Great Britain - Historical Medals

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Lot 450    SESSION 2 (11.30AM TUESDAY 23RD MARCH)    Great Britain - Historical Medals

Estimate $250
SOLD $420

SWEDEN, Life Saving Medal of King Oscar, 1844-59, in silver (24mm), foreign award type with reverse Latin legend 'Illis Quorum Meruere Labores' (Those Whose Efforts Deserved), reverse with die struck recipient's name in relief, 'Guillielmo/Trott' (William Trott), with hinged crown and ring top suspension with ribbon. Extremely fine.

Awarded to Boatman William Trott, who was born at Deal in England in 1851, for the rescue of a youth lost overboard from a Swedish ship in 1848 at Goodwin Sands off Dover. On this occasion the Swedish vessel had lost someone overboard and when Trott learnt of it the ship had not attempted to save the person who by now was two to three miles astern. Trott abused the captain of the ship for his lack of humanity and then set sail in the direction of the missing person. Eventually, with the aid of a glass, he discovered the object of his search. Once he reached the spot he jumped overboard and rescued the unhappy boy of the ship even though the water at the time froze as it entered the boat.

Deal is a town on the English coast just north of Dover. The Deal Boatmen were regularly called upon to effect rescues of people when ships were savaged by storms or ran aground on the Goodwin Sands. William Trott was one such boatman who conducted many rescues over the years. His luck ran out when he was drowned by the capsizing of his boat during a heavy gale on the night of 27 August 1851 off Dungeness. News reports stated that few men in his station of life had shown greater heroism than him, who, during his life spent in peril, had saved hundreds from that death which it has been his own fate to meet.

With research.

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