Robert Murison OBE, former Chief Constable of Fife; born February 15, 1919, died January 30, 1998

A third-generation policeman, Robert Murison retired in 1984 after rising through the ranks from boy clerk to chief constable during a distinguished career spanning almost half a century. A native of Star of Markinch and educated in Dunfermline, he joined the Lanarkshire force in 1937 and served as a constable at Hamilton.

His duties also included the role of part-time fireman, and he was one of the last surviving police-firemen in Scotland. Of 13 other officers who joined at the same time, six later became chief constables, including John Inch (Fife and Edinburgh City) and Alex Campbell (Dumfries).

Between 1938 and 1942 Mr Murison was on the beat in Lanark and was a qualified air raid precautions officer. After joining the Black Watch during the Second World War he was selected for officer training and then volunteered for service in the Indian Army.

He was commissioned in the 8th Gurkha Rifles and, after a period as Training Adjutant of the Regimental Centre in Quetta, became Company Commander in the Jungle Training Division.

On demobilisation in March, 1946, he was serving on the staff of Headquarters, 26th Indian Division in Sumatra, having attained the rank of Captain in February, 1944.

On returning to Lanarkshire police, he attended Glasgow University in his own time between 1946 and 1949, graduating Bachelor of Law, and promotions quickly followed. He served in the force traffic department at Hamilton and as a detective constable at Rutherglen. On December 30, 1950, he was promoted to sergeant at Cambuslang and, in May, 1957, became Inspector in charge of the County of Lanark Civil Defence Department.

In 1959 he was promoted to Superintendent in charge of the force Traffic and Communications Department and, later, the Territorial Division, which included the new town of East Kilbride.

Following three years as deputy commandant of the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, he returned home in 1965 as chief constable of his native Fife. His outstanding service brought him the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (1959) and the Queen's Police Medal (1971). He was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and was further honoured with an OBE in the New Year's Honours of 1978.

In 1974 he was appointed by the Secretary of State to a senior Home Defence post as zone police commander (designate) for the northern zone of Scotland. He was also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Fife, an honorary member of St Andrew's Ambulance Association, and, between 1975 and 1977, was President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland).

Fife's most recently retired chief constable, Mr Bill Moodie, paid tribute to Mr Murison, describing him as a remarkable man who always took particular pride in the fact that he was initially a police-fireman and that he served as a captain with the Gurkha Rifles.

He was looked upon as a dedicated policeman who was always prepared to listen and who liked to identify potential in people. He also was keen to integrate min-ority groups into the community - to the extent that he twice issued his Christmas message in Urdu.

Mr Murison, whose wife,

Isobel, died several years ago, is survived by two daughters and their families.