Scottish City & Burgh Police Force Medals



Scottish City & Burgh Police Forces 


(13 July 1900) "The Police Review and Parade Gossip" Page 333)


















































Broughty Ferry




Kinning Park


















This is the list of Scottish City and Burgh Police Forces published in The Police Review and Parade Gossip of 13 July 1900.

Dundee City Police


Defence Medal, 1939 – 1945

War Medal, 1939 -1945

Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (EIIR)


PS Peter Maynard


Peter Maynard was born in Glasgow and served as a Piper in the Scots Guards before joining Dundee City Police. He also served in the Scots Guards in World War 2 and returned to serve again in Dundee City Police.


He later became a successful Pipe Major of Dundee City Police pipe band.



(This section will be updated when I finish researching Peter Maynard’s life.)




My thanks to Gordon Rogers for kindly providing me with the picture below and bigraphical details of Pipe-major Maynard.

P/M Peter Maynard leading Dundee City Police at the Braemar Gathering in 1962. (The band has counter-marched, thus he is on the right of the picture).
Pipe Major Peter Maynard at Glenisla Games, probably 1950s or 60s? (Picture courtesy of Jim Bishop)

Dundee City Police 1824 - 1975

Medals of Chief Inspector Stanley James Smith Dundee City Police

The Defence Medal

The Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (EIIR 1954)


Dundee City Police


Chief Inspector Stanley James Smith


The early years


Stanley James Smith was born in Oakbank Terrace, Cherrybank in Perth on 23 January, 1910. His father was David Smith, a Police Constable in Perth City Police and his mother, Elizabeth Short or Smith.


The Census of 1911 records the following living at the address:-


Name (Age)


Where born

David Smith, (28)

Police Constable (Perth City Force)

Kincardineshire, Fordoun

Elizabeth Smith, (32)


Perthshire, Rhynd

Andrew D. S. Smith, (3)



Stanley J. Smith, (1)


Perthshire, Perth


The Census return shows that David and Elizabeth had been married for 8 years, had 3 children born alive, only 2 of whom were still alive at that date.


Dundee City Police


Stanley James Smith joined Dundee City Police as a Constable in May, 1932. His previous occupation was a Compositor and he had been living in Tibbermore, Perthshire.


He achieved his Ambulance Badges in 1932 and 1933.


On 19 September, 1936, in the Station Hotel, Perth, he married Mary Cecilia Halley, a Shorthand typist of Fues Road in Perth.


He was promoted to Sergeant in June, 1940 when his duties were dealing with Public Houses and in in 1944, Traffic Department. He was promoted to Inspector in January, 1950 and Chief Inspector in July, 1951.


He was awarded the Defence Medal in 1946 and the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1954.


Stanley James Smith retired on pension from Dundee City Police in June, 1962 and his conduct was deemed “Exemplary”.


The end of the story


Mary Cecilia Halley or Smith died aged 66 in Dundee in 1971.


Stanley James Smith died aged 81 in Dundee in 1981.





(The details of Chief Inspector Smith’s career with Dundee City Police are courtesy of Police Scotland with special thanks to Alice Stewart.)

Chief Inspector Stanley James Smith (Picture courtesy of Jim Bishop)

Dunfermline City Police 1832 - 1949

Deputy Chief Constable Andrew M Mitchell Dunfermline City Police

1914-15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

The Defence Medal

The Coronation Medal 1953

Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (GVIR)


Dunfermline City Police

Fife Constabulary


Superintendent Andrew Mitchell Mitchell


Andrew Mitchell was born at Colton of Pittencrieff Farm, Dunfermline on 26 March, 1896. His father, Ebenezer Mitchell, a Flesher worked for his brother-in-law, John Marshall, the owner of the farm. Andrew Mitchell’s mother was Janet Marshall or Mitchell.


There is no middle name on Andrew Mitchell’s birth certificate.


The family were still living at Colton of Pittencrieff in the Census of 1901 when Ebenezer’s occupation is ‘Butcher’.


By the Census of 1911, the family were living at 48 Golfdrum Street in Dunfermline. Ebenezer was still a Butcher, he and Janet had been married 18 years, had six live births together, all six children of whom were still alive at the date of the Census.


Andrew was 15 and working as a Butcher.


On 8 August, 1914, according to his Personnel Record in Dunfermline City Police, Andrew Mitchell Mitchell was appointed as a ‘Temporary Additional Constable’ for the duration of the First World War. However, on 21 May, 1915, he was “Granted leave of absence to join the Army for the duration of the War.” The entry is signed by “George Bruce, Chief Constable”.


From his Army record, he enlisted the same day in the Army Service Corps (later to become the Royal Army Service Corps) as Private No. S4/094863 with the trade of Butcher.


He was posted to France arriving on 16 December, 1915. He later served in the Royal Engineers and the Labour Corps in France.


According to the record of Special Constables appointed to Dunfermline City Police on 10 May, 1915, “Ebenezer Mitchell, a Labourer (in H.M. Dockyard, Rosyth) 47 and 5’ 9”” of 48 Golfdrum Street, Dunfermline” was issued with “1 baton, 1 whistle and chain, 1 armband and 1 copy of instructions” for which he signed his name in the register.


Andrew M Mitchell was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Labour Corps on 16 April, 1918.


An entry in his Police Personnel Record dated 21 December 1918, states: “While still serving in the (?) Army and having attained the rank of Lieutenant, he resigned his appointment as a Temporary Additional Constable.” This entry is also signed by “George Bruce, Chief Constable”.


Andrew Mitchell’s Medal Index Card (MIC) confirms his entitlement to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal (BWM) and Victory Medal (VM). The 1914-15 Star is confirmed in Medal Roll RASC/5B4/3594 with the correct service number but the rank is shown as Sergeant. His entitlement to the BWM and VM are confirmed in Medal Roll Labour Corps Off/225/194 where his rank for both medals is 2nd Lieutenant.


The next entry on his Police Personnel Record dated 20 January, 1920 states: “Appointed to Permanent Force on this date. Service as a Temporary Constable to count as of 8 August, 1914 (Signed) George Bruce, Chief Constable.”


According to his MIC, Andrew Mitchell applied for his medals on 12 September, 1921 when his address was '115 Chalmers Street, Dunfermline, Fife'.


On page 10 of 'A Pictorial History of Fife Constabulary' (Published in 1999 by Fife Constabulary to celebrate the amalgamation of the three previous forces in 1949) is a picture showing the Dunfermline City Police in 1911. The box below shows a direct quote from the booklet:



“Dunfermline City Police C. 1911. With the extension of the Burgh boundary that year, Which included H.M. Dockyard, Rosyth, 2 Constables were added to the strength of the Force making a total of 1 Chief Constable, 1 Inspector, 2 Sergeants, 2 Acting Sergeants and 17 Constables.


The latter were increased by another 7 officers with the commencement of hostilities in 1914. Three Temporary Constables were recruited to the Regular Force for the period of the war and 350 Special Constables were also enrolled to assist the Regulars.


Twelve Dunfermline men served in the Army, and one in the Navy, with their jobs left open for them to return after the war ended.


All of those on active service subsequently returned to duty with the exception of PC Thomas Lothian who was killed in action in 1917.”




So far, I have not found his complete police career history but know from the newspaper cutting above that around 1942, Andrew M Mitchell was promoted to Lieutenant and Deputy Chief Constable after John Ritchie Inch became Chief Constable of Dunfermline City Police that year.

In 1949, Dunfermline City Police and Kirkcaldy Burgh Police amalgamated with Fife County Police to become Fife Constabulary.


I have also confirmed, courtesy of Police Scotland and Fife Council Archives that Superintendent Andrew M Mitchell retired on Pension from Fife Constabulary on 26 March, 1956.


I am grateful to the staff of Fife Council Archives and Police Scotland for their assistance in researching Andrew Mitchell’s police career.

The medals of Superintendent Andrew M Mitchell Dunfermline City Police
Dunfermline City Police Cap Badge

Edinburgh City Police 1805 - 1975

Edinburgh City Police PC Helmet Plate to circa 1932

To see all  Edinburgh City Police Medals for officers named:


‘Adsett’ to ‘Munro’ please click here.

Edinburgh City Police PC & PS Belt Clasp

To see all   Edinburgh City Police Medals for officers named


‘McDonald’ to ‘Wickham’ please click here.

Glasgow Police, City of 1800 - 1975

City of Glasgow Police Helmet Plate

To see all medals for City of Glasgow Police officers, please click here.

Govan Burgh Police 1864 - 1912

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903

Govan Burgh Police

PC Alexander Brown



Alexander Brown was born in Kintore in the County of Aberdeen on 10 April, 1872. His father, Alexander Brown, was a Farm Labourer and his mother’s maiden name was Ann Begg. His parents were married in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire on 18 March 1869.


He was a Farm Servant living at Monymusk in Aberdeenshire in the Census of 1891.

Alexander Brown joined Govan Burgh Police on 31 May, 1896, aged 24. He was 6’ 2” tall.


In the 1901 Census, he was living at 41 White Street, Govan as a Boarder along with another Govan Constable, James Begg whom I believe is his cousin.


He progressed through the pay scales in the usual way and the only Discipline matter recorded against him states:


“December 2, 1905.


(1)  Having while off duty on 25 November last along with Sergeant Smith, formed part of a noisy and disorderly crowd amongst whom several fights took place;

(2)  Having same date, been insolent and insubordinate towards Superior Officers in Plantation Police Office.”

He was dismissed for these Discipline Offences on 2 December, 1905.


The next entry on his Personnel Record states:


“Died suddenly in Rutland House from an attack of Pleurisy and Pneumonia on 17 February 1905.

Total deductions of £15.4/8d towards Superannuation Fund remitted to James (sic) Brown, his father at Glenhead, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, his father.”


He died in the Rutland Model Lodging House, Govan Road, Govan. His occupation was “Lodging House attendant”. His death was registered by his cousin, James Begg, the same man he shared lodgings with in 1901.


I also believe the first name of the father on the Personnel Record is a mistake that confuses the cousin and the father.

This is only medal entitlement from his police service.

It is possible that this medal was to PC Archibald Brown of Fife Constabulary, the only other ‘PC A. Brown’ I have found serving in 1903 but I now believe it more probable that Alexander Brown is the correct recipient.



King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903


Govan Burgh Police


PC William Gatherer





According to Page 161 of the Register of Govan Burgh Police, William Gatherer was born 23 February, 1880 at 12 School Hendry Street in Portsoy in the County of Banff.


He joined the Govan Burgh Police on 4 November, 1902. His previous occupation was a Craneman and he was single.


He was living at 8 Russell Street in Govan.


His record in the ‘Register of the Burgh of Govan Police Force’ is quite brief. It consists of the following entries.




Under ‘Appointments, Promotions, Reduction, Transfer, Resignation or Dismissal’ are the following entries:




November 4, 1902

Appointed 3rd Class Constable


April 29, 1903

Pay increased to 26/3d (£1.31.5p approximately) per week


November 11, 1903

Pay increased to 27.5d (£1.37p approximately) per week


January 9, 1904




Under ‘Offences or Meritorious Services’, the following is the only entry recorded:




January 8, 1904

Charged with having used obscene and insulting language towards Lieutenant Macintosh. – Dismissed



The final entry on his record states that “His total deductions towards his Superannuation (Pension) of £1.6/8d were returned to him.”


This medal is worthy of further research just to find out what happened to William Gatherer. Did he join the army in WWI? Did he emigrate? When and where did he die?


This is a very scarce attributed medal to Govan Burgh Police, a police force long since amalgamated in to the City of Glasgow Police.



Govan Burgh Police (Between 1904 & 1912)

Greenock Burgh Police 1800 - 1967

Inspector James Smith Milne Greenock Burgh Police

1914-15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935


Greenock Burgh Police


Inspector James Smith Milne


James Smith Milne was born on 25 March, 1891 at 17 Lochlands Road, St Vigeans, Arbroath in the County of Angus. His father was James Milne, a Flax Warehouseman and his mother, Mary Ann Ross or Milne. His parents were married on 31 December, 1884 at Arbroath when his father’s occupation was ‘Journeyman Joiner’ and his mother, a’ Reeler in Flax Mill’.


The family were still living at 17 Lochlands Road in the Census of 1891, James being the youngest of three boys.


In 1901, the family were still at 17 Lochlands Road but James now had a younger brother. His father’s occupation was now ‘Railway Goods Porter’.


James Smith Milne began working for the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway in 1907. Their head office was at Dundee Tay Bridge Station, although James worked near Elliot in Angus, a small coastal hamlet on the western outskirts of Arbroath.


James Milne (senior) died on 1 January, 1911 I Arbroath Infirmary. His son William Milne registered his death.


In the 1911 Census, the family with Mary Milne as head, were living at 9 Lochlands Road in Arbroath and James Smith Milne was a ‘Signalman – Railway’.


On 23 May, 1913, James Smith Milne applied for appointment as a Constable in Greenock Burgh Police. He completed his application in his own neat handwriting and his description was confirmed at Arbroath Police Station by “Inspector R Pyper’ as 5’10”, dark brown hair with a fresh complexion.”


Inspector Pyper also signed to confirm the veracity of the references James Smith Milne had provided regarding his suitability for the office of constable.


On 9 June, 1913, He was appointed a Constable in Greenock Burgh Police.


At Greenock, on the 9 September, 1914, James Smith Milne, a Police Constable aged 23 years and 150 days, enlisted in the Scots Guards as Guardsman Number 10522.


During training in England, he married Davina Moncur Ramsay on 20 November, 1914.


On 27 December, 1914, James Smith Milne was posted to France with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards as a ‘Replacement’. The Battalion Regimental War Diary (WO 95-1263) records the event in the margin on 31st December, 1914 as follows:



“9th Reinforcement.

Capt. J. S. Thorpe, Lt. G.V.F Monckton and 200 R and F (Rank and File).”




What followed then was a period of intense activity in and around La Bassee fighting the Germans in trenches sometimes no more than 100 feet away, the conditions of which are described in great detail in the War Diary.

James Smith Milne was wounded by shell fire and captured by the Germans on 25 January, 1915. The circumstances are recorded in the Regimental War Diary as shown below:



“Jan 25th


At 6.30 am a German deserter reported that an attack was going to be made in ½ an hour. Bombardment first and then our trenches were to be blown up by previously made mines. After an hour, all happened as deserter had said. 5 RF and 40 LF got away. – Their story is as follows – The Germans first shelled them, then got out of their trench and attacked half right, then threw bombs in, got to the tip of the parapet and shot down into the trenches. The Germans afterwards swarmed up to the “Keep” where Major Romilly was. There they were checked and held. Reinforcements came up and a counter attack was delivered at 1 pm but did not retake much ground. Battalion was relieved at 4 pm by Sussex Regiment.”



The next day, the Regiment marched back to Bethune and the total casualties were recorded in the style of the time with only officers names recorded, ‘Rank and File’ being simply recorded as the numbers shown below:



Killed. Lt. H.S.E. Bury (G. Gds. attached).


Wounded. 2nd Lt. J.A. Denny (G. Gds. attached).


Missing. Major A.C. Morrison-Bell

Lt. G.V.F Monckton

2nd Lt. G.E.V. Crutchley

2nd Lt. A.H. Long (G. Gds. Attached).

2nd Lt. G.H. Fletcher (G. Gds. attached).

2nd Lt. J.C. Thompson (Artists Rifles attached).

2nd Lt. H.E. Weld (Artists Rifles attached).


Total casualties in the Cuinchy (La Bassee) District:


                 Killed Wounded  Missing

Officers         4          3             7

Other Ranks  27       120         235




The ruins of Bethune in France near where James Smith Milne was wounded in action and captured.

James Smith Milne’s next of kin are recorded on his Army papers as his wife, living at Glenskinno near Dun by Montrose in Angus and his mother, Mary now living at 13 Duke Street, Arbroath.


His Army record confirms that his son, James Ramsay Smith Milne was born at Dun in 1915.


According to his Army record, he was held in a Prisoner of War Camp near Braunschweig in Lower Saxony, Germany in 1916 after his injury had healed in hospital. He was held from 25 January, 1915 until repatriation on 29 December, 1918.


He was finally discharged on 29 March, 1919 when he rejoined Greenock Burgh Police.


His Medal Index Card confirms his first date of entry to the France Theatre of War as 28 December, 1914 and his entitlement to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. These are all recorded in the appropriate Regimental Medal Rolls for the Scots Guards.


He was commended on 19 October, 1923 for the arrest of a man for a housebreaking (burglary) at a butcher’s premises during a night duty.


James Smith Milne was promoted to the rank and pay of Sergeant on 12 May, 1925.


Sergeant James Smith Milne was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935 and this is also confirmed in the relevant Medal Roll.


The Glasgow Herald newspaper of 16 December, 1936 noted that:




Inspector David Grant, who has completed 38 years’ service in Greenock Burgh Police, retires today.


Sergeant James Smith Milne has been promoted to succeed him, and Constable James K. Gray has been raised to the rank of Sergeant, and will continue on duty in the mechanical transport department.”



His promotion to Inspector is confirmed in his personnel record as of 16 December, 1936.


James Smith Milne, ‘Police Inspector’, (49), died in the Central Police Office, Dalrymple Street in Greenock on 26 January, 1941. His son James, registered his death.


According to the Greenock Telegraph of 27 January, 1941,



“Stop Press


Died on Duty


Death of a Police Officer


On of Greenock’s most efficient police officer(s) Inspector James Milne, 37 Prospecthill Street, collapsed and died while on duty last night.


Deceased was on the 6 p.m. till 3 a.m. shift, and at about nine o’ clock complained of feeling ill. He went to a room in the police buildings, and was later found dead there by Sergt. Louis Anderson.”



On 31 January, 1941, the Greenock Telegraph reported the following:



“Funeral of Police Inspector


The funeral took place privately to Greenock Cemetery on Wednesday (29 January) of Inspector James Milne who died suddenly at the Central Police Station, Dalrymple Street, on Sunday night.


The Police Force was represented by Lieut. Mitchell, Lieut. Finnie, Inspector Lemen and Inspector Mackay.


Inspector Milne, who was a native of Forfarshire, had a long record of service with Greenock Police.”




Mary Ann Ross or Milne, (82) died in Arbroath in 1945.


Davina Moncur Milne, (78), died in Greenock in 1968. 



I am indebted to Neil Dickson, (Archivist) and especially Betty Hendry of the Watt Library of Inverclyde Council in Greenock for their much appreciated assistance in finding information on James Smith Milne's police career. Thank you for all your kind assistance.

Detective Sergeant Joseph Paterson Greenock Burgh Police

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911

Greenock Burgh Police

DS Joseph Paterson


Joseph Grant, also known as Paterson, was born in Forres in the County of Elgin on 11 June, 1863. His mother was Marjory Grant and his father, Joseph Paterson.


In February, 1887 he was a Railway Pointsman working for the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway of 65 Commercial Street, Dundee and living at 12 North Erskine Street, Dundee with his uncle, Alexander Grant.


On 7 February, 1887, Joseph Paterson joined Greenock Burgh Police as a Constable.

In the Census of 1891, he was living at a Section House in the Police Station at Dalrymple Street, Greenock in Renfrewshire. There were 14 other Constables and 1 Sergeant in residence there that night.


He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on 10 March, 1896, five years later he became a Detective Clerk and in 1903, he became a Detective Sergeant.

By the Census of 1901, Joseph was a Police Sergeant, (36) and living as a Boarder at 18 Mearns Street, Greenock.

On 21 August, 1909, at Mid Anagach in Cromdale in the County of Elgin, Joseph Paterson, (46), a Detective, married Margaret Grant, (34), a Saleswoman.

Alistair Grant Paterson was born at Mid Anagach, Cromdale on 30 May, 1910. His father was Joseph Paterson, a Detective Sergeant and his mother, Margaret Grant or Paterson. The family’s usual address was 20 Murdieston Street, Greenock.

The family were still at Murdieston Street in the 1911 Census.

According to Page 368 of the August 2nd, 1912 edition of the Police Review and Parade Gossip, Detective Sergeant Joseph Paterson was one of only five officers in Greenock Burgh Police to be awarded the 1911 Coronation Medal.


Joseph Paterson retired from Greenock Burgh Police as a Detective Sergeant on 1 October, 1921 and moved back to Grantown-on-Spey.


According to an obituary in The Greenock Telegraph’ of 16 December, 1942:


“Returning to his native Strathspey he purchased a house and settled down in peace and comfort. But he still felt he could be of service to the community. He stood for the Town Council and was returned at the top of the poll. Later he was made a Magistrate and so well had he carried out his municipal duties that he was elected Provost (Mayor), an honour which he greatly appreciated.


Mr Paterson also served on the County Council, the Education Authority and other governing bodies…”

Alistair Grant Paterson, (22), died on 28 October, 1932 at Mid Anagach, Cromdale.

Joseph Paterson, (79), died on 11 December, 1942 at Homefield, Heathfield Road in Grantown-on-Spey in the County of Moray.


His wife, Margaret Paterson, (83), died on 31 December, 1938 in the Ian Charles Cottage Hospital, Grantown-on-Spey, her usual address being Homefield, Heathfield Road in Grantown-on-Spey.


This was DS Joseph Paterson’s only medal entitlement.



I am indebted to Neil Dickson, (Archivist) and especially Betty Hendry of the Watt Library of Inverclyde Council in Greenock for their much appreciated assistance in finding information on Joseph Paterson's police career and his life after retirement. Thank you for all your kind assistance.


From the Police Review & Parade Gossip 11 November, 1921

Hawick Burgh Police 1840 - 1930

John Morren OBE KPM Chief Constable of Hawick Burgh Police

Aberdeen City Police 1883 - 1902

Hawick Burgh Police 1902 -1909

Berwick Roxburgh & Selkirk Constabularies From 1909 - 1933


Order of the British Empire (1924)

King’s Police Medal (1924)

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Chief Constable John Morren OBE KPM


The Early Years

John Morren was born at Auchindoir in the County of Aberdeen on 10 May 1863. His father was David Morren, a Farmer and his mother, Margaret Booth or Morren. His parents were married at Clatt in Aberdeenshire on 7 June  1860.


The couple’s first child was William Morren who in the Census of 1861, was 10 months old. His father was 32 and his mother, 31.


By the Census of 1871, the family were still living at Cairnmore in the Parish of Auchindoir and consisted of David, (42), Margaret, (41), William, (10), John, (7), Jane M, (3) and David, (1). Also listed was a ‘General Servant’ called Jane McIntosh, (15).


On 10 December  1881 at Cairnanhill School near Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, John Morren, a Farm Servant, (19), married Agnes Smith, a Domestic Servant, (23) after “Banns and Certification according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland”.


On 14 December 1882, at Hatton of Millden, Belhelvie in Aberdeenshire, Bella Allan Morren was born. Her father, John Morren, a Farm Servant, registered her birth.


Aberdeen City Police

John Morren, (20), a ‘Farm Overseer’ joined Aberdeen City Police on 3 April 1883.


Register of Births in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1883

John Morren  was born on 6 October 1883 at 31 King’s Crescent, Aberdeen. His father was John Morren, a Constable in ‘(Aberdeen) City Police’  and his mother, Agnes Smith or Morren. His father registered his birth.  


Promotion to Sergeant

John Morren was promoted to the rank of 2ndClass Police Sergeant on 2 January 1890.


Register of Births in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1890

William Booth Rennie Morren was born on 3 July 1890 at 53 Jasmine Terrace, Aberdeen. His father was John Morren, a Sergeant in ‘(Aberdeen) City Police’  and his mother, Agnes Smith or Morren. His father registered his birth. 


His paternal grandmother’s maiden surname was Booth and his maternal grandmother’s surname was Rennie.


Register of Deaths in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1890

John Morren, (7) died on 1 November 1890 in the Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen ten days after he was involved in a Tram Car accident in the City. His father, John Morren, a Sergeant in ‘City Police’  registered his death.


Promotion to Inspector

On 29 January 1891, John Morren was promoted to ‘2nd Class Detective Officer’.


Census of Scotland 1891

The following were listed living at 53 Jasmine Terrace, Aberdeen on the night of the Census of Scotland, 1891:


Name & Age


Place & County of Birth

John Morren, (27)

Police Officer (Detective)

Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire

Agnes Morren, (31)


Fyvie, Aberdeenshire

Bella A Morren, (9)


Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire

William B R Morren, (9 months)


Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire


Promotion to Lieutenant

On 27 May 1891, he was promoted to ‘2nd Class Lieutenant’.


Valuation Roll Aberdeen 1895 - 96

On the Valuation Roll for Aberdeen for 1895, John Morren was a Lieutenant of Police and the Proprietor of two houses in Clifton Road, ‘Hazelbank’ at number 79 and number 81 which was let to a tenant.


Register of Births in the District of Woodside in the County of Aberdeen, 1898

David Arthur Morren was born on 8 March 1899 at 79 Clifton Road, Woodside, Aberdeenshire. His father was John Morren, Lieutenant Police and he also registered the Death.


Register of Deaths in the District of Woodside in the County of Aberdeen, 1898

David Arthur Morren died on 21 June 1898 at 79 Clifton Road, Woodside, Aberdeenshire. His father was John Morren, Lieutenant Police and he also registered the birth.


Promotion to Superintendent

Between June 1898 and April, 1901, John Morren was promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police.


Census of Scotland 1901

The following were listed living at 81 Clifton Road, Aberdeen on the night of the Census of Scotland, 1901:


Name & Age


Place & County of Birth

John Morren, (37)

Police Superintendent

Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire

Agnes Morren, (40)


Fyvie, Aberdeenshire

Bella A. Morren, (19)


Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire

William B R Morren, (10)


Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire


Appointment as Chief Constable of the Burgh of Hawick

Superintendent John Morren was appointed Chief Constable of Hawick Burgh Police on 9 August 1902.


Register of Marriages in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1904

On 24 September 1904, at the Palace Hotel in Union Street, Aberdeen, Alexander Dow, (30), a Police Sergeant, married Bella Allan Morren, (22), a Spinster, after Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland.


Valuation Roll Aberdeen 1905 - 06

In the Valuation Roll for the Burgh of Hawick in 1905, Chief Constable John Morren is shown living at Glenview, 2 Orchard Terrace in Hawick.


Register of Births in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1905

On 9 July 1905, Alexander John Dow was born at 67 Albury Road in Aberdeen. His mother was Bella Allan Morren or Dow and his father, Police Sergeant Alexander Dow registered his birth.


Register of Births in the District of St Nicholas in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1908

On 9 September 1908, John Morren Dow was born at 67 Albury Road in Aberdeen. His father registered his birth.


Appointment as Chief Constable of the Counties of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk

On 16 November 1909, John Morren was appointed Chief Constable of the separate forces of Berwickshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire Constabularies.


The Aberdeen Journal of Monday 4 October 1909 reported under the heading: “Chief Constableship of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk - Aberdeenshire Man Appointed;


“Many in Aberdeen and throughout the county will be pleased to hear the Mr John Morren, Chief Constable of Hawick has been selected to fill the important office of Chief Constable of the counties of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk.


Mr Morren who is a native of Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire was Superintendent of the Aberdeen City Police previous to securing his appointment in Hawick”.


Having joined the Aberdeen City force in 1883, Mr Morren, by his good conduct, perseverance and diligence, passed rapidly through the various grades of the service, discharging the respective duties with commendable discretion and ability.


When in Aberdeen, he acted as Licensing Officer under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts for both the city and the county; he carried out with conspicuous success the duties of Honorary Secretary of the Police Athletic Club and devoted a considerable amount of his spare time to the training and physical development of the men.


In ambulance work, Mr Morren took a keen interest, and was awarded the association’s bronze medallion…


In June 1902, Mr Morren was appointed Chief Constable of Hawick and was subsequently given the positions of Depute Burgh Prosecutor, Fire Master and Billet Master. He also holds the office of Inspector for the Burgh under the Weights and Measures Acts, Food and Drugs Act, Explosives and Petroleum Acts, Poison and Pharmacy Act, Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts and Sheep Dipping Orders.


Since going to Hawick, Mr Morren started the Police Benevolent Fund, which has proved of great assistance to the deserving poor.


He has been successful in closing all bogus drinking clubs in the town and abolishing street betting.


Mr Morren has proved himself a zealous, capable and conscientious official, and his promotion is recognised as being exceedingly well deserved.”


Award of King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911

As Chief Constable of Roxburghshire, he was awarded the King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911. His miniature medals can be seen below.


Award of King’s Police Medal (KPM) for Distinguished Service, 1924

John Morren, Chief Constable of the Counties of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk was awarded the King’s Police Medal in the supplement to the London Gazette published on 1 January 1924.


Award of Order of the British Empire (OBE), 1924


Later that year, the Berwickshire Advertiser of 5 June 1924 reported(Underneath a picture of John Morren):


“John Morren, Chief Constable of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk who becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, holds the most important police appointment in the South of Scotland.


He has a long record of constabulary service and is a prominent personality in Scottish police circles.


During Their Majesties’ informal visits to the Borders last year, Mr Morren was responsible for the arrangements of the tour which was carried through in a highly satisfactory manner. For his services then, he was awarded the King’s Police Medal.”



Retirement as Chief Constable of Roxburgh, Berwick and Selkirk Counties, 1933

John Morren retired as Chief Constable of the three forces on 16 May 1933.


Register of Deaths in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1942

Agnes Smith or Morren, (86), died in 35 Rubislaw Park Crescent in Aberdeen on 10 April 1942. Her son-in-law, Alexander Dow, registered her death.


Register of Deaths in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 1950

John Morren OBE KPM died in Aberdeen on 4 August 1950.


John Warren's miniature OBE, KPM and Coronation 1911 Medals

Hawick Burgh Police 1840 - 1930


British War Medal

Victory Medal

King George V Jubilee Medal 1935


Hawick Burgh Police

Roxburghshire Constabulary



PS Robert Whitelaw


Robert Whitelaw was born in Ednam in the County of Roxburgh on 21 July 1885. He was the second youngest of three boys and three girls.


His family moved around the farms of Roxburgh when his father, a Ploughman, obtained new employment. By 1902, the family were living at Smailholm, Roxburghshire and Robert (Senior) was still a Ploughman while his son, now 15, was a Carter.


Robert Whitelaw joined Hawick Burgh Police on 14 August 1906.


In the Census of 1911, he was living with his mother and father at 15 Mansefield Crescent, Hawick. He was 25 and a Police Constable. Living with her parents and family at 17 Mansefield Crescent is Sarah Hodgson, (24), a Woollen Hosiery Sewer.


Robert Whitelaw was a PC in Hawick Burgh Police when he joined the Army in WW1 and served in the Royal Garrison Artillery as Gunner 63643.. He served in France in the 14th (Z) Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Garrison artillery.


He survived the war and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. This is confirmed in his Medal Index Card (MIC). I have not found any other Army record for him but this is not unusual since so many were destroyed in enemy bombing of London in World War 2.


On 28 March 1919, Robert Whitelaw, (33), a Police Constable of 5 Mansefield Square, Hawick married Sarah Hodgson, (32) a Hosiery Seamer of 17 Mansefield Crescent, Hawick. They were married at 41 High Street, Hawick after Banns according to the Forms of the United Free Church of Scotland.


Robina McBurnie Whitelaw and her sister Margaret Stewart Whitelaw were born on 3 January 1920 at 5 Mansefield Square, Hawick.


Robert Whitelaw was promoted to Sergeant in Hawick Burgh Police on 13 June 1924.


In 1930, Hawick Burgh Police amalgamated into Roxburghshire Constabulary.


PS Whitelaw was awarded the King George V Jubilee Medal in 1935 and this is confirmed in the Medal Roll (under Section 6. Scot.Cy. Rox).


Robert Whitelaw retired from Roxburghshire Constabulary on 26 October 1936 on an annual pension of £196.00.


On 11 January 1967, Robert Whitelaw, (81), a Police Sergeant (Retired), died at 8 Rosevale Street, Hawick. His son-in-law registered the death the next day.


Sarah Hodgson or Whitelaw died in Hawick in 1975 aged 88.

Hawick Burgh Police Sergeant Robert Whitelaw (Back row, standing right).

Hawick Burgh Police Kepi Badge (Victorian)

Hawick Burgh Police Kepi Badge

Kilmarnock Burgh Police 1846 - 1968

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Kilmarnock Burgh Police


Chief Constable Angus Cameron


Angus Cameron was born in Laggan, Inverness-shire on 12 August 1854.


Before he joined Ayrshire Constabulary on 9 June, 1876, he was a Carter. His description on joining was 6’ tall, brown hair, blue eyes and a sallow complexion.


He served in Ayrshire until 24 July 1879 when he was appointed Detective Sergeant in Kilmarnock Burgh Police.


In the Census of 1881, he was a ‘Sergeant of Police’, 27 years old and living as a ‘Boarder’ at 11 Woodstock Place, Kilmarnock.


On 2 July 1884, while living at 66 Hill Street, Kilmarnock, still a Sergeant of Police and aged 31, he married Robina Turner, 30, a Shopkeeper of 11 North Hamilton Street, Kilmarnock.


During their marriage which lasted 38 years, they had four daughters and one son together:



 Year of Birth 

Janet Hopkins Cameron


Jane Mackintosh Cameron


Lewis Cameron


Robina Turner Cameron


Louisa Badenoch Cameron



On 9 December 1886 he was promoted to Lieutenant “after Lieutenant Anderson resigned”.


In 1891, he was unsuccessful in an application to become Chief Constable of Eginshire.


On 30 October 1894, he was promoted to Superintendent and Deputy Chief Constable.


By the Census of 1901, he and Robina were living at 45 Glebe Road, Kilmarnock with their four daughters, their son Lewis having died in 1889.


On 14 December, 1910 he was appointed Chief Constable of Kilmarnock Burgh Police “at a commencing salary of £200 per annum”.


Angus Cameron’s ‘Profession or Occupation’ is given as ‘Chief Constable’ in the 1911 Census the following year.


The 1911 Census was controversial in that it was the first time that details of live births and children still living were recorded. From a researcher’s point of view, the information is invaluable. The 1911 Census confirms that Angus and Robina had been married for 26 years, had five children together, four of whom were still alive on that date.


Between 1914 and 1920, Angus Cameron’s salary was increased on five occasions to reach £550 per annum on 16 December 1920.


According to ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper edition of Saturday October 15 1921:



Resignation of Kilmarnock Chief Constable


Mr Angus Cameron, Chief Constable of the Burgh of Kilmarnock, has resigned his position for health reasons. He has 45 years’ police service – 42 in Kilmarnock – and has held office as Chief Constable for the last eleven years.



Angus Cameron retired on Pension on 1 November, 1921.


On 10 April 1922, Angus Cameron, (67), Chief Constable (Retired), married to Robina Turner of 7 Glebe Avenue, Kilmarnock, died at home. His daughter ‘Jeanette’ Cameron registered his death two days later.


In the Aberdeen Daily Journal of Wednesday 12 April, 1922, the following Obituary appeared:


"FORMER CHIEF CONSTABLE. - Mr Angus Cameron, formerly Chief Constable of the Burgh of Kilmarnock, died at his residence, Glebe Avenue, Kilmarnock, on Monday.


A native of Inverness-shire, he went to Ayrshire as a young man and joined the County Constabulary, transferring in a few years to the Kilmarnock force.


He acted as Lieutenant for many years and was appointed Chief Constable in 1910, in succession to the late Mr John Campbell. 


He was a Past-Master of St Marnock's Masonic Lodge, No. 109 and had held office in the Grand Lodge of Scotland".


Robina Turner or Cameron, widow of Angus Cameron, Chief Constable (Retired), (84), died on 16 June 1938 at Daisy Bank, Countess Street, Darvel, Ayrshire. Her son-in-law, David Lammie, registered her death the next day.


The man who succeeded Angus Cameron as Chief Constable, Mr Charles Roy, is described below, courtesy of the 'Police Review and Parade Gossip' of 11 November, 1921.


Superintendent Angus Cameron in 1896
Kilmarnock Burgh Police, 1896 (Superintendent Angus Cameron is 4th from right, front row).
Charles Roy, Chief Constable of Kilmarnock Burgh Police from 1921

Kinning Park Burgh Police 1892 - 1905

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903

Kinning Park Burgh Police

Renfrewshire Constabulary

PC William Martin


William Martin was born in Portree in the Isle of Skye on 15 November, 1878.


On 21 December, 1896, he enlisted in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders at Inverness. He served in Gibraltar, Egypt and South Africa.


He took part in the Nile Expedition, 1898, the Battle of Atbara and the Expedition to Khartoum and fought in the Second Boer War. He was awarded the Khedive’s Egyptian Sudan Medal with clasps “Atbara” and “Khartoum” and the Sudan Medal (Queen’s), the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps “Johannesburg”, “Diamond Hill”, “Wittebergen” and “Cape Colony” and the King’s South Africa Medal with the usual two clasps.


He transferred to the Army Reserve on 2 April 1903 and joined Kinning Park Burgh Police on 20 April, 1903. He resigned on 27 September 1903 to join Renfrewshire Constabulary.


He joined Renfrewshire Constabulary on 28 September, 1903 and left on resignation on 5 August 1912. His previous service is confirmed in the Renfrewshire Personnel Record. His trade or calling is given as ‘Soldier’.


His year and place of birth and personal description on his Army record matches his description on both his police records. His next-of-kin on his Army record, his mother Margaret Martin is confirmed on his Birth Certificate.

This is only medal entitlement from his police service but it would be truly amazing if it were to be re-united with his Army medals. If you know where they are, please contact me via enquiries@scottishpolicemedals.co.uk.


The only other ‘PC W. Martin’ I have found in Scotland at the time was in Fife Constabulary but he retired on pension before he qualified for the medal, although, he was called back briefly in World War I.


I know for certain that some Renfrewshire Constabulary and Kinning Park Burgh officers were awarded the 1903 medal. I have not yet seen any photographic or other record that shows Fife County Constabulary officers with the 1903 medal. Please get in touch if you know of any such evidence. 



Kinning Park Burgh Police 1905 (Thanks to Alastair Dinsmor- City of Glasgow Police Museum)

Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920

Leith Constabulary Gallantry Medal 1881


Leith Burgh Police


PC John Cameron




This is a very rare Leith Constabulary Gallantry Award, presented by the Provost and other prominent citizens of Leith, to six police officers for an act of conspicuous bravery in 1881.


The front of the medal has an inscription of the Arms of Leith and "John Henderson, Provost" The inscription on the reverse reads:


"Presented with Thirty Guineas Stg., by the Provost, Magistrates, Town Council, Public of Leith and others, To Police Conble. Jno Cameron, for an act of conspicuous bravery in arresting two armed men who had shot at and wounded several persons in Edinburgh and Leith on 4 Feb. 1881"


John Cameron was born on 30 January 1844 in the Parish of Rothiemurchus in the County of Elgin (now Morayshire).  


John Cameron was living with his family in Duthil in the Census of 1861 when he was 15 and a ‘Farmer’s Son’. His father was also John Cameron and his mother was Anne Grant or Cameron.


The earliest date he would be eligible to join Leith Burgh Police would have been his eighteenth birthday in September 1862. By the Census of 1871 he was a Police Constable living as a Boarder at 149 Constitution Street, Leith, not far from Leith Police Station.


In February 1881, PC John Cameron was involved in “The Extraordinary Outrages in Edinburgh and Leith” during which two men discharged firearms and wounded several citizens of Edinburgh in the course of Robbery. They also shot and wounded two Leith Burgh Police officers. In the course of their arrest by officers including John Cameron, one of the suspects “blew his brains out” and the other only just failed to do so because his gun jammed. A full account of the incident taken from contemporary pages of The Scotsman newspaper may be found in the “Biographies” section soon.


By the Census of 1881, he was living as a Boarder at 12 George Street, Leith just off North Fort Street and Ferry Road.


Ten years later, now 46, he was living as a Lodger at 9 Bangor Road, Leith, just off Great Junction Street.


In the Census of 1901, John Cameron, a 'Retired Police Constable', was living with his sister Jessie Cameron at Forbreck in the Parish of Duthil.


On 20 October 1904 at Grantown on Spey in the County of Elgin, John Cameron, “Retired Police Constable”, died. His sister, Jessie Cameron registered his death.


John Cameron had never been married and he left no Will. On 30 December 1904, “A. J. Mackenzie, Solicitor, Inverness” presented an Inventory of the Personal estate of John Cameron among the items listed as “Sums in Bank” were the following:


Cash in House, Household Furniture



Amount lodged on deposit with Savings Bank, Leith



Amount lodged with Edinburgh Savings Bank Special Investment account



Balance of pension due to the deceased by the Town Chamberlain of Leith







The document was signed by his sister, Jessie Cameron and Thomas MacKintosh Justice of the Peace for Elginshire. 


I have researched the incident for which he and the other five officers were awarded the medals in 1881 and in due course a fuller account of that will appear in the biographies section. In the meantime, a short account of the story can be found in the late Tom Archibald’s book ‘A History of Lothian and Borders Police’ on pages 54 and 55. 


PC Thomas McCoville, Leith Burgh Police, one of the six men awarded this medal and 30 Guineas each in 1881. Picture couresy of Mike Forrest, a relative of PC McConville.
Leith Police Force belt clasp 1859 - 1920.

The medal is still in its original presentation case and is fitted with a detachable silver bar suspender, brooch and riband bar, engraved "Leith Constabulary".

Leith Constabulary Gallantry Medal 1881(Obverse)
Leith Constabulary Gallantry Medal 1881 (Reverse)

Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920

Leith Burgh Police - PC John Coghill


King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903


Leith Burgh Police


PC John Coghill  

John, son of William Coghill a Farm Servant and Jane Dunnet or Coghill, was born on 2 September 1876 in the Parish of Thurso in the County of Caithness.

Lizzie, Elizabeth Manson, the daughter of Alexander Manson a Farm Servant and Jane Banks or Manson, was born on 16 September, 1877 in a farm near Watten, Caithness.

The couple were married on 20 May 1898 in the Parish of Dunnet in the County of Caithness “After Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland”. Both were listed as ‘Farm Servants’ on the Marriage Certificate.

Their first child, Margaret was born in Caithness.

John Coghill had joined Leith Burgh Police by 1901 because in that year, his daughter Jane (Jeannie) was born in 2 Hamilton Street, Leith near the former Royal Garrison Artillery Barracks at Leith Fort and his occupation on her birth certificate is ‘Police Constable’.

In the Census of 1901, John and Lizzie are living at 13 Hawthornvale, Newhaven, Leith, right next door to Newhaven Police Station.

All but one of the other five flats at No 13 was occupied by Police Constables too.

Constables William Craig, James Sutherland, Gilbert Thomas, Henry Hollingsworth and Harry Henderson (the only Leith born officer) were the other flat occupants. Several had ‘boarders’ which is probably indicative of the low police wages of the day.

In so far as I have traced the records, I can state that John and Lizzie had three more children while living at Hawthornvale. Elizabeth was born on 4 September 1902 but in a tragically regular occurrence of the times, her death from tuberculosis is recorded in the District of North Leith on the 14 October 1903 when she was just 13 months old. A first son, John was born on 17 February 1905 and again the birth is registered in the District of North Leith. Another son, William was born on 3 May 1907.

What makes this record interesting is the repeated use of family names. John and Elizabeth’s children are named after their grandparents, William and Jane and their parents, John and Elizabeth. The other name given, Margaret is probably from Elizabeth’s side of the family. This is a social convention that was common in Scotland and elsewhere in the British Isles up until the 20th century and is a useful means of confirming identities when tracing families.

I have been unable to find any trace of John and Lizzie and their family after 1907. There are no known records of Leith Burgh Police before the amalgamation in 1920. It is often possible to trace Leith officers in the Edinburgh City Police Weekly Records after 1920 but not in this case.

Since I had bought the medal from New Zealand I decided to try there. After a visit to New Zealand House in Haymarket, London and a conversation with the helpful and courteous staff I tried the following website. www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz

The site is very easy to search but unlike the UK sites you cannot view the records online, you can only purchase the records. There were only four possible correct records shown in my search results but the details were not sufficiently close for me to take the risk of buying them. So, the mystery still remains.


If you have any information on John and Lizzie Coghill after 1907, please contact me via 



Thank you.


Update: 12 September, 2015


Margo Mackay, a relative of John Coghill, recently got in touch and very kindly sent me the picture below of the Leith Burgh Police Swimming Team in 1905.


A few weeks later, Margo sent me a copy of the document proving that John Coghill,(30),  his wife Elizabeth, (29), and their children Maggie, (10),  Jeannie, (7), John, (2) and William (3 months) had sailed from Liverpool on 23 July,1907 to Sydney in Australia.


John’s occupation was listed as ‘Farmer’. It could be that he thought there was more need of farmers than police constables in Australia at that time?


The family lived in Yarram Yarram near Gippsland in rural Victoria. In the Voters Roll for the first few years there, John Coghill's occupation is listed as 'Labourer'. After a few years and up until his death, he is listed as an 'Engineer'.


Margo also sent me details of a 1940 newspaper cutting as follows:



COGHILL.-On September 30, at Alfred Hospital, (Prahram) John Coghill, of Yarram, beloved husband of Elizabeth. and loving father of Margaret (deceased), Jean (Mrs, Clark). John, William. Elizabeth (Mrs Pringle), Alexander, Jess (Mrs Speed),



John Coghill died aged 64 on 30 September, 1940, in the Alfred Hospital in Prahram, a suburb of Melbourne. His parents are listed as William Coghill and Jean Dunnet.


I am indebted to Margo Mackay for taking the time to send me the information that solved the mystery and completed the story of John Coghill’s life. Thank you Margo.


PC John Coghill wearing the medal in 1906 (behind middle Detective)
Leith Burgh Police Swimming Team 1905 (PC Coghill rear row, far right).

Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920 

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Leith Burgh Police


PC Duncan MacDonald 



Duncan MacLennan MacDonald was born on 21 February 1887 in the Parish of Duirinish in the County of Inverness. His father was John MacDonald, a Farm Manager and his mother, Marion Beaton or MacDonald.


He joined Leith Burgh Police on 1 February, 1907 when he was 19.


He is in the 1911 Census living as a boarder at 18 Lorne Street, Leith.


He was promoted to Sergeant (124) on 22 April, 1920 and on 2 November that year, became part of Edinburgh City Police when the two forces amalgamated.


In 1921 when he married Margaret Macaskill in Glasgow, his occupation was ‘Police Sergeant’ and his address was 11 Ballantyne Road, Leith. By that date, Leith Burgh Police was part of Edinburgh City Police.


He retired on pension 22 February, 1932.


When he died aged 60 on 27 August 1947 at Edinbane, Duirinish, his occupation was given as ‘Police Sergeant – Retired’. 


His police personnel record to confirms that this medal is his only entitlement from his service in Leith Burgh Police and Edinburgh City Police.


Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920

Leith Burgh Police, Newhaven Division in 1912

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Leith Burgh Police


PC Hugh Robertson   



Hugh Robertson was born on 11 May 1856 in the United Parishes of Mid and South Yell in the County of Orkney and Shetland.


He was a Merchant Seaman and married to Charlotte Sinclair before joining Leith Burgh Police between the Census of 1881 and his marriage on 3 June that year since his occupation then was 'Police Constable'.


In the Census in 1891, he is a Police Constable living at 10 Primrose Street, Leith. In 1901, he and the family are living at 2 Hawthornbank Terrace, Leith.


In 1911, the family are living at 18 Hawthornbank Terrace in Leith.


He and Charlotte have been married for 29 years, had nine children together, only four of whom were still alive at the date of the Census.


By the time Leith Burgh Police amalgamated with Edinburgh City Police in 1920, Hugh Robertson was retired as his name is not part of the register of those officers who transferred to Edinburgh City Police on 2 November, that year.


He died aged 81 years on 14 January 1938 at 57 Albany Street, Leith. His occupation on the Death Certificate is “Police Constable – Retired). He was survived by Charlotte who died in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh on 21 April, 1944. Their son, Hugh Robertson,registered both deaths. 


The picture above is of the Newhaven Division of Leith Burgh Police in 1912. It is likely that Hugh Robertson is one of the officers since his address then was in Hawthornbank Terrace, Newhaven.




Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920 

Leith Burgh Police - PC Peter Shearer Sinclair
PC Peter Siclair in 1907 as part of the Leith Burgh Police Swimming Team. Detective Constable Thom (Instructor) is immediately in front of him.

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911

Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal 1930




Leith Burgh Police 

PC Peter Shearer Sinclair




Peter Shearer Sinclair was born 27 January 1883 at Hundy on Stronsay in the County of Orkney.


Peter Sinclair joined Leith Burgh Police on 27 March 1902 and was awarded both the 1903 and 1911 medals while serving in that force.


On 2 November, 1920, Leith Burgh Police amalgamated in to Edinburgh City Police becoming first 'E' Division and later, 'D' Division.


However, right up until 1975 when Edinburgh City Police became part of Lothian and Borders Police, 'D' division was simply called 'Leith'.


Peter Sinclair was PC 622 "D".


He was awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society for attempting to save the life of a young man who had jumped in to Leith Docks on 30 May 1930.


The young man was James Campbell, (17), a Butcher’s assistant of 2 Portland terrace, Leith. His body was recovered from Leith Harbour at Commercial Street about 30 minutes past midnight on 6 May 1930


On 20 May 1930, the Edinburgh City Police weekly Record has the following entry under ‘Meritorious Conduct’:


Police Officer


PC 622 Peter Sinclair

Highly commended for courageous conduct in attempting to rescue a man from drowning in Leith Harbour.



The minutes of the Royal Humane Society Committee Meeting of 17 June 1930 and chaired by Admiral C. J. Eyres, D.S.O record the following:



Name… Occupation… Person who saved or attempted to save  Life


Subject – Name Address and Occupation



Peter Sinclair Police Constable



James Campbell


Time & Place


Exertions of the Claimant

11 p.m. 5th May, 1930 Harbour, Leith

The lad had thrown himself into the harbour 20 yards out and 9’ deep, tide going out and quite dark.

Sinclair jumped in but failed to reach him before he sank and then dived but could not find him



Pecuniary Awards

Case sent by the Chief Constable of Edinburgh

On 22nd July 1930, a Bronze award was sent by post to the Chief Constable of Edinburgh




 In ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper on Page 10 of the edition of Friday June 27 1930, the following appeared:




Brave Edinburgh Constable




The monthly meeting of the Carnegie Hero Fund Trustees for the United Kingdom was held at Dunfermline yesterday – Mr James Norval, the chairman, presiding. Among the awards made were the following:-


Police Constable Peter Sinclair, City Police, Edinburgh, on 5th May 1930 sustained injury while endeavouring to rescue a man from drowning in the harbour at Leith. The constable swam a distance of 20 yards to the man, who, however, disappeared before he could be reached, and although Sinclair dived twice and swam about for 20 minutes the man did not reappear.


As a result of injury to one of his hands the rescuer was afterwards off duty for a week. He was awarded an inscribed silver watch.




According to the Weekly Record of 11 April, 1933, PC 622 E Peter Sinclair retired from Edinburgh City Police on 10 April 1933.

In ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper on Page 9 of the edition on Wednesday April 19 1933 the following was written.



Gifts to Ex-Constable


Ex-Constable Peter Sinclair who recently retired from Edinburgh City Police after thirty years' service in the "E" (Leith) Division, has been presented by his former colleagues with a gold Albert, receiving at the same time the gift of a wrist watch for Mrs Sinclair.


A native of Orkney, Mr Sinclair is a well-known swimmer, and on several occasions has figured in rescues from drowning at Leith. In 1930 he was awarded the bronze medal of the Royal Humane Society for a particularly brave attempt to save the life of a youth who had fallen into Leith Harbour late at night.


Mr Sinclair was a member of the Leith Police tug-of-war team which carried all before it at Scottish athletic gatherings some years ago.






Peter Sinclair died on 16 February 1947 at Beechwood, Stronsay in the County of Orkney. He was survived by his second wife, Eliza Flett or Sinclair. 

Leith Burgh Police, winners of Scottish Police Life-Saving Championships 1907. Back row, PC O'Malley (Reserve), PC Sinclair, PC Coghill, Front row, PC Falconer, DC Thom,(Instructor), PC Watt (Captain).
Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal PC Peter Sinclair Edinburgh City Police (Obverse)
RHS Bronze Medal PC Peter Sinclair Edinburgh City Police (Reverse)
RHS Bronze Medal Peter Sinclair PC 5th May 1930

Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920 

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Leith Burgh Police


PC Charles Tait








This is his only police medal entitlement.









Leith Burgh Police 1859 - 1920 

Presentation Watch Fob - PC John Low - Leith Burgh Police (Obverse)




































Leith Burgh Police/Edinburgh City Police

PC John Low


John Low, a Ploughman and Charlotte Ford or Low were married on 13 December 1861 “after Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland” at Herdhill near Kirriemuir in the County of Forfar.

Their son, John Low was born on 20 January 1873 in Barnyards, just off the present B957, 1.5 miles North West of Finavon in the County of Forfar (Angus).

In the Census of 1881, those listed living at Tannadice in the County of Forfar were John Low, (41), Farm Servant, his wife Charlot, (40), his sons, John (7), William, (5) and his daughter Helen, (3).

On 24 June 1892 “after Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland”, John Low, (19), a Ploughman, married Ann Gordon, (24, a Domestic Servant, at 44 Blackiemuir Avenue, Laurencekirk in the County of Kincardine. The witnesses were John Gordon and Helen Low.

It was at the same address that Charlotte Ford Low was born on 4 September 1892.

On 7 June 1894, at 22 South Esk Terrace, Brechin in the County of Forfar William Gordon Low was born.

His father, John Law was a General Carter and his mother was Ann Gordon or Low.

Sometime between 1894 and 1901, John Low joined Leith Burgh Police because in the Census of 1901 he was living at 52 Primrose Street (off Lochend Road) in Leith along with his wife Ann and daughter Charlotte and son William.

Ann Gordon or Low, (40), “Married to John Low, Police Constable”, died at 22 Lorne Street, Leith (off Leith Walk) on 30 December 1908. The death was the subject of a Precognition, the result of which concluded that her death was due to Heart Failure.

According to the Census of 1911, John Low, (38), a Police Constable in Leith was living at 42 Buchanan Street, Leith (off Albert Street). Also living there were Charlotte, (18), William, (16) and a son, John, (7) born in “Midlothian, Bonnyrigg”. I can find no trace of John, (7) being born.

On 27 August 1913, “after Banns according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland”, John Low, (40), Police Constable, married Janet Hay Foster, (39), a Shop Assistant, at 167 Easter Road, Leith.

Leith Burgh Police amalgamated with Edinburgh City Police in 1920 and ‘Leith’ became “E” Division of the combined force until 1933. The Police Box Beat system was introduced in Edinburgh in 1933 and the Territorial Divisions were reduced to four with ‘Leith’ becoming “D” Division from that date.

Given the information above, the earliest date that John Low could have retired after 30 years’ service was 1924 and the latest, 1931.

It was customary in the late 19th and early 20 centuries to present police officers retiring from the force with an inscribed  watch and fob The watch fob presented to Constable John Low is inscribed;

“Presented by the Members of the “E” Division, Edinburgh City Police, to Ex P.C. J. Low, on the occasion of his retirement after 30 years.”

I will confirm the exact date of his retirement after checking the Edinburgh City Police weekly Records at the City Archives.

On 29 December, 1940 at 4 Piershill Terrace, Edinburgh, John Low, (67), a “Retired Police Constable” died. His widow, Janet Low registered his death.

On 29 June, 1949, at Hillhead, Hillside, Montrose in the County of Angus, Janet Low, (75), “Widow of John Low, Police Constable” died.


Partick Burgh Police 1858 - 1912

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Partick Burgh Police


PC Robert Denovan 




Robert Denovan was born on 16 November 1852 in Bannockburn in the Parish of St Ninians in the County of Stirling.


He was a Labourer before joining Partick Burgh Police on 18 November 1878.


He and his wife, Mary Ann Neilson, also from Stirling, had by 1911, been married 36 years and had ten children together, all of whom were alive that year.


According to the Resignations Register of City of Glasgow Police, Robert Denovan retired on pension under the Police (Scotland) Act, Section 1 (a) on 18 November 1912. He had completed 34 years’ service.


Robert Denovan was the only PC in Partick Burgh Police to be awarded the 1911 medal.


The others to receive the medal were the Chief Constable, William Cameron, Superintendent Charles Marshall, Inspector Garden and Police Sergeant Gunn.


Robert Denovan died aged 75 in 1185 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow on 10 October 1928. Mary Ann pre-deceased him.


 I am grateful to Alastair Dinsmor of the City of Glasgow Police Museum for the images of PC Denovan and the Partick Burgh Police badge. 



PC Robert Denovan wearing his 1911 Coronation Medal

Perth City Police 1864 - 1964

Chief Constable James Garrow Perth City Police

Society for Protection of Life from Fire Silver Medal (1893)

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Perth City police


Chief Constable James Garrow


James Garrow was born on 11 March 1853 at New Machar in the County of Aberdeen. The son of John and Jane Garrow, of Mamulah, Newmachar, he was the youngest of 6 children born to his parent’s between 1838 and 1853. His father was an Agricultural Labourer and married his wife Jane Mortimer in July 1838. They lived at Old Rayne, Aberdeen before moving to Newmachar. The 1861 Census shows James living with his older brother John and his parents still living at Mamulah, Newmachar.


The 1871 Census places James in lodgings with the Cruickshank family at Foveran and working locally as a Blacksmith. From this position he made connections that eventually resulted in him moving to Edinburgh to work in the shop of David F. Wishart, an Iron Merchant.


In 1874 he joined Lancashire Constabulary. He was describes as “21 years, 5’7” tall, blue eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion”.


He later resigned and re-joined Lancashire Constabulary twice.


He then had a spell with Ayrshire Constabulary.


By 1881, James Garrow was married with two children and living at Erskine Street, Alloa in Clackmannanshire.


He later served a short time in East Lothian Constabulary before transferring on promotion to Inspector with Perth City Police in June, 1881


By the Census of 1891, he had re-married and was living at Pitcullen Terrace in Kinnoull in Perth.


About 1800 2 January, 1893, Inspector Garrow was in his office when a report was received of a serious fire that had broken out in an attic of a three storey tenement, at Mill Wynd, Perth.


The Inspector issued orders to turn out the part time Fire Brigade with a number of police officers, hurried to the scene.


Two elderly people were trapped on the top floor and Inspector Garrow entered the building forcing his way into one of the attic rooms were he found Donald Farquharson, a coachman, unconscious on the floor. He carried him to the street and returned to search for the other occupant who he found in an adjacent attic room also suffering from smoke inhalation. She was Mrs Mackay who was also taken to the street and with Mr Farquharson transferred to the local Infirmary where they both made full recoveries.


The building was completely destroyed by the fire. The Fire Brigade and the Brigade from the Queens Barracks under the control of Major Coode and Lieutenant Eykyn had great difficulty controlling the blaze although water was in plentiful supply.


The property was insured and damage was estimated at over £1000. The occupants of adjoining tenements were greatly alarmed and moved their furniture out of danger to the street. Without doubt, the actions of Inspector Garrow saved the lives of Mr Farquharson and Mrs Mackay.


Inspector Garrow was awarded the Silver medal of the Society for Protection of Life from Fire and presented with the medal on 20 March, 1893.


By 1901, the family were living at 16 Tay Street in Perth.

Chief Constable Garrow was awarded the King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911. The only other officers in Perth City Police awarded the medal were the Deputy Chief Constable, John Scott and the longest serving Constable, Peter Stewart. PC Stewart’s medal can be seen below.


James Garrow retired on pension on 2 July, 1914. He died in Brighton on 24 December, 1933.




I am grateful to Steve Grainger for the images and the abridged biography concerning Chief Constable James Garrow.


The next picture is of Deputy Chief Constable Scott followed by PC Peter Stewart.


These were the only three officers in Perth City Police to be awarded the King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911.


Chief Constable James Garrow's medals
John Scott Deputy Chief Constable Perth City Police wearing the 1911 Scottish Police Coronation Medal
PC Peter Stewart's 1911 Scottish Police Coronation Medal

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911


Perth City Police


PC Peter Stewart










Peter Stewart was born on 22 October 1857 at Dryburns in the Parish of Glamis in the County of Forfar.


He was a Farm Servant before joining Perth City Police on 2 March 1882. He was “6’ 1” tall, with auburn hair, hazel eyes and fresh complexion.”


Under ‘Rewards and Commendations’ in the Perth City Police Register and Defaulters Book, are the following entries: 







15 February 1883

2nd Class Constable


22 November 1883

1st Class Constable


16 December 1886

1st Class Constable



Why had been promoted to 1st Class Constable twice? The answer is under ‘Misconduct –Neglect of Duty – Disobedience of Orders – Violation of rules of Service’ as shown below.




22 October 1885

“Found on duty in state of intoxication – Reduced to 2nd Class Constable”



Apart from the money, he also lost his ‘seniority. In 1885, there were 33 men in Perth City Police and Peter Stewart dropped to number 27 in the Roll, just above the 3rd Class Constables.


It may be indicative of his character that this was the only Discipline Offence recorded against him and that by 1911, he was back at the top of the Roll of 1st Class Constables and was the longest serving PC. 


Peter Stewart was the only Constable in Perth City Police to be awarded the 1911 Coronation Medal and it may have been for his long and meritorious service that he was chosen.


The only others in Perth City Police awarded the medal were Chief Constable James Garrow and Deputy Chief Constable John Scott.


He retired on 13 March 1918.


Peter Stewart died on 6 December 1928 aged 71. His wife had pre-deceased him.


This is another example of a very rare medal to a long gone force that survived until 16 May 1964 when it amalgamated in to Perth and Kinross Constabulary.


Perth and Kinross Constabulary amalgamated in to Tayside Police on 16 May 1975 and ultimately became part of Police Scotland on 1 April, 2013.



Perth City Police cap badge (see picture of PC below)
Perth City Police PC 6 (Name unknown) early 20 century?

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