A plaque was unveiled yesterday to commemorate the centenary of the death of a brave Glasgow policeman who was shot in the line of duty while attempting to foil robbers.

PC James Campbell was on night patrol when he was fatally wounded after he disturbed a group of three or four housebreakers in the back court of a tenement on Tollcross Road. One of the men was armed and shot Constable Campbell in the neck and abdomen.

He died from his injuries two days later on January 20, 1919 after spending 18 years working for the City of Glasgow police.

He was so poorly paid, his family had no money to pay for his funeral and instead his colleagues paid for his grave at Bannockburn cemetery in Stirling.

His story might have been forgotten had another policeman not worked to keep his memory alive.

Retired Glasgow Chief Inspector Sandy Geddes was a child when he first heard about Constable Campbell from his mother. He said: “We regularly visited the cemetery and my mother would point out the grave and tell us all about ‘the brave Glasgow policeman’. So, Constable Campbell became something of a legend to me and my family."

By coincidence the 62-year-old followed in Constable Campbell’s footsteps, working as a policeman within the same division in Glasgow.

He added: “My sister and I have been working for many years to keep the graveside in order, but due to its age that has proven more and more difficult as time has passed. That’s when I approached the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) about helping us with a more permanent solution."

The SPF suggested erecting a permanent memorial plaque in the cemetery to Constable Campbell, whose original grave was paid for by his colleagues as his family had no money for a memorial. The SPF also paid for the headstone to be cleaned.

Andrea MacDonald, chair of SPF said: “When retired Chief Inspector Geddes contacted us about the idea of a permanent memorial to Constable Campbell, we were delighted to help. It is an honour to pay tribute to an officer who gave his life to the service 100 years ago, particularly as this is also our own centenary year.”

Chief Inspector Geddes said he appreciated the federation stepping in to help: "We are so grateful to the SPF for helping us keep his memory alive.”