John Trench, a native of Midlothian, joined the Glasgow Police in 1893 and was posted to the Eastern Division.
In 1904 he was appointed Detective Constable in the Central Division. He passed through the ranks of Detective Sergeant, Detective Inspector and was promoted to Detective Lieutenant 1912.
He was awarded the King’s Police Medal for Gallantry in 1914 and the citation reads, ” Detective Lieutenant Trench was recommended on the grounds that he has shown conspicuous gallantry on the arrest of many criminals during his distinguished detective service. He has, in addition, rendered valuable political and secret service, and has been on duty on every Royal occasion in the City, having been detailed to accompany Royal personages on every occasion both in the City and in other parts of Scotland.” There are no specific acts of gallantry recorded. (London Gazette 1.1.14)
In 1914 he was found to have passed police information and copy documents to a lawyer in an effort to get a Sheriff’s Enquiry into the conviction of Oscar Slater for the murder of Miss Marion Gilchrist in 1909. In September 1914, John Trench was dismissed from Glasgow Police for passing police information to persons outside the force without the permission of the Chief Constable.
He joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers and served in the First World War. He died of pneumonia (Spanish Flu) in an Army hospital in Maryhill, Glasgow in 1919.