How a quiet drive with his
wife ended with Frank Barker
receiving a heroism award
from Prince Philip is recalled
by John Jackson.
The Mason who tackled a gunman
A have-a-go motorist who drove his car at
an armed raider who then fired through his
windscreen while his wife was in the front
passenger seat, is a Mason who showed an
exemplary example of community spirit.
As a result, former Bow Street policeman
Frank Barker received the Binney Award –
given for outstanding bravery – from Prince
Philip in 1986.
A Security Express van was parked
outside a bank in City Road, London, and
Frank Barker saw that a gunman was forcing
a security guard to lie flat on the pavement.
Brandishing a gun, the raider had ordered
the crew member in the back of the security
van to hand over the cash bag. But he had
reckoned without Frank Barker, who put
his foot down on the accelerator and drove
his car at the bandit.
The gunman fired, smashing his
windscreen, but he hit the bandit at about
40mph, knocking him several feet in the air.
However, he fled on the back of an
accomplice’s motorcycle, leaving the
firearm behind and fleeing empty handed.
Frank’s car hit the security van, but his
quick thinking had prevented a £50,000
robbery, the incident being all over within a
A Past Master of Viking Lodge No. 5014,
which meets at St Leonards-on-Sea in
Sussex, he was initiated in Fraternal Unity
Lodge No. 7330, London, in 1973.
The Binney Memorial Medal is awarded
for the bravest action in support of law and
order performed for the year in the areas
controlled by the Metropolitan or City of
London police by any person not a member
of a police force.
The award was instituted in 1947 as a
memorial to Captain Ralph Binney RN,
who lost his life in 1944 when he made a
gallant and single-handed attempt to prevent
the escape of ‘smash and grab’ thieves in the
City of London.
Captain Binney’s friends in the Royal
Navy wanted to commemorate his bravery
in some way and so they subscribed to a
Trust Fund to found a medal to be awarded
The awards, presented at Goldsmiths’
Hall, are made by a selection committee
comprising the Chief Metropolitan
Stipendiary Magistrate, who is chairman, the
Commissioners of the Metropolitan and
City police, the Chief of Fleet Support and
the Clerk of the Goldsmith’ Company.
Frank Barker’s exploit
hit the headlines
Frank receives the Binney
Award from Prince Philip
Frank Barker in his
Metropolitan Police days
Web site created by Mark Griffin