Royal Humane Society
Royal humane society winners- hp

A single act of humanity becomes an inspiration

We make awards for the saving of human life and for the restoration of life by resuscitation

Foreword by HRH Princess Alexandra



2016 was a record year for the Society with 560 awards made to people who have been instrumental in saving life. More people are now aware of our existence and are keen to publicly recognise those who put others before themselves. Although our medals are now something of a rarity, there are very many more cases of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, removing a choking obstruction or just straightforward actions to stop arterial bleeding. Although people taking such actions generally do not put themselves at risk of harm, it takes very great moral courage to intervene in such situations.

People have risked their own lives rescuing people from fires, explosions, road accidents, flooding and many other unexpected and life-threatening situations. In one case a life was lost to save another. As always, it has been a pleasure and a privilege for me, as president of the Society, to meet some of them and present them with their richly deserved awards.

I wish the Royal Humane Society continued success in the coming year.

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Hon Lady Ogilvy KG GCVO

Photo: Hugo Burnand

About Us


The Royal Humane Society is a charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and also for the restoration of life by resuscitation.

Awards may be granted to those who have put their own lives at risk to save or attempt to save someone else. The awards granted for these acts of bravery include bronze, silver and gold medals and testimonials on vellum or parchment.

The Society was founded in London in 1774 by two eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, who were keen to promote techniques of resuscitation. It became apparent that people were putting their own lives in danger rescuing others and awards were given in recognition of these acts of bravery. This remains the purpose of the society today.

Since its foundation the Royal Humane Society committee has reviewed over 86,000 cases and made around 200,000 awards.