Six medals for bravery – awarded to lifeboat heroes who saved lives of nine sailors 100 years ago have been found following a Daily Post newspaper appeal. Lifeboat volunteers at Holyhead were extremely pleased by the response to locate the medals awarded in 1908. Many people from all over the UK with links to the rescue of the stricken steamboat he 75-tonne vessel”Harold” also joined in the centenary celebrations on 22nd February,2008 Holyhead lifeboat spokesman Ray Steadman said six medals had been located, including the gold medal given to RNLI Coxswain William Owen, awarding him for the courage and skill he demonstrated. Holyhead station’s steam lifeboat “Duke of Northumberland “was launched at 2 pm on February 22, 1908. into very rough seas to reach the ill-fated Liverpool steamer. The Harold was anchored dangerously close to rocks between the headlands of North and South Stacks. Her crew were awarded 11 gallantry medals,10 silver and one gold, for a successful rescue mission. Holyhead Coxswain Brian Thomson said: “The response to the appeal has been fantastic, having the medals on the station will make this anniversary even more special. The gold medal was with Coxswain William Owen’s great-great-grandson in London, who also has the silver medal awarded to William Owen Junior and a silver medal awarded to the Coxswain from the Royal Humane Society.”The silver medal (also with relatives)awarded to Samuel Jones, will be returned Holyhead for the historic occasion, as will James Lee’s medal. The medal belonging to Richard Jones is still in the Holyhead area and will be displayed at the station. Today’s volunteer RNLI crew will sail to the location of the rescue on February 22nd and will say a prayer at the exact place that the lives of the Harold crew were saved.
Many thanks once again to Ray for the following report and photos of the event.