Lanarkshire Police Ancestry Requests
We have received a number of interesting requests recently for research into former Lanarkshire Constabulary officers. The requests have came from England, Canada x 2 and Australia.
We will be posting the details of Canadian and Australian requests over the next few weeks.
The following relates to Constable Andrew Cairns Gourlay of Lanarkshire Constabulary, who served in the force from around 1901 to 1929.
Constable Andrew Cairns Gourlay
Born in Murroes, Forfarshire on 22 March 1878.
Andrew moved to the Lanarkshire area from Murroes, to join Lanarkshire Constabulary. In 1901 he was living in the police barracks on Main Street, Cambusnethan in Wishaw. A further 7 single police constables were residing there all from various locations in the North East of Scotland and Crawford in Lanarkshire.
In 1911, at the time of the Census, he recorded as residing at 4 Wellpark Place in Holytown. This was actually in the Carnbroe area of Coatbridge, with his wife Mary, son Robert (3 years) and daughter Catherine (4 weeks).
Around 1915 they moved to the village of Annathill, north of Coatbridge near to Glenboig. Annathill was a mining village which served the Bedlay Coal Mine.
Andrew was the village police constable and only had one arrest in his career at Annathill. The poor criminal was a miner relieving himself on the way home from the pub. He was charged with indecent exposure.
Andrew didn’t arrest many miscreants however he did have a large pair of leather gauntlets which he often used to clip miscreants round the ear.
Another tale is that during the 1926 General Strike one of his duties was to escort the Pit Safety Officer from the village to the pit. The pit road was lined with striking miners shouting ‘scab’.
The final tale is that he cut down a washing line because the poor housewife had dared put out her washing on a Sunday. His only arrest, the clipping of miscreants round the ear and the washing line incident all indicate the different set of values that existed then as does now.
It is believed that Andrew retired early from the police in 1929 and moved to Mollinsburn.
Constable Andrew Gourlay in 1903 – Back Row far right
Constable Andrew Gourlay (left) in 1901.