Constable James Robertson was a native of the village of Dunshalt, Fife and served in the Dundee City Police for two years before joining the City of Glasgow in May 1933. He was posted to ‘E’ (Northern) Division.
On 4 February 1941, Constable Robertson was on points duty in New City Road, Glasgow, when a horse, yoked to a lorry, took fright and bolted along New City Road, towards him. As he saw the horse and lorry approached at speed, a blind man was trying cross the road, right into the path of the galloping horse. He immediately dashed towards the blind man and pushed him clear.
As the lorry passed, he got hold of the back of it with the intention of pulling himself aboard, but his coat caught on a projection, causing him to loose his balance and release his hold.
Constable Robertson then jumped onto the running board of a passing motor car and, when abreast of the runaway, he leaped putting his right arm over the horse’s neck and grasping its nose with his left hand. The animal then began to slow down and came to a standstill. No one was hurt during the incident.
For his prompt action and bravery, Constable Robertson was awarded the King’s Police Medal for Gallantry and a bar to his Glasgow Corporation Bravery Medal, which had been awarded to him in 1938 for stopping a runaway horse in a similar incident. In 1954 he also received the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct and a second bar to his Glasgow Corporation Bravery Medal for rescuing a woman from a collapsing building.
Constable Robertson served in ‘E’ (Northern) Division until March 1955 when he was promoted to Sergeant in ‘F’ (Maryhill) Division. He retired in May 1965 after 32 years service.