It is with deep sadness that we share this news with you all

The RNLI gold medal posthumously awarded to William Trevelyan Richards, Coxswain of the ill fated lifeboat 'Solomon Browne' has gone missing, suspected stolen. The medal was recently identified as missing from a dedicated secure facility at the charity's head office in Poole. Despite an extensive search the medal is still missing and police have been notified of a suspected theft.

This medal is of huge historical importance to our station, to the families of the crew who lost their lives so heroically, to the wider community of Mousehole & Newlyn, the RNLI and beyond. Trevelyan's gold medal is irreplaceable and our priority is to see it returned to his family as soon as possible.

Out of the 150 Gold medals awarded in the history of the RNLI, this one was the only one ever awarded posthumously. It is easily identified as around the outer rim it is inscribed 'William Trevelyan Richards Voted 27th January 1982'

If you have any information as to the current whereabouts of this medal, or can assist in anyway please contact Dorset Police by calling 101, quoting incident number 02:136. Information can also be reported anonymously to CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555111, or via the RNLI on 0300 300 9990.

click here for the RNLI Press release

----------------Please spread the word and help us to get Trevelyan's medal back where it belongs - thank you.---------------------------



Oct 2016 - Sadly there are no updates on the medal's whereabouts, Police are continuing their investigations and urge anyone with information to come forward as mentioned  in the Post above...

Dec 2016 - Thanks to the generosity of a dedicated RNLI supporter the RNLI are now offering a reward of £1,000 for the safe return of the medal. The RNLI are especially interested in hearing from the member of the public who contacted Dorset Police anonymously with information and are appealing for them to get back in touch.

Nov 2018 - Sadly, the medal has still not been found. But we will not give up hope that the medal is out there and will one day be returned.

Here is a full RNLI statement regarding Trevelyan’s medal;

The gold medal was awarded posthumously to William Trevelyan Richards, Coxswain of the Penlee Lifeboat Solomon Browne which sank after going to the aid of the coaster Union Star on the night of 19 December 1981. All eight volunteer crew members were lost in the disaster, and the whole crew were awarded gallantry medals by the RNLI in recognition of their selfless bravery and sacrifice.

The gallantry medal, which is the highest award for bravery issued by the RNLI, was found to be missing from the secure heritage store at the charity’s head office in Poole in August 2016.

Despite an extensive search and investigation by Dorset Police, including the offer of a £1,000 reward for information that would lead to its safe return, sadly the medal has still not been found. Dorset Police has reported that at this stage all proportionate lines of enquiry have been exhausted and the investigation remains undetected, pending any further information coming to light.

The RNLI is deeply saddened by the suspected theft of Trevelyan’s medal. It is of huge historical importance to the RNLI and represents the great courage, commitment and ultimate sacrifice made by the Penlee lifeboat crew. Its emotional significance for the families of the crew members who perished and the Penlee community, which stretches around the world, cannot be underestimated. It is devastating that despite great efforts it hasn’t been found and the RNLI is supporting Trevelyan’s family and those directly affected by its loss.

However, although Dorset Police have done all they can at this stage, the RNLI will not give up hope that the medal is still out there and will one day be returned. The £1,000 reward is still available and anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55160116003. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via