A fine Collection of Life Saving Awards

Date of Auction: 12th December 2012

Sold for £1,550

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400

An Edward Medal for Industry in Bronze awarded to Edward Naylor for assisting in the rescue of a steeplejack overcome by fumes from a chimney, 150 feet high, in Sheffield

Edward Medal (Industry), G.V.R., 1st issue, with 2nd type reverse (Edward Naylor) very fine £1000-1400


E.M. London Gazette 20 February 1920. ‘His Majesty the King has been pleased to Award the Edward Medal to Charles Whelpton, Edward Naylor and Horace Ball, under the following circumstances:

On August 26th, 1919, two steeplejacks were engaged in repainting the brickwork at the top of a chimney 150 feet high at the Atlas Works of Messrs. John Brown, and Co., Ltd., at Sheffield. Before the work was completed, gas fumes were accidentally permitted to pass through the chimney, with the result that one of the men was overcome. His companion, a lad, was able to attract attention, but was unable to assist him.

Whelpton, Naylor and Ball, who were not steeplejacks, but had formerly been used to work at a height; at once ascended the ladder, which, however, only reached a spot 7 feet from the summit. They then had to climb outwards over a projecting chimney crown by means of the steel straps which run round the shaft. On reaching the top, which was only 9 inches wide, they applied artificial respiration to the unconscious man for 20 minutes, and then with great difficulty lowered him to the ground in a canvas ambulance sling, which had in the meantime been passed up by means of a rope.

All three men undoubtedly risked their lives in saving the life of another.’