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Dave Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Dave Wilkinson

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Peter, You "Google" "List of Law Enforcement agencies in the UK, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories" you will find full details. Dave.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. A recent addition to my collection is the SC mufti lapel badge shown in the attached photo. It is marked on the reverse as being made by "Vaughtons Ltd, Bham". It has a circular (not the usual "horseshoe" shaped) button hole fitting. The rank suggests that it may originate from a Scottish force. The design is very unusual and I've not previously seen a similarly shaped SC badge. It probably dates from the first world war. Can anyone pin it down to a specific police force? Dave.
  11. The point I make is that there were no "rules". It was a matter for each individual force and the officer concerned. So, yes ribbons were routinely worn during the period in question, if the officer chose to and his force sanctioned such wear. I have several hundred period photos and the practice whilst not common was fairly widespread. The "Police Code", the title is something of a misnomer and wrongly suggests official sanction, was a private publication. That said, I'm at a loss to see how its content has any bearing on the question originally asked. Dave.
  12. Unless I'm mistaken, the "Police Code" you refer to was not an official document as such but was simply a publication setting out advice, and published by the "Police Review" or similar. Insofar as uniform and insignia and order of wear was and is concerned police forces in England & Wales were and continue to be very much their own masters. Over the years, the Home Office and the HMI's tried on several occasions to impose standardisation, but with minimum success. So, to reiterate what has already been said, whether an officer wears medals/ribbons depends on the force and personal choice. I think the "personal choice" factor has been paramount since day one. Dave.
  13. Yes, I agree and I suspect that has always been the case. I worked with an old Sergeant many years ago who was a well decorated soldier from the 1939-45 war. He refused to wear medal ribbons on his tunic saying that it was an unpleasant period of his life that he wished to forget. I recall seeing him taking part (as a duty) in a remembrance day parade and he was bare chested. No medals or ribbons and he was clearly unhappy at being required to take part. Dave.
  14. No, its not Cheshire Const. They wore a distinctively designed badge which was totally unlike that illustrated. As I've already said, I don't think its police related. Dave.
  15. Peter, Many thanks for the clarification. Dave.
  16. It is a mufti badge and has a "horseshoe" fitting on the reverse. If you look closely at the photo the bottom of the fitting can be seen. Dave.
  17. Well, anyone that was interested in the William IV truncheon from Aberdeen will certainly now be "upping" their bid! Forgive my saying so, but if you intend bidding on a particular item, its a good idea to, firstly not advertise that the auction is taking place and secondly, name the items you intend bidding on. Unless of course, you are acting for the auction house and seeking to advertise their business. Dave.
  18. You are not the first to have enquired about this badge. It has been discussed previously. I personally don't believe that it has a police connection. Whilst its the same basic design as a 1939-45 special constabulary mufti badge, there the similarity ends. The green enamelled backing and the "CC" suggest to me a non-police use. Dave.
  19. I should explain at the outset that I'm not, for a variety of reasons into truncheons. That said, having collected police insignia for nearly 45 years I have inherited (via various police badge collections which I've bought) one or two wooden and one metal piece which I've kept. As to your question I use two books, "The Book of Public Arms" by A.C. Fox- Davies and "Civic Heraldry of England & Wales" by C.W. Scott-Giles. Published in 1864 and 1933 respectively and obviously long out of print. However, there are one or two websites which are quite useful and which can easily be found using your search engine. I hope this is helpful. Dave.
  20. Thank you for this very informative review of manufacturers in respect of the Irish Government etc. If I could just comment on your final paragraph. Jeeves Ltd. of Waterloo, Liverpool do indeed supply warrant card holders/badges for a large number of police forces in the UK and other countries. However, the manufacture of the actual badges is sub-contracted to a company in Birmingham. Jeeves do the leather work and any embossing and fit the metal badges on their premises before packing and sending to the purchasing organisation. The same with Wyedean Weaving. They don't manufacture metalwork themselves but sub contract. The metalwork is delivered to Wyedean who complete the product on their premises and then send to the force. Best wishes, Dave.
  21. Its an offer they regularly repeat. I was caught out and registered for the free trial (I think it was for a month). Part of the registration process was the provision of bank details etc. I used the site several times and then forgot about it. When I received my bank statement I realised that for the previous five months they had been quietly taking cash (a monthly subscription) from my account. I complained like hell but they would not refund. At the expiry of the one month "free" trial there is no warning. If you forget to cancel (as I did) hard luck. If they wanted to give you something for nothing, why ask for your bank details? Simple, they want your cash. Go for it if you feel inclined, but watch them like a hawk and make sure you cancel before the free period is up. Of course, they will still have your debit/credit card details! I hope this is helpful. Dave.
  22. Don't go near it unless you are happy to pay. Its a "scam". You will need to register and provide your bank details. Guess what? They then eventually take cash from your bank account! Dave.
  23. Those I have seen have all been A3. The staff at Scotland Yard who your mother spoke to were not likely to have been particularly active in collecting police historical items and indeed it is more than probable that they had never before seen one. If I were to walk into the Police HQ of my local force and take with me an historical police artefact from the 1920's with local connections and seek their opinion on it I can guarantee that there would be no one in the building who could tell me anything about it, and in all probability they are not likely to have ever seen one before. If your mother had sought out the curator of the Met. Police Historical Museum (not at Scotland Yard) then she may have been in receipt of more helpful information. Whether they are "rare" or not is really a matter of opinion. The late Mervyn Mitton (you say) opined that they were rare, my view (and I've collected police historical items since the 1960's) is that there are a few about based upon what I've seen of them. I hope this is helpful. Dave.
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