Titanic Survivor's Medals Going Under The Hammer
Crew member Frank Osman’s military archive on sale at Ewbank’s 

titanic auctionEwbank’s, Surrey’s leading auction house, has a rare military archive, including medals, formerly belonging to Frank Osman, crew member of RMS Titanic.
 
Frank Osman (1884-1938) was an able seaman working onboard the ill-fated White Star Line ship on its inaugural voyage to New York. He was 27 years’ old when he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, transferring from the Oceanic, another White Star ship. Prior to this, he had served in both the navy and merchant navy from the age of 14.
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He survived the sinking, which took the lives of more than 1,500 people when it struck an iceberg and sank on April 15 1912, onboard Lifeboat 2, the fourth from last lifeboat to leave Titanic, which was 60 to 100 yards from Titanic when it went under. On board the lifeboat with Osman was a cook, a steward, an officer, one male passenger and around 25 women and children. Prior to leaving the ship, Osman helped load four other lifeboats.
 
He was outside the seaman's mess on C Deck when Titanic collided with the iceberg. The noise of the collision brought him up to the forward-well deck where he observed chunks of ice, according to his testimony given to the US Senate Inquiry into the disaster.
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Ewbank’s has Osman’s medals, Royal Navy service papers which show that he was on HMS Benbow in 1917 and 1919 and also served at the Battle of Jutland, and a photograph within his military archive, all have been consigned by Osman’s great-granddaughter, who is based in Southampton.
 
The medals are his group of three World War I medals, all are inscribed ‘209451, F Osman LSRN’ and his Royal Naval Fleet Reserve Long service and good conduct medal. Other items in the lot include a photograph, Osman’s Masonic medals relating to the Bell's Tower Lodge, and two silver round brooches depicting Britannia, inscribed HMS Benbow, on which he served.
 
The team at Ewbank’s have given the Osman archive a conservative value of between £1,000 and £2,000, however given the link to RMS Titanic, it’s sure to garner huge attention from all over the world. It will go under the hammer at Ewbank’s Military auction on November 30.
 
Osman’s lifeboat was the first to be rescued by the Carpathia, thanks to there being rockets onboard the lifeboat - which had been mistaken for a box of biscuits - that were used as distress signals.Surrey Medal Auction
 
Osman gave graphic evidence of the sinking on day seven of the US Senate Inquiry into the Titanic disaster. In his testimony he said: “There was no suction whatever. When we were in the boat we shoved off from the ship, and I said to the officer, "See if you can get alongside to see if you can get any more hands, to see if you can squeeze any more hands in."
 
“So the women then started to getting nervous after I said that, and the officer said "All right." The women disagreed to that. We pulled around to the starboard side of the ship and found we could not get to the starboard side because it was listing too far. We pulled astern that way again, and after we got astern we lay on our oars and saw the ship go down.
 
military auction london“After she got to a certain angle she exploded, broke in halves, and it seemed to me as if all the engines and everything that was in the after part slid out into the forward part, and the after part came up right again, and as soon as it came up, right down it went again.”
 
Alongside the Osman archive is an impressive single-owner collection of militaria, including weaponry, paintings, and sculpture, in the same auction on November 30. The collection was built over a period of 30 years and is from the estate of an officer of the Grenadier Guards. The entire collection has been valued at between £10,000 and £20,000 by the experts at Ewbank’s, however it is being split into around 50 lots to ensure accessible price points for collectors at all levels. The auction will be online by Friday 17th November and viewing starts from 10am-2pm on Saturday 24th November.

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If you have items to consign for any future sale, please get in touch with Ewbank’s for advice on the process. Call 01483 223101 or email valuations@ewbankauctions.co.uk.  Alternatively, just call in Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm at the Burnt Common Auction Rooms, just off the A3 near Guildford. There is plenty of parking on site.
 
Live internet bidding through www.theauctionroom.com and Ewbank’s live bidding platform will be available for these sales. These platforms give online buyers the opportunity to participate in sales at no extra cost, giving them savings of up to 6% over other commercial live bidding platforms.