Silver Board of Trade medal for gallantry in saving lives at sea

medal and presentation case

This medal was awarded to 18 year old Able Seaman Leslie Morton for saving many lives after the Lusitania sinking.

Morton, from Birkenhead, was a lookout on the starboard bow of the ship and the first man to spot the torpedo moving towards her. Having raised the alarm he helped lower several lifeboats, then he and another crewman, Joseph Parry, used a collapsible lifeboat to rescue about 100 survivors from the sea.

Morton was widely considered to be ‘the outstanding hero’ of the disaster, and was a key witness in the subsequent British enquiry. Throughout his life he insisted that he saw two torpedoes approaching Lusitania, not one, which was the generally accepted British and German view. His older brother and fellow Able Seaman John Clifford Morton also survived the Lusitania sinking and rescued many people from the sea.

Gift of Pamela A Morton and John Morton Ackroyd, 2006.

Accession number MMM.2006.4.1

Able Seaman John Clifford Morton (left) and Able Seaman Leslie Morton (right)