Bid to trace families of police wartime fallen
Search for relatives of dead as rededication service is planned for Dundee police war memorial
They were the heroes who kept the peace in their home city, then laid down their lives to bring peace to their home land.
Police are now bidding to trace the family of officers remembered on the Dundee Police War Memorial as they prepare for a rededication ceremony in October.
The memorial – located at the junction of West Marketgait and West Bell Street, between the city’s police HQ and sheriff court buildings – commemorates dozens of soldiers who died in conflict.
It was originally unveiled in October 1922 and had names added following the end of the Second World War.
Police Scotland’s Tayside Division said they are looking to trace family members of a total of 14 servicemen – six who died during the First World War and eight who were killed in the Second World War.
They are searching for the families of William McLeod, John Fyffe, James Wann, John Brimner, Edward Eggie and William Simpson, who died in the First World War.
And from the Second World War they are looking for the families of John Graham, Alan Taylor, Robert Boslem, John MacGregor, Robert Woodhouse, Colin Menzies, George Lawson and Robert Stirrat.
Records on some of the men are sketchy, although police were able to release full details of the lives, careers and deaths of some of the men.
Among them are William Simpson, who worked as a “farm servant” before joining the police service in 1911.
He joined the Scots Guard in 1916 but died from gunshot wounds to the head sustained in May 1918 – just six months before the armistice.
Robert Boslem was a plumber before he joined Dundee City Police. He joined the Cameron Highlanders in 1942 and rose to the rank of lieutenant before being taken prisoner and dying in a German camp hospital.
Robert Stirrat was a casualty of the war despite never having joined the military or leaving Dundee.
He was on duty in Broughty Ferry on May 5 1941 when he was called to investigate a report of an “unfamiliar object” at Fisher Street.
He realised it was a mine, which exploded as he tried to secure it to prevent it drifting back to sea.
He died, aged just 24, in Dundee Royal Infirmary at 3.16pm that afternoon.
Chief Inspector Alexander Brodie, of Tayside Division, said: “We are already in contact with some family members however, we would like to contact relatives of those named to invite them along to the ceremony’. If you are a relative or knows someone who may be connected with these men, please get in touch with us via email@example.com.”
PC Stirrat realised it was a mine, which exploded as he tried to secure it to prevent it drifting back to sea. He died, aged just 24, in hospital at 3.16pm
They may have passed many decades ago, but their sacrifice will never be forgotten. Plans to rededicate a war memorial to local policemen who lost their lives in global conflicts are welcome indeed.
Fresh efforts are now being made to trace the relatives of those immortalised on the monument.
It is vital that their stories are safeguarded for future generations.
The Dundee Police War Memorial was unveiled in 1922 and had names added to it after the Second World War.
Names of the fallen inscribed on the war memorial.