The King’s Police Medal for Gallantry (1934)
Edinburgh City Police
PC Charles Wickham KPM
Charles Spence Wickham was born in Gorebridge in Midlothian on 27 February, 1911.
When he joined Edinburgh City Police on 10 February 1931 (just before his 20th birthday), he was about 5’ 10” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. He was PC 312 B at Gayfield Square Police Station.
According to the Edinburgh City Police Weekly Records, “On 16 May, 1933,” (he was) “Highly Commended for promptitude and courage displayed in stopping a runaway horse.”
The circumstances are described below.
The Police Review and Parade Gossip of 2 February 1934 records the following on page 79:
“PC Charles Wickham (Edinburgh) was awarded the medal for his gallantry on 3rdMay of last year (1933) in stopping a runaway horse attached to a coal lorry.
The Constable jumped off a tramcar when he saw the runaway, rushed at its head, and holding by the bridle, was dragged a distance of about 30 yards; then to prevent collision with a plate-glass window and injury to children, he threw himself in front of the horse and guided it towards a van, with which it collided.
The Constable afterwards tripped up the horse and held it down, at the same time soothing the frantic animal, until he obtained assistance.
Constable Wickham was awarded an honorary certificate and £10 by the Carnegie Hero Fund Trustees in July, in recognition of his gallant action.
He is a great lover of horses and spends his spare time breaking-in two year-old thoroughbreds. He is considered a good amateur rider.”
According to the Weekly Records, on 1 October, 1935, Pc Charles Wickham KPM was again “Highly commended for alertness and resourcefulness displayed in effecting the arrest of a motor car thief.”
On 29 September, 1936 he transferred to D Division (Leith) at the Docks as PC 624 D.
On 1 February, 1938 he transferred to E Division (Mounted Contingent) as PC 719 E.
According to his Personnel Record, Charles Wickham “Resigned for service in H M Forces on 14 December, 1939.”
However, in February 1940 and 1941, he is shown as receiving two pay increments.
The final entry on his Personnel Record states “27.8.45 Resigned from Police Force.”
I believe that Charles Spence Wickham KPM died aged 75 in Leith in 1987.
If you are able to help with an original image of PC Wickham’s medal, please get in touch with the website. Thank you.
King’s Police Medal (1935)
Glasgow Corporation Medal for Conspicuous Bravery (1935)
City of Glasgow Police
PC Malcolm Shaw KPM
PC Shaw was awarded the King’s Police Medal in 1935 but his investiture was at Buckingham Palace on 18 February, 1936 when his medal was presented by King Edward VIII.
He is wearing his Glasgow Corporation Medal for Conspicuous Bravery in the picture above.
The newspaper cuttings above are from the Police Review and Police Gazette edition of 7 February, 1936.
I am indebted to Ian Hall for the images and information on PC Shaw’s KPM.