Bid to trace fam­i­lies of po­lice wartime fallen

Search for rel­a­tives of dead as reded­i­ca­tion ser­vice is planned for Dundee po­lice war memo­rial

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - JAMIE BEATSON

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 me­dia.dundee@scot­land.pnn.po­”

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.

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