Theh Folestone Hythe and Sandgate lifesaving medal 400-600 .jpg
Lifesaving medal on offer at Canterbury Auction Galleries on August 11-12.

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Albert Moore was awarded the Folkestone, Hythe and Sandgate medal for the rescue of the crew of the Bienvenue on November 11, 1891.

The medal is estimated at £400-600 and is among more than 1,000 lots of fine art, antiques and collectibles to be offered in the two-day sale on August 11-12.

A contemporary report in the Folkestone Chronicle and Advertiser detailed how the Bienvenue, bound from London to Sydney, ran aground off Sandgate and sank, leaving only its masts and rigging clear of the waves.

After a first rescue attempt by the Sandgate lifeboat failed, a scratch crew of coastguard men and fishermen from the Folkestone area relaunched the lifeboat and rescued 27 survivors who had been lashed to the Bienvenue's rigging for 16 hours.

Sir Edward Watkin and directors of the South Eastern Railway later awarded £20 to the lifeboat crew and decided that a medal should also be awarded to each man. His wife undertook the design and dies were prepared by Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934). The medals were manufactured in London by Heming & Co.

The medal will be offered on the second day of the sale among a small group of military and gallantry awards and weapons, militaria and sporting guns.