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Lloyd's Medal for saving life at sea to a French doctor. 1970


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Hello all,

A silver Lloyd'a medal for saving life at sea was awarded to Dr; Claude (or Charles) KOVACHE of the French M.S. Jean Laborde 10 August 1970.

I am writting up the story that goes with it and would very much like to know :

1. At what date the award was made by Lloyds and what were the reasons mentioned for it (if any)? How many were made during the years 1970 & 1971?

2. How many of these medals were ever awarded to Frenchmen and foreigners at large ?.

3. Is there a "reference book" for these medals, which appear to have been sparingly awarded ?

The Lloyds medal came in a group with French Order of Maritime Merit (chevalier), French Merchant Marine bronze medal for saving life at sea (only 33 during the year), French Life saving Society (Société Nationale de Sauvetage en mer) silver medal and Greek silver gilt Maritime Lifesaving medal. Dr. Kovache also held the WW2 French Croix de guerre.

Thank you for reading this note. The slightest bit of information will be grafully received.

Best regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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Thank you for your interest and quick answer. I will send a picture as soon as I can get to my scanner.

Dr. Kovache received the medal for saving the lives of Greek sailors on board the tanker Georgius V after a boiler explosion. He remained with them for nearly three weeks despite the fact that their ship was close to sinking. This explains the Greek and French awards. But why was the Loyd's medal awarded ?

Best regards

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Herr General

It's been a long time since these messages were exchanged, and I am sorry I could not answer your request of a picture of the medal. Things have developped since, and I have found a lengthy account of the incident.

It was, indeed, carefully written up in a book intitled :"Lloys Medals 1816-1989" by a gentleman called Jim GAWLER. Dr Kovache certainly saved the lives of at least three Greek sailors and contributed to save eight more.

As soon as I lay hands on the medal, I will be happy to let you have a picture. This medal is bronze, not the gold level you were researching.

All the best

Veteran

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Hello again

I believe I was mistaken when I stated yesterday that the medal to Dr. Kovache was bronze. It really is in gilt silver, 32 mm. diameter across. Does it make it the "gold" medal ?

I hope this picture proves useful to you.

Best regards

Veteran

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  • 3 years later...

Hello all

A long time has elapsed since this post was initiated. I recently found a book which relates the awarding of the Lloyd's Medal to Dr. Kovache. Here it is should anyone be interested :

Jim GAWLER.  "LLOYD's MEDALS 1836-1989. Awards for courage and exceptionnal services". Hart Publishing Toronto 1989.

It seems that this Silver Medal for Saving Life at Sea was presented in 1974 at Lloyd's. It was the last to bear this title, further awards being  Lloyd's Medals for saving life.

A total of 275 silver Life saving medals were issued between 1836 and 1989 over a period of 153 years, making it a truly scarce award.

The reason why a British award should have been made to a Frenchman serving on a French ship for saving the lives of Greek sailors remains a mystery. Could it be because the tanker and its cargo could be saved ? Or was it because the action was in South African waters ?

Suggestions would be most welcome.

Veteran

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  • 1 month later...

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