Royal National Lifeboat Institution Medal, in Silver (1824-1862)
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution Medal was established in 1824 to recognize meritorious acts of life-saving from shipwrecks and the coast. The Medal is awarded in Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Gold Medals are awarded in recognition of exceptional courage, skill, and initiative demonstrated during rescue missions, while Silver Medals are awarded for acts short of qualifying for the Gold Medal. The Bronze Medal rewards life-saving acts of gallantry and merit. Approximately 150 Gold, 1564 Silver, and 793 Bronze Medals were issued.
The Medal has been issued with a variety of suspension types. Since 1952, the Medal has featured suspensions in the design of dolphins. From the institution of the Medal until 1835, small Gold or Silver rowing boat ornaments were worn with the Medal to denote awards for subsequent rescues. The rowing boat ornaments featured an engraving of the recipient's name on the reverse and were worn suspended from a chain on the ribbon or the Medal. Since 1852, clasps, inscribed with the recipient's name and details of the award, have been worn to denote additional awards.
There are multiple versions of the Medal. Until 1937, the Medal featured an obverse effigy of the reigning monarch who served as the organization's patron. Medals issued under the reign of King Edward VII feature a distinct reverse design. Since 1937, the Medal has featured an obverse profile of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's founder, Sir William Henry.
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