WW2 King’s Police and Fire Service Medal for Gallantry Group of Four - Inspector H.P. Withers, Lincolnshire Constabulary

  • Product Code: MM-6499
  • Era: WW2
  • Force: Lincolnshire Constabulary
  • Availability: Out of Stock

  • Price: £1,595.00

A rare Second World War King’s Police and Fire Service medal for Gallantry group of four awarded to Inspector Harold Poynton Withers of the Lincolnshire Constabulary, for apprehending an armed absconded and making safe a dropped grenade, on October 26, 1944. 

George VI King's Police and Fire Service Medal, 1st Issue, for Gallantry named to Harold P. Withers. Inspr., Lincolnshire Constaby. 
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued 
1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal unnamed as issued 
George VI Police Long Service & Good Conduct Medal named to Inspr. Harold P. Withers. 

The medals are in good condition and are swing mounted for wear. 

K.P.F.S.M. for Gallantry: London Gazette 14th June 1945.
The recommendation states:
  ‘On 26th October 1944, Inspector Withers began investigations into the theft of stores from the Home Guard, and suspected George Ashford an absconder from an approved school. The following day, the Inspector was with Constable Selby in a car, when he saw Ashford in a soldier’s uniform. As Constable Selby approached the boy, he pulled a hand grenade from his pocket, and was about to pull the pin, as the Constable grabbed his arms, pinning them to his side. Inspector Withers came up as Ashford freed himself, but the Inspector punched him on the jaw, knocking him down. Ashford dropped the grenade, which Inspector Withers picked up, and made safe.’

Harold Poynton Withers served as an Inspector with the Lincolnshire Constabulary; both he and Police Constable Arthur Selby were awarded the King’s Police and Fire Service Medal for Gallantry for this action.

From http://www.falakros.net/bourne/portrait/withersharold.htm

Harold Pointon Withers 1904-1986
One of our most respected police officers was Inspector H P Withers who served the Bourne sub-division for 12 years and was decorated for bravery while apprehending an armed criminal who had stolen military weapons during the Second World War of 1939-45.

Harold Pointon Withers was born at Grimsby in 1904 and joined the Lincolnshire Constabulary in June 1926 when he was posted to the police station at Market Rasen and when he married in 1929, he was transferred to a rural beat where a house went with the job. He remained there until 1932 when he transferred to Cleethorpes and served with the mobile section, becoming one of the first police drivers in the country. His courage in desperate situations became apparent at this time because he was bitten on the nose and face during an encounter with two suspects yet they were both arrested successfully.

In 1936, he was promoted to sergeant, one of the youngest in the county force at that time and he was subsequently posted to Skegness where he remained for two years until being transferred to Ulceby where he assumed charge of a section. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the bombing of the Humber area by the Luftwaffe became a nightly occurrence and one of his worst experiences became the search for anti-personnel bombs designed to cause maximum casualties among civilians.

He moved to Bourne in 1943 on being promoted to inspector, taking charge of the sub-division whose headquarters were based at the police station in North Street, now demolished, at a time when there was a substantial police presence in the town. There was also a large detachment of Home Guard based at the Drill Hall across the street [now known as the Vestry Hall] and one night the building was broken into and firearms and ammunition stolen. The following morning, while driving through Toft in a patrol car, Inspector Withers and Constable Selby saw a man walking towards Stamford. When they stopped him, he threatened to throw one of the hand grenades that had been stolen during the burglary but they rushed him and he was knocked unconscious in the ensuing struggle and although the grenade had been charged and was in a dangerous condition, for some reason it did not explode.
When the accused man appeared before Birmingham Assizes in 1944, the judge, Mr Justice Wrottesley, commended Inspector Withers and his colleague for their conduct during the arrest. "One of these officers, perhaps both, might have been killed", he said, "and I think their behaviour is worthy of commendation."

The following year, both Inspector Withers and Constable Selby were awarded the King's Police Medal for Gallantry and were decorated by King George VI during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. A further award followed in 1953, the year Queen Elizabeth was crowned, when he received the Coronation Medal awarded to those who had given distinguished service to their country.
Sporting activities played a great part in his life and included football, cricket, golf and rifle shooting and in 1955, the police team he lead in the .22 bore competition topped the county league.

Inspector Withers retired on Monday 25th February 1955 when the occasion was marked with speeches of thanks from the magistrates at Bourne petty sessions held at the Town Hall. The chairman, Mr Frank Wherry, said that he had always found the inspector helpful and fair while the clerk to the magistrates, Mr Horace Stanton, paid the ultimate tribute: "I have not known a better police inspector in Bourne during the 33 years I have been clerk", he said.

In retirement, Harold Withers and his wife Ruth moved to the old people's complex at Stanton Close and in later years, he tragically lost his sight. He died in Stamford Hospital after a heart attack in September 1986 at the age of 82 and Mrs Withers (born 4th March 1904) died in 1998, aged 94.

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Tags: Gallantry Medals, Gallantry, Police Medals, LSGC, Long Service Medals, British Medals, Lincolnshire Constabulary

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