Sergeant James Barclay was a native of Alloa and joined the City of Glasgow Police on 18 September 1923. He was allocated the Register Number E-456 and posted to the ‘E’ (Northern) Division where he served until he was transferred to ‘A’ (Central) Division on 21 December 1928. He was later promoted to Sergeant and returned to ‘E’ (Northern) Division.
Constable George Lloyd was a native of Yorkshire and joined the City of Glasgow Police. He was posted to ‘E’ (Northern) Division and allocated the Register Number H-500.
About 1.20 am on 1 December 1948, Constable Lloyd saw a fire in a tenement building in Garscube Road, Glasgow. He called the fire brigade and was joined by Sergeant Barclay and they both ran up the common stairs to warn residents. On reaching the landing on the third level they were met by dense smoke and flames coming from the flat which they immediately entered and searched. This one had already been vacated but at that moment a section of the roof over the stairwell collapsed and both officers were knocked down and injured by debris. The two officers then became separated.
Constable Lloyd entered another flat where he found a family of four. Although they were panicking, the constable stopped one person from jumping from the window and signalled with his torch to the fire brigade, who sent up a turntable ladder and rescued them all from the kitchen which by this time was well alight.
Elsewhere in the building, Sergeant Barclay found a family sheltering on a stairway and took them into a flat. There he found another family cut off by the flames. He also signalled to the fire brigade who sent up a turntable ladder. However, just after he signalled, a further collapse occurred and the roof fell in. He was separated from the people, but was able to shout instructions to them and they all escaped into an adjoining building. He then went down the ladder. (London Gazette 15.3.1949)
For their bravery, both officers were awarded the King’s Police Medal for Gallantry and the Glasgow Corporation Bravery Medal.
Sergeant Barclay served in ‘E’ (Northern) Division until he retired on pension on 6 March 1955.
Constable Lloyd, who was nicknamed ‘Yorkie’ throughout his service, progressed through the ranks of the Glasgow C.I.D. and retired from ‘B’ Division with the rank of Detective Chief Inspector.