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medallion, commemorative

On display
Object / Artefact › History
  • Other titles
    • Memorial Plaque, WW1 (descriptive name)
    • Lieut. Commander William Edward Sanders VC DSO, Royal Naval Reserve (associated name)
  • Description
    Memorial Plaque and folder, WW1
    Next-of-Kin Memorial Plaque commemorating the death of Lt. Cdr. William Edward Sanders VC DSO, Royal Navy. Killed at sea on 14 August 1917.
    .1 plaque: large uniface bronze medallion
    obverse: figure of Britannia facing right, holding laurel wreath in left hand and trident in her right; dolphins on either side representing Britain's sea power; at her feet a lion facing right; on rhs a rectangular tablet containing name of deceased; legend around: HE + DIED + FOR + FREEDOM + AND + HONOUR; in exurgue a small lion pounces on an eagle symbolising the Central Powers
    named on obverse: WILLIAM EDWARD SANDERS
    .2: folder: heavy one-piece cardboard folder with triangular flaps on each side; museum number 546 in red paint
  • Other Number
    1931.565, W0546.1, BHMIII:4134
  • Accession number
  • Collection area
  • Item count
  • Display location
  • Record richness
medallion, commemorative W0546
medallion, commemorative W0546


  • Credit
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira,1931.565, W0546.1
  • Notes
    Memorial Plaque and folder, WW1
    Next-of-Kin Memorial Plaque commemorating the death of Lieutenant Commander William Edward Sanders VC DSO, Royal Naval Reserve. Killed at sea on 14 August 1917 when his ship, HMS Prize went down.

    William Edward Sanders of Auckland first went to sea as a cabin-boy in 1899. He was commissioned as Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserves in April 1916. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander, given command of a patrol vessel, and saw much anti-submarine service. He was awarded the VC (Victoria Cross) in May 1917, the DSO. (Distinguished Service Order) in June 1917, and was killed in action on 14 August 1917.

    Son of Edward Helman Cooke Sanders and Emma Jane Sanders, of Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Born in Auckland, William Edward Sanders initially went to sea as a cabin boy serving on coastal ships around New Zealand After joining the Craig Shipping Line he gained his certificates, finally gaining his masters and compass adjusting certificates in November 1914. He then applied to join the Navy and while waiting to be accepted, served on the New Zealand troopships Willochra and Tofua. He subsequently went to England and and was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant with the Royal Naval Reserve in April 1916. He served on "Q-ships" which looked like inoffensive sailing vessels but were heavily armed with hidden guns. Their task was to lure German submarines to the surface. On 12 February 1917, Sanders commanded HMS "Prize", which, in a successful action in April 1917 destroyed a German submarine. After the battle he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the Victoria Cross, in "recognition of his conspicuous gallantry, consummate coolness and skill in command of one of H.M. ships in action". Two months later he was involved in another action for which he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO ). On August 14, 1917, before his award was gazetted, the "Prize" was torpedoed and sunk by a German Submarine (U-boat 48). All on board were lost. His father was advised by the Lords of the Admiralty, that “your son, Lieutenant-Commander William E. Sanders, V.C. R.N.R., was killed on August 14, 1917, as a result of the vessel on which he was serving being blown up “.
  • Event
    28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918
  • Person
  • Place
  • Date
    14 August 1917
    14 August 1917
  • Subject category
  • Production
    Preston, E. Carter (designer)

    World War 1, 1914-18, Wars
    George V (1910 - 1936), House of Windsor, English reign
  • Signature/marks
    Note: some of the plaques bear a small WA monogram within a circle on the reverse indicating that it was manufactured at Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Consists of
    › bronze
    cast bronze AE 120
  • Dimensions
    (diameter: 120mm)
  • Classification
  • Classification Documents
    Nomenclature 3.0 for Museum Cataloging (Primary Title)
    Robert G. Chenhall's System for Classifying Man-Made Objects (Other Title)
    Robert Chenhall
    Nashville/Tennessee/USA  (Place of Publication)
    2010  (nomenclature)
  • Record created
    30 October 2015

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