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School medals

School medals

  • Date:

    c1898 - 1904

  • Museum number:

    MISC.88:1 to 6-1983

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This series of medals was awarded to a young scholar named Henry William Howett between the years 1898 and 1904.

School attendance medals were issued by the School Board for London to encourage children to come to school. Although by this date attendance was mandatory for those up to age 13, children often opted to go to work or stay at home instead. These heavy, prestigious prizes recognised the commitment of those who were on time for registration every single day.

Although up to four half-days per year could be missed for religious events like funerals, the school had to be notified two days in advance. Concerns were raised at various times about pupils coming to school with scarlet fever as they were so desperate to achieve full attendance.

Henry Howett managed seven consecutive years of full attendance, spanning the reign of two monarchs. He proceeded through the ranks of white metal medals, to bronze and finally gilded bronze medals as his achievements mounted.

Physical description

Each medal is of cast metal, is circular in form, and hangs from a bar in the form of a scroll, ornamented with a laurel wreath and the year of its presentation.
(1-4) are inscribed on the obverse with a bust of Queen Victoria and the inscriptions 'THE QUEEN VICTORIA MEDAL 1887-1897' and 'SCHOOL BOARD OF LONDON'. On the reverse they are inscribed with a garland of oak leaves and patriotic emblems and the words 'AWARDED TO H. HOWETT FOR PUNCTUAL ATTENDANCE DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR ENDED (date)'.
5-6 have a bust of King Edward VII and the inscriptions 'KING EDWARD VII MEDAL 1902' and 'SCHOOL BOARD OF LONDON' on the obverse, and a half-garland of patriotic emblems and the inscription 'AWARDED TO H. HOWETT (sic.) FOR PUNCTUAL ATTENDANCE DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR ENDED (date)'.


c1898 - 1904


diameter: 3.8 cm

Descriptive line

Collection of medals awarded by London School Board for attendance to Henry William Howett; 1898 - 1904; Metal, English.


Children & Childhood; Education & Learning


Museum of Childhood

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