The Museum of Policing in Cheshire
Feature Articles


Lt. Colonel.  Pulteney MALCOLM. D.S.O. M.V.O. A.M.
Chief Constable Cheshire Constabulary 1910~1934.

This synopsis cannot pay tribute enough to the life a most ‘Gallant Gentleman’. Pulteney Malcolm was born on the 16th August 1861, in India, son of the late General Sir George MALCOLM G.C.B., Bombay Army. He was educated at Summerfields, near Oxford; Burney’s at Gosport; Wellington College and Sandhurst. He entered the British Army on the 11th August 1880, and joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers; at Kandahar; Afghanistan; he was promoted Lieutenant on the 1st July 1881. In 1886 he was transferred to the Indian Army, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion 4th Goorkhas (Gurkha) then being raised.

In 1887 he received the ALBERT MEDAL for Gallantry; the citation reading “The Queen has been graciously pleased to confer the ‘Albert Medal of the Second Class” upon Lieutenant Pulteney Malcolm, 4th Goorkha Regiment, in recognition of the conspicuous gallantry displayed by him on the 10th June 1887, in attempting to save the life of a comrade who had fallen over a precipice near Dalhousie, East India. This citation does not show the actual gallantry shown by Lieutenant Malcolm and the actual statement made by the Commanding Officer of Lieutenant Malcolm shows “On the 10th June 1887, the late Lieutenant Trevor of the Yorkshire Regiment was returning to Dalhousie (in the Himalayas) from Kajiar. He was riding along a narrow road and at the most precipitous part of it, his horse, which was a fresh one, and which had been sidling along got it’s hind legs over the side, and fell carrying it’s rider along with it down the precipice. The Officer who was with Lt. Trevor at the time of the accident went back for assistance, and  on the road met Lt. Malcolm and the latter hearing of the occurrence, at once ran to the spot and at the immediate risk of his life, commenced the descent. Lt. Malcolm managed after tremendous exertions, by dropping from ledge to ledge (causing him much exhaustion and considerable laceration of the feet) to get down to Lt. Trevor, who was lying 300 to 400 feet below, and had the sad satisfaction of supporting him until he died and rendering him such assistance as was possible under the circumstance.  Some other officers tried to go down to LT. Malcolm’s aid, but as appears from the evidence taken at the inquest they could not do so, it being described as a perpendicular precipice of an apparently in accessible nature. There seems no doubt that Lt. Malcolm ran a great risk in climbing down; as had he made a single false step he must have been dashed to pieces.  

He served in the Chin Lushai Expeditionary Force, from 1889-1890 for which he received Medal with clasp;  he was promoted Captain on the 11th August 1891 and served with the Chitral Relief Force, 1895 being present at the storming Malakand Pass (Medal and clasp) ; in the North West Frontier operations, 1897~1898, as Provost-Marshall to the Relief Force, and subsequently as D.A.A.G., 1st Brigade, for which he was Mentioned in Despatches and awarded a further clasp (London Gazette 11 February 1898). He was promoted Major on the 11 August 1900; served as Chief Officer, Malakand Field Force, 1900~1901. He served in Waziristan, 1901~1902 as Officiating A.A.G., Derajat District, and Chief Staff He was twice Mentioned in Despatches; and received a further clasp to the Medal, during this campaign his horse was shot from under him and he himself received wounds around the left eye. He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 2nd September 1902; “In recognition of services during Mahsud-Waziri operations” He was invested by King Edward VII on the 18th February 1903. Major Malcolm retired from the Indian Army on the 11 August 1904, after a total of 24/years service.

He became Head Constable of Kingston-on-Hull in1904 serving to 1910. He became Chief Constable of Cheshire on the 30 September 1910, his personal records shows on appointment to Cheshire that his Religion was Protestant, Height 6’ 0”, Age 48 years, Hair Fair, Complexion Fair. His pay on appointment was £500 plus £100 travelling expenses per annum, this rose annually by approximately £100 per annum until 1919 and on his retirement on the 30 April 1934, aged 72 years, and a total/service with Cheshire Constabulary of 30 years 120 days, he was in receipt of £1300 per annum. His pension on retirement amounted to £866.13s.4d per annum. 

On the 24 April 1913 His Majesty King George V, at the expiration of his visit to Crewe Hall, Cheshire bestowed the M.V.O. On Major Malcolm and at the same time the King expressing his approval of the Police arrangements. On the 25 February 1915 he became temporary Lt. Colonel, acting as A.A. And Q.M.G. On the Divisional Staff of the New Armies, 22nd London Division. He served with the Division in France until late 1916, and again he was mentioned in Despatches. He was given the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel on the 29 May 1917. He returned to the Cheshire Constabulary on the 01 January 1917.

In 1919 the Police Act was passed, this created the Police Federation, on this he told the Standing Joint Committee that: "There was no difficulty in the men making representations. Arrangements which had stood the test of years resulting in the best feeling between all ranks cannot be improved upon", and: "that he would not hold himself answerable for the efficiency of a force in which the members were permitted to join a union". In 1924, the Standing Joint Committee considered a Home Office report on the employment of policewomen. No action was taken in Cheshire, the Chief Constable commenting, “There is no necessity to appoint women in this county”. The question was not seriously considered again until 1946.

Chief Constable Malcolm was awarded the Kings Police Medal for Distinguished Service on the 31st December 1925 and CBE on the 3rd June 1932. Lt. Colonel, Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary died on the 20th April 1940 aged 78 years; his interment took place at Westerkirk, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Lt. Colonel Malcolm married in 1888, Emily, eldest daughter of T.R.Bowen. It is perhaps pertinent at this point to say that Gallantry appears to run in the Malcolm family as the only surviving child of the union – Captain Pulteney Malcolm, who commanded the King’s Company, Grenadier Guards, was killed in France on the 25th August 1918, a tribute to Captain Pulteney Malcolm stated “The charge in which he lost his life was one of the most gallant glorious episodes of the War”.

The medals have been kindly loaned to the Museum of Policing in Cheshire by the Malcolm Family. Commencing in the left square and then order of precedence (1) Distinguished Service Order. (2) Members Victorian Order. (3) Albert Medal (Gallantry). (4) Kings Police Medal. (5) India General Service, 2 Bars. 1854-1895. (6) India Medal, 3 Bars 1895-1902. (7) British War Medal 1914-1920. (8) Victory Medal, Mention in Despatches 1914-1919.