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The BSI Queen Victoria Medal (front)

The Winter issue of the 1967 Baker Street Journal included an item on page 250 that said:

“A giant stride toward the quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes occurred in October when Colin Prestige (“Captain Crocker” - or “Croker” as it is in the English editions), Hon. Secretary of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, paid an eventful visit to this country. In New York he was honoured at two small gatherings, a cocktail party and a luncheon, and he was presented with a newly-created Irregular award, the Victoria Medal, for his contributions to the quartering referred to at the beginning of this paragraph. The medal is silver and was produced by the Royal Mint in 1897 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

Thus, Julian Wolff gave to Colin Prestige the very first Queen Victoria Medal awarded by the BSI. Others would receive it through the years.  Two of them would receive it twice!  The Medal was not only awarded for promoting British-American relations, but was also given to both men and women who deserved it for devotion to duty.  The recipients have been:

Colin G. Prestige, 1967
Baron Gore-Booth, 1968
Lord Donegall, 1969
Lew D. Feldman, 1969
Dorothy Stix, 1981 and 1986
Eleanor Baker O'Connor, 1984 and 1994
John Bennett Shaw, 1985
Eleanor Wolff, 1987
Albert M. and Julia C. Rosenblatt (jointly), 1987
Edith Meiser, 1989
Katherine McMahon, 1990
Dorothy Beverly [West], 1990
Fritz Sonnenschmidt, 1991
Theresa Thomalen, 1992
Philip A. Shreffler, 1993
Dorothy R. Shaw, 1995
Robert E. Thomalen, 1996

The BSI Queen Victoria Medal (back)

The Medals were not usually awarded at the BSI Dinner, but, rather, at other events, including the Saturday Cocktail Reception during the BSI Weekend, Silver Blaze Race in New York, Sherlockian Dinners at the Culinary Institute of America, John Bennett Shaw’s workshop, and other venues.

Dorothy Stix relates that the reason she received her second Medal was because Julian Wolff forgot that he had given her the first one.  Of course, both were well deserved.

The BSI Trust is grateful to Dorothy Stix who donated her Queen Victoria Medals (including the one shown in the photos above) to the Trust in 2017.

Thanks to Peter E. Blau, the keeper of all records, who supplied his list of recipients to the Trust for this web page.

Click on the above photos to see larger versions, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.

Reports on the Award

In true irregular fashion, not all of the announcements of the awarding of the Queen Victoria Medal were published in The Baker Street Journal at the time that they occurred.  Some were mentioned in later issues. Others were not mentioned at all.

Awarded to Colin G. Prestige, The Baker Street Journal 17.4 (December 1967): 250 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Lord Gore-Booth, The Baker Street Journal 35.3 (September 1985): 157 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Lord Donegall and Lew D. Feldman, The Baker Street Journal 19.1 (March 1969): 50 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Dorothy Stix, The Baker Street Journal 31.4 (December 1981): 251 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Eleanor Baker O'Connor, The Baker Street Journal 36.2 (June 1986): 107 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to John Bennett Shaw, The Baker Street Journal 36.1 (March 1986): 42 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Dorothy Stix, The Baker Street Journal 36.4 (December 1986): 235 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Eleanor Wolff, The Baker Street Journal 37.1 (March 1987): 47 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Albert M. and Julia C. Rosenblatt (jointly), The Baker Street Journal 37.4 (December 1987): 242 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Edith Meiser, The Baker Street Journal 39.1 (March 1989): 55 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Katherine McMahon and Dorothy Beverly [West], The Baker Street Journal 40.1 (March 1990): 44 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Fritz Sonnenschmidt, The Baker Street Journal 41.3 (September 1991): 156 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Theresa Thomalen, The Baker Street Journal 42.1 (March 1992): 50 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Philip A. Shreffler, The Baker Street Journal 43.1 (March 1993): 47 (available in the eBSJ)

Awarded to Robert E. Thomalen, The Baker Street Journal 46.1 (March 1996): 14 (available in the eBSJ)

Related Material

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, History of the Medal from The Fourth Garrideb - Numismatics of Sherlock Holmes.

Explanation of BSI Honours & Terms

See all the BSI Memorabilia on our website

The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.

Page composed on 6/24/2017 by Andrew Solberg
This page last updated 6/30/2017 by Andrew Solberg.