Annual General Court 2024

The Society recently held its Annual General Court at Haberdashers’ Hall, by kind permission of the Master, Rupert Elliott.

It was a wonderful occasion and a fitting gathering for those receiving awards. Over 140 people attended, including 11 awardees who received their medals and certificates from The Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clake OBE CVO. Unfortunately, a further 8 medal awardees were unable to make it to London due to travel difficulties, time off work and in one case GSCE exams. The awards included 2 Silver Medals, 2 Police Medals, 9 Bronze Medals and the President’s Award.

A full list of recipients can be seen below, and their full stories may be read in the Annual Report 2023 which can be found on the Society’s website.                    

Black Rod is met by the Chairman, Mr John Grandy

After the Chairman’s address and the usual obligatory Society business came the guest speaker.

It was fitting that in our 250th Anniversary year the guest speaker should be Rupert Novis, an RHS Trustee and Awards Committee member who himself was awarded the Stanhope Gold Medal when as a teenager he rescued a boy from a crocodile attack in the Zambesi River. Rupert gave an excellent and very pertinent address about courage and bravery, which he directed at the assembled awardees. It was exceptionally well received by all.

The Chairman’s party is led into the Hall by the Beadle, Mr Mark Knott

Black Rod most graciously presented the following brave individuals with their awards:

Bronze Medals to PCSO Ian Gilmour (L) and PCSO Lucas Summers (R) – British Transport Police. For snatching a suicidal young girl from live train tracks seconds before a through train sped by.

Bronze Medals to Shona Richards, Karl Shannon, Carl Handley – Hornsea Inshore Rescue Lifeboat. For saving a man and his dog who were trapped against a cliff face in heavy seas.

Bronze Medals to Farrukhzon Dzhalilov and Abduvahob Qodirov. For saving the life of a woman who had fallen in the River Thames.

Bronze Medal to PC Rhodri Jones – Powys Police. For saving a woman who had fallen down a dam wall whilst trying to rescue her dog.

Bronze Medal to Melanie Smith. For saving the life of a man drowning in the River Don.

President’s Award to Army Cadet Hayden Jones. For saving his mother’s life during a vicious and prolonged assault. The award was accepted on behalf of Hayden by Col Murdo Urqhart, Chief Executive of the Army Cadet Charitable Trust UK. Hayden was in the middle of his GCSE exams.

Silver Medal to Roy Larner. For confronting 3 armed terrorists during the Borough Markets attack, allowing 12 people to escape the pub they were in. Roy was badly injured during the attack.

Silver Medal to Emily Greenwood. For saving the lives of a man and his son caught in a strong rip tide off a Cornish beach in winter. Emily was later selected by the Committee from list of nominations from our sister societies in the Commonwealth to receive the Stanhope Gold Medal. She will receive this later in the year at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Emily Greenwood receives her Silver Medal from Black Rod.