A Collection of Police Medals

Date of Auction: 9th May 2018

Sold for £3,400

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. and Bar, Second War K.P.F.S.M. group of six awarded to R. L. Murray Esq., County Inspector, Royal Ulster Constabulary, who served as a Captain in the Royal Artillery during the Great War, and as County Inspector of the City and County of Londonderry during the Second World War

Military Cross, G.V.R., with Second Award Bar, unnamed as issued; King’s Police and Fire Service Medal, G.VI.R., 1st issue, for Distinguished Service (Ronald L. Murray. County Insp. Royal Ulster Constab.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut. R. L. Murray.); Defence Medal; Coronation 1937, light contact marks, very fine and better (6) £1800-2200


M.C. London Gazette 26 July 1918:
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After retirement of the guns and ammunition wagons he repeatedly returned through shell fire with wagons and brought away quantities of ammunition and stores. During the whole of the retirement he organised the most valuable and efficient supply of ammunition to the guns.’

M.C. Second Award Bar London Gazette 1 February 1919:
For conspicuous gallantry during operations, 20th - 30th August 1918, when owing to casualties he was left in command of his battery. By his fine example and leadership under most trying conditions his guns were constantly brought into action into advanced positions close to the enemy, especially on 25th and 27th August near Gressaire Wood, and on 28th and 29th August near Maricourt.’

K.P.F.S.M. London Gazette 13 June 1946.
The Recommendation states: ‘For highly meritorious and valuable service, especially as County Inspector of the City and County of Londonderry since 15th November 1941. County Inspector Murray served in H.M. Army during the 1914-1918 War from 1915, when he enlisted in the Royal Engineers. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1916, and reached the rank of Captain before his discharge in 1919. During his services in France he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar.
He joined the Royal Irish Constabulary as a Cadet in 1919 and was promoted to the rank of Third Class District Inspector in 1920. He was advanced to Second Class District Inspector in the same year, during which he served in Limavady and Magherafelt Districts of County Londonderry. On the formation of the Ulster Special Constabulary in 1920 he was transferred to the Depot at Newtownards, Co. Down, where he remained as a Company Commander until the disbandment of the Royal Irish Constabulary on 31 May 1922.
On the formation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary he was appointed District Inspector in charge of Enniskillen District, Co. Fermanagh, and promoted to the rank of First Class District Inspector. He was transferred to Belfast, “E” District, in 1933, and in 1935 was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the City of Belfast. In 1940, owing to the increase of Irish Republican Army activity in that City, he was appointed Operational Control Officer, under the Commissioner, of four of the City Districts, which appointment he held until 15th November 1941, when he was appointed as County Inspector of the City and County of Londonderry.
The City and Port of Londonderry, because of its geographical position, became during the War one of the greatest Allied bases for the Battle of the Atlantic. What had been a quiet commercial harbour became overnight one of the most important strategic centres in the United Kingdom. Very large numbers of American traders, followed by the United States Naval, Military and Marine Forces were based out of Londonderry, as were also an augmented number of British Military Units. The Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy used the Port extensively. Important Air Commands were also established in the County. This all resulted in a very large assortment of men and women of many different nationalities being in the area, and this considerably increased the work of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and created new problems to be solved.
When it is remembered that Londonderry is a city of divided political loyalties, and that the Irish Republican Army showed increased activity during a great period of the War, the fact that peaceful conditions were maintained in the city and county and that cordial relations existed amongst the various Allied Forces and between them, the local population, and the Police reflects the greatest credit on the strong and tactful administration of this Officer. County Inspector Murray’s whole service has been marked by zeal, integrity, and efficiency, and particularly so during his period of command in Londonderry in very difficult conditions.’

Ronald Leslie Murray was born in 1893 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery (Special Reserve) on 25 November 1916. He served with them during the Great War on the Western Front from 27 February 1917, being awarded the Military Cross and a Second Award Bar, the latter whilst attached to 120th Heavy Brigade, Royal Artillery. He subsequently served with the Royal Irish and Royal Ulster Constabularies, latterly as County Inspector of the City and County of Londonderry, and died in Dublin in March 1952.