A Collection of Police Medals

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Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £700

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Great War M.B.E., K.P.M. group of four awarded to W. Whitty Esq., Superintendent and Deputy Chief Constable, Great Grimsby Borough Police

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Civil) Member’s 1st type breast badge, silver, hallmarks for London 1918; King’s Police Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue (Supt. William Whitty, M.B.E. Grimsby Borough Police Force.); Coronation 1911, County & Borough Police, unnamed; County Borough of Grimsby Police Good Service Medal, the reverse engraved ‘Presented by Watch Committee 12th October 1915’ (Superintendent William Whitty.) last lacking integral top riband bar, edge bruise to last, nearly extremely fine, the last rare (4) £600-800

Footnote

M.B.E. London Gazette 30 March 1920.

K.P.M. London Gazette 1 January 1924.

William Whitty, ‘a native of Barton-on-Humber, first knew police work as a member of the Lincolnshire County Constabulary, joining up at Lincoln in 1885, and finding his first station at Gainsborough, where he remained about a year, being then transferred to the Grimsby County area and stationed at Swallow for nearly three years. He resigned in July 1899, intending to go to America, but unforeseen circumstances changed his plans and he came to Grimsby. Here he arrived about 9 a.m., was seen by the late Dr. Newby and examined, fitted with a uniform, and was patrolling the streets as a Grimsby constable at 10 a.m.- quick work even for the police. Six years later he was placed in the detective department, reached the merit class as a constable, and when the warrant department was formed he was deputed to take charge and shortly afterwards was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Further promotions quickly followed: he became an Inspector in the Warrant Department, was appointed Chief Inspector in 1911, and a year later was appointed Superintendent. Six months after that he was made Deputy Chief Constable, being the first to hold that title in Grimsby. From that time most of the court work has fallen upon him, and the remarks of the magistrates and others on his retirement are testimony to that side of his work. Since 1914 he has also had charge of the home of detention where the juvenile offenders are kept.
There have been many changes since he first joined. When he first joined, he says, wages were pretty low and the conditions were pretty rough. “We had seven days’ annual leave and one day per month off, but if you took the leave one month you were not expected to ask for it the next, and you never got any back time. The town was considerably rougher in those early days than it is today. You had often to fight your way in and fight your way out when there was trouble. It was the days of fleeting smacks and we always had a lively time in the Good Friday and September periods when the fishermen were at home.”
Mr. Whitty has had every kind of case to handle except that of murder. For his services during the War he received the M.B.E., and four times has been recommended for the King’s Police Medal. On Saturday last his notable career with the Grimsby Borough Police, a career which started at the foot of the ladder, which saw every side of police work, and closed on the top rung but one, came to an end.’ (article in
The Grimsby News, 26 October 1923, marking the recipient’s retirement refers).

Sold together with a copied photographic image of the recipient.