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Uptodat

Policemen & Royal Garrison Artillery

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Uptodat

I am researching policemen from the Northampton Borough Police & Northamptonshire County Constabulary who served in the Army in the Great War.

Apart from those ex soldiers recalled to the Colours in their former Regiments , those who went to the Mounted or Foot Police, those who joined the Northamptonshire Regiment, or Grenadier Guards, the majority served in Artillery, mainly the RGA. Presumably they were larger than average in stature, already used to formal discipline & capable of working independently, but why artillery & the RGA in particular? Many appear to have been processed in blocks with sequential service numbers in alphabetical order of names. Many were Lord Derby scheme men, attested early in the war but not mobilised until 1917. Were policemen from other forces in the country also heavily represented in the RGA?

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GraemeClarke

Hi

 

Of the 50 men killed who served in the Birmingham City Police, only 4 served in the RGA,

Regards,

 

Graeme

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Uptodat

Thanks Graeme. Northampton Borough had 49 who served, 18 were RGA , of which one KIA. I'm still identifying which units the County Constabulary Men served in but I've already found 12 RGA up to letter G. No list of all County men who served has been compiled so far. Just the Northants Forces then perhaps. All the best. Dave

 

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kenf48

There was an embargo on the attestation of married police officers enlisting under the Derby Scheme.  The Chronicle and Echo of the 11 December 1915 noted that whilst the last single police officer had attested weeks before as soon as the embargo was lifted all eligible married men in the Borough Force attested.  

Initially married men were told they would not be required to serve overseas.

 

A suggestion, no more, it may be that these were older men who attested to RGA and were initially posted to the RGA at home on coastal defence, or on garrison duty abroad before going on active service.

 

Interestingly the attached advertisement appeared in the same newspaper on the 11 October 1915 and for the remainder of the month.  The Derby Scheme did allow some element of choice and no doubt the Borough men were 'stalwart'.  The affinity may have been with the local recruiting office rather than the Force.  The height for the infantry was 5' 3" so the RGA were definitely looking for bigger stronger recruits.

 

 

 

 

Ken

 

Stalwart men copy.png

Edited by kenf48

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Uptodat

Thanks Ken. Good find in the Chronicle. Very useful. I'll check marital status & date of attestation. 

 

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tullybrone

Some years ago I researched the grandfather of a former colleague who served in Denbighshire Constabulary (IIRC).

 

He had enlisted in RGA as a special enlistment in December 1915. There is a letter on the file to the Chief Constable that speaks of his enlistment being one of several Constables from the force enlisting into RGA at the same time.

 

Steve

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Uncle George

My Great Uncle Sydney Henry Moore joined the Devonport Borough Police in 1913 - this force amalgamated with the Plymouth police in 1914. His Attestation form reveals that he had previously served with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He then served with the RGA, and after the war rejoined Plymouth police. He married during the war.

 

image.jpg

Edited by Uncle George

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Uptodat

Thanks Steve & Uncle George. I think there may be many more stalwart coppers who served in RGA. I will have to sort my data out to see who enlisted when, whether they were married & when they were mobilised. Early days in the project.

 

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bootneck

There is a photograph of Surrey (Guildford Borough?) Policemen who joined the RGA in the Woking News & Mail in October 1919. As my memory recalls there is at least half a dozen of them; unfortunately, they are not named.  

 

From some work I did some time ago and is incomplete 122 Surrey Policemen served during the war while 25 members of the Guildford Borough force saw service. Of these 8 (5 RFA, 3 RGA) and 5 (1 RA, 4 RGA) were from Surrey and Guildford respectively. Interestingly, both the Guards and Military Police figure highly in those men whose regiments I have identified.

Edited by bootneck

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GraemeClarke

Hi

 

Of the 11 men killed from Walsall Borough Police Force, just 1 was in the R.G.A.

 

Of the 10 men killed from Wolverhampton Police Force, 2 were in the R.G.A.

 

Regards,

 

Graeme

Edited by GraemeClarke

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58 Div Mule

I've come across two groups of medals to Royal Marine Artillerymen who served pre war, joined the police and were recalled to their Corps during the Great War. One of them was a Portsmouth policeman, served on HMS Ocean (mined at Gallipoli) returned to serve in the Portsmouth shore patrol and subsequently re-joined the police on discharge.

 

 

 

    

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Uptodat

Thanks for the responses. Clearly big men were needed to feed the big guns & coppers were big in those days. I'll return to this when I've finished going through the list of County policemen. I have noted that some men joined the police forces only days before attestation in the RGA, so, apart from being "stalwart", perhaps there was a matter of receiving the balance of their civil pay, as well as the attractions of longer training at home, & perhaps word of mouth recommendations from peers or recruiters. One Northampton Borough policeman was KIA with RGA, & three from the County Constabulary. Another County man died in the Zeebrugge raid with RMA. 

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Uptodat

There were 17 Northampton Borough Policemen who served in the RGA. One KIA, Horace Bignell, 9/11/1917, & one M.M. winner: Walter Gardner. Now looking for their service numbers & records.

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