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Lieutenant jumps into the sea on seven occasions to save lives

Year 1815

Read by Suba M – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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April 13, 1815

Woodford, Essex

Dear Sir,

I am extremely sorry, that by the miscarriage of my Friend’s letter to me, it was not in my power to state to the Society yesterday, the very meritorious conduct of Lieutenant de Crespigny, who has seven times jumped into the sea to rescue seamen who have fallen overboard; and has been so fortunate as to save their lives at the risk of his own. He will relate to you the particulars, as I hope that the rules of the Society will not suspend attention to these very meritorious acts to a distant period. His total inattention to the rewards of the Society at the time, stamps peculiar worth upon his conduct, as it indicates that he was actuated solely by the most disinterested benevolence. By giving this gentleman all the assistance in your power, you will greatly oblige.



These are to certify that Augustus Champion de Crespigny, during the time he served under my flag, conducted himself as a meritorious officer, and saved two men by jumping into the sea after them; one of which was at a time the ship was going seven knots per hour, and he was taken up some time afterwards, nearly exhausted, with the man in his hand. Given under my hand this 11th day of April, 1815.

Francis Laforey, Rear Admiral.

I do herby certify that one of the above men was saved by Mr. De Crespigny, while the Dragon was under my command.


Thomas Forrest.

These are to certify to the principal officers of the Royal Humane Society, that Lieutenant Augustus de Crespigny served with me as a volunteer Midshipman from His Majesty’s Ship Tonnant, in the Gun Boat Service at Cadiz in 1810, during which time I has opportunities of seeing his noble conduct on three very particular occasions: first, in jumping from a boat in a very strong tide way; and saving a marine; secondly, a boy in the same way; and thirdly, in taking to a small boat, and pulling into the very muzzles of the enemies’ guns, and evidently saving five seamen that were near drowning, by the Achilles barge being sunk.

His conduct was on this last occasion so truly noble, that he not only gained the admiration of the whole flotilla, but the envy of the French commanding officer, who at last ordered his men to cease firing on him. Given under my hand this 12th day of July,1815. (West Cowes)

G.W. Sarmon.


Upon these Certificates the Committee recommended to the General Court to award a Medal to Lieutenant Augustus de Crespigny, which was adopted by the General Court of May 1815.

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