Criteria - General Principles

1.   The purpose of the Carnegie Hero Fund UK is to recognise acts of civilian heroism by those over the age of eighteen, and give financial assistance and support, if necessary, to:

           (i) the dependants of persons who have died,

(ii) persons who have been injured, and

(iii) who have incurred appreciable financial loss through performing acts of heroism in peaceful pursuits.

2.  The act of heroism must have occurred in Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or in the surrounding territorial waters.

3.  Heroic acts performed in the saving of property are not recognised as falling within the scope of the Trust, which extends only to the saving or attempted saving of human life.

4.  The heroic act must have been voluntary and have involved risk to the rescuer’s life. In some occupations the ordinary discharge of duty involves risks, and such risks cannot in general be regarded as voluntary; but once the ordinary requirements of duty have been exceeded a case is eligible for consideration.

5.  The Trustees are prepared to consider cases in which death, injury, or appreciable financial loss is sustained where the nature of the rescue effort outweighs any burden of responsibility.

6.  Presentation of a potential case for consideration by the Trustees should be accompanied by a report/statement from a member of the emergency services confirming that the rescue/attempted rescue involved risk to the rescuer’s life. Recognition of a case is at the sole discretion of the Trustees.


Each reported case of heroism is judged on its individual merit in accordance with these General Principles. On recognising a case as falling within their scope, the Trustees will make such financial provision as they may think necessary; they will award a Certificate and the name of the hero or heroine will be inscribed in the Trust’s Roll of Honour.  The Trustees will maintain a continuing interest in the welfare of the person recognised and/or their family.

Case Enquiries

Whilst the Trustees are keen to assist family members and descendants wishing to find out more about cases which have affected them or their family we are mindful of issues of confidentiality and respect relating to individual cases and therefore advise:

To make enquiries about a case where a Hero has been recognised please write to the Chief Executive with the following information:

  • name of person whose heroism was recognised by this Trust
  • your relationship to them
  •  date, place and nature of the incident which took place and any further details known to you
  • state if you have a copy of a certificate
  •  if not, state how you found out about the award
  • the Trustees will endeavour to provide as much assistance as they can in answering queries but reserve the right to only release such information as is available or appropriate to the enquiry.

The Roll of Honour is displayed in a glass case in the Birthplace Museum and individual requests regarding viewing of specific entries are subject to the same procedure as above.

All such visits are subject to prior arrangement.

If you have an enquiry about a historical case please download the enquiry form and send it to: