Life Saving Medal

Life Saving Medal was instituted on April 25, 1836 by the Duke of Brunswick Wilhelm (Wilhelm August Ludwig Maximilian Friedrich, 25.04.1806 – 18.10.1884). It was awarded to Brunswick subjects who risked their lives to save another person from danger or valuable items from a natural disaster.

An obverse shows an escutcheon with a letter “W” in its centre topped by a Ducal crown and supported by two reclined lions on background of four banners. Semicircular inscription “Honor Badge” (“Ehrenzeichen”) made in capital letters is situated at the upper part followed by a six-pointed star below. Lower part of an obverse bears an inscription “Instituted on April 25, 1836” (“Gestiftet am XXV.Apr.MDCCCXXXVI”) in capital letters the first two words being placed horizontally while the date in a semicircle.

A reverse shows an allegoric composition that consists of Nike, a winged goddess of victory trampling on a defeated dragon with yawned jaws. Topless goddess wearing a light mantle holds a palm leave in a lowered left hand and points at a circle of eight five-pointed stars by a raised right hand bent at the elbow.

A legend “Honorific Award for Courageous Deeds” (“Muthiger Thaten Ehrender Lohn”) executed in capital letters is situated at both sides of a composition, first two words at the left and last two words at the right.

Name of an awardee and year of decoration were engraved on the edge of a medal in certain cases.

Life Saving Medal was 34 mm in diameter and was made of silver. It was worn on a dark green ribbon. Miniatures of a medal were manufactured as well.

Statute of a medal stipulated that it had to be worn even in cases when wearing of just ribbon bars was allowed. This regulation was revoked on December 17, 1912 by an order of the Regent of the Duchy of Brunswick Johann Albrecht Herzog zu Mecklenburg (08.12.1857 – 16.02.1920).

Dishonorable deeds by a holder of a medal deprived him of the right for a decoration.

Life Saving Medal was awarded in 1836-1918. Five worthy Brunswick subjects received decoration in 1836. The very first medal was issued to a Jäger from Leib-Bataillon whose surname was Plöttner for saving a drowning Sergeant who trapped under ice during skating.

Rettungsmedaille 1