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Dave Wilkinson

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Everything posted by Dave Wilkinson

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Peter, You "Google" "List of Law Enforcement agencies in the UK, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories" you will find full details. Dave.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Peter, Many thanks for the clarification. Dave.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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