'Medals and Martyrs' Exhibition

01/08/2016 15:10:50

'Medals and Martyrs' Exhibition is now open!

'Medals and Martyrs' Exhibition


The Wellington Trust's new exhibition 'Medals and Martyrs' is now open onboard HQS Wellington at Victoria Embankment, London.


The exhibition tells the stories of the three Merchant Marine awards of the Victoria Cross in WW1 to Captains Bisset Smith and Parslow and Cadet Drewy. It features paintings loaned from P&O Heritage, a portrait of Captain Bisset Smith alongside a painting of his ship, 'OTAKI fighting to the last' by Stanley Pellett.

Captain Smith's VC (awarded to him posthumously for valour in action with the surface raider Moewe) is also held in the P&O Heritage Collection and the replica of which is currently on loan to The Orkney Museum as part of their First World War commemorative events and exhibition, ‘The Battle of Jutland, Scapa Flow and the war at Sea’.

Medals left to right: Army Victoria Cross, French 'Legion d'honneur', Belgian 'Croix Civique', First Class Cross of the Belgian Maritime Decoration 1914-18, Belgian 'Order of Leopold', Disinguished Service Cross and the Navy Victoria Cross

Stories in the exhibition, also include those of the two martyrs, Captain Charles A. Fryatt and Nurse Edith Cavell who were executed for their beliefs. Both Captain Fryatt and Edith Cavell were awarded the Belgian 'Order of Leopold and Fryatt was also awarded a First Class Cross of the Belgian Maritime Decoration 1914-18, with Cavell awarded the French 'Legion d'honneur and a Croix Civique from the Belgian Government. Neither recieved a bravery award from Britain.

'Medals and Martyrs is open on Sundays and Mondays 11am-5pm until 12th December on the HQS Wellington 


Discover more in our WW1 online exhibition ‘Our War at Sea’

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