Life Saving Awards from the Collection of John Wilson

Date of Auction: 25th March 2013


Estimate: £250 - £300

Society for the Protection of Life from Fire, 6th type, bronze, reverse inscribed, ‘A. Ainsworth, 3rd July 1986’, unmounted; together with the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire, Award Certificate, awarded to ‘Alan Ainsworth in testimony of distinguished conduct while engaged in the rescue of life from Fire on the 3rd day of July 1986 at Flat E 20 Barcombe Avenue, Streatham, London, SW2’. medal extremely fine, scarce £250-300


Case 24,062: Alan Ainsworth, awarded the Bronze Medal and Certificate.

Extracts from the S.P.L.F. records: ‘On 3rd July 1986, at 2.15 am, Mr Alan Ainsworth (28) was alerted to the fact that the third floor flat opposite his own was ablaze. He immediately rushed towards the burning flat even as a window exploded with the force of the heat. He dashed up the stairs ignoring warnings from another resident who was outside the burning flat. He forced open the front door and entered the flat. Opening the street door blocked out the flames in the living room although the air was hot and thick smoke prevalent. Mr Ainsworth advanced along the hallway to the bedroom where the woman and her four year old daughter and the young man (17) were cut off by smoke and flames and screaming for help. Assessing the situation immediately he cradled the child in his arms and told the two adults to hold on to him. Poisonous fumes and smoke made it difficult to breathe and see, but he braved the flames with the child in his arms and led the occupants in a chain effect out of the front door and to safety’.

Together with copied research. The certificate is illustrated in Saved from the Flames.