PC 621A Colin Fraser Brown - Edinburgh City Police

Edinburgh City Police & Metropolitan Police officers serving in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1915. (Courtesy of the Police Review & Parade Gossip).

Edinburgh City Police


Superintendent Colin Fraser Brown KPM


King’s Police Medal

British War Medal

Victory Medal

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal, 1903

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911


Colin Fraser Brown was born on 3 August, 1876 in Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. His father was James Brown, a Merchant Seaman, and his mother, Margaret Skene or Brown.


After Banns according to the Wesleyan Methodist Church, on 15 March, 1899, at 34 James Street, Peterhead, Colin Fraser Brown, (22), a Merchant Seaman of 36 James Street, Peterhead, married Isabella Gordon, (20), of 34 James Street, Peterhead.


When he joined Edinburgh City Police on 29 August, 1899 as a ‘Temporary Constable for Cabling Works in A Division’ his collar number was 701 A. His description on joining was '23 years of age, 6’ 1”, blue eyes, fair hair and fair complexion’. His occupation was 'Seaman'.


He was given a permanent appointment on 24 October that year and his number changed to 621 A.


He was awarded five Commendations by the Chief Constable as follows:


1 February, 1910


“Awarded 10/- for the smart arrest of two shop-breakers.”


15 November, 1910


“Awarded 20/- for exceptional tact and energy displayed in enforcing the Betting Laws.”


13 February, 1912


“Awarded 10/- for the smart arrest of a female impersonator.”


8 October, 1914


“Awarded 10/- for smartly effecting the arrest of two thieves.”


29 July, 1915


“Awarded 10/- for smart and tactful action in arresting a thief.”



On 7 June, 1915 he resigned for the purpose of joining the Army.


He enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery (See picture above).  


In a Supplement to the London Gazette of 13 October, 1917, Colin Fraser Brown is recorded as being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery with effect from 1 October, 1917. He was posted to France arriving in theatre on 24 November, 1917.


He survived the war and after his discharge he was reappointed to Edinburgh City Police as PC 79 A on 28 January, 1919.


He was promoted to 6th Class Sergeant as PS 44 A on 13 January, 1920 (See picture below).


According to his Medal Index Card (MIC), when he applied for his medals on 22 February, 1922, his address was ‘5 Torphichen Place, Edinburgh’. That was the police houses at the West End Police Station and one of his neighbours was PC Thomas Patterson whose story is also recorded in this section.


On 30 December, 1924, he was promoted to 5th Class Inspector.


He was Promoted to Superintendent on 22 March, 1927 and transferred to “D” Division which was then at the West End Police Station in Torphichen Place.


On 31 December, 1929, Superintendent Colin Fraser Brown was transferred to Headquarters, Criminal Investigation Department.


He retired on Pension from Edinburgh City Police on 15 April, 1934.


In the New Year’s Honours List for 1935, the Edinburgh Gazette of 4 January that year records that “Colin Fraser Brown, Superintendent, Edinburgh City Police was awarded the King’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.”


Colin Fraser Brown died in Edinburgh aged 72 on 14 February, 1949. His son James Brown, registered his death.


Isabella Gordon or Brown died in Edinburgh aged 75 on 22 May, 1954. Her son James also registered her death.

PS 44 A Colin Fraser Brown in 1922. He is wearing his British War Medal, Victory Medal, King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal and King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911.

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