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Dave Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Dave Wilkinson

  1. Many thanks for that information. I suspected as much but was not sure. Dave.
  2. The divisional letters and the numbers are indeed removable, and interchangeable between plates. The King's Crown versions have been selling on the internet auction site for £200 plus. I've not seen a Victorian example offered for sale but I would imagine that it would attract quite a bit of interest and an appropriate hammer price.
  3. I suspect that PC Hayward was one of many who over the years completed their service in one division, retaining the same number. I imagine that it must be quite rewarding to put a name to a Met. man in an old photo as a result of tracing his number and division through records, AND narrowing it down to only one possible individual. But then given the size of the force and the turnover of men (particularly in the early days), such occasions must be few and far between. Insofar as the Dockyards are concerned I'm not sure whether each dock division maintained a separate numbering system or whether they were consecutively issued to cover all the Dockyards. In other words, was there a PC 30 at Chatham and another PC 30 at Devonport ? That said, unless you could ID the location then I guess that putting a name to the guy would be just as difficult for the reasons you mention. Dave.
  4. Thank you for taking the time to look up the details of PC Hayward. The helmet plate depicted is in fact a Victorian version adorned with what is commonly known as a "Guelphic" Crown. That said, the Met. continued to wear it for several years after Victoria's death. The King's Crown version was approved by the Commissioner, Edward Henry on 2nd November 1906,and subsequently sealed by the Receiver's Office on that date. So, PC Hayward (joining in 1910) would have been issued with the King's Crown version. As you correctly say, divisional numbers were re-issued and a further potential complication is that in recent years collectors have "swopped about" divisional letters (and in some cases numbers) between different helmet plates. This has been done for a variety of reasons and as a result it is now almost impossible to say with any degree of certainty that a particular numbered helmet plate was worn by a particular man. Best wishes, Dave.
  5. Attached is an example from my collection. Dave.
  6. This looks very much like a very dodgy copy! Dave.
  7. Whilst I can't comment in respect of the medal, I can tell you that there has been no concerted effort to cease wearing insignia which features the title "Royal Fiji Police". According to the force itself, cap badges bearing both Royal and non-Royal titles continue to be worn. Apparently, they issue and re-issue whatever is available in the stores. Dave.
  8. David, "The Specials" by Ronald Seth (The Story of the Special Constabulary in England, Wales & Scotland), published by Victor Gollancz Ltd. in 1961 was a very comprehensive review, although out of date in resect of recent history and organisation. Alas, long out of print. However, copies do turn up from time to time. Dave.
  9. It is alphabetical order and lists all those awarded not just the police forces. Dave.
  10. Your man, according to the medal roll, was a member of the Halifax Borough Police. Dave.
  11. A mate of mine has a list of all the police recipients. I'll get him to have a look for your man and get back to you. Dave.
  12. There is indeed a medal roll for the 1953 Coronation Medal. Those awarded the medal have an identity code at the end of their name which (if you can decipher the code) indicates which force, organisation or department they belonged to. Dave.
  13. I have my doubts about him being a Special Constable. The jacket does not look like a police pattern. The lower patch pockets are not of a design which I would normally associate with the police. The medal ribbon is not the Special Constabulary LS ribbon which has quite distinctive white stripes on it. I also note that there is no whistle chain evident. The "shield" cap badge looks like a collar/epaulette badge for the York City Police. It is not worded and is simply the shield centre of the York coat of arms. I believe that the armlet may be a bit of a "red herring". He could be a municipal park keeper or attendant. The other possibility is that he has simply dressed himself up for the photo. Its difficult to put a date on the photo but I would guess 1950's. Going back to the armlet. It looks out of place and is of a pattern which was worn many years previously. The buttons on his breast pockets are positioned far too high up on the jacket. Overall his whole outfit looks "odd". Sorry not to have been more helpful. Dave.
  14. I think that may probably have been the case during the war years especially in small forces. There are recorded instances of the Chief Constable going off to war and the Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee (the Police Authority)/Watch Committee being appointed Acting Chief Constable in his stead. In fact, I can't recall the force in question but I'm certain that in one force the Commandant of the Special Constabulary, acted as Chief Constable during the absence of the Chief. Dave.
  15. I would suggest that the badge may be off a plaque or similar which in its correct form would have been painted in "proper" colours. Dave.
  16. His record card indicates that he joined the PWR on 1st September 1939 and he resigned 28th December 1943. He was posted to "X" Division and attached to station "XD". There is no warrant number or collar number shown. Dave.
  17. I don't think he was a special constable. If my recollection is correct he was a police war reserve constable. In other words he was not a volunteer he was on the payroll. John Reginald Halliday CHRISTIE Dave.
  18. Hi Mike, Yes, I think you are correct regarding truncheons. Many of the pieces were subscribed to by an individuals colleagues and were privately purchased for presentation. Or, the very wealthy Divisional Commandant (often a local businessman) footed the bill and gave all members a presentation piece to mark a particular occasion/event etc. As an aside, I'm fairly certain that some of the "custom" divisional titles to shown in the photo were a private purchase. I say that because only certain divisions appear to have worn them, the majority wearing a simple metal letter indicating their attachment. Best wishes, Dave.
  19. Mike, I do have an example of this badge together with several differing variations. The general view is that this badge was not an issue item but was manufactured and purchased privately. Many of the leaders in the Metropolitan Special Constabulary were at one time very wealthy well connected people. They often paid for and had made their own "mufti" badges which were of better quality than those issued. This I believe is one such item. It dates from the first war but could probably have continued to be used for many years after. In some cases I think they were handed down one to another. As to value. it is probably what someone is willing to pay. I hope this is helpful. As an aside I attach a photo of the Metpol. SC. items I have. Dave.
  20. The rank of Commandant in the Special Constabulary is the top rank one can achieve. The rank still exists today and is termed as a "Chief Officer" rank. Dave.
  21. Peter, You "Google" "List of Law Enforcement agencies in the UK, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories" you will find full details. Dave.
  22. Its important to remember that the Royal Park Keepers, although they had full police powers in the Royal London parks, were not members of a "police force" as such. Their position was no different (for example) to that of the Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London who also (under different legislation) had full police powers within the area of the Tower. Dave.
  23. If you want to know about the Palestine Police read the definitive history, "A Job Well Done" by Edward HORN. There is a copy currently on eBay. An outstanding book! Dave.
  24. You obviously have a great deal of time on your hands which you have put to good use in giving readers chapter and verse on the design of police greatcoats. I'm much obliged to you. A must for the "expert" such as yourself is a copy of "The History of Metropolitan Police Uniforms & Equipment" by Wilkinson & Fairfax. Alas, it exists in manuscript form only and was never published. Dave.
  25. Well said! As for whistle chains, they were an insignificant problem if indeed they were a problem at all. My original force which I joined in the early 1970's issued heavy greatcoats and reefer jackets which were required to be adorned with the long whistle chain hanging down from a top button with the whistle tucked into a small pocket. Essentially, the design of the coats had not materially changed (apart from an open neck at the collar) since Victorian times. It was not a problem. Anybody grabbing hold of the chain would have simply pulled the whistle out of the pocket. Going back to Victorian days, the greatest danger to the Victorian bobby was his leather belt which could be grabbed hold of from behind by a would be assailant and used to pull the officer to the ground. That said, in the 1980's what do many British Police forces do? They issue overtly worn equipment belts which pose the same risks as outlined above! We could go on and on....... Dave.