Constable Alfred McNiven and Constable Bernard Watson

On 1 October, 1952, Constables Alfred McNiven and Bernard Watson, both of the Eastern Division, City of Glasgow Police, were on beat patrol in the Tollcross area of the City, when they were stopped by the driver of a Post Office van.   The driver told them that two men had robbed the Tollcross Post Office at gun point and a postman, Samuel Turkington, had been shot in the leg during a struggle with the gunman.   

Alfred McNiven & Bernard Watson

The driver told the Constables that he was taking them to where the gunman was holding an old woman, Mrs Fleming, hostage on London Road, surrounded by citizens who had followed him there.

On their arrival at London Road, the Constables saw the gunman holding  Mrs Fleming in front of him and pointing his gun at the

Constables McNiven & Watson confront the gunman. (Evening Citizen photograph)

people surrounding him.  Both Constables went forward and Constable McNiven told the man to hand over the gun while Constable Watson got the old lady away from the him.   The man began backing away while pointing the gun at the Constables.

Although they knew that they were dealing with a desperate armed criminal, Constables McNiven and Watson pursued the gunman, despite his threats to shoot them, and eventually succeeded in overpowering and arresting him, helped by other officers.

Both Constables were awarded the British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service for their courage and gallantry in the arrest of the gunman.    Both were also awarded the Corporation of Glasgow Bravery Medal along with other officers who assisted them in the arrest viz. Det. Inspector Murdo McKenzie, Det. Inspector John Asher and Constable William Logue.

(Taken from the Supplement to the London Gazette, 31 March 1953)