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voltaire60

METROPOLITAN POLICE-CASUALTY- SERVICE/PENSION RECORDS

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voltaire60

   I have a local casualty who was a serving officer with the Metropolitan Police prior to his call-up in late 1917- Francis William Coward, PC with J Division. He died of wounds on 29th March 1918 while serving with the London Scottish. But I am stuck on details of his police service.

 

       Ancestry has the excellent Met Police Pension Registers but he is not on those records. Though I would be very surprised if his widow did not receive a police pension of some sorts. He appears to be the officer listed  in MEPO 4 at TNA (Register of Leavers)  as William Coward, PC with J Division.  His date of "leaving" is given as 10th April 1918, presumably as soon as his casualty details came through from France.

 

      I know that police history is a popular topic  and that there is a degree of expertise on GWF about it. (eg the excellent new police memorial at Forest Gate Police Station)  Could any member point to a source which might give (as with the Pension Registers) the bare bones of his service?  Met. Police records are a great unknown to me but I believe there is a fair bit tucked away but rather daunting to a novice.

 

      In addition,  is there anything out there that details the Met. and its casualties generally?????  Particularly the conditions of service for those who left to fight. It seems from Coward''s leavers register details that he was considered still to be a Met officer while serving in the army.

 

     A further problem with this man is that there is a possibility  that he was a former regular with the East Surrey Regiment. There is an F.Coward who was awarded the QSA medal with 3 bars and I have found nothing to either eliminate or confirm it is the same man. I cannot trace either Francis William Coward or F.Coward on the 1901 Census, so again, if there is a ref. to any Census records for those in South Afrtica in 1901, then I would be grateful. I am minded to think that it is the same man as Francis William Coward is recorded as only joining the Met. at the age of 27 ( or so) in 1907-  so a term of regular engagement might account for that-East Surrey is the right regiment for his birth and early years.

 

 

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voltaire60

Thanks Craig- Good to know they rise early in the North-East!!   Further work has established that my man  was better known as "William Coward" and was indeed a former regular-  formerly 5775 1st Royal Sussex in the Boer War (service record on FMP). That's a relief-People using variants of their names or transposing their given names are always a problem.

 

      One slight puzzle with War Gratuity-  I am used on your formulation to £3 being less than a year. But why £3/10/-.   Extra 10 bob for being a veteran???  

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ss002d6252
7 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

Thanks Craig- Good to know they rise early in the North-East!!   Further work has established that my man  was better known as "William Coward" and was indeed a former regular-  formerly 5775 1st Royal Sussex in the Boer War (service record on FMP). That's a relief-People using variants of their names or transposing their given names are always a problem.

 

      One slight puzzle with War Gratuity-  I am used on your formulation to £3 being less than a year. But why £3/10/-.   Extra 10 bob for being a veteran???  

I have the gas lamp on full.

 

The £3 10s (net) was for 13 months service.so a 10s increment for an extra (full or part) month - to add to my earlier post, you can say he enlisted between 1 March and 30 March 1917

 

Craig

 

Edited by ss002d6252

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voltaire60

Thanks Craig.   It all makes sense now. Please excuse my prejudices-  I long believed that Catherine Cookson  TV series were documenatries :wub:

 

   Craig, would you know if eligibility for a widow's pension (with kids)  from the Army might affect a police pension (or any other receipt of pension)?

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ss002d6252
8 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

   Craig, would you know if eligibility for a widow's pension (with kids)  from the Army might affect a police pension (or any other receipt of pension)?

Don't know on that one.


Craig

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voltaire60

Thank you David-  I know of them but have not as yet contacted them. It does seem that the Met has quite a bit more "Heritage" stuff than one realises but accessing it does seem a bit of a problem. It became noticeable as I have at least 6 local casualties who were the sons of police officers-and at least 2 of them enlisted underage. So I thought it was about time I found out a bit more-if poss.- about the Met. locally. There is a printed modern history of policing in North-East London of recent years (by 2 ex-senior police officers- which seems to be the background for most police histories). 

   On a general note, the one major British institution that does not have a serious "official" history is the Met.  Let alone it's activities in the Great War.  Would that a Chris Andrew came along and did as good a job for the Met as the security services.. 

    My one serving police officer casualty seems to be falling into place-looks like he left the army in 1907 to get married and thereafter joined the police. Looks as if he didnt sign on for a second term with the Royal Sussex as this might mean years away on foreign station.  OK, recruitment of men from the Armed Forces is still a feature of the modern police but it would be good to get some overview of how police recruiting actually worked back then. It looks like recruits were deliberately posted the wrong side of London on joining or when promoted- come from South London, then you go to the North, etc. Of course, these were also the days when posties had to be ex-army men-used to walking- and the London Fire Brigade recruited from  ex-RN-used to heights with ship's rigging,etc. 

 

      On a different, though vaguely related theme, still trying to get a friend to persevere with a work on "Fallen Felons"- to reprint the 1919 Police Gazette supplement which listed ex- offenders who would no longer cause concern as they were war casualties.

 

All good fun.  :wub:

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DavidOwen

I am presuming you have checked them out on the TNA Registers of Met Police Leavers? https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/r/C210744 and https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/r/C210745

 

I corresponded with them (https://www.metpolicehistory.co.uk/met-police-family-history.html) and found them very helpful although in the end we couldn't agree on the details of the man concerned as the record they proposed was at odds with the records of the man's children....

 

Good luck with your investigation!

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ss002d6252
2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

  On a different, though vaguely related theme, still trying to get a friend to persevere with a work on "Fallen Felons"- to reprint the 1919 Police Gazette supplement which listed ex- offenders who would no longer cause concern as they were war casualties. 

Nice to see that they were organised enough to do this !

Quote

OK, recruitment of men from the Armed Forces is still a feature of the modern police but it would be good to get some overview of how police recruiting actually worked back then

Oct 1907 annual army return - looks like less than 20% of police recruits were ex-soldiers.
image.png.9aa377c3faa84b9f6a7a4476c152530d.png

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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voltaire60

Thanks Craig- That is still quite a significant number., given the number of ex-soldiers of the right age groups when set against the entire cohort of available males.  

 

     It matters a little for my man-  a 37 years old married man called up Feb-Mar 1917. Would this be the right call-up for him??  Or did the Met. have some partial exemptions until the final comb-outs of 1917-1918 when anyone could be sacrificed.  I am thinking in particular as to whether the Met. had any arrangement,say similar to the Great eastern Railway at Stratford, to "permit" men to go off and enlist. The Met. and the war is such a grey area- I suspect that men were not allowed to go off at will to serve-  eg What happened with regard to reservists who had thereafter become Met. officers???  Would have dented the Met. quite considerably. But the history of it all is a complete blank to me.

   I would suspect that there is some sort of internal history somewhere in the Commissioner's Library  -Would that I could be sure that such a thing existed!!

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ss002d6252
1 hour ago, voltaire60 said:

Thanks Craig- That is still quite a significant number., given the number of ex-soldiers of the right age groups when set against the entire cohort of available males.  

 

     It matters a little for my man-  a 37 years old married man called up Feb-Mar 1917. Would this be the right call-up for him??  Or did the Met. have some partial exemptions until the final comb-outs of 1917-1918 when anyone could be sacrificed.  I am thinking in particular as to whether the Met. had any arrangement,say similar to the Great eastern Railway at Stratford, to "permit" men to go off and enlist. The Met. and the war is such a grey area- I suspect that men were not allowed to go off at will to serve-  eg What happened with regard to reservists who had thereafter become Met. officers???  Would have dented the Met. quite considerably. But the history of it all is a complete blank to me.

   I would suspect that there is some sort of internal history somewhere in the Commissioner's Library  -Would that I could be sure that such a thing existed!!

 

Group 41 was married men born 1880 - mobilized May 16.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/enlisting-into-the-army/the-group-scheme-derby-scheme/

 

Craig

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