This is my Nanna's medal from the Royal Life Saving Society, which she was awarded in 1937 when she was 16. (The Latin motto reads 'Quemcunque Miserum Videris Hominem Scias', which means, 'Whomsoever you see in distress, recognize in him a fellow man.') My lovely step-nanna found it in a drawer recently and gave it to Mum, and I framed it so she can have it on her dressing table. She says it's nice to have something her mum worked really hard for.
Mum told me that when Nanna left school aged 14, she went to work at the big Reckitts factory in Hull, and that she belonged to the staff swimming club. I went online to see if I could find out more about Reckitts in the 1930s, and found an eBay listing for a 1937 edition of Reckitts' staff magazine - a special issue commemorating the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The listing mentioned a photo of the swimming club, who had done a display for the Queen! I bid and bid but didn't win it - and in a 'who dares, wins' moment I contacted the vendor and asked if he would email me a scan of that page of the magazine before sending it off to the buyer...
...and he did!
When I got it I thought I recognised Nanna, but I wanted Mum to pick her out too, so I knew it wasn't just wishful thinking... and she did! We compared it with how she looked in her wedding photo four years later, and there she is, in the front row, last on the right. Isn't the internet marvellous?!