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

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Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £300 - £400

A Gallantry B.E.M. group of three awarded to Chief Inspector Alec Eist, Metropolitan Police, an officer with numerous commendations who was later branded as one of the most corrupt Flying Squad officers of his era

British Empire Medal (Civil) E.II.R., with silver Gallantry oak leaves (Alexander Antont Eist) in its Royal Mint case of issue; War Medal 1939-45; Police Exemplary Service Medal, E.II.R., 2nd issue (P.S. (1st Cl. C.I.D.)), together with named Buckingham Palace letter, Police Reward Fund Certificate, letter of congratulations for the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, and an original news cutting, extremely fine (3) £300-400

Footnote

B.E.M. for Gallantry (Civil) London Gazette 10 February 1967. Joint citation with Sergeant L. Scott (awarded George Medal) and Sergeant D. F. A. Davies (awarded B.E.M. for Gallantry):

‘In the course of investigating a series of house-breakings, Sergts. Davies and Scott established that the thieves were using a car hired in an assumed name. The car was seen parked outside a house and the officers decided to enter the house. Sergeant Eist and other officers were called in to help. With Sergeants Scott and Eist covering the sides of the house, Sergeant Davies knocked at the front door. While he was speaking to the woman who opened it, Sergeant Scott, watching through the letter box of a basement door, saw a man emerge from a room. He called out to this man that he was a police officer and asked him to open the door. The man returned to the room and later emerged, carrying a rifle, and ran across the passageway into the back garden. Sergeant Scott kicked the door open and followed him to the end of the garden. Here the man sat on a wall pointing the rifle at Scott and threatening to shoot if he came any nearer.

Davies and Eist joined Scott there and Eist at once recognized the man as an escapee from prison. The man was well known to all three officers as a vicious and callous criminal. The man jumped down from the wall and made off across the next garden with Sergeants Scott and Eist in direct pursuit and Sergeant Davies attempting to cut him off from the rear. After covering a short distance, the gunman stopped and aimed the rifle at Scott and Eist in turn and threatened to shoot them. He then backed away from the officers, still levelling the gun at them. They threw flower pots at him and he turned and ran. At the end of the garden he stopped again, put the rifle to his shoulders, aimed it deliberately at Sergeant Scott who was nearest to him, and said he would shoot if he came any closer. Despite the threats Scott and Eist together closed with the man and with the assistance of Sergeant Davies who joined in the struggle, he was soon disarmed and overpowered. The rifle was found to be loaded with three .22 bullets and a fourth bullet in the breech ready for firing.

After the arrest Sergeant Davies went to search the car in front of the house. He encountered and challenged a caller at the house who struck out at the officer and a violent struggle ensued in the course of which the two men fell together some eight feet into the basement area. Hearing the noise, another police officer came from the house and helped Sergeant Davies to overpower the second man.’

Alexander (Alec) Antony Eist was born in Cardiff on 26 March 1929. He served as an Able Seaman in the Merchant Navy from May 1945 until March 1948, and joined the Metropolitan Police on 14 June 1948. During his long career, both on the beat and with the C.I.D. ‘Flying Squad’, Eist received no fewer than 13 commendations, the last in January 1975 ‘for outstanding diligence and detective ability leading to the arrest and conviction of an active and violent gang of robbers. Also commended at the Central Criminal Court and by the Director of Public Prosecutions.’ This distinguished career came to an abrupt end when, shortly afterwards, Eist became one of the many officers to be tried for corruption at this period. Although acquitted in his trial, Eist was returned to uniformed duty in November 1975, and resigned on grounds of ill-health on 26 February 1976.

‘The singularly corrupt Flying Squad officer of the 1960s, Alec Eist, is described in admiring terms by a former colleague: “He was the best informed police officer in London. What he took off one criminal he gave back to another. If he got £200 from a villain for giving him bail, Eist would give £195 to cultivate an informant.” (Ref Bent Coppers by James Morton). ‘Detective Sergeant Alec Eist established two reputations. One was as a specialist in the arrest of lorry hijackers, the other as one of the most corrupt officers of his era.’ (Ref The Flying Squad by Neil Darbyshire and Brian Hilliard).