A fine Collection of Life Saving Awards

Date of Auction: 12th December 2012

Sold for £980

Estimate: £900 - £1,200

A fine O.B.E. and Lloyd’s Medal for Bravery pair awarded to Captain Charles Victor Catling, Master of the S.S. Birtley

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Civil) Officer’s 2nd type breast badge, silver-gilt; Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea, silver (Captain C. V. Catling, S.S. “Birtley” 15th September 1941) nearly extremely fine (2) £900-1200


O.B.E. London Gazette 3 February 1942.

Lloyd’s Medal for Bravery at Sea Lloyd’s List and Shipping Gazette 14 August 1942. ‘The ship struck a mine and sank four hours later. The master was wounded in the head and was stunned when the bridge protection collapsed on him. The chief engineer twice went below to search for missing men but he was unsuccessful owing to steam and flooding. The master, who was still dazed, saw everybody off the ship before leaving to board a destroyer. He called for volunteers to reboard the ship, as he thought it still might be possible to save those trapped in her. The chief engineer was among the first to respond, but he was again unable to find the missing members of the crew. Although the ship’s back was broken, the master tried to reboard her, but the swell prevented him, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he was persuaded not to jump on board his ship.’

In the same gazettes, Chief Engineer Percy George Ludlow was awarded the M.B.E. and Lloyd’s Medal for Bravery at Sea. With copied extracts.