Medaljen for Ædel Dåd

Official abbreviation: M.f.æ.D.

Instituted June 12th 1793 by King Christian 7th.

Awarded for saving lives, where there have been grave danger to both the rescuer and rescued.
Most recently the medal has been awarded to person who have rescued others while putting their own life at risk, but the medal was previously distributed to a much broader spectrum.

Other information: Until 1808 the medal was awarded “in appreciation for help and support to the plebeian, demonstrated patriotism and ambition, the spread of Icelandic moss as food means, elimination of grain shortage, care of deaf-mute boy, helping the sick during the fever epidemic and more“.
After 1808 the medal was mostly given for acts of bravery, as originally intended, and not for humanitarian merits. As Denmark become more and more industrious, the medal was often awarded for “Saving lives in danger of being run over by runaway horses or trains on the move“.
May be awarded in both silver and gold, but hasn’t been awarded in gold since 1887. The last gold medal, given in 1887, was awarded to a foreigner, and was given with the ribbon of the Order of Dannebrog.
As of 2011 there are 8 living recipients of the medal.
The medal may be awarded as a second award to persons who already have the “Medal for Saving Life from Drowning” and who does a second rescue. This have happened 4 times.

Obverse and reverse of the medal. Image courtesy of B. Klausen.