HISTORY – Unless someone can correct me it is understood that, in 1919, a retired Royal Navy Surgeon expressed his desire to donate a sum of £100 anonymously for the purpose of striking a medal. This was to be awarded to the member of the Sick Berth Staff who had shown the greatest zeal and efficiency during the previous year.

Although outwardly a simple request, their Lordships at the Admiralty, the Master of the Royal Mint, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum were all consulted. By August 1919 the announcement of the Sick Berth Stewards' Efficiency Medal has been published in Admiralty Monthly Orders and all aspects of the award resolved with the exception of the design. A further cheque for £100 was received later that year, and because of the loss of the original cheque, a third was forwarded in January 1920. In July of that year, working models of the medal were forwarded to the Mint.

In August, however, the title 'Sick Berth Steward' was changed to Sick Berth Petty Officer and new models took a further six months to obtain. Delays in production ensued and the first medal was eventually awarded more than two years after the benefactor first wrote to the Admiralty. Problems concerning the cost of the medal and investment of the balance of funds to provide an annual income dogged the Admiralty throughout and it was not until August 1922 that a solution was found.

The first recipient of the medal was Ernest W. LOWE (351127) on 1st Jan 1920.

I think it worthy to dedicate a page to listing the recipients of this medal (see below). Any recipient of the medal who has a story to tell relating to the year that they were awarded the medal should contact the Editor of the Doc RN, please.

APPEARANCE - The Sick Berth Petty Officers’ Efficiency Medal is a gold medal struck and gilded by the Royal Mint. Following the issue of a Defence Instructions & Notices (DIN), it is awarded annually to the Petty Officer Medical Assistant / Sergeant Royal Marine Medical Assistant who demonstrates exceptional zeal and efficiency in the discharge of his/her duties during the preceding year.

The older generation amongst our readers may have noticed the title of Sergeant Royal Marine Medical Assistant in the paragraph above and may wonder what is going on!! Loblolly Boy to SB Steward to SBA to MA and now RMMAs?? It is interesting to note the change in nomenclature used along the way.

Article by Les YEOMAN, National Vice Chairman of the Royal Naval Medical Branch Ratings & Sick Berth Staff Association (RNMBR & SBS) and an ex CPOMA (May 2015)

Awarded 1920 to 2014

Ernest LOWE 1920 M. STRETTON 1969
Thomas JAMES 1921 C.J. COX 1970
John FORREST 1922 Geoffrey MARSHALL 1971
Arthur MEGUYER 1923 K. NICHOLAS 1972
Bertie HOARE 1924 K. BLACKSHAW 1973
Frank MITCHENER 1925 No Award 1974
Harry KELLEWAY 1926 Brian KILLICK 1975
George HEATH 1927 Malcolm SERGEANT 1977
James CROXFORD 1928 G. HARRIS 1978
Frank TONKIN 1929 John COCHRANE 1979
Warwick CRAMP 1930 Ian BROWN 1980
Sidney PECK 1931 Ian DOUGLAS 1981
John ANDREWS 1932 Fred GERREL 1982
Albert GUNN 1933 Don CURRIE 1983
Albert EARNHAM 1934 Tom TOMINEY 1984
Cyril ISLAM 1935 Nigel WOODCOCK 1985
William HEWITT 1936 George BONNER 1986
Baden WHITE 1937 Tom McAUSLIN  1987 1
Albert LANGFORD 1938 Karl RICH  1987 1
Walter WARE 1939 Rod CAIN 1988
Walter MORNEMONT 1940 A.M. FORBES 1989
Thomas CORBETT 1941 Paul BARLETTA 1990
Will BURRIDGE 1942 Dave CLOKE 1991
George CHINA 1943 P. FITZPATRICK 1992
Reg ANDREWS 1944 Dave RUSSELL 1993
Robert WAINWRIGHT 1945 A. DAVIES 1994
James DUNCAN 1947 Geoff TODD 1996
Harry GAY 1948 Darren PARKER 1997
Edward GROVER 1949 Mick BIRCH 1998
Basil ROWLEY 1950 Kev SHORE 1999
Cliff ELWORTHY 1951 Daz HEMMINGS 2000
Tom BROWNE 1953 Linda FERGUS 2002
George MORRELL 1954 D. PATERSON 2003
John BENNISON 1955 N. HUGHES 2004
Charles BELLINGER 1956 Dave ROPER 2005
Joseph CONN 1957 G. McGUIRE 2006
John HAMMOND 1958 T. SMITH 2007
No Award 1959 T. HAVERS 2008
Eric WIGG 1960 D. MORRISON 2009
Roy ELLISON 1961 Tim JOHNSTON 2010
Don FRASER 1962 Mark STENT 2011
John STOWE 1963 Nigel CORBETT 2012
K. ELLIOT 1964 Shaun JENKINS  2013
G. MICHIE 1965 Wendy FRADD 2014
No Award 1966    
J. SHERIDAN 1967    
D. BUDDING 1968    

 1.  Two awards were made for 1987