Holyrood Park Keepers Medal Roll

This picture courtesy of the British Police History Website (https://british-police-history.uk)

Holyrood Royal Park Keepers Medal Roll 1911


This roll is taken from The Royal Parks archives held at The National Archives at Kew, reference WORK 21/29/28.


The order of the roll is also the order of seniority in length of service of the 11 officers at Holyrood Park.


The men were presented with the medals on 29 May, 1912 in the Throne Room of Holyrood Palace by "His Grace, the Lord High Commissioner (of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland*), Lord Glenconner."


A full report of the occasion appeared in 'The Scotsman' newspaper on 30 May, 1912. Please see below.


Please also see the medals to John King below. They were sold at a Dix Noonan Webb auction in 2019. The only other example of the 11 to Royal Parks that  I have seen was awarded to John Malone and it, along with his other medals, are in the Royal Scots Museum in Edinburgh Castle.


*(The Lord High Commissioner is the Sovereign's representative as the Head of the Established Church of Scotland during its annual 'General Assembly' in Edinburgh.)




Thomas Duncan

Sergeant Park Keeper

Patrick Cavanagh

Park Keeper

John Dalgleish

Park Keeper

Thomas Needham

Park Keeper

Hector Gray

Park Keeper

John Malone

Park Keeper

John Burnside

Park Keeper

Alexander Duechars

Park Keeper

John Gunn

Park Keeper

John King

Park Keeper

William A. Kerr

Park Keeper

Report of the Presentation of King George V Coronation (Royal Parks) Medals, 1911 from The Scotsman newspaper, 30 May, 1912

Article taken from ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper, 30 May, 1912






His Grace the Lord High Commissioner, by command of King George, presented medals yesterday forenoon to the keepers of Holyrood Park.


The interesting ceremony took place in the Throne Room of Holyrood Palace, and the medals were given to commemorate the Coronation of the King and Queen and the Royal Visit to Edinburgh in July. Only those in service at the time received the medal.


The officers were marched into the Throne Room in the order of their seniority of service, and after Lord Glenconner had addressed some words of appreciation, he handed a medal to each of the men.


His Grace was accompanied by Lady Glenconner, and all the members of the suite were in attendance.


Several of the visitors at the Palace were also present, as was Mr W. T. Oldrieve of H. M. Office of Works and F. H. Parsons, Inspector, Holyrood Palace.


After the presentation, the men lined up in the Palace Yard and gave the salute to His Grace as he proceeded towards the Canongate on his way to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.


Eleven officers were entitled to receive the decoration, which is given to police and servants of the Royal Household. All the men are Navy or Army pensioners, carefully selected, of specially good character, and with good records of Army service.


Under Sergeant Park Keeper Duncan, it is interesting to state, a system of patrol and signalling was adopted in 1907, and this has greatly improved the condition of the park.


Within seventeen months of the introduction of the new system, 160 cases of misdemeanour and breach of the park regulations were reported, and 103 convictions in the Police Court were secured. Since that time, the number of cases has been greatly reduced.


In 1909-10, the park keepers as a body volunteered to undergo a course of training in ambulance work, and since that time a considerable number of accidents have been treated within the park for first aid by the park keepers.


The following are the men who received medals:-


Thomas Duncan who is the Sergeant Keeper, was an Armourer Sergeant Major in the Gordon Highlanders and his decorations are – India, 1897; Queen’s South Africa and King’s South Africa. He served also for a time as Sergeant-Major of the 9th Battalion (Highlanders) of the Royal Scots.


Patrick Cavanagh who is seventy-three years of age was in the 91st Foot, as Lance-Sergeant. He had twenty five years of Army service and has been thirty years a Park Keeper.


John Dalgleish, a Sergeant in the Royal Highlanders.


Thomas Needham, Royal Navy.


Hector Gray, an Armourer Sergeant-Major in the Scots Guards. His decorations are – Egypt, 1882; Khedival Star and Queen’s South Africa. He was twice Mentioned in Despatches from Egypt and South Africa.


John Malone, Colour-Sergeant in the Royal Scots, possesses King’s and Queen’s South African medals.


John Burnside, a Sergeant-Major tailor in the Highland Light Infantry holds a Queen’s South Africa medal.


Alexander Deuchars, Corporal in the Gordon Highlanders has the following decorations – India, 1897; and Queen’s and King’s South African medals.


John King, Armourer Sergeant-Major in the Royal Highlanders, has Egypt, 1882 and Khedival Star decorations.


John Gunn, Sergeant in the Cameron Highlanders, who recently retired from the force through illness, has the following medals – Egypt, 1882, Khedival Star, Queen’s South Africa, King’s South Africa, Queen’s Sudan, 1898; and Khedival, 1898.


William Kerr, Colour-Sergeant in the Seaforth Highlanders, holds the Mediterranean Medal.”






Colour Sergeant John Malone - The Royal Scots

Colour Sergeant John Malone's medals courtesy of the Royal Scots Museum, Edinburgh Castle
Colour Sergeant John Malone's medals showing Royal Parks reverse. Courtesy of the Royal Scots Museum, Edinburgh Castle.
Colour Sergeant John Malone's Royal Parks medal courtesy of the Royal Scots Museum, Edinburgh Castle.

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Accurate Medal Roll for all 120 Royal Parks 1911 Police Coronation Medals

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