The Society for Nautical Research recognizes excellence in research into maritime history and contributions to preserving our maritime heritage.

The Anderson Medal

Each year, in memory of Dr Roger Charles Anderson, a distinguished naval scholar and founder member of the Society, the Society awards the Anderson medal for a book on maritime history published during the previous year.

What it’s for

The Anderson Medal

This may be a work of non-fiction covering any aspect of maritime history, such as archaeology, biography, economy, exploration, hydrography, industry, oceanography, science, shipbuilding, strategy, etc. Preference will be given, in order, to the sole work of one author, to joint works by a small group of authors, and then to edited works. Part works will not normally be considered for the award of the Anderson medal.

How to nominate

Nominations may be made by authors, publishers, members of council or other members of the SNR between January and the end of May of the year following publication. They should include full bibliographical details of the work and a short review. They should then be sent by email to the Secretary of the Research and Programme Committee (RPC) whose address is on our contacts page.

How the medal is awarded

In June each year the RPC will draw up a shortlist which will take account of all aspects of the work such as literary merit, original research in primary sources, new interpretation of secondary sources, and contribution to the wider understanding of maritime history. In September the RPC will make its recommendation to the Council of the Society for Nautical Research. The Council will announce its decision at the next Council meeting. The award will be presented in the following April at a reception; the winner will be asked to deliver a lecture related to the topic of the book on this occasion.

Previous awards

  • 2016 Dr Innes McCartney, Jutland 1916: The Archaeology of a Naval Battlefield
  • 2015  James Goldrick, Before Jutland: The Naval war in Northern European Waters, August 1914-February 1915
  • 2014 Rip Bulkeley, Bellingshausen & The Russian Antarctic Expedition, 1819-21
  • 2013 Susan Rose England’s Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare
  • 2012 Professor Andrew Lambert, The Challenge: Britain against America in the Naval War of 1812
  • 2011 Sam Willis, The Glorious First of June
  • 2010 Jean Sutton, The East India Company’s Maritime Service, 1746-1834
  • 2009 Nicholas Black, The British Naval Staff in the First World War
  • 2008 Brian Lavery, Shield of Empire: The Royal Navy in Scotland
  • 2007 Marc Levinson, The Box: How the Shipping Container made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger
  • 2006 Roger Knight, The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson
  • 2005 Richard Woodman, The Real Cruel Sea: the Merchant Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1943
  • 2004 David Keith Brown and George Moore, Rebuilding the Royal Navy: Warship Design since 1945
  • 2003 Lewis Johnman and Hugh Murphy, British Shipbuilding and the State since 1918: a Political Economy of Decline
  • 2002 Tom Pocock, Captain Marryat, Seaman, Writer and Adventurer
  • 2001 Ian Johnston, Ships for a Nation, 1847-1971 John  Brown and Company, Clydebank
  • 2000 Michael Partridge, The Royal Naval College, Osborne: A History 
  • 1999  Richard Walker, The Nelson Portraits 
  • 1998  NAM Rodger, The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 600-1649, vol.1

The Centenary Medal

In 2011, to mark the first centenary of the Society’s work, the ‘Centenary Medal’ was introduced to reward exceptional assistance to the Society in furthering one or more of its objectives.

In 2014 the Centenary Medal was presented to Ltd Cdr Lawrie Phillips, who has been a member of the Society for more than 50 years and has been involved in most aspects of the Society at one time or another. He was Honorary Secretary in the 1980s and served on the Victory Advisory Technical Committee for more than twenty years. He has given many years’ service as a Vice-President of the Society and still serves on the Publications Committee where his professional advice continues to be extremely valuable.

His award was presented on board HMS Victory on 14 June, 2014 by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton.

Previous Winners

  • 2011 Dr Alan McGowan.  The presentation was made by Mr Alan Aberg on board HMS Victory on 18 June

The Victory Medal

The Victory medal was traditionally awarded to those who have shown exceptional assistance and dedication in serving HMS Victory and assisting in her conservation, but since 2012 has been awarded to those who have demonstrated similar dedication to any historic ship.

The 2016 winner was Martyn Heighton. The Committee wrote:

Martyn Heighton was awarded the Victory Medal posthumously for his all too brief life-time of work in conserving historic vessels.  From commissioning the replica caravel Matthew, to the Mary Rose Trust, the ss Great Britain project in Bristol, the long term future of the clipper City of Adelaide, and the new steamboat museum on Lake Windermere, his involvements were many and varied.  Throughout, his work with the technical committee of HMS Victory ensured the the highest standards of conservation and restoration.  National Historic Ships UK is now the centre and guardian of our national historic fleet of vessels. Historic ships world-wide will benefit from the book Conserving Historic Vessels. 

The 2015 winner was Meriel Larken. The Committee wrote:

Meriel Larkin receives The Victory Medal in view of the vision and remarkable tenacity she has demonstrated in saving and restoring Yavari, pre-fabricated  on the Thames in 1862 and carried in in her component parts to Lake Titicaca where she was constructed on site as a gun-boat for the Peruvian navy. This  remarkable story of Victorian engineering initiative has been mirrored by Meriel’s 25 year mission to rescue Yavari  and return her to working order. Today, thanks to Meriel and her indomitable  spirit, this ship is a living, operating entity and a major tourist draw on the highest navigable lake in the world.‘ IMG_1836

Previous Winners

  • 2016 Meriel Larken, Head of the Campaign to save the Yavari. Presented by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton on board HMS Victory, for services to ship preservation.
  • 2015 John Kearon, Master Shipwright and Historic Vessel Conservator. Presented by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton for services to ship preservation.
  • 2014 Tim Parr, He was one of the founding directors of the Cornish Maritime Trust. Presented by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton for services to ship preservation.
  • 2013 Dr Tony Bravery. Presented by VA David Steel in recognition of the knowledge of timber that Dr Bravery has brought to the conservation of HMS Victory
  • 2012 Malcolm McKeand. Presented by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton made in respect of Mr McKeand’s exceptional reconstruction of the Bristol Pilot Cutter Kindly Light
  • 2011 Captain David T Smith, Mr Les Gilfoyle [medals], Mrs Jackie Stevenson [on behalf of her late husband], Mr Keith Johnson. Presented by Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton for the exceptional restoration of HMS Trincomalee
  • 2010 Mr Peter Goodwin curator of HMS Victory. Presented by Commodore Bob Thompson RN
  • 2004 Michael Rudd
  • 2002 Mr Dineen, Mr Round and Paul Marsh, all Naval Dockyard Staff
  • 1992 Mr Chris Giffen, for serving eight years as project manager for maintaining and rebuilding HMS Victory