Police Officer’s Bravery – Royal Humane Society Award

Malcolm McLeod was born 15 Oct 1896 and married my 6th cousin 1x removed Edith May Beer, born in Dover, Kent on 3 Apr 1898, at St Andrew in Buckland on 7 Jun 1919.

Dover Express 13 June 1919

Malcom then became a policeman in Dover.

Dover Express 03 June 1921

And then we read this in the Dover Express of 28 Dec 1928:



At the Dover Police Station on Saturday evening, the Mayor (Alderman H. E. (Russell) was present with Councillors Dawes, Wood and Brisley to make two presentations. There was a good attendance of members of the Police Force.

The Chief Constable (Mr. A. M. Bond), in calling on the Mayor to present to Mr. W. H. Burgess a case of pipes and tobacco, said that many years ago they had a very respectable minstrel troop, but during tho war it fell into abeyance. Four years ago, when he became Chief Constable, he decided to try to reinstate it, but he had no conductor. They had no one to train them, but Mr. Burgess stepped into the breach, and took on the work. His services were most valuable and he had turned the troupe into a first class body of entertainers. They valued his services very much and they were sorry to lose him. This was owing to his moving to River from Dover—not enabling him to come in so easily.

The Mayor said he would like to add his appreciation, not only for what he had done for the Ministrels, but for what he was doing now at River. Dover’s loss was River’s gain. They had already learnt to appreciate Mr. Burgess, for he put his heart and soul into the work.

Mr. Burgess thanked the Mayor and the Chief Constable for what they had said and the members of the Force for the presentation. He very much regretted his severence from the troupe, but his duties compelled him to give up that work. He had found great fellowship amongst the members of the Force and it had been an honour to conduct the troupe. If it had been possible he would have been glad to have continued, but even now ho would be glad to help at any time.

Inspector Deeming thanked Mr. Burgess on behalf of the troupe. When they restarted they were practically an unknown quantity but Mr. Burgess had trained it and made it into a first class body of entertainers. During the time Mr. Burgess had been with them they had raised £100 for their Widows and Orphans Fund and another £100 for other charities, including the Folkestone Police Provident Fund.

The Chief Constable next called on the Mayor to present to P,C. Malcolm McLeod, the diploma of the Royal Life Saving Society, which is the highest award the Society gives for examination work. He said that he was one of those who led the Swimming Club, which was started in 1903-4. In 1910 they took up life saving, which was akin to the work of the St. John Ambulance. P.C. McLeod joined the force in 1921, and was then a fair swimmer, but he quickly became an excellent one and was now their champion and he had now gained the diploma, which he believed was the first of its kind ever to be gained in Dover. They had been very keen on swimming ever since they started for, apart from the sporting side, it developed the physique and they took some satisfaction from the fact that since they took up life saving their men had saved no less than seven lives, from drowning, one quite recently. They had also obtained two Police Medals for life saving. As to the examination that P.C. McLeod had passed, he was the only man in Dover to obtain that certificate. He was very pleased that it was a member of the Force who had obtained it. With the diploma was a badge, which he would be able to wear on his swimming costume.

The Mayor said that it made him doubly pleased to be there that night to make the presentation. Life saving must be a tremendous asset to a town and he was more than pleased that some one now in Dover had that certificate. Swimming was a great help to the town and in the Elementary Schools it had never made greater advance than in the past few years. The saving of seven lives justified everything the Police were doing in regard to swimming and he congratulated P.C. McLeod.

P.C. McLeod said that if he had brought any credit to the Force he was amply rewarded. He looked for nothing else.

The Chief Constable thanked the Mayor for attending and wished him a very happy Christmas.

The Mayor said he thanked them and he did appreciate the good will of the members of the Force.

And this subsequently led to this incident in the Dover Express of 18 Jun 1937:



A plucky rescue of a young woman from drowning was made by a Dover policeman, Sergeant Malcolm McLeod on Sunday. He was riding a pedal cycle along Marine Parade at about 1.30 a.m., when he heard faint cries for help coming from the direction of East Cliff. As he proceeded he heard a woman calling, “I cannot hang on, save me,” and found that a young woman was in the water clutching at the sea wall, almost opposite the Sea Baths. The sergeant immediately ran to the Police box, nearby, and obtained a rope, by means of which he let himself down to assist the girl, and supported her until Inspector Max Heller arrived on the scene and decided to tow the sergeant and the woman to the East Cliff jetty, from where they were taken from the water. The girl was unconscious, and an ambulance and the police car were sent for, and she was taken to the Hospital, where, after treatment, she recovered and was discharged. She is Miss Josephine Gern Ogilvie (18) of 18, Castle Hill Rd., Dover. A few people who were on their way home from a dance gathered at the spot. To effect the rescue was no easy task under the circumstances, and the conduct of the sergeant is most praiseworthy, Sergeant McLeod holds the highest, lifesaving award of the Royal Life Saving Society, the Diploma, and he is at the present time the only member of the Dover Police Force holding the award. He was the instructor for one of the two Dover Police teams which competed for the Davenport Cup for the police championship held at Dover last year.

The life belts which are usually near the spot were not in their place, having, it was stated, been removed temporarily.

And then we have our title article from the Dover Express of 30 Jul 1937 along with the first photograph from the same issue:

Dover Express 30 July 1937

It was also interesting to read about Nora Elizabeth McLeod, the daughter of Malcolm and Edith, who was born on 3 Apr 1898 in Dover and is my 7th cousin.

The following two extracts from the Dover Express in March 1940 are for her wedding.

Dover Express 01 March 1940

1 Mar 1940 above and 15 Mar 1940 below. 

Dover Express 15 March 1940b


Police Sergt. Malcolm McLeod

Sgt McLeod

In the 1939 Register Malcolm is listed as a Police Inspector and is living at 5 High Steet, Dover.


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