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Red Ribbon Medal of Honor № 10


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William Davidson Mudie was born on 22-09-1841 in Dumfriesshire (Scotland). He went to sea at the age of 16 and passed his Master's ticket in 1877. In March 1884 he was made Master of the SS Thibet, a threedeck, three mast, barque-rigged passenger&cargo liner of the P&O Stemaship Navigation company.

On September 19th 1884 at 11.15 hrs, whilst en route from Yokohama to Hong Kong, he rescued off the coast of Nagasaki 13 men (Captain Fukushima Tokutaro and 12 crewmen) on a junk, bottom up, much exhausted and without food for 48 hours. A severe gale had occurred there earlier (P&O Ships movements and Nautical reports, Greenwhich Maritime museum). On 21 October 1884 Captain Mudie received the Red Ribbon medal (Koju Hosho) from the Japanese government for saving the lives of several Japanese seamen.

Mudie's career with P&O ended in 1898 because of bad health and he was granted a pension of 100 pounds a year.


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first of all thank you for posting the pictures of the Red ribbon medal.

Chris, I have no additional material on Mudie apart from what came with the medal when I acquired it, and Nick already quoted in the thread.

Best regards,


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…at least, I can offer some information about the Thibet. Hopefully, I can add some pictures of the Thibet and maybe our captain Mudie:

Type: Passenger liner

P&O Group service: 1874-1895

P&O Group status: Owned by parent company

Registered owners,

managers + operators: The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company

Builders: Gourlay Brothers & Co

Yard: Dundee/UK

Yard number: 62

Registry: London, UK

Official number: 70628

Signal letters: NLMT

Gross tonnage: 2,593 grt

Net tonnage: 1,671 nrt

Deadweight: 2,211 tons

Length: 109.69 m (360.0 ft)

Breadth: 11.03 m (36.2 ft)

Depth: 8.20 m (29.9 ft)

Draught: 6.499 m (21 ft 4 in)

Construction: Iron

Engines: Compound inverted direct-acting steam engines

Engine builders: Gourlay Brothers & Co

Works: Dundee/UK

Power: 2,016 ihp

Propulsion: Single screw

Speed: 11 knots

Passenger capacity: 59 first class, 24 second class

Cargo capacity: 3,062 cubic metres (108,150 cubic feet)

Employment: Indian service


Purchased on the stocks.

29 Aug 1874 Launched

01 Oct 1874 Registered

03 Oct 1874 Ran trials and handed over as Thibet for The P & O Steam Navigation Company

12 Oct 1874 Maiden voyage London/Bombay

1875 Employed as a transport during the expedition to relieve the Soudanese garrisons, carrying 1,500 officers and men from Suez to Souakim

1876 Re-registered in Dundee/UK

28 Jan 1884 Called at Plymouth to repair steering gear

22 May 1884 Re-measured. Passenger capacity now 53 first class and 24 second class; Cargo capacity 3,143 cubic metres (111,012 cubic feet)

1885 Fitted with new boilers

22 Jun 1887 Hit a rock en route from Yokohama to Hong Kong; The pilot took a non-standard course but the Commander was reprimanded

Feb 1890 Converted at Bombay to a cargo liner for the Japan service; Cargo capacity 4,327 cubic metres (152,837 cubic feet)

Apr 1895 Sold for £8,500 to Hajee Cassum Joosub, Bombay

Nov 1896 Renamed “Cashmere”

Aug 1898 Sold to shipbreakers at Bombay

Source: http://www.poheritage.com/Content/Mimsy/Media/factsheet/94712THIBET-1874pdf.pdf

Taken on: 25 June 2013

BR, Chris

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I contacted the P&O heritage archive in London. Here is what they replied to me:

“Dear Christian,

Thank you for your enquiry to the P&O Heritage Collection. In answer to your query regarding William Davidson Mudie, I am afraid I can not find a photograph of him in our collection. However we do have an archive file related to the Thibet, which could possibly have information about the incident or possibly some kind of image or photograph. Unfortunately our archives are held the other side of London at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and we do not visit there often. If you were in London you could maybe visit them yourself? You can order documents online at http://www.poheritage.com/our-archive/research-guides/passengers/po-archives-at-national-maritime-museum and you would need to look up the following record:

P&O/65/344 Ships (Individual Vessels) - THIBET (1874) Miscellaneous Material

I’m afraid is undated so there would be no guarantee that it would have the information you are looking for but it is the only document that we have relating to P&Os Thibet.


and further on:

“[…] Further to my previous email, you could also try searching records at the National Archives online as they have records for Merchant seamen, including officers and masters and as he received a medal (although from the Japanese government) it may be recorded?:

Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen and successor 1845-1906 BT 122

Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Registers of Certificates of Competency, Masters and Mates, Foreign Trade


Although I wish I could do so, I’m sorry to say that ’m not planning to go to London these days…

But I’m very curious to see Cpt. Mudies face…

Br, Chris

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According to the seller (DNW) Captain A. J. Campbell of the steamer Dunbar, belonging to Messrs. Henderson & McIntosh, was awarded the Japanese Red Ribbon Merit Medal in recognition of his humane actions in rescuing and giving assistance to Japanese refugees from the transport Sado Maru which was attacked and sunk by a Russian warship in the Genkai Sea on 16 June 1904.

The medal is lying on the letter of thanks from one of the Japanese citizens rescued by Campbell.

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