The Jack Boddington Collection of Life Saving Medals

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Date of Auction: 6th December 2006

Sold for £470

Estimate: £250 - £300

Three: Inspector A. J. Sanders, City of London Police

Jubilee 1887, clasp, 1897, City of London Police (P.C. 653); Coronation 1902, City of London Police (Insp.); Balloon Society of Great Britain Medal for Bravery, obv. balloon, with basket and occupant; rev. engraved inscription within a wreath of laurel, ‘Alfred John Sanders, Actg. Sergt., City Police, for Bravery at Fires in the Parish of St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, March 1893, 32mm., bronze, fitted with (slack) claw and ring suspension, with brooch bar, in E. Tyler, London case, good very fine and better (3) £250-300


Alfred John Sanders was born in Devon in 1864 and twenty years later joined the City of London Police, attaining the rank of Inspector. During his early years of service, he received the Balloon Society of Great Britain Bronze Medal for Bravery in Saving Life. The Balloon Society was an educational and philanthropic society active in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

On 31 March (Good Friday) 1883, he rescued an old lady, Miss Bird, from the burning printing works of Messrs. Judd. Two days later he was again involved in saving life from a burning building, this time rescuing an aged caretaker, Mrs Fisher, from the top floor and in the process injuring his knee which required hospital treatment. He retired from the Police in 1909 and spent his retirement in Devon. He died in 1939. (See ‘The Balloon Society of Great Britain’, by S. Adams and J. Boddington, L.S.A.R.S. Journal 41, p.45-50 for futher information on the society and the rescues). Sold with an original photograph believed to be of the recipient, a draft of the journal article and a quantity of copied research.