Police Awards From the Collection of John Tamplin

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2003

Sold for £2,100

Estimate: £700 - £900

A King’s Police Medal for Gallantry awarded to Constable D. M. Barnes, Metropolitan Police, later killed as a Flying Officer, R.A.F.V.R.

King’s Police Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue, ‘For Gallantry’ reverse (D. M. Barnes, Constable, Met. Police) in its red leather presentation case, extremely fine £700-900


King’s Police Medal (for Gallantry) London Gazette 1 January 1942. The abbreviated recommendation states: ‘Showed conspicuous courage and determination in the arrest of an armed criminal, who fired at the officer several times in an attempt to evade arrest.’

The full two-page recommendation describes how Barnes apprehended an armed soldier in the West End in April 1941, who, with another soldier, had already committed a robbery at a shop in Piccadilly. The report concludes: ‘P.C. Barnes showed conspicuous courage and determination in his pursuit of this armed and desperate man. He was fired at no less than 6 times, and a civilian who had tackled the man had been seriously wounded, but undeterred, Barnes persisted in the pursuit and successfully effected the man’s arrest.’

After sentencing the man to 5 years’ penal servitude, the Common Sergeant (the senior Judge at the Old Bailey) Cecil Whiteley, Esq., K.C., after commending two civilians who helped in the incident, called Barnes before him and said, “Now, P.C. Barnes, of course what I said equally applies to you, but you are a member of the Police Force, and you were doing your duty, but I hope your conduct in this case has been reported to higher quarter, and I hope it may do you some good. I would like to commend you not only on what you did, but also on the way you gave your evidence here. I have seldom heard a police officer give his evidence better.” In addition to this high praise from the Court, Barnes also received an award of £10 from the Bow Street Police Court Reward Fund.

Barnes subsequently joined the Royal Air Force as a Leading Aircraftsman, and was commissioned in May 1942, a Pilot Officer in the General Duties Branch, and was a Navigator. Promoted to Flying Officer in November 1942, he was killed in a flying accident on 12 December 1942. Sold with full research.