BONIFAY –There is a mystery in Holmes County, and the game is afoot as the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the family of one 1920s’ deputy whose badge has made its way to Washington D.C., Scotland and back again.
According to Jeana Prescott, Executive Assistant to Sheriff Tim Brown, the mystery began with a strange message on the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page requesting information on a badge recently acquired. The message was from Daniel Mcrae of Patrick Glasgow Scotland.
According to Mcrae, he has served with the 1/52 Lowland Territorial Army 1977-1982 Reserves, has worked the Funeral Directors for the past 20 years, helped design with James McNulty the Scottish Police Memorial, helped design the first Veterans Memorial in the UK Terry McCourt which the Parachute Regiment had this idea eventually came to fruition.
He also does extensive work for the veterans in Glasgow, which holds two services annually with one being Victory in Europe and another Victory in Japan.
“I mainly arrange funerals,” said Mcrae.“My hobbies are collecting WWI badges, medals, and uniforms. I also collect Police badges mainly from places I have visited, assisted Poppy Scotland with Collecting during October and November and do my guide around the battlefields of France and Belgium.”
Mcrae explained that he was visiting Washington D.C. for Police Week in 2006 and to visit his cousin in Tallahassee who was a Leon County Deputy Sheriff and Mcrae was also made an honorary Sheriff in Leon County during that time.
“We went for coffee in Starbucks and there was this little old lady who loved my Scottish Brogue,” said Mcrae. “She asked me why I was there, where I worked and so on and my cousin explained he was also collector, as she was in uniform, and she suddenly said she had this badge that belonged to her grandfather Gross, who was a Deputy Sheriff with Holmes County. She gave it to because she had no one to pass it down to. Good memories and good time, that was.”
It was shortly after he had returned home to Scotland that he became curious about the badge’s origins and that is when he contacted the sheriff’s office.
“We had done some research into the badge’s origin and found that the badge was very similar to Polk County’s badge in the 1920s,” said Brown. “We also confirmed with another source that it looks to be a badge from the 1920s.”
Mcrae explained the girl who gave him the badge said it was from a Deputy Gross/Groce, though he was uncertain of the spelling of the last name.
Prescott explained after much discussion with Mcrae, they proposed to possibly purchase the badge, but he declined to sell it.
“He decided to give it to us, saying that it was like he was sending it home,” said Brown. “In return we sent him one of our badges and made him an honorary deputy of Holmes County. Now we’re doing what we can to track down the family of the owner of the badge.”
If anyone has any information to help find the badge’s home contact the Sheriff’s Office at 547-3681 or message them through their Facebook page.