The King's Police Medal for Gallantry

Edinburgh City Police: Constable William Weighland Ramsay KPM - 1925

PC 169 A William Weighland Ramsey KPM MM in 1929. Note his MM. Star, BWM and VM group.

PC William Weighland Ramsay KPM MM

Edinburgh City Police


King’s Police Medal for Gallantry

Military Medal

1915 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal


William Weighland Ramsay was born on 16 April 1891 in Newbattle in the County of Midlothian.

He was a Labourer, 21 years of age, 5’ 11” in height with grey eyes, auburn hair and a fresh complexion when he joined Leith Burgh Police on 8 July 1912.


With the consent of the Chief Constable, he resigned to join the Army on 30 June 1915.According to his personnel record, he resumed duty on 6 February 1919 having served as a Corporal in the Gordon Highlanders and awarded the Military Medal. There are two ‘possible’ men; 10951 Corporal William Ramsay, 8/10thBattalion or 17383 Private William Ramsay.


His Edinburgh City Police personnel records that on 2 November 1920, he was “Transferred from Leith Burgh Police with 8 years and 116 days Police and Army Service counting towards pension.”


On 14 April 1924, his record records that he was “Awarded £2 for rescuing a man from drowning in Leith Docks.” 


It seems that he was also recommended for further recognition as in the New Years’ Honours List for 1925, under the list of names of those awarded the King’s Police Medal for ~Gallantry was ‘William Weighland Ramsay, Constable (655 E), Edinburgh City Police’.


‘The Scotsman’ of Friday, February 13th, 1925 records that on the previous day at Buckingham Palace, King George V bestowed various honours. Among those present was PC William Weighland Ramsay. His citation was as follows:


“A man threw himself into Leith Harbour, whereupon the constable, taking off his greatcoat, tunic and boots, plunged into the water, and after swimming 25 yards, caught hold of him, and with the help of a lifebuoy which had been thrown to him, succeeded in bringing the man to the quay. The water was 12 feet deep and a strong ebb tide was flowing.”


In January 1929, he was transferred to A Division as PC 169 A.


In 1938, he was transferred back to Leith, by then ‘D’ Division, as PC 139 D.


William Weighland Ramsay KPM MM retired on pension on 8 July 1942.


He died on 29 January 1961 at 8 Findlay Cottages, Edinburgh. His son, W. T. Ramsay, registered his death.


Edinburgh City Police: Constable Charles Spence Wickham KPM - 1934

Constable Charles Wickham KPM - Edinburgh City Police

The King’s Police Medal for Gallantry (1934)


Edinburgh City Police


PC Charles Wickham KPM


Charles Spence Wickham was born in Gorebridge in Midlothian on 27 February, 1911.


When he joined Edinburgh City Police on 10 February 1931 (just before his 20th birthday), he was about 5’ 10” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. He was PC 312 B at Gayfield Square Police Station.


According to the Edinburgh City Police Weekly Records, “On 16 May, 1933,” (he was) “Highly Commended for promptitude and courage displayed in stopping a runaway horse.”


The circumstances are described below.


The Police Review and Parade Gossip of 2 February 1934 records the following on page 79:



“PC Charles Wickham (Edinburgh) was awarded the medal for his gallantry on 3rdMay of last year (1933) in stopping a runaway horse attached to a coal lorry.


The Constable jumped off a tramcar when he saw the runaway, rushed at its head, and holding by the bridle, was dragged a distance of about 30 yards; then to prevent collision with a plate-glass window and injury to children, he threw himself in front of the horse and guided it towards a van, with which it collided.


The Constable afterwards tripped up the horse and held it down, at the same time soothing the frantic animal, until he obtained assistance.


Constable Wickham was awarded an honorary certificate and £10 by the Carnegie Hero Fund Trustees in July, in recognition of his gallant action.


He is a great lover of horses and spends his spare time breaking-in two year-old thoroughbreds. He is considered a good amateur rider.”



According to the Weekly Records, on 1 October, 1935, Pc Charles Wickham KPM was again “Highly commended for alertness and resourcefulness displayed in effecting the arrest of a motor car thief.”


On 29 September, 1936 he transferred to D Division (Leith) at the Docks as PC 624 D.


On 1 February, 1938 he transferred to E Division (Mounted Contingent) as PC 719 E.


According to his Personnel Record, Charles Wickham “Resigned for service in H M Forces on 14 December, 1939.”


However, in February 1940 and 1941, he is shown as receiving two pay increments.


The final entry on his Personnel Record states “27.8.45 Resigned from Police Force.”


I believe that Charles Spence Wickham KPM died aged 75 in Leith in 1987.




If you are able to help with an original image of PC Wickham’s medal, please get in touch with the website. Thank you.


Edinburgh City Police: Constable George Taylor Watt KPM - 1934

George Taylor Watt's KPM in its case of issue.
naming on George Taylor Watt's KPM.
Reverse view of George Taylor Watt's KPM in its original case.
20 Howden Street, Edinburgh where George Taylor Watt was born.

Elginshire Constabulary - PS William Barron KPM - 1909

PS William Barron KPM. This was the first KPM for 'Conspicuous Gallantry' to be awarded for actions as a PC in Scotland after its institution in 1909. (Picture courtesy of Neil Barron McAuley, PS Barron's Grandson).
PS William Barron's KPM, an 'Albert' & fob presented to him by the people of Rothes, his collar badges and the bullet with which he was shot in the 'Rothes Shooting', 1905. (Picture courtesy of Neil Barron McAuley, PS Barron's Grandson).

City of Glasgow Police: Constable Donald McLeod KPM

Constable Donald McLeod KPM - City of Glasgow Police
Constable Donald McLeod KPM - City of Glasgow Police Commendation 1913
Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal awarded to Constable Donald McLeod, City of Glasgow Police in 1913
Royal Humane Society Bronze Clasp awarded to Constable Donald McLeod, City of Glasgow Police in 1916

City of Glasgow Police: Constable Malcolm Shaw KPM - 1935

PC Malcolm Shaw KPM - City of Glasgow Police. He is wearing his Glasgow Corporation Medal for Conspicuous Bravery.
King's Police Medal to PC Malcolm Shaw - City of Glasgow Police

King’s Police Medal (1935)

Glasgow Corporation Medal for Conspicuous Bravery (1935)


City of Glasgow Police

PC Malcolm Shaw KPM


PC Shaw was awarded the King’s Police Medal in 1935 but his investiture was at Buckingham Palace on 18 February, 1936 when his medal was presented by King Edward VIII.


He is wearing his Glasgow Corporation Medal for Conspicuous Bravery in the picture above.


The newspaper cuttings above are from the Police Review and Police Gazette edition of 7 February, 1936.


I am indebted to Ian Hall for the images and information on PC Shaw’s KPM.

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