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Week 36: My ancestor was a police officer

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  • Week 36: My ancestor was a police officer

    Do you have a police officer or a special constable in your tree?

    This is an opportunity to showcase a police officer from your family tree, you might want to offer a short biography and speak about their work eg
    Birth location/date
    Family background
    Where you've found them on the census
    Their workplace/employer
    Any tips on researching the police?

    Trades and Occupations - Family Tree Forum
    Police History Society
    British Police History

    [Next week: Working with wood]
    Last edited by Jill on the A272; 27-08-22, 09:19.

  • #2
    My father was a police officer in North Staffordshire c1928-54. I found a couple of news items mentioning him in FMP's newspaper collection


    • #3
      Edwin Bent's father worked his way up to Superintendent of Police in Stretford, Lancashire. Edwin (1848-1912) married my kinswoman Grace Ann Kershaw in Newchurch in Rossendale in 1871 and became a police officer there. Two children, Margaret and John were born to them but by John's baptism in 1874 he had left the police and the baptismal register records him as a book keeper.

      He abandoned Grace and the children and in 1878 at Collyhurst bigamously married widow Elizabeth Parker nee Greaves. He was a commercial traveller at this point. In April 1880 he took on the tenancy of the Burlington Hotel in Llandudno and was arrested there by Detective Slater and Sergeant Morris of the Manchester police at Llandudno on a charge of bigamy in July 1880, appearing in court and pleading guilty in January the following year. He claimed Grace was living with someone. He continued to live with Elizabeth and they had a son in 1883.

      Grace died in Fylde district on 1st March 1884 and was buried in the family grave in Newchurch in Rossendale. The children returned to Newchurch.

      Somehow, in spite of his conviction he was appointed to the railway police in Sheffield and in 1891 was living with his senior police officer father in Stretford and was an Inspector of Railway Police and a widower, so he hadn't bothered to make an honest woman of Elizabeth. In 1901 he was a Superintendent of Police in Ecclesfield with a female servant Elizabeth Sparrow. In 1909 he was earning £200p.a. 1911 saw them both in Nottinghamshire (though Miss Sparrow had only aged 5 years). She was one of his executors when he died the following year worth £1121 16s 9d.

      So ends the story of my Bent copper.


      • #4
        My grandfather, Charles King, was in the Metropolitan Police for 25 years - he was presented with a silver plate upon retirement, which my brother has inherited. Charles was born in Suffolk in 1877 and joined the police force in 1901 in Marylebone before transferring to Brixton. He married my grandmother, Emily Philbrook in Redhll in May 1902 and they lived in Beddington and then Plough Lane, Wallington. Charles and Emily had eight children, one died at three months and their eldest son died in his sleep, aged 21 of an undetected heart problem. After retiring from the police, Charles became a gardener. He died in 1950.
        charles-king policeman.jpg


        • #5
          My father in law was a Policeman in Somerset, he started life as a fireman (making the fire) on the railways in South Wales, and in the 50s joined the force. He was the village policeman that lived in the police house. In various Somerset villages.

          Oddly someone came to live in Ampthill to be near her sons, she moved from Wales, we got talking and she lived in Crewkerne where he had been the village policeman and Pam clearly remembered him. He died before i met my husband, so I never knew him.

          I must search out some newspaper articles, I know there should be some.

          Family Tree site

          Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
          Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff


          • #6
            A cousin is a recently retired traffic police officer now working in a civilian capacity, and another close relation is a serving police officer. The serving one and I visited the Brighton Police Cells Museum in the basement of Brighton Town Hall, where you can see the cells (with graffiti) left by some of the prisoners following the Mods & Rockers clashes in the 1960s and try on the old style police cape and bits of vintage uniform.

            We also came across the memorial board to officers who died in WW1 and WW2 which includes the name of Lawrence Holford who was a very distant cousin of my husband's (they both descend from Nathan Holford of Horsted Keynes). Lawrence Holford was a reserve or special constable in Brighton and died on duty at Dewe Road on 30th April 1941 when two planes collided.

            Special constables are currently in the news as Penny Lancaster has just passed out as a Special Constable in the City of London Police. She is also president of COPS, the Care of Police Survivors, a charity which supports the family of police officers who die on duty, and I support in various ways including by using Amazon Smile and nominating them as my preferred charity.


            • #7
              My uncle had a very brief period in the police in the late 1940's and my brother did two years probation in the Lincolnshire police force in the 1970's

              My father was never told by either my uncle or my brother why they left


              • #8
                My 2x Great Grandfather was a Policeman, according to the 1871 Census and the Baptisms of 2 of his children but as far as that I've never been able to find any further confirmation. There's been mention of an old photo of a man in uniform but again, I've never seen that either.

                I'm wondering if it may have been more along the lines of Railway Transport Police, again I've not been able to find any confirmation either.
                Lennon. Phillips. Thomas. Peacock. Tubridy. Burton.

                I am the girl from that town & I'm darn proud of it.


                • #9
                  lennon2011 I have occasionally found policemen mentioned in old newspapers when they have arrested someone or have given evidence in court.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
                    lennon2011 I have occasionally found policemen mentioned in old newspapers when they have arrested someone or have given evidence in court.
                    Sorry for not getting back so soon, I took your advice and searched a lot of random things such as Surname, the Street name, the location and even job title with no luck. The only article featuring him is when he's back in Stockton-on-Tees and he's been robbed. I have noticed a curious thing with the census though, a few neighbours have MP Constable as well so I'm going to try looking them up to see if I get anywhere. I did also notice some articles mentioning just the an officer's service numbers so if he is in an article it could just be under that alone.
                    Lennon. Phillips. Thomas. Peacock. Tubridy. Burton.

                    I am the girl from that town & I'm darn proud of it.