Police Awards From the Collection of John Tamplin

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2003

Sold for £5,200

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The unique C.I.E., O.B.E., K.P.M. and Two Bars awarded to Inspector General of Police F. W. O’Gorman, Bombay Police, the only recipient of the K.P.M. and two bars, all of which were awarded for gallantry

The Order of the Indian Empire, C.I.E., 3rd type neck badge, gold and enamels; The Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Civil) 2nd type; King’s Police Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue, with Second and Third Award Bars, the first struck with date ‘1st January 1930’, the second of the subsequent laurel pattern (Actg. Supt. Frederick William O’Gorman, Indian Police) minor official correction to unit; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, nearly extremely fine (5) £4000-5000

Footnote

See Back Cover.

K.P.M. Gazette of India 1 January 1924: ‘While serving as District Superintendent of Police in the Bijapur District, Mr O’Gorman was required to undertake operations against a dangerous gang of Berad dacoits which had broken out of jail and for nine months had been terrorising the countryside. Mr O’Gorman initiated a well-thought-out campaign and it was entirely due to his organizing ability and untiring tenacity that his plans ended in success. Mr O’Gorman was himself twice under fire during the progress of these operations and it was in no small measure due to his personal influence that the gang was exterminated.

Since his transfer from Bijapur to the District of Kaira, Mr O’Gorman has been successful in breaking up another dangerous gang of dacoits. His services have been recognised by the Government of Bombay on both the occasions.’

First Bar to K.P.M.
Gazette of India 1 January 1930: ‘At the Ganpati celebrations at Surat in September 1928 widespread and frenzied rioting, which lasted for 24 hours and in the course of which numerous cold-blooded murders were committed, took place between Muhammadans and Hindus in spite of the most careful precautions. Throughout these disturbances Mr O’Gorman had numerous personal encounters with infuriated rioters armed with lethal weapons and displayed the highest courage in dispersing them. His spirited action, resource and organising ability were largely responsible for bringing the public disorder in a populous city like Surat under control in so short a space of time. This was accomplished without using firearms except on one occasion when the Police were obliged to fire in their own defence and killed one man.’

Second Bar to K.P.M. Gazette of India 1 January 1936: ‘On the night of the 23rd January 1935, a Sikh of Poona City shot dead a Mussalman and an Arab woman. Mr O’Gorman was summoned to the scene where he found that the Sikh had ensconced himself with a B.L. gun in a strong position on the top storey of a large building, occupied by a number of men, women and children, from which he commanded the common staircase. The Sikh threatened to shoot anyone who approached and to have rushed the staircase would almost inevitably led to heavy loss of life. Having drawn a cordon round the building, Mr O’Gorman with a party of armed policemen occupied a room at the top of an opposite house from which rifles were trained on the house where the Sikh was hiding. It was of importance that the Sikh should either be made to surrender or be rendered harmless by shooting; for any ineffective action by Police would probably have resulted in the Sikh firing indiscriminately, and causing several casualties. The Sikh, however, did not expose himself, and subsequent attempts by Mr O’Gorman and a Sikh priest who arrived on the scene, who both addressed the murderer from the front of the house merely elicited a determined reply from the Sikh to the effect that he would never surrender, and would shoot anyone who came near him. Finally however the Sikh told the priest to bring up the “Saheb”. Mr O’Gorman, thereupon, accompanied the priest to the top storey. There he discovered a passage leading to a room where the Sikh stood with his gun. In front lay the body of one of the murdered persons, and stepping over this, Mr O’Gorman entered the room, calling out that he was unarmed, and asking the Sikh to surrender, which he did. He had six live cartridges in his possession.

The cool and patient manner in which Mr O’Gorman handled the situation undoubtedly prevented further loss of life. He displayed admirable personal courage, and power of leadership in himself incurring the great risk of going unarmed up the stairs to confront the armed murderer.’

O.B.E. London Gazette 1 January 1941.

C.I.E. London Gazette 8 June 1944.

Frederick William O’Gorman was born on 8 July 1891, and joined the Indian Police on 2 July 1913. Highly decorated during a lengthy and eventful career, O’Gorman was eventually appointed Inspector General of Police, Province of Bombay, in 1945. He died in London on 5 January 1949.

It is of interest that his brother, Michael A. O’Gorman, was awarded the K.P.M. on 1 January 1923, and a Bar to his K.P.M. on 1 January 1926. Sold with comprehensive research.