PC William Weighland Ramsay KPM MM
Edinburgh City Police
King’s Police Medal for Gallantry
British War Medal
William Weighland Ramsay was born on 16 April 1891 in Newbattle in the County of Midlothian.
He was a Labourer, 21 years of age, 5’ 11” in height with grey eyes, auburn hair and a fresh complexion when he joined Leith Burgh Police on 8 July 1912.
With the consent of the Chief Constable, he resigned to join the Army on 30 June 1915.According to his personnel record, he resumed duty on 6 February 1919 having served as a Corporal in the Gordon Highlanders and awarded the Military Medal. There are two ‘possible’ men; 10951 Corporal William Ramsay, 8/10thBattalion or 17383 Private William Ramsay.
His Edinburgh City Police personnel records that on 2 November 1920, he was “Transferred from Leith Burgh Police with 8 years and 116 days Police and Army Service counting towards pension.”
On 14 April 1924, his record records that he was “Awarded £2 for rescuing a man from drowning in Leith Docks.”
It seems that he was also recommended for further recognition as in the New Years’ Honours List for 1925, under the list of names of those awarded the King’s Police Medal for ~Gallantry was ‘William Weighland Ramsay, Constable (655 E), Edinburgh City Police’.
‘The Scotsman’ of Friday, February 13th, 1925 records that on the previous day at Buckingham Palace, King George V bestowed various honours. Among those present was PC William Weighland Ramsay. His citation was as follows:
“A man threw himself into Leith Harbour, whereupon the constable, taking off his greatcoat, tunic and boots, plunged into the water, and after swimming 25 yards, caught hold of him, and with the help of a lifebuoy which had been thrown to him, succeeded in bringing the man to the quay. The water was 12 feet deep and a strong ebb tide was flowing.”
In January 1929, he was transferred to A Division as PC 169 A.
In 1938, he was transferred back to Leith, by then ‘D’ Division, as PC 139 D.
William Weighland Ramsay KPM MM retired on pension on 8 July 1942.
He died on 29 January 1961 at 8 Findlay Cottages, Edinburgh. His son, W. T. Ramsay, registered his death.
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.