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War Service Chevrons and Edinburgh City Police


Chiad Fhear
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Now here's a puzzle that I hope someone can solve for me!

One of my maternal second cousins James Drummond (1897-1963) joined the Edinburgh City Police in December 1919 and served in and around Edinburgh until his retirement in April 1954 attaining the rank of Inspector.

An entry in his record of service from January 1944 that shows he was “Awarded 4 War Service Chevrons” then, in a second entry in September the same year, was “Awarded 1 additional War Service Chevron”.

Given he was born in 1897 he would have been 17 when the Great War started and it's just possible he served his country.

Responses to requests down other 'avenues' are confirming a sole ‘military’ perspective for the awards although it was suggested in one instance that they may have constituted part of a ‘local’ awards system for his ‘force’.

I've read the exchanges in Hansard and they seem to confirm the military perspective.

It's just curiosity getting the better of me but who knows the answer?

Please let me know ...

Regards

Chiad Fhear

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Chiad,

My Father served in the Fife Police from 1919 to 1955,His Rank,on retirement,is immaterial.

My Father,chose to leave East Lothian,in 1919,after having lived,as teenager throughout WW1,but was not old enough to serve .

If you look at the Fife Police History,you will see photos,of Men,who joined the Army in 1914,but were Police Officers,some returned,some did not.

In 1919,I am sure my Father,was overawed,serving with Police Officers,whom had a wider experience,through War,and whom he had to serve,with.

But I have to confess,that WW1 service did not equip the Scottish Police Service for the rigours they had to endure in the post WW1 years and WW2 years.

George

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Chiad,

I have been mulling over your question and am afraid I do not have a definitive answer so may I suggest a few avenues you may wish to explore.

As regards your Wife's Relative's possible WW1 Service.Do you have any information about the Unit of the Armed Forces in which he may have served e.g.Army,Navy,Airforce?An obvious source for this information would be his Medals,which he would have worn,on his Police Uniform.In my Father's case he both had a Medal Ribbon,which he wore on normal duty,and his mounted Medals which he wore on formal occasions.Luckily I still possess both.I cannot recall my Father referring to any Chevrons he was awarded and certainly he did not keep any such items after he retired.I still have his Cap Badges,baton,etc.I acknowledge,of course,that Fife Police were quite separate to Edinburgh so the absence of Chevrons is not surprising.It is unfortunate my Father is no longer alive as he could probably answer your question in seconds.Although Edinburgh and Fife were separate Forces,it is clear from stories that my Father used to relate that he had an insight into the internal organisation of the Edinburgh Force,which means they must have worked closely together at the operational level.

My Father was awarded the 1939-1945 Defence Medal and the Police Exemplary Service Medal during the reign of King George VI so I wonder if the Chevrons to which you refer,were a forerunner,to these awards,given by Edinburgh City Police to recognise Mr Drummond's WW2 service within the Force.

As far as I am aware the old Edinburgh City Police Force now forms part of the Lothians and Borders Force.Does the Force have a Museum or Archivist?Assuming it does it may be worth contacting them to enquire about locally created awards which were worn on Uniforms to recognise WW1 and WW2 Service.

George

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Hi George

Thanks for your replies!

I'm afraid I have no information about the Unit of the Armed Forces in which cousin James may have served. The only mention of medals was on his Police Service Record and that was the Defence Medal and I'm assuming that was for WWII. I should imagine all officers serving then would have got it from your mention that your father was awarded the 1939-1945 Defence Medal. James also got the Police LS&GCM and Coronation Medal.

I've had an email via a post on another genealogy site that referred me to Hansard and a question asked of the Minister for War http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/people/...bert-nield/1918 that seems to answer my query.

I only realised that he'd possibly been eligible to serve when I looked again at his date of birth - which was 1897 - and then calculated that he'd have been 17 at the outbreak of WWI

Edinburgh City Police Force did in fact amalgamate with a couple of other forces to become Lothians and Borders in the 1970's.

The L&B Force Information Unit will be responding to me later this week with - hopefully - their version of the story!

Kind regards

Andy (aka Chiad Fhear)

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Andy,

Snap, my Father also received the Coronation Medal. :D

I've never attempted to look at my Father's Police Record.I think they may be held at the Mitchell Library,in Glasgow,but I'm scared to access in case they reveal any skeletons.Can't be too bad though as he retired a Chief Inspector. :lol:

My Father,was however a hoarder and one of the things I do possess is the reference he obtained,from the 5th Volunteer Battalion Royal Scots(this was a WW1 Home Service Battalion,so he had no WW1 Medal entitlement), to support his application to join the Police.

Would James' Police Service Record include details of his pre-enlistment,to the Force,employment?

George

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