Dick Johnson forwarded this article from The Telegraph with more information on the medals of Captain Bligh which are coming up for auction. Thanks!
Two gold medals earned by Captain William Bligh during his exploits at sea during the late 1700s are to be auctioned in Australia and are expected to fetch more than AU$250,000 (£165,000).
Captain Bligh, who is best known for being ousted from his post aboard the HMS Bounty by a mutinous crew, won the medals during his long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy.
The medals themselves, which have been handed down by Capt Bligh's descendants for generations, have been described as "extremely rare", but it is their association with the renowned seafarer that lends them special value.
Capt Bligh was on a mission to bring back breadfruit, which the British empire hoped it could cultivate to feed to slaves in the West Indies, in 1789 when the famous mutiny took place and he and a group of his men were set adrift in a 22ft launch without navigation equipment in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
In a remarkable feat of endurance, the celebrated British seaman and his crew spent 47 days at sea, catching fish and seabirds and drinking rainwater to survive while navigating thousands of nautical miles by memory.
After eventually making land in West Timor, Capt Bligh returned to Britain, where he was subject to a Court Martial over the loss of the Bounty. He later returned to seafaring and went on to be appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia.
He won the first medal, estimated to be worth AU$50,000 (£30,000) from The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce when he finally completed his original mission and succeeded in bringing breadfruit back from Tahiti in 1794.
The other medal, named the Naval Gold Medal 1795, was awarded in recognition of his actions during the successful 1797 Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch, in which the British fleet captured 11 Dutch vessels without losing any of their own.
To read the complete article, see:
Rare Captain Bligh medals to be auctioned in Australia
Jim Duncan of New Zealand adds:
The Captain Bligh small naval gold medal awarded to Captain William Bligh for his part in the Battle of Camperdown, October 1797, sold in Noble's latest auction for A$216,000 +. TheSociety of Arts gold medal given to Bligh for taking a bread fruit tree to the West Indies in 1794 went for A$116,000 +, and pieces of silver cutlery engraved W-E-B (William and Elizabeth Bligh) went for A$5,100 = .
The WW2 Victoria Cross to Aussie Ted Kenna, won in New Guinea in 1945, sold for A$1,002,000 +.
This was all on Thursday 28 July.
Anna Bligh, the current Premier of the State of Queensland, is a direct descendant.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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