Friday, June 20, 2014

Little John being rewarded by the Queen

Archie Duncan played Little John in the 1950's Robin Hood series I've been watching lately. I watched it when I was little, but I was very little. There are snippets I remember. I see the roots of some of my interest in early music and costume.

But something happened, and I will be happy if someone who reads this knows a way to discover more.
"Duncan was briefly replaced in the Little John role by Rufus Cruikshank for about ten episodes after Duncan was injured when a horse bolted toward the spectators, mostly children, watching the location filming of the episode "Checkmate" on 20 April 1955. He grabbed the bridle, stopping the horse, but the cart it was pulling ran him over, causing a fractured kneecap and cuts and bruises. He received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery Award and £1,360 in damages from Sapphire films." (wikipedia page)

"Received a Queen's Award for Bravery for protecting a group of spectators (during filming of a first season episode of Robin Hood) by grabbing the bridle of a horse, which had bolted, and was drawing a cart with fixed axles that could not be steered. The cart ran over Duncan, fracturing his kneecap and putting him out of action for the next eleven episodes." (imdb trivia)

According to this, in the 1950's it was called the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, and the name was later changed to "Commendation for Bravery" in 1994.

I would love to know more about the particulars of this award, as Elizabeth hadn't been queen for very long, and the brave act was done in costume as Little John, with a medieval-style cart, on a film set. It must have been mentioned somehow in the presentation, on in the certificate.

1 comment:

R Hodgson said...

I remember this well and have a picture of a signed document by most f the cast