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Dave Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Dave Wilkinson

  1. Kevin, Although the force only used one pattern of badge throughout its existence, this badge was used on a number of different patterns of helmet over the years. The final type worn was the ornate version you mention. At one time, instead of wearing a helmet during the summer months they utilised a peaked kepi. A photo depicting this type of headgear is shown the the "Policing the Peninsula" book. In the 1914 group photo you show, it can be seen that they are wearing the large belt plate depicted on the photo of the badges etc which I posted earlier. I hope this is helpful. Dave.
  2. Kevin, Not much consolation, but the whistles issued to Plymouth Police were marked "Plymouth Constabulary" so if it turns up you will know it for what it is. A number forces simply issued generic versions marked "Metropolitan". Good luck with any further research you do. Best wishes, Dave.
  3. Kevin, The Plymouth City Police long service medal was awarded by the Watch Committee of Plymouth Corporation. Medals awarded other than by the Sovereign are worn on the wearers right side (left as you are looking at him). Its a shame that the medals were not kept in the family. Presumably, your Great Granddad's Merit Badge is missing also. I assume they have been either "lost" or sold. Unless a relative has them tucked away somewhere. Dave.
  4. Kevin, Uncle Sid appears to have the Plymouth City Police long service medal. Det. Sgt. Fred looks a cool dude! All things considered, the family must, between them, have been awarded quite a few medals. Have any of them survived (the medals I mean)? Dave.
  5. Mike, You are more than welcome. Dave. Kevin, If you have difficulty in getting hold of Simon Dell's book, let me know. I have a spare copy. Dave.
  6. Kevin, Many thanks for the news cutting. Very interesting. The Metropolitan Police who attended the funeral were almost certainly from Devonport Dockyard which at that time would have been a Metropolitan Police responsibility. Yes, you are correct with your information regarding "H" division and the transition of "Borough" to "City". Several years ago there was a very good book published called "Policing the Peninsula" by Simon Dell. It covers the history of Westcountry policing from 1850 - 2000. Some excellent photos of Devonport Police. Dave.
  7. Kevin, The first photo you showed (with your Great Grandfather on) depicts the men wearing "summer" uniform with epaulettes. They are without belts and the helmet is of a lightweight pattern. The jacket and trousers would also have been of a thinner material. The second photo depicts the men wearing a heavy winter uniform and helmet. As an aside, the merit badge which I have has a silver hallmark for 1914. This is the year the Devonport force amalgamated with the neighbouring Plymouth City Police. Dave. Kevin, The "bright" badges and buckle are in German silver (white metal). The items to the right are are brass/gilt. The top right collar/epaulette badge is in bright gilt and may have been worn by a senior officer. The different metals are probably from an earlier (brass) period and a later (white metal) period. Hope this is helpful. Dave.
  8. Kevin, The badge on his chest is Devonport's version of the Merit badge. Contrary to what you have been told not all merit badges were of a fabric manufacture, nor where they all worn on the arm. Each force that awarded merit badges (not all did) decided upon the design, style of manufacture and where it was to be worn. The badge on the arm is a first aid badge (generic). The badges on the shoulder are not in fact circular but are "eye" shaped. The merit badge and the shoulder badge are depicted in the attached photo. I hope this is helpful. Best wishes, Dave.
  9. Dave Wilkinson


    I think that the symbol on the front is one that may have been used by the Irish Civil Defence in the 1950's. Not sure but a possibility. Dave.
  10. What a nice badge. Congratulations on caring for it so well over the years. Well done! I hope you keep it and remember fondly the kind gent who gave it to you all those years ago. Dave.
  11. From the photos, it seems it was never intended to be white. You may be successful in removing the paint from the metal fittings. However, you will not get the paint off the fabric covering, which should be black/dark navy blue. Looking at the two holes where the badge has originally been, it suggests that the original badge was a fairly small one. At a guess, possibly Berkshire Constabulary. The canvas chin strap is not original to the helmet, nor is the red band around it. You could have a go at restoring it and then see what the end result looks like. The white paint may come off if its water based emulsion, but other than that I think its a lost cause. Its a shame because the cork shell appears quite sturdy. Dave.
  12. Yes, Hebburn and Jarrow are nowhere near Sunderland. The Borough Police were responsible for the town of Sunderland only. Outside the town was the responsibility of the Durham County Constabulary. Dave.
  13. If he served at Hebburn and Jarrow then he would not have been a member of the Sunderland Borough Police. Dave.
  14. You mention that your man served in the "Sunderland County Police". Insofar as your research is concerned it is worth bearing in mind that such a police force has never existed. If he served at Hebburn and Jarrow, he would have been a member of the Durham County Constabulary. I hope this is helpful. Dave.
  15. The paramedics and police in Canada (and their management) must have a great deal of spare time and cash to enable them to consider and pay for such things. Here, they seldom have time to stop for a meal between rushing from job to job. Dave.
  16. I can confirm that they are not British Police Officers. The Italian police did, and some still do, wear British style police helmets. Dave.
  17. Here in the UK, formal uniform for certainly the police and fire services either has been or is being scrapped. For two main reasons. Firstly, there is no longer the cash to pay for it and secondly (apart from perhaps London) emergency services seldom if ever have the spare capacity or time to take part in any formal occasions. Insofar as the police are concerned the concept of "mess dress" has never really taken hold. I can recall attending a command course at the Police Staff College several years ago where formal "dining in" nights were regularly held and apart from members of the former RHKP and some (not all) members of the RUC, the rest of us wore dinner suits without any additional adornment. Dave.
  18. Tony, If that's what you paid for it, then its good value. It would have cost much more than that if you were to ask a supplier to make it for you. A nicely made item. Well done for having the foresight to grab it! Dave.
  19. Looking at it, I suspect that it was made within the last year or so. Dave.
  20. Matt, Warwickshire Police have a History Society who may be able to help you with the ex Warwickshire Constable. They have a very basic web site with a "contact" tab. Best wishes, Dave.
  21. No one seems to have bothered to answer this enquiry, so I'll provide the details I have for William MAUNDER. He joined on 26th December 1893 (Warrant No:- 79218) and was posted to "E" Division (Holborn). He retired on pension on 6th February 1922 and at that time he was serving as a Sergeant in the 1st Division (Woolwich Dockyard/Arsenal). In 1897 he was a Constable in the 1st division. In 1902 he was still a Constable in that Division and in 1911 he was a Sergeant in the 1st Division. According to the book compiled by Mr. J.H.F. Kemp he was entitled to the 1911 Coronation Medal in addition to those you have. I hope this is helpful. Dave. PS. It looks as if some industrious individual has cleaned the medals, which will have devalued them somewhat.
  22. Firstly, the surviving personal records for those who served in the provincial police forces of the UK are, in the main, very scant. The Metropolitan Police records are reasonably well preserved and someone on here may be able to help you. The Cheshire Constabulary maintain a museum with website. They will provide details from any records they have, but there are charges to be paid. Go to their website for details. I doubt that you will have much success with the others. Most of the provincial forces have deposited their personnel records with their County or Local Record Offices. In quite a few cases, the records have either been intentionally destroyed or were lost as a result of enemy action during the last war. Best of luck! Dave.
  23. The British Overseas Territories police forces are not awarded the PLS & GC medal. Instead the receive the BOT Police Long service medal (I think that's its title). It replaced the old Colonial Police Medal several years ago. There are also bars to it for years in addition. They are also entitled to the QPM. Your photos show the Royal Gib. Police Commissioner and also the Gib. Defence Police (green & white cap bands). The Chief Officer of the GDP is a seconded UK officer and he is wearing the PLS &GC medal. Dave.
  24. The arm badge is "generic", in other words it was worn by a great number of forces during the Great War. It would have been a manufacturers "stock" item probably manufactured by Hiatt & Co. of Birmingham. The number shown would have been that allocated to the wearer and would have enabled identification in the event of someone wishing to make a complaint etc. Dave.
  25. A new book has just been published entitled "Special Constabulary Insignia of England & Wales". Softback. A4 size. 138 pages depicting over 750 colour photos of Special Constabulary badges from the Great War to the present day. Plus 38 black and white period photos featuring members of the Special Constabulary. The book has been privately published and is of a limited print run. For anyone interested the price is £25 per copy. This is inclusive of UK postage. Airmail postage outwith the UK will be extra. Payment via PAYPAL (family & friends). PM me if you would like a copy.