Medal awarded to heroic sailor in 1910 to go under the hammer in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 14:30 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 22 February 2018

The MacIver family.

The MacIver family.


A medal and certificate from the early 1900s awarded to a heroic sailor is to be auctioned in Honiton.

The medal presented to Charles MacIver for rescuing one of the crew of the yacht Cintra in 1910. The medal presented to Charles MacIver for rescuing one of the crew of the yacht Cintra in 1910.

Research into the award has thrown up some ‘fascinating nuggets’ of maritime history, says Silver Street-based Chilcotts Auctioneers.

Dating from 1910, the medal was presented by the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society to one Charles MacIver for ‘most skilfully rescuing one of the crew of the yacht Cintra, knocked overboard by the breaking of the mast at the Dartmouth Regatta on August 26, 1910’.

MacIver was a British sailor who had competed in the 1908 London Olympics as a crew member aboard the Mouchette.

His team came second in the 12-metre regatta and, in accordance with the Olympic scoring of the day, all received bronze medals apart from the helmsman and mate, who received silver. MacIver, however, is also credited with being awarded a silver medal on the official Olympic database.

Auctioneer Duncan Chilcott said: “The MacIver family owned the Cunard Line and the sale also features a number of photo albums depicting the extraordinary life this wealthy family led. Amongst the photographs are several of grand yachts including the Mouchette, which we believe MacIver was aboard when he rescued the hapless sailor.”

The Cintra, from which the crew member fell, which had been built as a racing yacht in 1909 and was rediscovered in a shed on the east coast of England at the beginning of the 1990s. The yacht was taken to Italy where it was restored, before taking part in classic Mediterranean regattas, in the vintage class. In 2012, it was sold and moved to Kiel.

The Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society, which awarded the medal to MacIver in recognition of his heroic lifesaving actions, was formed in 1839. Over the years the organisation has awarded thousands of medals to ‘people who voluntarily put their own lives or safety at risk by saving or attempting to save other people who are in danger in cases of shipwreck, drowning, fire or any other hazards.’

The medal and citation, valued at between £200 and £300, will go under the hammer at Chilcotts on Saturday, March 3, at 10am.

Viewing is on Thursday, March 1, 9am to 5pm; Friday, March 2, 9am to 7pm; and on sale day from 8.30am.

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