The Fire Medal

In January 1875 local charities in the Liverpool area were bequeathed the sum of nearly £300,000 by a Mr Roger Lyon Jones, a former Liverpool City Councillor. The Society was fortunate enough to receive £2,000 of this windfall. Later in 1882 the executors for this estate informed the Society that they were prepared to donate a further £500 “upon condition that the amount be permanently invested and the interest applied in the first instance to found a medal for reward of bravery in cases of rescue of life from fire and other dangers not specifically named in the original constitution of the Society and for bestowing other honorary and pecuniary awards, grants or annuities in such cases, and subject thereto to the general objects of the Society.”

Gold Fire Obverse

The design of the Fire Medal, which was carried out by Elkington and Company in 1882, is particularly interesting and was taken from a painting by Sir John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896), President of the Royal Academy. Reproduced on the obverse of the medal, it depicts a fireman in the act of rescuing children from the staircase of a house on fire, with the words “FOR BRAVERY IN SAVING LIFE” at the bottom. The reverse of the medal is identical to that of the Marine Medal and its ribbon colour is bright red.