engraved on rim (S.B.P.O. George Wiliam Heath O.M.N. 915 1st January 1927.). In fitted case of issue. Extremely fine. (1)
Confirmed as awarded in 1927. M.915 S.B.P.O. G.W.Heath.
In 1919 a retired Royal Navy Surgeon expressed his desire to donate anonymously £100 for the purpose of striking a medal. This was to be awarded to the member of the Sick Berth Staff who had shown the greatest zeal and efficiency during the previous year. Although outwardly a simple request, their Lordships at the Admiralty, the Master of the Royal Mint, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum were all consulted. By August 1919 the announcement of the Sick Berth Stewards' Efficiency Medal has been published in Admiralty Monthly Orders and all aspects of the award resolved with the exception of the design. A further cheque for £100 was received later that year, and because of the loss of the original cheque, a third was forwarded in January 1920. In July of that year working models of the medal were forwarded to the Mint. In August, however, the title 'Sick Berth Steward' was changed to Sick Berth Petty Officer and new models took a further six months to obtain. Delays in production ensued and the first medal was eventually awarded more than two years after the benefactor first wrote to the Admiralty. Problems concerning the cost of the medal and investment of the balance of funds to provide an annual income dogged the Admiralty throughout and it was not until August 1922 that a solution was found.