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Stolen Albert Medal (Gold)

One of my friends has just written a book about a local nurse who had a long career with the St. John's organization.
Whilst writing it he had contact with a lady who is a Dame in the order. Whilst being interviewed she told him that some (possibly long) while ago, she lent her brother's Albert Gold Medal he had won, during his time as a Naval Medic, to a museum to be displayed.
Sadly, as is all too common these days it was stolen and there has been no trace of it. The museum, which I won't name, has been unhelpful.

If anyone should happen to see it in the course of their browsing, on line or in a shop/dealers, please PM me. Getting it back would make an old lady happy.

Details from the Haslar Heritage Group:

Beeching GW SBA MX65180 10/11/1942 HMS Ibis (U99). Black Swan-class sloop. Sunk by airborne torpedo from an Italian aircraft, north of Algeria. SBA Beeching awarded the Albert Medal (Gold)9 . Panel 64, Column 1, Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, UK.

The Albert Medal in Gold (Posthumous). Sick Berth Attendant George William Beeching, C/MX 65180. SBA Beeching was between decks when HMS Ibis was hit. The explosion caused serious damage and the ship took a list to starboard of about 15 degrees. The Emergency Lighting partly failed and the Mess Decks were deep in oil fuel. SBA Beeching showed great courage and presence of mind. He helped those who came forward with wounds, one man very badly burned about the face and hands. SBA Beeching took him to the Sick Bay and gave him morphia. When the ship began to heel over, and it was apparent that she would capsize, he helped the man to the deck, gave him a life belt, and got him into the water before abandoning ship himself. Sick Berth Attendant Beeching was not seen again.

Likeness:


It's a hefty piece, according to the lady, 'about the size of a goose egg', only 70 in gold were awarded, 25 sea, 45 land.

It's a long shot, but who knows.
 
The Albert Medal was replaced by the George Cross and I’m pretty sure the AM could be exchanged for the GC.

The GC (and VC) attracts a pension, initially £2000 per annum, it was raised about 10 years ago to £10,000.

As you already have all the details, it may be worth speaking to the medal office.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
You really ought to inform the main London auction houses, they can be good with that. Also some of the large website that sell medals. That medal is so unique that I would be surprised that it is not known somewhere? However it could be in the US where the big money for such is paid.
 
The Albert Medal was replaced by the George Cross and I’m pretty sure the AM could be exchanged for the GC.

The GC (and VC) attracts a pension, initially £2000 per annum, it was raised about 10 years ago to £10,000.

As you already have all the details, it may be worth speaking to the medal office.

Cheers Dingerr, I'll pass that on, it may well be helpful if she's not done anything already.
 
You really ought to inform the main London auction houses, they can be good with that. Also some of the large website that sell medals. That medal is so unique that I would be surprised that it is not known somewhere? However it could be in the US where the big money for such is paid.

My friend is pretty much on the ball regarding that sort of thing, but I've passed your comments to him just in case.
Thanks.
 

postiebear

Old-Salt
This has been missing since the 90’s. It was published in the St. John life magazine. The sister of mr beeching was quite high up in the Essex St. John when I was a member

Regards


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dlrg

LE
One of my friends has just written a book about a local nurse who had a long career with the St. John's organization.
Whilst writing it he had contact with a lady who is a Dame in the order. Whilst being interviewed she told him that some (possibly long) while ago, she lent her brother's Albert Gold Medal he had won, during his time as a Naval Medic, to a museum to be displayed.
Sadly, as is all too common these days it was stolen and there has been no trace of it. The museum, which I won't name, has been unhelpful.

If anyone should happen to see it in the course of their browsing, on line or in a shop/dealers, please PM me. Getting it back would make an old lady happy.

Details from the Haslar Heritage Group:

Beeching GW SBA MX65180 10/11/1942 HMS Ibis (U99). Black Swan-class sloop. Sunk by airborne torpedo from an Italian aircraft, north of Algeria. SBA Beeching awarded the Albert Medal (Gold)9 . Panel 64, Column 1, Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, UK.

The Albert Medal in Gold (Posthumous). Sick Berth Attendant George William Beeching, C/MX 65180. SBA Beeching was between decks when HMS Ibis was hit. The explosion caused serious damage and the ship took a list to starboard of about 15 degrees. The Emergency Lighting partly failed and the Mess Decks were deep in oil fuel. SBA Beeching showed great courage and presence of mind. He helped those who came forward with wounds, one man very badly burned about the face and hands. SBA Beeching took him to the Sick Bay and gave him morphia. When the ship began to heel over, and it was apparent that she would capsize, he helped the man to the deck, gave him a life belt, and got him into the water before abandoning ship himself. Sick Berth Attendant Beeching was not seen again.

Likeness:


It's a hefty piece, according to the lady, 'about the size of a goose egg', only 70 in gold were awarded, 25 sea, 45 land.

It's a long shot, but who knows.

Here is an example for 'Saving Life at Sea' (Albert Medal in Gold)

1580031112638.png
 
Last edited:
The Albert Medal was replaced by the George Cross and I’m pretty sure the AM could be exchanged for the GC.

The GC (and VC) attracts a pension, initially £2000 per annum, it was raised about 10 years ago to £10,000.

As you already have all the details, it may be worth speaking to the medal office.
The Albert Medal, along with the Edward Medal and the Empire Gallantry Medal, was as you say replaced by the GC, however only living recipients of the AM and EM could exchange for the GC when given the option in 1971. Not all did, but those who did were allowed to keep their original medal.
 
The theft of Beeching's AM is well known in medal collecting circles: should it ever pop up in any of the salerooms or auction houses, it would be 'pinged' instantly.
 
The theft of Beeching's AM is well known in medal collecting circles: should it ever pop up in any of the salerooms or auction houses, it would be 'pinged' instantly.

That's good to know. I was talking to my friend earlier and he mailed me as below a short while ago.

"I believe it was stolen in 2008, the International Bureau of Investigation had a go at locating it but it didn't resurface, however time has passed. A medal awarded to another member of the IBIS crew's (also stolen) popped up in a museum! By then the owner had killed himself Anyhow, almost certainly a cold case by now so a fresh look may well find it.
I was told about the George Cross, but believe it was turned down, shame. I'll let the family know what you've found Ta. I was going to write to the loops guy* in Australia as that's where the other medal turned up.
The Navy gave the family a rough copy of the medal, but it's nothing like as good as the original. "

*WW2 Ship degaussing loop, a local project he was working on
 
Hi, I can't believe I found this. The lady you spoke with is Joan. George Beeching was my Great Uncle and I thank you so much for looking still. If there is any information please let me know as it means a lot to the family. I am making it a point to keep George's name alive for many years to come.

My birthday is the same day that he died. Which gave my grandmother some comfort (his sister). As you can imagine that made me a favorite so I turned out a little spoiled, but eventually that turned into grit. I am dedicating my life to helping others as did he.

Please keep me posted. Thank you once again so much.

Johnny
 
Hi, I can't believe I found this. The lady you spoke with is Joan. George Beeching was my Great Uncle and I thank you so much for looking still. If there is any information please let me know as it means a lot to the family. I am making it a point to keep George's name alive for many years to come.

My birthday is the same day that he died. Which gave my grandmother some comfort (his sister). As you can imagine that made me a favorite so I turned out a little spoiled, but eventually that turned into grit. I am dedicating my life to helping others as did he.

Please keep me posted. Thank you once again so much.

Johnny

Such a small world. I have never spoken to Joan, it was my friend who had contact whilst writing a local history book. I've PM'd details for you.
It's certainly a tragic story through and through and all credit to you for keeping George's memory fresh. I hope there's a breakthrough in the medal situation, hopefully with some retribution for the scrote(s) involved.
 

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