Here's an interesting story about a very rare medal - the Albert Medal. The one discussed in the article was awarded to a native Australian prisoner who saved his captor's life.
A medal given to an Aboriginal prisoner who saved the life of a policeman nearly 100 years ago will go on public display in the Northern Territory Library today.
The man, known as Neighbour, was awarded the Albert Medal by King George V after saving the life of Mounted Police Constable William Johns during a river crossing in the Northern Territory in 1912.
He was the first Indigenous Australian awarded a medal for gallantry.
Indigenous Development Minister Malarndirri McCarthy says Neighbour's actions were heroic.
"The extraordinary thing about the awarding of this is that Neighbour was a prisoner for the police officer at the time and he had chains around his neck," she said.
Neighbour was being escorted by Constable Johns to face trial in Darwin for raiding a fencer's hut.
The policeman slipped off his horse in a flooded river and was kicked in the face by the horse as it was swept away.
Constable Johns clung desperately to pandanus palm fronds on the river edge.
Neighbour, still wearing a neck chain, dived in and saved his life.
Ms McCarthy says he was later honoured for his extraordinary courage.
The Albert Medal was introduced in 1866 and was named after Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert, who died in 1861.
"Only 27 Australians received the medal before it was discontinued and replaced by the George Cross," Ms McCarthy said.
Wikipedia has more information on the medal. There were version in both bronze and gold, and for sea and land rescues. The illustred medal appears to be bronze. Can any of our readers tell us more about the Albert medal? Has anyone seen a gold one?
To read the complete article, see:
Albert Medal returned to NT
Wayne Homren, Editor
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