submarine on 18 March 1918, being torpedoed in the Mediterranean, 95 miles north of Algiers. Six of her crew were killed.

‘The steamship on which Mr Handley was serving was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. One of the boats in which the ship’s crew escaped lay alongside a tug, and Mr Handley, to whom had been committed the charge of the ship’s papers, was holding them in a bag in his right hand, and with the other hand was helping himself up a ladder which connected the boat and the tug. A Lascar was just in front of him also mounting the ladder, but the Lascar stumbled and fell across Mr Handley’s left arm, breaking it. To have let either the Lascar or the bag go would have ment losing them in the sea, as it was a dark night and a heavy swell was keeping the boat well away from the tug’s side. Mr Handley continued to support the Lascar on his broken arm until help arrived, and was thus no doubt instrumental in saving the man’s life’. (Ref.
The Times, 19 September 1918). Sold with some copied research.