The In Memoriam Medallion was introduced in 1877 to recognise the gallantry displayed by those who lost their lives whilst attempting to rescue others. It has always been awarded in Silver and is presented to the next of kin. Prior to its introduction, in memoriam awards were usually given to widows, the first probably being a sewing machine awarded to the widow of Mr A Gore Kelly who died in March 1867 attempting to save the crew of the schooner “Harmony”.
The In Memoriam Medallion is double the thickness of the Marine Medallion. It is framed and glazed and the silver band of the framing presents a flat edge upon which details of the lifesaving attempt are engraved. The glass is slightly convex with bevelled edges and the whole represents a truly beautiful piece of medallic art.
The records show that 51 in memoriam medallions have been awarded up to 1977, since when there have been no further awards of this medal although a small stock of them is still held. The majority of those awarded were for incidents of a “marine” nature, but a small number were for attempted rescues of a “general” nature. It is remarkable that several of the medallion awards were to the parents of children; a sure sign that the saving of life is instinctive in all of us.