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Notable Old Conways - King's/Queen's Gold Medal Winners

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Instigation Of The Queen’s Gold Medal

Conway’s reputation continued to improve. She was now an established success with growing importance in the training of a new breed of professional merchant service officers. An annual report acknowledged, “Many of the leading ship owners of Liverpool will give a preference to the Cadets of the Institution”.

On 4th February 1864 HM Queen Victoria acknowledged Conway’s achievements and announced her intention to grant £50 annually, to be distributed in prizes to Conway boys; and to present annually a gold medal. “Her Majesty’s wish in the establishment of this prize is to encourage the boys to acquire and maintain the qualities which will make the finest sailor. They consist of cheerful submission to superiors, self-respect and independence of character, kindness and protection to the weak, readiness to forgive offence, desire to conciliate the differences of others, and above all, fearless devotion to duty, and unflinching truthfulness.” These were high ideals, but they encapsulate what Conway strove to encourage in her cadets. They didn’t just make fine sailors, they developed exemplary men who have succeeded in every walk of life for precisely those reasons.

The royal announcement continued; “The medal will be open to boys who have been one year on board the ship, and have received not less than half the total number of marks at the previous quarterly examinations. The commander, after conferring with the head masters, shall select not less than three, nor more than five of the boys whom he considers to possess the qualities for which the prize is given. He shall then submit these names to the boys who have been assembled for the purpose in the school, and each boy who has been on board six months previously to the time of distribution shall then and there vote for one of the boys so selected. The boy who receives the highest number of votes shall receive the medal. These regulations shall be placed upon a board on the main deck, to be called the Queen’s Prize List”, and the name of each boy who receives the medal shall berecorded upon such list.” The board, a large framed black board, is now in the Conway Chapel at Birkenhead Priory and it faithfully records the names of all the winners on gold lettering. The first recipient was cadet Oswald Hillkirk. Queen Victoria’s award helped shape the lives of thousands and through them to influence the lives of countless others, which was probably her intent.

The Queen also awarded a prize to the boys competing for cadetships in the Royal Navy. “The prize will consist of a binocular glass, with a suitable inscription, together with £35 towards the expense of the outfit of the boy.”

A new design was created in 1952 when HM Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne. It was designed by Mary Gillick also see her profile

Medal Winners Memorial Board

This is now in the Conway Chapel at Birkenhead

Medal Winners

Photos of winners and ceremonies are here

* Medal presented by the monarch in person (Prince of Wales in 1931)

+ Medal winner later became Captain Superintendent.

Queen’s Medallists

1865 Oswald Hilmark

1866 Wm Pettyman

1867 W A Cowley

1868 E Le M Robinson

1869 Frederick Fawcett

1870 W G Glennie

1871 Henry Wood

1872 G D Freeth

1873 J M Harvey

1874 Thomas Fairfield

1875 Martin Frampton

1876 George R Cox

1877 C H Herbert

1878 S C Dawson

1879 T G Proctor

1880 J G King

1881 W F Searle

1882 Alfred Howard

1883 G C Macpherson

1884 A S Gibb

1885 T S Earl

1886 J C Humfrey

1887 John Craven

1888 Albert Smith

1889 G A Tribe

1890 W B Wilkinson

1891 R S M Curran

1892 R V Peel

1893 Joseph Hudson

1894 A W Michie

1895 H Glynn Williams

1896 E D Drury

1897 A J May

1898 W F Reeve

1899 F W W Jackson

1900 A G Robertson

King’s Medallists

1901 Arthur Watson

1902 F A Richardson+

1903 E C Holmes

1904 W A Galbraith*

1905 A G Foote

1906 J W Trees

1907 T M Goddard+

1908 A C P B Cope

1909 A H Hicks

1910 J C K Dowding

1911 T Q Studd

1912 G D Moore

1913 R Reffell*

1914 W R Pittis

1915 R J H Williams

1916 C S Hamer

1917 N H Bowyer

1918 B F Skinner

1919 L Scott Evans

1920 R Ellis

1921 C W W Hill

1922 T E Fernie

1923 A J Wilkie

1924 J H Houghton*

1925 F J Allen

1926 J E Woolfenden

1927 C C Ellison*

1928 R N Hoppins

1929 D G Clutterbuck

1930 W R Harley

1931 G W R Graves*

1932 W F Ross

1933 J H L Allen

1934 H C Kirby

1935 J L Rigge

1936 R E Hutson

1937 K H Martin

1938 C H Hayes

1939 C Ogilvy

1940 J B Harboard

1941 J F Leseur

1942 G W Bateman

1943 R G Bayer

1944 D T Smith

1945 L G Carnham

1946 R P Royan

1947 D W Stewart

1948 B J C Taylor

1949 J C Naylor

1950 A J F Manton

1951 J St H Webber

Queen’s Medallists

1952 N Boland

1953 P C T Potter

1954 R G Methven

1955 J W Perry

1956 R P Blythe

1957 M De B Bennett

1958 S F Hasan

1959 R K Cringle

1960 D R Martin

1961 M P Warner

1962 D C Jones

1963 A H Carson

1964 M E Davies

1965 A G L Chippendale

1966 G S Symes

1967 C G Massie Taylor

1968 R J Lansdell

1969 I D Lawson

1970 D Sandy

1971 A Abbott

1972 C H Plummer

1973 M Butterfield

1974 M C Davies*



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