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Royal Humane Society Medals

Awarded to London Police Officers

The Royal Humane Society (RHS) was founded in 1774 and has a long and distinguished history of formally recognising acts of bravery in the course of attempting to save the lives of others.   The RHS Stanhope Gold medal is the top RHS award, and was instituted in 1873 for the bravest deed reported to the RHS. It was founded in memory of Captain Chandos Stanhope RN whose obituary stated that the had "on several occasions showed a readiness to risk his life for others"

PC John Jenkins of E Division of the Metropolitan Police was awarded the medal in 1882, for a rescue from Waterloo Bridge. A PC from Bristol was awarded the medal in 1999, but it is rare for it to be awarded to police officers. Normal life-saving professionals such as nurses, doctors and paramedics are not eligible.

But the Stanhope Gold Medal was awarded again to a Met officer in January 1992 when Lesley Moore from Charing Cross Division showed great courage at an incident which occurred in Ryder Street SW1. A 25 year old workman, Gary Westlake had fallen 50 feet whilst erecting a corrugated iron roof to some scaffolding and landed up on a sloping roof of a fourth floor dormer window. A scaffolder swung the officer across a dangerous gap, and she then gave first aid and resuscitation to the workman without being protected in any way, in strong winds (up to 43 mph) and used her tunic to act as a pillow to comfort him. After about an hour, special Fire Brigade equipment arrived and the casualty was taken to hospital but he died several days later.

In relation to the more frequent Bronze Awards issued by the Society,  the list below is taken from details supplied by Peter Kennison, and compiled, doubtless at the cost of great time and some expense by Bill Fevyer and Peter Helmore.   The list contains details of awards made not only to Metropolitan Police officers but also to other officers serving in London (eg from the City of London Police).   It mainly runs from 1891 - 1907, but with some cases from earlier years supplied by Paul Dew.

The list is in alphabetical order of surname.   You might be able to search by using the CTRL - F function on your computer.

For more details about the Royal Humane Society, click here.

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Barclay, Francis H. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 32618

On the 25th May 1903, Agnes Gibson, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Surrey Canal at Deptford. At great risk, Barclay jumped in and, after being dragged under water, managed to rescue her.

Bates E, Police Constable 53744 Metropolitan Police.   Case 19344

Incident on 7th May 1874, Serpentine.

Berrett, James, Constable, Metropolitan Police. Case 26472

At great personal risk, rescued John Connelly from drowning in the Regent's Canal Dock, at Limehouse, on the 13th May, 1893.

Biggs, Henry, Constable, Metropolitan Police. Case 34906

At 2.40 a.m. on the 3rd September, 1906, an old man was seen to throw himself into the Thames at Charing Cross, there being at the time a depth of 30 feet, with an ebb tide and the night dark. At great risk, Henry Biggs, Constable, Metropolitan Police, plunged in, and kept him afloat till they were picked up by the police boat, but the man did not recover.

Blackmore, M.H., Constable, City Police. Case 34548

At 9.33 p.m. on the 28th April, 1906, a woman, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Thames near Blackfriars Bridge. The night was dark and cold, the depth being 8 feet with an ebb tide. At great risk, Blackmore, plunged in and swam with her 70 to 80 yards, when they were picked up by a boat. John McGregor, a newsvendor, also jumped in, but his help was not required. Pecuniary to McGregor.

Blackmore, M.H., City Police. Case 34692

Bronze Clasp

At 9 p.m. on the 26th June, 1906, two boys were paddling in the Thames under Blackfriars Bridge, and getting out of their depth were soon in 16 feet of water, the place being very dangerous. M.H. Blackmore, at great risk, plunged in and succeeded in saving one, the other being drowned.

Blake J  Police Constable 103 A Division, Metropolitan Police.   Case 14292

Incident on 4th April 1846, Serpentine.

Byron, Arthur, Police Constable. Case 29143

At great personal risk, rescued Harry Hunt from drowning in the Regent's Canal, 19th August, 1897

Cameron, John, Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 35105

On the 3rd December, 1906, a woman named Andrews threw herself into the Lea at Bow Bridge and sank, the depth being 7 feet and the water very foul. John Cameron, Constable Metropolitan Police, dived in, and finding her at the bottom got her out in an unconscious state and then restored her. And a Certificate.

Cartwright, W. Police Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 29602

On the 16th August 1898, a boy was washed into the river at Hammersmith by the swell of a passing steamer. Cartwright at once dived in, and at great risk rescued the lad.

Casleton J  Police Constable 33 P, Metropolitan Police  Case 13529

Incident on 18th May 1840 at Surrey Canal.

Chilcott, Charles. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 30730

On the 17th July 1900, Charles Carter fell into the Regentís Canal at the Cat and Mutton Bridge. Chilcott jumped in and rescued him in an unconscious state, thereafter applying treatment for his restoration. Together with Certificate.

Clarke, Albert. Police Constable 457E. Case 28337

Together with PC Geo. Munro 482E, at great personal risk, rescued Mary Williams from drowning in the Thames at Adelphi Stairs, on the 10th June 1896.

Testimonial on vellum to Munro.

Clements Ernest, Constable, Thames Police. Case 35050

On the 21st October, 1906, a girl, while at play, accidentally fell into the Thames at Wapping Stairs, there being a depth of 18 feet. At great risk, Constable Ernest Clements, Thames Police, at once plunged in and was successful in saving her.

Cleverley, Harry, Constable, Metropolitan Police. Case 31115

On the 11th January, 1901, Bertha Lawson, who had escaped from a lunatic asylum, threw herself into the Regent's Canal. The night was dark, and the depth of water 10 feet. At great risk, Cleverley Jumped in and after a hard struggle succeeded in saving her.

Crampton, John, Police Constable. Case 28794

At great personal risk, rescued Thomas Cole from drowning in the Thames at Wapping, 14th May, 1897.

Davies, S. Constable Metropolitan Police. See Little, Henry. Case 31924

Donovan M, Police Constable 212 K Division, Metropolitan Police.  Case 16237

Incident on 14th September 1858, Regents Canal, Mile End. Also recommended for reward of £1 for rescuing child from drowning in Police Orders of 9th and 13th May 1874.

Elliott, John, Police Constable. Case 25401

At great personal risk, rescued Charles T. Pether from drowning in a reservoir at Loughton, on the 11th June, 1891.

Ennor, W. Sergeant Metropolitan Police, Devonport Division. Case 32987

On the 23rd September 1903, Charles Drew, in trying to pass from one boat to another, fell into the sea at Torpoint, Cornwall. This took place 70 yards out in 16 feet of water. At great risk, Ennor swam out and supported him till they were picked up.

Everest E, Police Constable, Thames Division, Metropolitan Police.   Case 13539

Incident on 19th May 1840 at Rotherhithe

Farrington, W., Police Constable. Case 28941

At great personal risk, rescued James Bull, and attempted to rescue Catherine Steward, from drowning in the Regent's Canal, 13th July, 1897.

Fullick, Edward. Case 28036

At great personal risk, rescued, and Police Constable Campion attempted to rescue Miss Newton from drowning at Surbiton, on the 3rd September 1895.

Testimonial on parchment to Campion.

Green, Henry, Police Constable. Case 28710

At great personal risk, rescued Florence Butler from drowning in the Lee at Hackney, 3rd February, 1897.

Greening, Arthur, Police Constable. Case 33299

On the 28th June 1904, an old man, in an attempt at suicide, threw himself into Duckett's Canal, Old Ford. Greening, at great risk, went in and got him to the bank, when F W Robinson assisted him out and also gave help in restoring him to consciousness.

Certificate and pecuniary to Robinson.

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Hierons, John. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 31811

On the 20th January 1902, Clara Lines accidentally fell from the tow-path into the Thames at Hammersmith, the strong tide running soon carrying her out 50 yards from the bank into deep water. At great risk, Hierons swam out and kept her afloat till they were picked up by a boat.

Jones, Edward, K Division, Metropolitan Police. Case 26909

Saved a woman from drowning in the Channel-sea River (sic), on the 6th December, 1893

Killick, Harry, Constable, Metropolitan Police. Case 34803

On the 24th July, 1906, a boy named Thomson, while at play, fell into the Roding at Ilford, the depth being 10 feet and the water being very foul. Harry Killick, Constable, Metropolitan Police, ran 60 yards, and, at great risk, plunging in, was successful in saving the boy.

Kidd E, Police Constable 355, Metropolitan Police.  case 15927

Incident on 21st December 1856, Regents Canal, Kingsland.

Kingsley, Thomas. Dock Constable. Case 32782

On the 31st July 1903, a youth named Francis fell into the Millwall Dock Lock, and the sluices being open, the place was like a whirlpool. Frank Holt, clerk, jumped in, but could not find him, and himself got into difficulty. Kingsley then went in and rescued Holt, but Francis was drowned. Testimonial on vellum to Holt.

Little, Henry. Case 31924
Davies, S. Constable Metropolitan Police.

On the 27th April 1902, two men were in a small boat, which capsized in the Thames opposite the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. The accident took place about 30 yards from the bank in 20 feet of water. At great risk, Little swam out and got the men to hold on to the boat, but as soon as they became exhausted, Davies swam out and gave assistance till they were picked up by a boat.

Ludford, John. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 31812

On the 21st January 1902, a woman named Packham, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Thames in front of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. It was midnight, and there was 12 feet of water with an ebb tide. At great risk, Ludford, who heard the splash, plunged in and brought her to safety.

Mills, C. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 32066

On the 28th June 1902, A. Grosvenor, who is a lunatic, in an attempt at suicide, threw himself into the Regentís Canal, Shoreditch, there being a depth of 12 feet, and the water very foul. Mills, at great risk, went in and got him near the side, when Police-Sergt. Gibson rendered assistance in landing him. Testimonial on vellum to Gibson.

Milne, Stewart, Constable, Metropolitan Police Case 31610

On the 29th July, 1901, a man threw his three children, aged 9, 4, and 2, into the Regent's Canal at Regent's Park, the depth being 7 feet, and the water very foul. Milne, ran 460 yards, and plunging in, endeavoured to rescue them, but failed, as they were dead when brought out by him.

Morley, Wm. John. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 31866

On the 28th February 1902, an insane woman, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Regentís Canal at St.Markís Bridge. Morley, at great risk, jumped in and, after a hard struggle, succeeded in bringing her out.

Noble, James. Constable City of London Police. Case 27484

At great personal risk, rescued Alice M. Luke from drowning in the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge, on the 7th July 1894.

Outram, Herbert. Police Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 29816

On the 27th November 1898, a woman who had wandered from home got into the Thames at the Adelphi Steps. Outram, at great risk, jumped in, the depth being 20 feet, and rescued her.

Plackett, J. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 32112

On the 26th July 1902, Mary A. Sagus, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Regentís Canal, Cambridge Heath. The night was dark, the water 9 feet deep, and very foul. At great risk, Plackett jumped in and succeeded in finding and rescuing her, afterwards restoring her to consciousness. Certificate also to Plackett.

Risby, William, Police Constable Case 31763

About midnight on the 21st November, 1901, George Handyside in an attempt at suicide, threw himself into the Surrey Canal from the Trafalgar Street Bridge. The night was dark and the depth 10 feet. At great risk, Risby, after running 70 yards, jumped in and rescued him, thereafter restoring him to consciousness. Also Certificate to Risby.

Robertson, J. Sergeant Metropolitan Police. Case 34336

On the 7th October 1905, an unknown man was seen to throw himself into the Thames from Chelsea Embankment, there being at the time a depth of 16 feet, with strong flood tide. At great risk, Robertson plunged in, but was unable to reach him before he sank.

Robinson, Geo., Constable, Metropolitan Police Case 34709

At 11.25 p.m. on the 7th July, 1906, Louis A. Fewings threw himself into the river at the Shadwell entrance to the London Docks, the depth being 23 feet. At great risk, Geo. Robinson plunged in, and, in spite of his struggles, succeeded in saving him.

Rowe, James. Inspector Y Division Metropolitan Police. Case 27789

At great personal risk, rescued Geo. Busby from drowning at Hove, on the 21st June 1895.

Rowland, Alexander, Constable, E Div, Metropolitan Police. Case 26197

At great personal risk, attempted to rescue William F. Skinner from drowning in the Thames, at Wandsworth, on the 15th September, 1892.

Russell, G.E. Constable Metropolitan Police. Case 32732

On the 19th July 1903, a woman threw herself into the Surrey Canal at Peckham, the night being dark. Russell dived in and rescued her in an unconscious state, and thereafter succeeded in restoring her.

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Scott, Conrad, Police Constable Case 35246

On the 26th March, 1907, Jennie Hill was thrown into the Surrey Canal at Rotherhithe by her sweetheart, the time being nearly midnight and the water very foul. Conrad Scott, Police Constable, went in fully clothed and succeeded in saving her.

Searl  W  Police Constable 111 Metropolitan Police.  Case 13158.

Incident on 27th August 1837.  Paddington Canal

Setter, James H., Constable Metropolitan Police Case 35741

On the 27th October, 1907, a boy fell from a landing stage into the Thames at Southwark, the depth being 12 feet with a strong tide. James H. Setter, Constable, Metropolitan Police, jumped in and rescued him.

Simmons, Fred. Police Constable. Case 27572

At great personal risk, rescued W.Mullinger from drowning in the Thames at East Greenwich, on the 9th February 1895.

Smith, Albert, Police Constable Case 31429

On the 21st July, 1901, Polly Chandler, in an attempt at suicide, threw herself into the Thames at London Bridge. At great risk, Smith, jumped in and, after a struggle, succeeded in saving her.

Smith, C.W. Dock Constable. Case 33971

On the 3rd June 1905, two boys, while at play, fell into the Surrey Canal at Deptford, the depth at the place being 7 feet. Smith, at great risk, jumped in and succeeded in rescuing both.

Smith, Robert, Police Constable Case 26583

With Jeremiah Donovan, at great personal risk, rescued Daniel Taylor from drowning in the Grand Surrey Canal, at Peckham, on the 9th June, 1893

Taylor, Ernest. Police Constable. Case 30225

On the 7th August 1899, a boy fell into the Thames at Temple Steps, and was being rapidly carried away by the strong tide. Taylor, at great risk, jumped in fully clothed, and succeeded in rescuing the boy.

Topley J, Police Constable 55 A Division, Metropolitan Police,   case 14885

Incident on 4th May 1850, Serpentine.

Turner, G.T. Constable. Case 30861

On the 21st August 1900, Constable Meadows, Metropolitan Police, was in a boat on the Thames at Putney. When some 50 yards from the bank the boat capsized. Turner, who was also in a boat, jumped into the river, caught Meadows, and swam with him to the bank.

Ward, Harry. Dock Constable. Case 32501

On the 7th February 1903, Jas. Waddell, in going on board his ship in the darkness, fell into Millwall Dock. Ward, at great risk, jumped in and was able to get a rope round him, and he was pulled out.

West, Henry J. Police Constable. Case 29709

On the 17th September 1898, a boy accidentally fell into the Regentís Canal, Limehouse. West jumped in fully clothed and rescued him

Wilson, T. Sergt. Metropolitan Police. Case 29735

On the 21st September 1898, Joseph Baker, aged 7, was on a floating plank in Williamsonís Pond, Tottenham, when he fell in and sank. The pond is very dangerous, with about 8 feet of water and 3 feet of mud. Wilson, at great risk, dived in and recovered the body, but life was extinct.

Woods C, Police Constable 99, Metropolitan Police.  Case 14389

Incident on 2nd August 1846 at Regents Canal, Dalston.

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