Constable James Mackie was a native of Largo, Fife, and served in the Fife Constabulary between 9 March 1912 and 11 November 1913. He joined the City of Glasgow Police on 18 November 1913 and was posted to ‘C’ (Eastern) Division and served there until he joined the Army on 21 August 1914. When he was demobbed in 1919, he was reappointed to ‘C’ (Eastern) Division.
On the morning of 20 August 1940, Constable Mackie was OFF DUTY, at his home at 24 Abbeyhill Street, Glasgow, when he saw smoke coming from a house nearby. It transpired that a Mrs. Russell had left her three young children in the house when she went shopping. One of the children found some matches and set fire to some clothing and the house was soon alight.
Constable Mackie immediately ran to the house, forced the door and immediately found one child in the lobby. After taking the child into the street, he tried to go in again but the heat was too intense, so he wrapped a wet towel around his head and re-entered the burning house where he found a second child. On reaching safety with that child, he was told that there might be another child in the house, and he immediately went back inside and located a third child.
After carrying the third child to safety, he then got on a bicycle and cycled 350 yards uphill to the nearest fire alarm to call the Fire Brigade. As a result of his prompt actions, none of the children were hurt. (London Gazette 12.6.1941)
As a result of his prompt and selfless gallantry, Constable Mackie was awarded the King’s Police Medal for Gallantry and the Glasgow Corporation Bravery Medal.
Constable Mackie served in ‘C’ (Eastern) Division until he retired on pension on 10 July 1942. He died two years later.