One of just 14 gold medals awarded to heroes who rescued passengers from the Titanic has sold for £45,000 at a south Bucks auction house.

A rare gold Carpathian medal is now the most expensive of its kind after it was sold at the Bourne End Auction House by auctioneer and valuer Mark Baldwin, who discovered it in a clearance.

The medal was awarded to Ernest G. F. Brown, a purser on board the RMS Carpathia – which was used to save around 700 passengers – who was just 27 at the time the Carpathia went to the aid of the Titanic on the night of April 14, 1912.

He was born in Liverpool and had served on the Cunnard Line steamships for a number of years and had joined the Carpathia’s decks on February 7, 1912.

Purser Brown was tasked with compiling and collating lists of the names of passengers who had survived, reuniting family members and relatives with each other, informing and comforting those whose relatives had not survived, and seeing that all survivors got the medical attention and care they needed.

Ernest Brown’s outstanding care and service towards the survivors of the Titanic, along with Captain Rostron and the rest of RMS Carpathia’s crews, earned him the gold medal, which was presented to him by survivor Margaret Brown, chairman of the Titanic survivors committee.

In total, 14 gold medals were awarded to Captain Rostron and the senior officers of the Carpathia, and 110 silver medals to the junior officers, with the rest of the crew receiving a bronze medal.

The RMS Titanic sank just four days into her maiden voyage, travelling from Southampton to New York, after hitting an iceberg.

Two hours and 40 minutes later, the ship had sunk with more than half of all passengers and crew still on board.