A United Fire Brigades Association Long Service medal and case. The medal features the United Fire Brigades Association crest which includes a hose holding fireman flanked by the British coat of arms on the left and a crest which includes a fireman’s helmet, crossed axes and a phoenix rising from the ashes on the right. "UNITED FIRE BRIGADES ASSOCIATION" is embossed around the edge of the medal and the motto "AUXILIUM IN/ PERICULO" is embossed near the bottom. "LONG SERVICE MEDAL/PRESENTED/TO/SECRETARY Charles Penn/ BY THE/ STRATFORD/FIRE BRIGADE/FOR/FIVE YEARS SERVICE/ DATE COMPLETED/Oct 10th 1899" is inscribed on the reverse of the medal. The medal is attached to a red ribbon with a simple pin and clasp mounted on the reverse.
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The finely crafted silver medal was awarded to Charles Penn in 1899 recognising his five years service with the Stratford Volunteer Fire Brigade. Charles arrived in Stratford in 1882 and helped his family clear a 12 hectare section in the Hamlet Street area. Despite losing a whare, fencing, and pasture in the great Stratford fire of 1886 the Penn family established the farm and became active members of the community. In August 1900 Charles was appointed Stratford County Clerk, a position he held for over 30 years. When he died aged 86 he had spent 62 years in Stratford. A newspaper obituary noted his "retiring disposition" did not prevent him appearing frequently as a violinist in local orchestras.
These long service medals were instituted in 1881 and were awarded after five years service with a volunteer brigade. The wearer earned an extra bar on the medal for every two years additional service. The medal’s design is the best known work of the highly regarded Auckland silversmith Anton Teutenberg and they are among the awards still offered by the United Fire Brigades Association.