Lot Archive


№ 235


8 December 1994

Hammer Price:

PORT OF PLYMOUTH HUMANE SOCIETY, bronze cross with eight ball tipped points and laurel leaves between the arms, surmounted by a crown, reverse engraved 'Port of Plymouth Humane Society Awarded to Arthur Matthews for rescuing A. Pengelly, 18 April 1921,' dark blue ribbon and fitted with a two pronged pin brooch, extremely fine

The following extract is taken from a letter written by Major Geoffrey Moore which is included with this lot. 'It appears that the Plymouth Swimming Association founded 1862 and still in existence, incorporated for at least half its life the Port of Plymouth Humane Society. Although the records of the Humane Society seem to be lost, the Swimming Association's AGM have useful references. e.g. between 1916 and 1938 160 Certificates and 78 medals were awarded. One was a silver medal for a double saving in 1930. In 1934 19 cases were investigated, 1 bronze and 1 medallion and 12 certificates were issued. The earliest medal to come to light is dated 1886 and is the specimen in Plymouth Museum. An interesting fact is that each medal seems to have been differently engraved in accordance with the whim of the current secretary. Thus it was sometimes 'awarded' but at other times presented'. Sometimes the rescued was also named and not at other times. The Humane Society seems to have been well in with the RHS, this perhaps nursing a viper to its bosom. I suspect it was the RHS which killed it off because it was both duplicating the RHS work and operating a different and, maybe, erratic standard for making awards.'