Royal Life Saving Society


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rlss-nzAt first glance you might be forgiven for thinking that ‘Quemcunque Miserum Videris Hominem Scias’ is a quote from a Roman Emperor’s tomb.  However, you would be wrong.  It is actually the motto of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), which was formed in 1891 by, among others, William Henry and Archibald Sinclair, and translates to: ‘Whomsoever you see in distress, see in him a fellow Man’.

Originally called the Swimmer’s Life Saving Society, the aims of the society were to try to reduce the significant numbers of fatalities caused by drowning, through teaching self-preservation and rescue skills.  The title was subsequently changed to The Life Saving Society with members delivering lectures and demonstrations on life-saving techniques around not only the United Kingdom, but also the world.  It is rumoured that William Henry visited almost every swimming pool in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and several other countries, lecturing, teaching and promoting the work of the society.  As a result, several life-saving organisations were formed within these countries.

In 1904, King Edward VI granted royal patronage and the Royal Life Saving Society was born.  The society continued to flourish both within the UK and globally, and today there are RLSS clubs throughout the country.  Its network of volunteers deliver instruction on water safety, life support and rescue.  The society is a registered charity and a member of the RLSS Commonwealth as well as the International Life Saving Federation.

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The society issues 3 awards …

Bronze Medal

Bronze Cross

Award of Merit

and in New Zealand and Australia …

Intermediate Star

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The following medals are examples WITH a ribbon and pin bar / and date bar …

NB : for the first re-examination, the RLSS top bar was added with date stamped on rear … all subsequent re-examinations added an additional bar

In New Zealand, a single year date was used up to yyyy, but changed to using dual year dates in yyyy-yy as their summer spans the end of the year

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