Son’s anger over sale of 1953 flood hero’s medal

03 September, 2015 - 16:47
Fred Sadd who earned the George Medal during the 1953 floods. He saved 27 lives and brought hope to countless others trapped in the Yarmouth area.

Fred Sadd who earned the George Medal during the 1953 floods. He saved 27 lives and brought hope to countless others trapped in the Yarmouth area.


The son of a 1953 East Coast Flood hero has expressed his shock at how his father’s George Medal which was donated to the fire service for safe keeping, is now up for sale in a public auction.

Leading fireman Fred Sadd received the George Medal for bravery shown on the night of January 31, when he rescued more than 20 people.

In 1989, his son Brian donated the medal to the fire brigade a year after his father had died.

However, as reported in the Mercury last Friday, Mr Sadd’s George Medal has been put up for sale by a private collector at a Suffolk auction house on September 12.

The medal is in a Royal Mint case which also contains a Fire Brigade Defence Medal.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are currently in discussions with Norfolk Constabulary to find out how the medal has come into the possession of a third party.

Brian Sadd told the Mercury: “It was with astonishment that I read the George Medal awarded to my father for his bravery in the floods of 1953, is being put up for sale by a private collector at an auction.

“In April 1989 I entrusted the Yarmouth Fire Brigade through the Norfolk Fire Service with the safekeeping of this medal and enable it to be displayed for the benefit of people interested, and until I saw the article I assumed that the medal remained in their care.

“My intentions were that this would prevent the medal falling into the hands of collectors and enable me to ultimately donate it to the borough and people of Great Yarmouth, to be kept as a memento of the 1953 floods.

“I intend to do all I can to ensure that this still happens.”

Mr Sadd has said that after hearing his father’s medal was to be put on auction he made contact with both the fire service and the auctioneers to find out more information.

He also revealed he had given two 
replicas of the medal to the fire service along with other prized possessions in 1989.

A Norfolk Fire Rescue Service spokesman said: “We are very grateful to Mr Sadd and the EDP and Great Yarmouth Mercury for bringing this matter to our attention. We are in touch with Norfolk Constabulary about how the medal has come into the possession of a third party and are unable to comment further at this time.”

A representative from the auction house has said the fire service are to bring a replica of the medal still at the fire station to the auction house to help carry out their investigations.

The representative said: “As far as we are concerned the medal was legitimately brought by the vendor and the plan is to sell it at the auction on September 12.”

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