Summary

Australia New South Wales
Shipwreck relief medal (AD)
Mint: Sydney
Other Details: Medal awarded to Richard Addison for saving a life at Manly Beach, Sydney, on 4 July 1907. The Sydney Morning Herald (5/7/1907, p.8)reported that on the morning of that day Harry Clifton, a hairdresser in Gloucester Street, city, was fishing off the cargo wharf 'when he was seized by paralysis of the brain and fell into the water'. Richard Addison, a resident of Charles Street, Marrickville, was on the passenger wharf when he saw the fall. He immediately dived into the water to help Clifton. 'He succeeded in bringing the unfortunate man to the shore, and Dr. Henry ordered his removal to the Manly Cottage Hospital. At a late hour last night Clifton was in a serious condition, but little hope being entertained of his recovery.' It is not known if Clifton survived.

Physical Description

An bronze award medal (45 mm diameter) featuring a scene of rescue from a sinking sailing sgip and with an inscription on the reverse giving details of the award.

Obverse Description

A sailor wearing early life-jacket examins a ship-wrecked man who has been cassed ashore holding a piece of wreckage. Behind an angel consols a woman weeping and holding a child while crowning the sailor with a wreath. In the background, a sailing ship sinking, a boat being rowed to shore and a lighthouse. Around on broad rim, SUNT LACRYMAE RERUM SUNT ET SUA PRAEMIA LAUDI.

Reverse Description

Around on lifebuoy, ROYAL SHIPWRECK RELIEF & HUMANE SOCIETY OF N.S.W. within , AWARDED TO engraved below, RICHARD ADDISON / FOR SAVING LIFE / MANLY. N.S.W. / 4TH JULY 1907

Edge Description

Holed for mount

Significance

The Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales was founded as the National Shipwreck Relief Society of New South Wales in 1877 'for the relief of the widows, orphans and others dependent upon men lost in the marine service of our coast, or elsewhere, such relief to be distributed at the discretion of the Committee'. In 1968 it was re-named the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales.

Note that the date of the rescue stated on the medal - 4 July 1907 - is contradicted by the newspaper report on the Sydney Morning Herald, which puts the date at 5 July. The story is, however, reported in the paper on 5 July, and reference it made to events later than evening, so it is probable that the newspaper was mistaken about the date. -D. Tout-Smith 20/10/2003.

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