Todd Family Presents Medal
As a memorial to one of the staunchest friends the members of the New York Fire Department had, the William H. Todd medal for valor has been endowed and will be presented for the first time this year, it was announced by Fire Chief and Commissioner John J. McElligott.
The medal is a gift of J. Herbert Todd, Mrs. Charles P. Monahan and Mrs. Thomas R. Lilly, son and daughters of the late William H. Todd, shipbuilder, volunteer fireman, and honorary Deputy Chief of the New York Fire Department, who died four years ago.
Chief Todd’s enthusiastic interest in the welfare of the Fire Department and his benefactions to fire fighters generalwill be kept fresh in the spirit ot the fire service by the annual presentation of the medal in his memory. Appropriately, the first presentation will be made next summer at City Hall by William H. Todd, the twelve-year old grandson of the Chief.
The medal is of 18 kt. Rold and is designed in the form of a cross with the shield of the City of New York in the center. The four blades or wings of the cross are encircled with a ribbon of gold on which is inscribed “Fire Department, City of New York.”
The arms of the cross are symbolic of the rays of the sun interspersed with gold “flames” indicating fire. The outside of the cross represents an oak wreath signifying strength. The reverse side of the medal has an inset which will provide for the inscribing of the name of the winner. It contains the Latin phrase “Dcfensio Non Verba,” the Todd family maxim. All the lettering is in relief.
William H. Todd’s affection for the fire fighters started in Wilmington, Del., where as a young man he was a member of the famous old “Reliance Fire Co. No. 2.” For years he led the Washington Birthday Parade of volunteer firemen in Brooklyn, and on those occasions brought as his guests from Wilmington all his old fellow firemen.
Fire Commissioner McElligott in his letter to J. Herbert Todd accepting the gift, expressed the gratitude of the members of the department and paid an affectionate tribute to the memory of Chief Todd and his interest in the welfare of the firemen.