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Edinburgh City Police - PS 59 B Murdo MacLeod

PS 59 B Murdo MacLeod wearing his 1903, 1911, British War Medal and Victory Medal. It was common just after the war medals were issued to wear them in order of receipt, rather than in order of precedence.

Edinburgh City Police

PS 59 "B" Murdo Macleod

 

British War Medal

Victory Medal

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903

King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911

 

Introduction

Murdo Macleod was born on 17 September 1879 in Polbain in the District of Coigach in the County of Ross. His father was Murdo Bain Macleod, a Crofter and Fisherman and his mother, Mary Macleod or Macleod. His parents had been married in Coigach on 13 January 1859. Murdo was the youngest of five girls and three boys in the family.

 

Murdo joined Edinburgh City Police in 1899 as a Temporary Constable. He was eventually given a permanent appointment and served until retirement in 1928. He resigned to serve in the Royal Garrison Artillery during World War 1.

 

He did not marry until after retirement when he moved back to a croft in Badenscallie, Ross & Cromarty.

 

What follows is a chronological record of Murdo’s life taken from publicly available documents. The name ‘Macleod’ changes from document to document and is sometimes spelled ‘McLeod’ and ‘MacLeod’. I have used whichever spelling is used in each document.

 

There are also some inconsistencies in Census ages and places of birth. I have quoted them as they are written.

 

The Early Years

 

The Census of Scotland 1861

Listed living at Polbain, Coigach in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1861, were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Murdo Macleod, (30)

Fisherman

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (27)

Wife

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Sibella Macleod, (1)

 

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Barbara Campbell, (23)

General servant

Coigach, Ross-Shire

 

This is Murdo’s parents and elder sister, Sibella.

 

The Census of Scotland 1871

Listed living at Polbain, Coigach in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1871, were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Murdo Macleod, (40)

Fisherman/Crofter

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (35)

Wife

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Sibella Macleod, (11)

Scholar

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Abigail Macleod, (7)

Scholar

Polbain, Coigach, Ross-Shire

Angus Macleod, (3)

 

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Annie Macleod, (1)

 

Coigach, Ross-Shire

 

By now, there are two additional sisters and a brother. Angus was also an Edinburgh City Police officer.

 

The Census of Scotland 1881

Listed living at No. 4 House, Polbain, Coigach in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1881, were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Murdo Macleod, (49)

Fisherman/Crofter

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (45)

Wife

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Sibella Macleod, (20)

General Domestic Servant

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Sarah Macleod, (16)

General Domestic Servant

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Abigail Macleod, (15)

Scholar

Polbain, Coigach, Ross-Shire

Angus Macleod, (13)

Scholar

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Anne Macleod, (12)

Scholar

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (9)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Murdo Macleod, (1)

 

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

 

Register of Marriages in the District of Lochbroom in the County of Ross, 1885

On 27 January 1885, at the Free Church, Lochbroom, Duncan McNab, (25), a Fisherman of Auchindrean, Lochbroom, married Johan Munro, (24), a Domestic servant of Letter, Lochbroom. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend John McMillan, Minister of the Free Church, Lochbroom, in the presence of Donald McKenzie and Kenneth McDonald, witnesses. This is the marriage of Murdo Macleod’s future parents-in-law.

 

Letters is a  small settlement on the west side of Lochbroom. Auchindrean is a few miles south of Letters in the steep-sided valley through which the River Broom flows north towards the loch.

 

Register of Births in the District of Lochbroom in the County of Ross, 1887

Alexander McNab was born 22 February 1887 at Auchindrean, Lochbroom in the County of Ross. His father was Duncan McNab, a General Labourer and his mother, Johan Munro or McNab. His parents had been married at Lochbroom on 27 January 1885. This is the birth of Murdo’s future brother-in-law.

 

Register of Births in the District of Lochbroom in the County of Ross, 1889

Ann McNab was born 21 April 1889 at Auchindrean, Lochbroom in the County of Ross. Her father was Duncan McNab, a General Labourer and her mother, Johan Munro or McNab. Her parents had been married at Lochbroom on 27 January 1885. This is the birth of Murdo’s future wife, Annie McNab.

 

The Census of Scotland 1891

Listed living at No. 4 House, Polbain, Coigach in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1891, were the following:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Murdo Macleod, (60)

Fisherman/Crofter

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (55)

Wife

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (18)

Fisherman’s Daughter

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Murdo Macleod, (11)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

 

The Census of Scotland 1891

Listed living at the Farm of Auchindrean, Lochbroom in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1891, were the following including Murdo’s future wife, Annie:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Duncan McNab, (31)

Labourer in Forest

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Johan McNab, (30)

Wife

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Alexander McNab, (4)

Son

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Annie McNab, (2)

Daughter

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

PS 59 B Murdo MacLeod's medals in the correct order, British War Medal, Victory Medal, King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal (VTSM) and King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911. (Obverse view).

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1899

The Weekly Record (WR) was published every Tuesday and was a means of the Chief Constable informing the whole force of Appointments, Advancements (pay increments), Retirements, Dismissals, Deaths and Obituaries, Promotions, Transfers, Meritorious Conduct and Punishments. Copies of the WR were sent to every station  and police premises in Edinburgh.

 

The WR of Tuesday 19 December 1899 reported that among the men ‘Temporarily Appointed for Cabling Operations in A Division’ was PC 711 “A” Murdo McLeod. “A” Division at that time was the High Street to the West Port in the West, to the bottom of the Canongate in the East, to the railway line between Waverley and Haymarket to the North and to the Cowgate and Holyrood Road to the South.

 

Murdo is described as being ’20 years old, 6’ 2” tall, fair hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion’. His previous occupation was Labourer and his ‘date and place of birth’ was ‘17thSeptember 1879 , Lochbroom, Ross’.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1900

PC 711 “A” Murdo McLeod received a ‘Permanent Appointment’ with Edinburgh City Police on 13 March 1900 as PC 625 “A”. 

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1900

Between the WR of 18 September 1900 and that of 17 September 1900, Edinburgh City Police carried out a re-numbering exercise and PC 625 “A” McLeod became PC 82 “A”. He remained as PC 82 until 1920.

 

The Census of Scotland 1901

The following were listed living at 32 St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh on the night of the Census 1901:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Angus Macleod, (32)

Police Constable

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (24)

Wife

Edinburgh

Murdo Macleod, (21)

Police Constable (Brother)

Coigach, Ross-Shire

 

This is Murdo living in the Southside of Edinburgh with his elder brother Angus and his wife, Mary. The address would suggest that Angus was probably stationed in either “A” or “C” Divisions. “C” Division with stations in Pleasance, St Leonard’s Street and Morningside, covered the are known as ‘the Southside’.

 

Angus and Murdo were listed as “Speakers of Gaelic and English”.

 

The Census of Scotland 1901

The following were listed living at Letter or Glebe in the hamlet of Glebe of Lochbroom in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1901:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Duncan Macnab, (41)

Fisherman/Crofter

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Johan Macnab, (40)

Housekeeping

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Alexander Macnab, (14)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Ann Macnab, (11)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Maggie Macnab, (9)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Roderick Macnab, (7)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Maryann Macnab, (4)

 

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Mary Macnab, (1)

 

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

 

The King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903

Every officer serving in Edinburgh City Police during the Royal Visit of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1903 were awarded the above medal, commonly known as the ‘Visit to Scotland medal’.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1907

The WR of Tuesday 8 January 1907, under the heading, ‘Award for Meritorious Conduct’, that PC 82 “A” Murdo McLeod was ‘Awarded 5/- for courage and smartness in securing the arrest of four shop-breakers’.

 

The Census of Scotland 1911

The following were listed living at 32 St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh on the night of the Census 1911:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Angus Macleod, (43)

Police Constable

Coigach, Ross-Shire

Mary Macleod, (34)

Wife

Edinburgh

Murdo Macleod, (31)

Police Constable (Brother)

Coigach, Ross-Shire

 

 

This was the first Census in which married women were compelled to state how many live births they had experienced during the marriage and how many of the children were still alive at the date of the Census. Mary stated that she had been married for twelve years and had no live children during that time.

Angus and Murdo were listed as “Speakers of Gaelic and English”.

 

The Census of Scotland 1911

The following were listed living at Letters in the Ward of Dundonnell in Lochbroom in the County of Ross on the night of the Census 1911:

 

Name & Age

Occupation

Place & County of Birth

Duncan Macnab, (50)

Fisherman/Crofter

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Johan Macnab, (50)

Housekeeping

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Alexander Macnab, (24)

Sailor

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Roderick Macnab, (17)

Farm Labourer

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Maggie Macnab, (19)

 

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Ellen Macnab, (14)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Mary Macnab, (11)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

Kate Macnab, (6)

Scholar

Lochbroom, Ross-Shire

 

Annie, (21), was not living with the family on the night of the Census.

 

Annie McNab, (21), a General Domestic Servant, born in Lochbroom, was living at Clachan in the Ward of Dundonnell in Lochbroom in the County of Ross, not far from her family in Letters. 

 

She was in the employment of the local Church of Scotland Minister, the Reverend William Sutherland and his wife, Catherine M Sutherland. The Sutherland’s had four children and two servants living with them that night. Annie and her fellow servant, Annie McKenzie, (21), of Shieldaig in the County of Ross, were both ‘Speakers of Gaelic and English’, as were both her employers, although not their children.

 

There is a new child in the Macnab family, Kate. ‘Maryann’ from 1901 seems to be known as ‘Ellen’ in 1911 as she is the correct age. Johan recorded that she had been married for 25 years , had seven live births, all of whom were still alive at the date of the Census.

 

The whole family were listed as ‘Speakers of Gaelic and English”.

PS 59 B Murdo MacLeod's medals in the correct order, King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal, 1911, King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal (VTSM), Victory Medal and British War Medal. (Reverse view).

The King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911

Every Edinburgh City Police officer was awarded the King George V Coronation (Scottish Police) Medal 1911 and it was presented individually in a ceremony outside City Chambers the following year.

 

The Register of Burials in Badenscallie Burial Ground, Coigach 1913

Murdo Bain Macleod, born about 1830, died 1913, is buried in Badenscallie Burial Ground. His spouse was Mary Macleod.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1917

The WR of 19 November 1917 reported that PC 82 “A” Murdo McLeod had “Resigned for the purpose of joining the Army”.

 

Royal Garrison Artillery

Murdo McLeod enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery as Gunner Number 183650.

 

In 1940, the building in London which housed most of the Army records from the First World War, was hit by enemy bombing. Almost 50% of the paper records were destroyed by fire. Those that survived are known as the ‘Burnt Records’ and even where they exist, are often fire-damaged round the edges. To date, I have not found any attestation or enlistment records for Murdo Macleod.

 

Medal Index Card

The Army created a Medal Index Card (MIC) for every soldier who served during the First World War and Murdo Macleod’s can be found under the reference WO 372/ 13/46913. This shows that Murdo McLeod was entitled to the award of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service abroad.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1919

The WR for Tuesday 21 January 1919 recorded that PC 82 “A” Murdo Macleod was “Re-appointed with 1 year and 62 days, Army Service together with former Police Service counting towards pension and placed in 1stClass 1stGrade Constable rate @ 47/10d per week”. His Army service dated from 20 November 1917 to 20 January 1919.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1919

The WR of Tuesday 29 April 1919 recorded that PC 82 “A” Murdo Macleod was “Appointed to act as Sergeant when necessary”.

 

Medal Roll of the Royal Garrison Artillery 1920

The entry for the Royal Garrison Artillery, Gunner 18365 Murdo Macleod can be found in WO 329/296 and confirms that he was awarded the two medals mentioned above. The form was signed and dated at Dover on 22 January 1920.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1920

The WR of Tuesday 18 May 1920 records that PC 82 “A” Murdo Macleod was “Promoted to the rank and pay of 6thClass sergeant @100/- per week” with effect from that date. He was transferred to “B” Division at Gayfield Square with the collar number of PS 59 “B”. He can be seen wearing his medals and that collar number in the picture above taken in 1922 

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1923

The WR of Tuesday 18 September 1923 records that PS 59 “B” Murdo Macleod was transferred to “D” Division at the West End Police Station with effect from that date. The transfer was due to the retirement of PS Brown having retired on pension. His collar number was to be PS 95 “D”.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1923

The WR of Tuesday 16 October 1923 recorded that PS 95 “D” was to be transferred to “A” Division with effect from that day. The transfer was due to the death of PS Peter Forbes. His collar number was now PS 28 “A”.

 

Edinburgh City Police Weekly Record 1928

The WR of Tuesday 20 February 1928 recorded that PS 28 “A” Murdo Macleod retired on pension with effect from that date.

Murdo and Annie Macleod's grave in Badenscallie, Ross. (Courtesy of http://gravestones.rosscromartyroots.co.uk/picture/number515.asp?st=murdo%20macleod

The Valuation Roll of the County of Ross & Cromarty 1930 – 1931 Parish of Lochbroom

The record for the Estate of Coigach owned by the Countess of Cromartie, records that the tenant and occupier of the House and Croft at No. 143 and 144 Badenscallie was Murdo Macleod.

 

The Register of Marriages in the District of Lochbroom in the County of Ross & Cromarty 1932

On 21 January 1932 at Ullapool, after Banns according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland, Murdo Macleod, (52), a Police sergeant (Retired) of Badenscallie, Coigach, married Annie Macnab, (42), a Domestic Servant of Ardgorm, Letters, Lochbroom.

 

The ceremony was performed by the Reverend Duncan MacArthur, Minister of the Parish of Lochbroom. The witnesses were Hugh Macleod of Polbain House, Achiltibuie and Kate Macnab of Ardgorm, Letters, Lochbroom.

 

The Valuation Roll of the County of Ross & Cromarty 1940 – 1941 Parish of Lochbroom

The record for the Estate of Coigach owned by the Countess of Cromartie records that the tenant and occupier of the House and Croft at No. 143 and 144 Badenscallie was Murdo Macleod.

 

The Register of Deaths in the District of Coigach in the County of Ross 1944

Murdo Macleod, (64), a Police Sergeant (Retired), married to Annie Macnab, of Badenscallie, Coigach, died there on 18 March 1944. His widow, Annie Macnab, registered his death.

 

The Register of Burials in Badenscallie Burial Ground, Coigach 1944

Murdo Macleod, born about 1880 and who died in 1944, is buried in Badenscallie Burial Ground. His spouse was Annie Macnab.

 

The Register of Deaths in the District of Lochbroom in the County of Ross & Cromarty 1976

 Annie Macleod, (87, whose mother’s maiden surname was Munro, died in Lochbroom in 1976. (The death certificate can be found under  the reference 1976, Lochbroom, 191/4). 

 

Ross & Cromarty Roots

Ross & Cromarty Roots, a local website which can be found at this link: http://gravestones.rosscromartyroots.co.uk/picture/number515.asp?st=murdo%20macleod

 

The picture above is displayed on their site. The Inscriptions are, 

 

“In loving memory of

MURDO MACLEOD 

late Sergeant Edinburgh Constabulary 

died at Badenscallie, 18th March 1944, aged 64 years 

also his wife 

ANNIE MACNAB 

died 15thMay 1976, aged 87 years.”

 

 

The End of the Story

Please get in touch if you can supply any other pictures of the Macleod or Macnab families. Thank you.                                                                                                                              

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