Medals from the Collection of R.W. Gould, MBE

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Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £980

Estimate: £500 - £600

A K.P.M. awarded to Police Constable R. G. Wilson, Metropolitan Police, for gallantry during a daylight Air Raid on London in July 1917

King’s Police Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (Robert George Wilson, Const. Met. Police) extremely fine £500-600

Footnote

K.P.M. London Gazette 1 January 1918.

On 7 July 1917 a fleet of 22 Gotha bombers made a daylight attack on the City of London and adjoining boroughs. Some 75 bombs were dropped in all, killing 57, injuring 193 and destroying or damaging 903 properties. Casualties would have been heavier but some of the missiles failed to explode. The first bomb dropped at 10.36 a.m.

At 10.40 a.m. Wilson was on traffic point duty at the junction of Chiswell Street and Finsbury Pavement, London E.C.1. when a horse attached to a covered van bolted along Finsbury Pavement, the driver having taken shelter. Wilson seized the nearside reins and eventually succeeded in stopping the animal. A few minutes later the constable saw another unattended horse and van galloping down Chiswell Street. Just after the P.C. stopped this second horse a bomb fell killing the horse and the blast knocked Wilson unconscious. Wilson was off duty for some months recovering from his injuries.

Robert George Wilson was born at Thetford, Norfolk, in 1878, and was a woodman before joining the Metropolitan Police on 25 March 1901. As a result of the injuries he sustained during the air attack in July 1917, he was released from the service with an ill-health pension on 14 January 1918. Sold with further research including relevant details from The Police Review.