Police Constable James Thomas
Presentation at Cheltenham Police station by Chief Constable Admiral Christian to Police Constable James Thomas of Redwick near Severn Beach for the rescue of two workman in a well at Redwick on 7th August 1894. Both men had been overcome by the foul air. Police Constable Thomas was also affected by the foul air but managed to rescue both men one alive and one who had died. Police Constable Thomas was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal.
Major Stanley Clarke wanted to ensure that acts of bravery by members of the Police Force were recognised as up until then they often went unrecognised and unrewarded. He introduced the Chief Constable’s Silver Braid to be worn as a silver ribbon on the right breast of the tunic.
Police Constable George Stevens
On 5th April 1921 the first officer to be awarded the Silver Braid and £2 was Police Constable George Stevens. The award was for gallant conduct when stopping a runaway horse.
Police Sergeant John Hobday
Police Sergeant John Hobday was awarded the Silver Braid for rescuing a dog from a disused mine shaft on 28th August 1923 at Oaken Wood Enclosure. He was also awarded a medal and certificate by the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals.
Police Constable Frederick Nash
In the early hours of 13th October 1928 a railway accident happened in the early hours of the morning at Charfield. Police Constable Frederick Nash was the officer in charge. At 5.50 a.m. Constable Nash was informed of the accident and went down to the scene of the accident and when he was informed that a woman was trapped he entered the burning wreckage. After crawling through the restricted spaces he found the woman who was dead. The fire was spreading (as the train was lit by gas) and because of the frequent explosions the wreckage was continuing to move so he had to get out for his own safety.
Local police officers were quickly on the scene and led the efforts to rescue the trapped passengers. Foremost amongst these was Frederick John Nash – he joined the police in 1910 and the Register of Rural Constabulary tells us about his background and early career. He was a witness at the Inquest following the accident and his evidence was reported in detail in the Gloucester Journal.
In recognition of his bravery he was awarded the Silver Braid Gallantry Award together with £5 in January 1929 and the Register of Awards shows that he also received a medal and £2 2s 0d from the Society of Protection of Life from Fire.
Police Constable 306 Charles Stafford Gowing
Police Constable Edwin Handly
Police Constable Edwin Handly was awarded the Silver Braid and £5 in 1934. On 22nd January two men started to clear out an old well at Sheepscombe. Part of the stone lining of the well collapsed killing Frank Wallace instantly and trapping his body. His workmate Richard Cox could not release him and so Police Constable Handly was called and went down the well working for an hour and a quarter until the body could be retrieved. Police Constable Handly ran the risk of being killed or injured by a further collapse in the 100 year old, 65 feet deep well.
Police Constable Walter Lafford
On 31st October 1936 Police Constable Walter Lafford rescued Mrs Fitzgerald the District Nurse at Wickwar from her burning house. He was awarded the Silver Braid and £5.
Police Constable V. J. Bullock , Special Constable W. F. Williams, Special Constable W. E. Prisk and Police Sergeant F. F. Taylor.
Police Constable John Buckle
On 4th July 1943 a boy fell into disused well that opened up under the floor of his house. Police Constable John Buckle drove from Minchinhampton with some ropes. Along with members of the National Fire Service, Police Constable Buckle was lowered 102 feet into the well and the badly injured boy was hauled to the surface. Constable Buckle was awarded a bronze Medal by the Royal Humane Society.
Police Constables Ronald Spencer and David Smeeton
In March 1961 Police Constables Ronald Spencer and David Smeeton and were called to a house in Down Ampney were they were confronted by two dead people on the floor and a man with a revolver. Constable Spencer went on in to arrest the man and was shot in the chest at point-blank range. Constable Smeeton followed his colleague into the room and tackled the man and, after a violent struggle, disarmed the man who ran off. He chased after him and arrested the man, with the assistance of a Mrs Jean Evans local lady. Both officers were awarded the George Medal by Her Majesty the Queen Mother and Mrs Evans also received a presentation from the Duke of Beaufort.
Detective Sergeant Brian Marshall
On 28th November 1967 Detective Sergeant Brian Marshall was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.The citation in the London Gazette read. Brian John MARSHALL, Detective Sergeant, Gloucestershire Constabulary. (Gloucester). For services when apprehending a mentally deranged man armed with a shotgun.
Police Sergeants William Abbott and Charles Critchley
Police Sergeants William Abbott and Charles Critchley both received a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery after preventing a man armed with an axe and a hammer from jumping off a building in Cheltenham. 1st December 1968.
Police Constables Albin Smith and Brian Organ
The British Empire Medal for Gallantry was awarded to Police Constables Albin Smith and Brian Organ both Motor Patrol Officers based at Almondsbury Motorway Station. The awards were as a result of a shooting incident on 23rd February 1969. Constables Organ and Smith were on motor patrol duty when they received a message that an armed man who had been tampering with parking meters and had made off in a car. The two officers saw and chased the car which stopped in the middle of a road. The driver got out of the car and stood in the roadway facing the police car pointing a gun at the officers. The gunman fired several shots at the Constables and then drove off. The two Constables continued the chase. Constable Smith was wounded in the arm. The gunman then stopped a passing car and made off pursued by other patrol cars. Police Constable Brian Roebuck was at the scene.
I was a main road motorcyclist at the time. I had requested permission to make a road block at Tormarton but was refused permission as ‘It is too dangerous’ The pursuit ended on the M4 short of Tormarton and the last radio message from Albin and Brian was that Albin had been shot, ambulance requested and that Brian was pursuing on foot. I attended the scene, saw Albin was shot / injured and as access for the ambulance was limited requested permission to take Albin to Frenchay but, was refused as ‘you are not authorised to drive solo’ was the response!!!Brian was away from the patrol car (Austin Westminster) chasing the suspect on foot across the fields but I could not see where he was. I remained with Albin ’til the Ambulance arrived
Detective Constable Brian Watkins
Detective Constable Brian Watkins was Highly Commended. A 20 year old man armed with a loaded shotgun was holding police at bay on the Cirencester to Stroud Road in October 1978. DC Watkins approached the man and managed to get him talking. When he judged the moment was right he grabbed the gun and disarmed the man.
Other officers also highly commended were Inspector C. Fluck, Police Sergeant S. Norman Hale, Police Sergeant Ron Wasley, Police Constable G. Evans, Detective Constable Peter Stoneham, Commended were Chief Inspector G. Lewis, Police Sergeant Peter Voysey, Police Sergeant Brian Farmer, Police Constable David Waters, Police Constable Robert Stackhouse Police Constable Ron Dean, Police Constable Dave Carter, Police Constable Bob Creed, Police Constable Dave Avery.
Police Constable Paul Menhinick
Chief Superintendent Joe Skipsey presenting Police Constable Paul Menhinick with his award for bravery 1986.
Police Constable Bill Matthews
Presentation of Queen’s award for Brave Conduct as a result of the 1987 Gloucester Police Station Siege. Police Constable Bill Matthews ( Bamfurlong) receiving his award, from the County Lord Lieutenant Colonel Martin Gibbs with Chief Constable Albert Pacey,following the end of a siege at Gloucester Police Station where he was held by a gunman, Paul Eyre, before making a dash for freedom.