The Life Saving Awards Research Society


Every life saving award an award for bravery

Life saving awards fall into two groups – 'official' awards and 'unofficial awards'

Listed on this page are the awards that are (or have been) given for life saving. The list is comprehensive, but undoubtedly incomplete. We would welcome notice of any such awards that are not on the list.

Official Awards (Great Britain & Ireland)

These are give by the state and themselves fall into two groups–

  1. awards only given for saving life
  2. awards given for bravery / gallantry which in many cases are awarded for life saving.

(i) Life Saving only

Albert Medal
Edward Medal
Board of Trade Medal for Saving Life (Sea Gallantry Medal)
Foreign Office Medal (Sea Gallantry Medal [Foreign Services])

(ii) Bravery / Gallantry Award which have been given for life saving.

Almost all of the remaining official awards, including the Victoria Cross, have on some occasions been given for a life saving incident. Awards which are frequently given for life saving are:

Empire Gallantry Medal
George Cross
George Medal
Queen’s Gallantry Medal
King’s / Queen’s Police Medal
Medal of the Order of the British Empire
Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service

Those awards for Gallantry for which a life saving award has not been found are:

Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Cross

An unknown family group of medals thought to be from the north east of England

An unknown family group of medals
thought to be from the north east of England

Unofficial Awards

Life Saving Funds / Societies / Trusts

Bath Humane Society
Bolton & District Humane Society
Bon Accord Swimming Club & Humane Society
Bristol Humane Society
Carnegie Hero Fund
Devonport Royal Swimming Association & Humane Society
Fleetwood Humane Society
Glasgow Humane Society
Grimsby Humane Society
Hundred of Salford Humane Society
Jersey Humane Society
Lancashire Humane Society
Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society
Norfolk Humane Society
Northants Humane Society
Paisley Swimming Club & Humane Society
Plym, Tamar, Lynher & Tavy Humane Society
Port of Plymouth Humane Society
Royal Humane Society
Royal Life Saving Society (Mountbatten Medal)
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Sheffield Society for the Recognition of Bravery
Shipwrecked Fishermen & Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society
Shropshire Society in London
Society of the Protection of Life from Fire
Suffolk Humane Society
Tayleur Fund
Tynemouth Trust
Windsor & Eton Humane Society
Wisbech Humane Society

Newspapers / Magazines

Answers Medal
Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday (Medal for Valour)
Associated Newspapers Medal
Daily Herald (Order of Industrial Heroism)
Daily Mirror Medal
Daily Sketch Medal
Evening Mail (Newcastle) Medal for Valour
Fleet (For Merit Medal)
Golden Penny Medal
Northern Review (Order of the Silver Shield)
Pluck Medal
Post Office Magazine (St. Martin’s Medal)
Quiver Medal
To-Day (Gallantry Fund Medal)

Municipal and Other Awards

Binney Memorial Award
Birmingham Fire Medal
City of Dundee Corporation (Medal for Bravery)
Civil Aviation Authority
Corporation of Glasgow
Corporation of West Ham
Dale Award (Coventry)
Glasgow Typhoid Medal
Ilfracombe Medal for Merit
Kingston-upon-Hull Swimming Club Life Saving Medal
Lincoln Typhoid Medal
Liverpool Corporation - Medal for Bravery
Maidstone Typhoid Medal
Mayor of Folkestone's Medal for Valour
Metropolitan/LCC/London Fire Brigade – Bravery Medal
Plymouth – Police Bravery Medal
Southend-on-Sea Pier Dept – Life Saving Medal
Stafford Swimming Club Medal
Stoke City Police Life Saving Medal
Strathclyde – Bravery Medal
Tyne & Wear Civil Defence Authority – Medal for Bravery

Youth Organisations

Boys' Brigade
Boys' Life Brigade
Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade
Girl Guards (Salvation Army)
Girl Guiding UK
Girls' Life Brigade
Salvation Army Life Saving Scouts
Scout Association
Sea Cadet Corps

Animal Societies

Belfast Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
National Canine Defence League
Our Dumb Friends League
Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Commercial Organisations

Automobile Association
Castle Mail Steam Packet Co.
Imperial Chemical Industries
Millwall Dock
Silk Cut
Surrey Commercial Dock Company

Non-Commercial Organisations

Gallantry Medallists' League
Imperial Services Guild Merchant
London Private Fire Brigade Association
Mercantile Marine Service Association
Merchant Navy Welfare Board
National Safety First Association
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
St Andrew's Ambulance Association
Order of St John of Jerusalem
Shipping Federation
Port Sunlight

Specific Rescues

Indian Chief Medal (Ramsgate Medal)
Carpathia & Ttanic Medal
CQD Medal
SS Drummond Castle Medal
Folkestone, Hythe & Sandgate Medal
Gorleston Volunteer Lifeboat Medal
Erinpura & Topaz Medal
SS Lusitania Medal (Wanderer)
Marajah of Burdwan's Medal (Goliath)
Montrose – Saving Life from Shipwreck 5/6 March 1881
Moray Floods Medal (1929)
Morcambe Boating Disaster (1894)
Osip / Laetitia Medal
HMS Niger Medal (Deal)
Henry Vernon Crew Fund Medal
Wreck of the Chusan
Wreck of the Kent
Wreck of the Palme

Colliery Disasters

Little Hulton Colliery (1866)
Hamstead Colliery (1908)
Hartley Colliery (1862)
Hulton Colliery (1910)
Sacriston Colliery (1903)
Whitwick Colliery 1898)


London, Midland & Scottish Railway
London & North Eastern Railway
London Passenger Transport Board
Midland Railway
Southern Railway

Private Awards

Too numerous to mention – but each a tale of heroism in its own right!