A RARE medal that was issued to the crew of the Titanic rescue boat, RMS Carpathia, has sold at auction in Glasgow for £2,200.

The 1912 medal, which was issued by world-renowned jewellers Tiffany, on behalf of the Titanic Relief Fund Committee, was awarded to John McQuair, 22, who was serving as a first class waiter on the Carpathia when it was involved in the rescue operation.

It shows an image of the Carpathia on the front with an inscription on the back that reads: “Presented to the captain, officers and crew of RMS Carpathia in recognition of fallen heroic services from the survivors of the SS Titanic, April 15, 1912.”

As the Carpathia made her way to the stricken liner, she had to brave dangerous ice fields and diverted all steam power to her engines to try to get to the ship as quickly as possible.

Although she arrived two hours after the Titanic had sunk, she was able to rescue 705 survivors from the ship’s lifeboats.

Brian Clements, from McTear’s in Glasgow, said: “The story behind this medal is filled with heroism and tragedy as the crew of the Carpathia fought to help the Titanic survivors.

“There are only a handful of these historic medals in existence, and they rarely come to auction, so we knew there would be considerable interest in the piece. We received a number of bids from collectors across the UK, and we believe the £2,200 paid by a bidder from Glasgow represents the highest price achieved at auction for a Carpathia medal.”