Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Ruth Steels

War Time Police Constable

Recommended Posts

Ruth Steels

Aren't sure if this is one for the forum or not -

From a photo I have been given of my Great Grandfather he is wearing a police uniform. On the back is written 'Dad - when he was a war time Police Constable'.

I know that he was a farmer really - would you think he sort of stepped into the role when the younger members of the community [one being his son, my GF] went to war. Has anyone any ideas? Also would people doing this job get any recognition?

My Great Grandfather was Thomas Arnold born in 1861 at Wheldrake, near York

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion

He was probably a special constable under the Special Constables Act of 1914 which created a volunteer force for the duration of World War One

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dycer

Jack,

If you access the Fife Police(Scotland) Web-site,Pictoral History -1913-1920- you'll see an example of a Certificate issued by the Force to Men who served as Special Constables in WW1.

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruth Steels

Centurion and George

Many thanks for the information sent, it has filled in some gaps for me.

Regards

Ruth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HarryBettsMCDCM

The WW1 SC were awarded The Special Constabulary Medal {Crowned & Robed Bust Type} With the Clasp "The Great War 1914~1918"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Colin.j

Baileyjack

As far as I am aware farmers were an exempt occupation in the Great War, same as they were in WW2, but there would be nothing to stop him becoming a "Special" as Centurion suggests. If and when he was issued with uniform, it would not be any different to that worn by regular p.c's, but not all forces issued their Specials with uniform in WW1. If he served for 3 or more years he would qualify for the Special Constabulary Faithful Service Medal.

Wheldrake is in the East Riding, so it might be worth trying the East Riding Record Office at Beverley to see if they have anything on the East Riding Special Constabulary for that period. Another suggestion is the newspapers for the Pocklington area.

Colin Jackson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Colin.j

Baileyjack

Further to my previous post.

A A Clarke in his book "Country Coppers, The Story of the East Riding Police", page 58, tells us that "Home Office allowed forces to recruit a substantial number of "extra" constables or police reserves to replace those who enlisted and to bolster police generally during the war. The allocation for East Riding was 125 but the force decided to economise as usual and only appointed 69. The shortfall was made up with unpaid Special Constables. Although the extras and specials were supposed to be unfit or otherwise unavailable for active service there was a certain amount of acrimonious correspondence in the local press from time to time about men unfairly seeking refuge from the front by joining the police."

If your great grandfather was a "Supernumerary Constable" (usual title given to such extras at that time), he would not qualify for any medal, just like a soldier who only served at "Home", but as I mentioned in my previous post, if he served 3 or more years as a Special he would qualify for a medal. Nor do I think he would receive any written recognition, the police didn't do such things in those days. They do now, when a policeman leaves he gets a "Certificate of Service".

Colin Jackson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

If you know what force he served with then the Chief Constable's annual reports for the town/city/area may mention his name. Equally, it is worth checking out the local council minutes books as the appointment of constables, special or otherwise, had to be authorised by the Watch Committee.

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruth Steels

Colin

Thank you very much for the information you sent me - it helps a great deal.

I will have a trip to Beverley to the Treasures House and see if I can come up with anything.

Kind regards

Ruth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...