Medal, Clarke

Production date
Circa 1896
A Clarke Medal for bravery issued by the Royal Humane Society of Australasia. The cased silver medal features a woman in robes standing and placing a wreath on the head of a kneeling young man below the Southern Cross. " VIRTUTE PARATUM " (Bravery Rewarded) is marked around this scene. The reverse features an olive wreath. " AWARDED / TO / JAMES L Martin /28th August 1896 " is marked at the centre of the wreath. " "ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA INSTD A.D 1874" is marked near the edge of the reverse. The medal is topped by a scrolled, decorative suspension bar designed to be attached to a plain, dark blue ribbon. The ribbon has separated from this and is topped by a simple bar and pin. The medal and ribbon are held in a hinged case lined with purple fabric. " PRESENTED BY / THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY / OF AUSTRALASIA / TO / JAMES L MARTIN / 28TH AUG 1896. " is marked on the lid of the case.
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Object detail

Production role
Production date
Circa 1896
Credit line
This medal was awarded to James Lent Martin, a quartermaster of the steamer Fifeshire whole helped in the rescue of the crew of the American ship Patrician on 28 August 1896. The wreck and rescue took place in heavy seas between New Zealand and Australia. Captain Sterling, who was at the helm of the Patrician, said his ship was "fast sinking" when the Patrician came to the rescue. " One may imagine the sea that was running when at times the hull of the Fifeshire, as seen from the wreck, would entirely disappear in the trough of the waves. This may convey to the mind the magnitude of the undertaking...had it not been for the great bravery and heroism displayed by the crew of the Fifeshire, and the risks they ran, being willing to sacrifice both life and limb, we would certainly have perished..." Source: Tuapeka Times 16 September 1896 p. 6 
Also see the National Library of New Zealand. 
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