Last night's London Gazette confirms the announcement, published by us in our Monday's issue, that the Queen has been pleased to confer the Albert medal of the “second class" on Frederick Jaggers, boatman, of South Shields Coastguard Station. This award has been made for gallant conduct on the 26th November last, when the ketch Ida, of Ipswich, ran ashore near the pier at South Shields. Between the Ida and the shore was the brig Geo. Clarke, which made communication by rocket difficult. Jaggers volunteered to be hauled off to the brig, although cautioned of the danger attending such an enterprise, as it was feared her masts would fall, but he reached the brig safely, and from her fore rigging succeeded in throwing a line on board the Ida, by means of which the crew were saved. It may interest our readers to know that the Royal warrant, instituting a new decoration— to be styled the "Albert Medal"—was issued in March, 1866. This decoration was instituted by the Queen with a view to specially rewarding single acts of bravery and endeavouring to save life from shipwreck. The Royal warrant states that in consideration of the great loss of life through shipwreck, and also in consideration of the many daring and heroic actions performed to save life, it had been considered expedient to distinguish such efforts by some mark of Royal favour." It was the Royal wish that such decoration should be highly prized and eagerly sought after. The rules made for the government of the order are very strict, and in the words of the Royal warrant "must henceforth be invariably observed and kept." Rule six says: —" In order to make such additional provision as shall effectually preserve pure this most honourable distinction, is if any person on whom such distinction is conferred be guilty of any crime or disgraceful conduct which our judgment disqualifies him for the said distinction, his name shall be forthwith erased from the register of individuals upon whom the said decoration shall have been conferred, by an especial warrant under our Royal Sign Manual, and his medal shall be forfeited. The medal is an oval badge in gold, enamelled dark Hue, with a monogram composed of the letters “V and A" interlaced, surrounded with a garter in bronze inscribed in gold letters "for gallantry in saving life at sea." It has to be worn on the left breast, suspended by a dark blue ribbon.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 25 January 1882
The Albert Medal Presented to A South Shields Boatman
This morning, on board H.M.S. Castor lying off the Low Lights Quay, North Shields, the Albert Medal was presented to Frederick Jaggers, boatman of the South Shields Coastguard Station, for gallantry saving life from shipwreck at South Shields. The interesting ceremony was witnessed by a large number ladies and gentlemen, as well as Naval Reserve men and the comrades of Jaggers from North and South Shields and Sunderland Coastguard Stations. Amongst those on board were Captain Wilcox, R.N. commander of H.M.S.Castor, Capt. Johnson, R. N., Inspector of Coastguards for the North-East Coast; Captain Deverell, R.N., Wellesley Training Ship ; Mr G. Hurt, chief officer of Coastguard, South Shields ; Mr Latter, chief officer of Tynemouth; Mr .Sutherland, chief gunner, H.M.S. Castor; Rev. R. F. Wheeler, Whitley; Rev. D. Wheeler, Leeds; Rev. C. M. Woosnam, St. Peter's, North Shields; Aid J. F. Spence, North Shields; Forster Spence, North Shields; Mr S. Malcolm, Mr T. Mabane, G. Wilson, and Mr J. Smith, representing the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. Commander Wilcox made the presentation.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 16 February 1882