|The Rushden-born police constable whose daring last August brought him gifts from admirers all over the country and a Christmas card from the man who was jailed for trying to kill him has been awarded the George Medal for his courage.
He is P.C. Keith Trevor Burdett, only son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Burdett, 20 St. Margaret’s Avenue, Rushden. The award, announced this week, is for his part in an incident at Clapham, London, last August, when shots fired by Francis John Gellatly smashed one of P.C. Burdett’s fingers and passed through his helmet.
Gellatly afterwards told police officers: “I shot at him to try to get away. He was a game one I’ll tell you.”
Among the cards received by P.C. Burdett at Christmas time was one sent by Gellatly from Brixton Jail, expressing the hope that he was better, and wishing him a happy new year.
At the time of the incident, too, the Burdetts received gifts from admirers all over the country in recognition of his bravery.
P.C. Burdett, who once fell through a corrugated iron roof when in pursuit of a man, and another time was knocked out with a bottle in a public house brawl, has been in the Metropolitan Police since his discharge from the Royal Navy about nine years ago. He is now serving with “L” division.
Aged 29, he is married and has two children, a girl and a boy.
His mother said yesterday: “Of course, we are very pleased about the medal.”
16th March 1956
P.C. hero receives medal
Rushden born policeman Keith Trevor Burdett, who received a finger injury and whose helmet was knocked off by a bullet when he closed with an armed man in London last August, yesterday received the official recognition of the courage he displayed on that occasion.
At Buckingham Palace he was invested with the George Medal by the Duke of Gloucester, deputising for the Queen.
As a result of the incident, in which P.C. Burdett gave chase to a man seen behaving suspiciously outside a block of flats in Clapham, London, Francis John Gellatly was jailed for attempting to murder him.
P.C. Burdett, who is married and has two children, is the 29-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs H. Burdett, 20 St. Margaret’s Avenue, Rushden.