Background Information

The Metropolitan Police area was divided into a number of Divisions which had letter designations. The Met also policed Woolwich Dockyard from 1841 and the remaining Royal Naval Yards came under the Metropolitan Police control in 1860, these were given number designation 1st – 5th. The designations in use for Divisions in 1910 are listed below:

COCommissioner’s OfficeKBowXKilburn
CSt James’sNIslington1stWoolwich Dockyard/Arsenal
DMarylebonePCamberwell2ndPortsmouth Dockyard
EHolbornRGreenwich3rdDevonport Dockyard
FPaddingtonSHampstead4thChatham(& Sheerness) Dockyard
GFinsburyTHammersmith5thPembroke Dockyard
HWhitechapelVWandsworth6thRosyth Dockyard (1914)
JHackneyWClaphamZCroydon (1921)

The Commissioner’s Office was at Scotland Yard. For Thames Division the earlier medals used the abbreviation TA, later medals have the word Thames in full. Although there are no medals named for 6th and Z Divisions some officers shown in the database retired from these divisions.

The Metropolitan Police higher rank structure consisted of the Commissioner with a number of Assistant Commissioners. Under them were usually four or five Chief Constables who controlled a group of divisions or the Criminal Investigation Department, the latter was based at Scotland Yard. With the exception of CO Division, each division was headed up by a Superintendent with a Chief Inspector as his deputy. A few divisions had two Chief Inspectors for example 4th Division, with one based at Chatham and the other at Sheerness Dockyard. The force at Pembroke Dockyard was quite small and had a Chief Inspector in charge. Medals to 5th Division are therefore scarce due to the limited number of medals awarded.

The divisions were divided into sub divisions and each was managed by a Sub Divisional Inspector. These were higher rank Inspectors but their full rank (SD Insp) is not normally shown on the medals, giving no distinction from normal Inspectors (Insp). The rank of Sub Inspector was introduced in the late 1870s between the ranks of Inspector and Sergeant. Medals can be found named to Sub Insp. This rank was eventually replaced by the Station Sergeant rank (SPS) in the 1890s, medals to Station Sergeant were named as PS. In Thames Division the rank of Sergeant was not used, these officers were called Inspector 3rd Class due to an anomaly with Customs search procedures. This was corrected in 1903 and the rank of Sergeant was then used.