The Camp & Villaverde Medal

In 1872/1873 two additional medals for saving life at sea became available to the Society, and in the absence of anything being found to the contrary we believe that these two medals were deemed to be of equal merit to the Society’s Marine Medal.

The Camp and Villaverde Medal has its origins in the wreck of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company’s steamship “Tweed” which was carrying over 150 passengers and crew when it became a total loss on striking the Alacran Shoal in the Gulf of Mexico on 12th February 1847 and only 50 or 60 survived. Some two days later the Spanish brig “Emilio” arrived on the scene and sterling rescue work by Captain Bernadino Camp, his mate Mr Don Guilliermo Villaverde, and the crew of the brig resulted in the rescue of the survivors. Although the Society was not involved in making awards to Camp and Villaverde for their rescue work, a subscription was opened in Liverpool in 1847 for the purpose of rewarding these gallant Spaniards but the amount raised did not meet the expectations of the promoters and the money was left in the hands of John Bramley-Moore, the Mayor of Liverpool. It was not until September 1872 that Bramley-Moore, having made the amount collected up to £100, donated it to the Liverpool Shipwreck & Humane Society to found a medal for saving life at sea which was to bear the names of Camp and Villaverde.

The obverse of the medal is the same as the Society’s Marine Medal and the reverse differs from it only in the wording around the oak leaves which reads “CAMP & VILLAVERDE MEDAL FOR SAVING LIFE AT SEA, 1847”. According to the records the first of these medals was awarded in 1874 and the last in 1944, at which date a total of 37 Silver and 8 Bronze Camp & Villaverde Medals had been voted.