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Alan Baird

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  1. Hi, ''The murder of Sophia Lovell on the 10th of September in 1906.'' Sophia Lovell was born in the Parish of Walworth St Mark, in the Borough of Southwark, on the 22nd of April in 1888. In 1906, Sophia was 18 years old and was single, as Sophia and her boyfriend Frederick Reynolds had broken up approximately 3 months before the murder. They had been walking out for approximately 18 months prior to the break-up. Frederick Reynolds had previously been employed as a builder's labourer with Henry Neale who was a local builder. Unfortunately, he became unemployed about the same time as he and Sophia parted company. On the 10th of September in 1906, Sophia Lovell and her cousin Annie Bristow were in the Prince and Princess of Wales Public House, in Kingslake Street, in Walworth. Sophia was meeting with Henry Limbourne, a baker by trade and they had only recently met a few times. They all remained in the Public House from 8pm to approximately 9.30pm and after that Henry Limbourne started to walk Sophia home to her house in Weston Street. On the way home they met Frederick Reynolds and words were spoken and then Sophia and Henry Limbourne continued on their journey. They crossed over Greyhound Bridge and walked approximately 60 yards down Willow Walk when suddenly Frederick Reynolds struck Sophia Lovell several times on the back of the head and in her face and she fell to the ground. Frederick Reynolds then immediately attacked Sophia and cut her throat while she was dazed and on the ground. A scream and cries for help summoned two male passers-by and Frederick Reynolds ran off. Sophia Lovell died within a few minutes due to her loss of blood from the severe wounds to her throat. Police Constable Oliver Langton became aware of the disturbance and on seeing Frederick Reynolds running from the scene, arrested the prisoner. Now in custody, he was then taken to Orange Road Police Station. Police Constable Oliver Langton noticed the blood on Frederick's right hand and sleeve. Frederick Reynolds admitted to Police Constable Oliver Langton what he had done to Sophia Lovell. Police Constable Oliver Langton was assigned the duty of looking after the prisoner during the night and again Frederick Reynolds admitted the attack Sophia Lovell. Police Constable Oliver Langton repeated the information at the Old Bailey trial. William James Lovell, a labourer who was Sophia's brother also confirmed to the court, that he had identified the body as being his sister. William James Lovell also confirmed that Sophia was 18 year old and was employed as a domestic servant. Two other Metropolitan Police officers also gave evidence at the trial and to a lessor extent....Police Sergeant Arthur Goodenough [M divn] and Detective Inspector Alfred Nicholls [M divn]. At the trial at the Old Bailey on the 22nd of October in 1906, Frederick Reynolds, refused to be represented by council and called no witnesses and had nothing to say in his defence. Frederick Reynolds was found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to death and was hanged on the 13th of November in 1906, at Wandsworth Prison, by Henry Pierrepoint. Police Constable Oliver Langton. Joined 15/9/1890 - PC - 'M' divn. Retired on pension 26/1/1917 -PC - 'M' divn. ['M' is Southwark division.] Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1897, Coronation medals for 1902 and 1911 awarded to PC Oliver Langton. Alan.
  2. Hi, I like to think I have a nice collection of Police medals and nearly all of them are kept in the standard medal envelopes and housed in medal albums. The ''PC 881 Edward Watkins medal''[City of London Police] did not look right store in this fashion. The presentation of your individual items or collection is really a personal preference matter but this was my idea of how I thought it should be displayed. I had an old 1887 medal box which was still in a good condition so I placed the medal in this. Next there is an English company that supplies wooden engraved boxes at very reasonable prices and so I got one of them. Next it was to B&Q to buy a small length of 20mm pine wood which I cut and glued to the correct sizes. The results are not perfect but I was happy with the presentation. Not everybody might like it but I just thought I would share my idea. Alan.
  3. Hi, This entry is for those that find the Jack the Ripper period interesting. Police Constable George Burton Cox of Whitechapel or 'H' division...….. and then transferred within 'H' division, to the C.I.D. on the 22nd of December in 1888. George Burton Cox was born in Woolwich, in Kent, on the 14th of October in 1859. George Burton Cox joined the Metropolitan Police on the 15th of March in 1880 and was assigned to Whitechapel or 'H' division and issued with the warrant number of 64394. In 1887, Police Constable George Cox was on duty for Queen Victoria's Jubilee Parade through London and was therefore awarded the Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1887 whilst serving with Whitechapel or 'H' division. Police Constable George B. Cox served in Whitechapel or 'H' division through-out the period relating to the infamous, 'Jack the Ripper murders,' in 1888. On the 22nd of December in 1888, Police Constable George B. Cox was transferred to the Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. and this is also confirmed in the Police Order dated the 24th of December in 1888. Therefore Police Constable George Cox not only walked the street of Whitechapel in 1888 but would have also been involved in the investigations of the other murders that occurred between 1889 and 1890 and which also caused public apprehension, that Jack the Ripper might have returned. George Cox's time serving in Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. [22/12/1888 - 22/4/1890] must have been quite successful because on the 23rd of April in 1890 Police Constable George Cox was promoted to Police Sergeant [3rd Class] C.I.D. and transferred to Bethnal Green or 'J' division C.I.D. and he remained in this position until the 8th of July in 1896. On the 9th of July in 1896 Detective Sergeant George Cox was transferred from Bethnal Green or 'J' division C.I.D. to Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. and this is confirmed in the Police Order dated 10th of July in 1896. On the 20th of May in 1897, Detective Sergeant George Cox [3rd Class] was promoted within the Whitechapel C.I.D. to Detective Sergeant [2nd Class] and he remained in this position until the 19th of May in 1897. This is again evidence that Police Sergeant George Cox was considered to be a good detective within Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. In 1897, Detective Sergeant George Cox is awarded the Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police clasp for 1897 whilst serving in Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. On the 4th of October in 1898, Police Sergeant George Cox [2nd Class] Whitechapel or 'H' division C.I.D. is transferred to Kilburn or '''X' division C.I.D. Police Order dated 5/10/1898 confirms this transfer. Police Sergeant George Cox remained in this position until the 16th of March in 1903. In 1902, Police Sergeant George Cox is awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902 whilst serving with Kilburn or 'X' division. On the 17th of March in 1903, Police Sergeant George Cox [2nd Class] Kilburn or ''X' division C.I.D. is transferred to Greenwich or 'R' division C.I.D. and is reduced in rank to Police Sergeant [3rd Class]. Police Order dated the 18/3/1903 confirms the transfer and punishment. Obviously, something happened to cause this fall in his professional conduct but more research would be required to understand why his circumstances changed. On the 14th of December in 1903, Police Sergeant George Cox [3rd Class] with Greenwich or 'R' division C.I.D. is transferred to Islington or 'N' division and is reduced in rank to Police Constable and given the collar number of 708N. In approximately 9 months George B. Cox has seen a considerable fall in his rank and reputation and so we can guess something is going wrong in his life. On the 20th of March in 1905, Police Constable George B. Cox [708N] retires on pension from the Metropolitan Police. There are also a number of Old Bailey trails that he attended. This was researched a number of years ago but I have always intended to go back one day and research it more and to try and understand why he fell so far and so quickly from grace especially when he was coming to the end of his career
  4. Hi, Imagine , it is just after midnight and the Public House is about to close. This is Wednesday the 24th of September in 1903. Martha Jane Hardwick is a bright and cheerful 20 year old barmaid, employed at the Lord Nelson Public House at 299 Whitechapel Road. Martha is popular with all the customers. Background...……………………. The Landlady of the Lord Nelson is Mrs Hannah Starkey [nee Hardwick] who is a recent widow and is Martha Jane Hardwick's older sister. Their auntie is Martha Sophia Brayshaw and she also works in the Public House. They all reside on the premises. There is one customer that persistently annoys Martha Jane Hardwick and he is Charles Jeremiah Stowe who is a 28 year old London Dock labourer. He is a regular at the Lord Nelson and repeatedly asks Martha to go out with him. Martha repeatedly refuses and makes every effort to steer clear of him. The time is now 12.20am [24th of September] and the Public House closes at 12.30am and Martha is collecting glasses and is clearing up. Charles Jeremiah Slowe presents himself just before closing time and catches Martha alone and stabs her twice in the chest which results in almost instant death. Charles Jeremiah Slowe then runs away from the Public House with Martha's sister [Hannah Starkey] running after him shouting at passers-by to stop him. Police Constable [416H] William Bowden seeing all the commotion arrests the prisoner. Police Constable [459J] Hubert Haddock witnesses the arrest and the party then returns to the Lord Nelson to find Martha Jane Hardwick dead. Police Constable [459J] Hubert Haddock is responsible for finding the murder weapon. Both Police Constables are major witnesses at the Old Bailey trial of Charles Jeremiah Slowe. At 1.20am [September 24] John Bate the Divisional Surgeon was called to Bethnal Green Police Station and questioned the prisoner. Charles Jeremiah Slowe was found to be able to answer questions in a perfectly rational manner and was not drunk but appeared to have been drinking. At his trial Charles Jeremiah Slowe was found guilty of the murder of Martha Jane Hardwick and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on the 10th of November in 1903. The hangman was William Billington. It was report that Charles Jeremiah Slowe was perfectly unconcerned about his fate on the day of his execution. But I was guess when William Billington came to the condemned-man's-cell and strapped his arms to the side of his body and then walked him to the gallows, the reality of what awaited Charles Jeremiah Slowe would kick in. Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1911 and awarded to ''PC H Haddock.'' Hubert John Haddock was born in Lydbrook, in Gloucestershire, in 1876. Police Constable Hubert John Haddock. Warrant number 83385. Joined 22/11/1897 - PC- 'J' divn. Died 8/7/1918 as a PC - 'J' divn. 1902 and 1911 England Census records PC Hubert Haddock and family residing at 310 Corfield Street, in Bethnal Green. Have included a newspaper sketch of Charles Jeremiah Slowe and some newspaper articles on the murder etc.
  5. Hi, Chief Inspector Davey G. Greenough's Long Service and Good Conduct medal. Davey George Greenough reached the rank of Detective Superintendent. Davey George Greenough was born in Llanwrst, in Merionethshire, on the 14th of July in 1921. Davey Greenough spent a decade in the Royal Air Force and then joined the Bristol Constabulary [also known as the Bristol City Police] on the 20th of October in 1950. On the 1st of April in 1974, the Bristol County Police merges to become the ''Avon and Somerset Police.'' Detective Superintendent Davey G. Greenough was involved in many cases but the most famous or historic..... was the following :- The Jeremy Thorpe affair of the 1970's was a British political sex scandal and he was both a Member of Parliament for North Devon and the leader of the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976. The ''Norman Scott affair'' actually covered a period over the 1960's and 1970's and involved Jeremy Thorpe and Norman Scott's relationship and a badly planned conspiracy to murder Norman Scott. There are numerous sites on the internet where you can read up the whole story. The trial started in May of 1979 and revolved around three main witnesses/defendants ie Norman Scott, Peter Bessell - a former parliamentary colleague and the hired gunman Andrew Newton. None of the witnesses were very impressive and Jeremy Thorpe refused to testify at the trial. All four of the above defendants were acquitted but Jeremy Thorpe's political career never recovered from the damage done by the trial. The two senior officers that were assigned to investigate this extremely high profile case, were Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Challes and his number two, Detective Superintendent Davey G. Greenough. They were interviewing individuals at the highest levels of society and there are various books that have been published about this story. There is one paragraph from ''Rinkagate'' by Simon Freeman with Barrie Penrose regarding Detective Superintendent Davey G. Greenough interviewing Sir Harold Wilson [Ex Prime Minister] which you might find interesting. The interview was held on the 3rd of August, at Sir Harold Wilson's parliamentary offices in London. Davey Greenough was accompanied to this meeting by Peter Hinde his opposite number in the Metropolitan Police. ''''''He [Harold Wilson] was very nervous. Perhaps even ex-prime ministers get like that when they are interviewed by policemen. Davey was the tightest bugger on this earth and used to roll his own cigarettes. He used to roll them as thin as matchsticks. We sat there interviewing an ex-prime minister and you'd think this would be the one occasion he wouldn't light up. But Davey rolled a sleek one and leaned over and said, 'Sir Harold have you got a light?'' Sir Harold lit it for him and said, 'By God that won't do your lungs any good.'''''' Oh how times have changed, hope you liked the story. [I have added a photograph of Norman Scott] Alan.
  6. Hi, The murder of Police Constable Sidney George Miles in 1952. This was a very famous murder and trial and in later years became quite a controversial subject but the following is a basic description of the events covering the incident. There are numerous sites on the internet where you can read up on the full history of this murder etc. On the 2nd of November in 1952, Derek Bentley [19] and Christopher Craig [16] were breaking into the premises of Barlow and Parker who were wholesale confectioner's. The two youths were spotted on the warehouse roof and Police arrived at 9.25pm. There was a lift-room, on the flat warehouse roof and Bentley and Craig were hiding behind this structure. Basically, Detective Constable Frederick Fairfax climbed up a drainpipe and onto the flat roof and managed to grab Derek Bentley but the Detective Constable was then shot in the shoulder by Christopher Craig. Police Constable Sidney Miles entered the roof area via an internal staircase and when he kicked open the roof door and stepped onto the flat roof, he was fatally shot in the left temple. Bentley was heard to say, 'let him have it Chris' and these spoken words were to have a major impact on his sentence. At the Old Bailey trial both Bentley and Craig were charged with the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles, even although it was Christopher Craig that shot and killed the Policeman. Christopher Craig was only 16 years old and therefore could not be hanged for the murder. The jury only took about 75 minutes to find both of the accused guilty of the murder and added a recommendation that mercy should be shown to Derek Bentley. Christopher Craig was sentenced to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure while Derek Bentley was sentenced to death. Derek Bentley, aged 19, was hanged in Wandsworth at 9am on the 28th of January in 1953. Christopher Craig was released from prison in May in 1963. In 1998, the Court of Appeal quashed the murder conviction against Derek Bentley and heavily criticised the trial Judge. The Defence medal and the Police Long Service and Good Conduct medal were awarded to Police Constable Bernard C. Beard. Police Constable Bernard Charles Beard [PC373Z, warrant number 131767] was responsible for the production of the scaled plans covering the murder scene. These scaled plans covered the different floor levels of the warehouse building and the surrounding area and were of a high quality and standard. The plans were also signed by the officer and are now part of the trial evidence which is held at the National Archives. Obviously, Police Constable Bernard Beard would have had intimate knowledge of the events on that fateful night so that he could produce effective plans which could be used by the Old Bailey Court. The first photograph I have attached to this story, is that of 'Police Constable Sidney George Miles.'
  7. Hi, Somebody previously reading the Police Constable Jesse Barlow guarding Queen Victoria story asked me, ''what the family account of PC Jesse Barlow being only one of five Police Constables to guard Queen Victoria actually meant'' because there certainly was more Police Constables than that, in the Royal Household Police at Windsor Castle. The Royal Household Police at Windsor Castle were supplied by the Metropolitan Police and the personnel were taken from Whitehall or 'A' division. These Royal secondments were classed as, 'Special Duties.' The Royal Household Police at Windsor Castle were stationed there to secure and protect the precinct etc and there are quite a few newspaper reports of unstable individuals attempting to gain entry to meet the Queen Victoria, for one reason or another. But within the Royal Household Police at Windsor Castle establishment, a smaller number of these Police Constables and Police Sergeants were also designated as being, ''travelling Police Constables and travelling Police Sergeants'' and it is from this smaller group that the individuals would be selected to accompany Queen Victoria and the Royal Party to Osborne House or Balmoral Castle etc. For example in the England Census of 1891, we can identify three of these travelling Police Constables which includes PC Jesse Barlow. From newspaper reports, covering this period, it is possible to also identify some of the, 'travelling Police Sergeants.' From another newspaper report, it was reported, that it was the Prince of Wales that requested the Royal Household Police of Windsor Castle should march in Queen Victoria's Funeral Parade from Osborne House. The travelling Police Constables including PC Jesse Barlow and travelling Police Sergeants were already there and on duty. This is a nice example how family stories can help guide the research, as previously I had never heard of these travelling Police Constables and travelling Police Sergeants.
  8. Hi, Police Constable Edward Thomas Geer's act of bravery in stopping a runaway horse on the 24th of September in 1921. At approximately 12.40pm on the 24th of September in 1921, the bridle came off a horse pulling a covered wagon which was loaded with ladders, causing the horse to bolt. The wagon was coming down the gradient in Grosvenor Road, opposite the London Council Pumping Station. Police Constable Edward Geer immediately gave chase and was assisted by a passing civilian driving a motor cycle combination. Police Constable Edward Geer was in the side-car and with great difficulty they managed to overtake the runaway horse/wagon near Claverton Street and Police Constable Edward Geer made his first attempt to stop the runaway horse. He managed to seize the horses nostrils with one hand and the shaft with his other and sprang out of the side-car but unfortunately he was thrown to the ground and narrowly escaped being run over. The chase was again renewed and again the Police Constable seized the horse's head and after being dragged for a distance of approximately 50 yards, he managed to bring the animal to a standstill. Police Constable Edward Geer had been thrown to the ground and dragged twice and sustained injuries. London Gazette 1/1/1923, reported Police Constable Edward Thomas Geer [Metropolitan Police] had been awarded the King's Police Medal for his brave actions in stopping a runaway horse. Brave man, here is a summary of some additional information on him :- [1] Edward Thomas Geer was born in Boughton, in the district of Faversham, in Kent, in 1897. [2] Edward Thomas Geer from 17/6/18 to 30/7/19 was a soldier in the Canadian over-seas Expeditionary Force and reached the rank of Sergeant before being released. His occupation prior to joining the Canadian Army was recorded as being a chauffeur. [3] Edward T Geer joined the Metropolitan Police on the 29th of March in 1921 and was assigned to Chelsea [Westminster] or 'B' division. PC Edward Geer was issued with the warrant number of 111636 and the collar number of B734. [4] On the 24th of September in 1921, PC Edward Geer was involved in bravely stopping a runaway horse pulling a covered wagon laden with ladders and so averted a disaster. [5] In the Metropolitan Police Order, dated the 30th of November in 1921, PC Edward T Geer was awarded £10 for his courageous conduct in stopping a runaway horse. [6] In the Metropolitan Police Order, dated 1st January in 1923 and in the London Gazette of the same date, PC Edward T Geer was awarded the, 'King's Police Medal,' for his courageous conduct and having sustained personal injury in stopping a runaway horse. [7] In the Metropolitan Police Order, dated 7th July in 1923, PC Edward T Geer is awarded an, 'Honorary Certificate,' from the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust in respect to the incident that occurred on the 24/9/1921. [8] On the 14th of April in 1938, PC Edward T Geer was awarded a, 'Commissioner's Commendation,' for vigilance and initiative in the case of shop breaking. [9] On the 8th of August in 1940, PC Edward T Geer transfers to Hammersmith [Kensington] or 'T' division and his collar number changes to 437T and he is attached to station code number D.T.1. [10] On the 6th of September in 1948, PC Edward Thomas Geer retires on pension from the Metropolitan Police and 'T' division after completing 27 years and 51 days service. Here are some photo's, the photograph of the Carnegie 'Honorary Certificate' is a copy of what would original certificate would have looked like. The Carnegie organisation is located in Fife, Scotland.
  9. Hi, Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1887 and awarded to ''PC G Compton H divn.'' There are two minor edge knocks, otherwise the medal is in very nice condition. It is necessary to give you some background information on this medal to fully understand the story I am about to tell you. Originally when the medal came up for sale, the previous owner had been informed, by a reliable source, that Police Constable George Compton's Metropolitan Police records had not survived. There were no records available. That meant it would probably be extremely difficult to confirm any police or personal details or even confirm if he had served in Whitechapel during the Jack the Ripper murder period in 1888 etc. The only thing that came with this Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police medal was a copy of a newspaper article from November in 1888 which stated that a George Compton had been arrested as a suspect in the hunt for Jack the Ripper. Obviously, the lack of any information about Police Constable George Compton and the vagueness regarding who was this other Compton in the article, meant it did not have real relevance in the sale. For the purposes of this story it is necessary to give factual evidence regarding Police Constable George Compton and in the second part of the story we can examine the newspaper article from a hypothetical point of view. Basically just have some fun. Under Mepo 21/18/6887 we can find Police Constable George Compton's Police Pension records were actually available. George Compton was born in Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, on the 15th of December in 1842. 5/12/1870 George Compton joins the Metropolitan Police and was assigned to Bow or 'K' division. 1871 England Census, Police Constable George Compton is residing at the Police Station at 2 Station Road, in West Ham. 17/12/1874 George Compton marries Faith Reynolds. 1/7/1880 Police Constable George Compton is transferred to Whitechapel or 'H' division. 1881 England Census, George and Faith Compton are residing at 115 Old Church Road, in Mile End. 1887 Police Constable George Compton is awarded the Met. Police Jubilee medal for 1887 whilst serving at a Police Constable in Whitechapel or 'H' division. 1/7/1888 Police Constable George Compton retires on pension from Whitechapel or 'H' division and is awarded a pension of £22.9s.4d per annum. George and Faith are still married and they are residing at 115 Finnis Street, in Bethnal Green. In July of 1888, George Compton's physical description was :- 45 years old. Five feet seven and three quarter inches tall. Dark hair. Hazel eyes. Florid complexion/reddish skin. Approximately five weeks later Martha Tabram is murdered. Another point of interest is that sometime between the end of 1888 and the start of 1891, George and Faith Compton's marriage begins to experience difficulties and their marriage then collapsed. By the England Census of 1891 George Compton is now residing with Jane Compton [nee Howell] and her three children at 3 Septre Street, in Whitechapel. Between July and September of 1898, George Compton dies and his death is recorded in the district of Mile End Old Town, in Whitechapel. ''The newspaper article from November in 1888.'' Some men had been talking about the Whitechapel murders in a Beerhouse, in Fish Street Hill when it was noticed that one stranger appeared to have dried blood stains on his shirt and jacket. This stranger then made contradictory statements about his place of work and where he lived. After being challenged, the stranger soon left. Another member of this group followed him and when they passed Bishopsgate Street Police Station, he quickly alerted the Police and the suspicious stranger was arrested. The prisoner was identified as a George Compton and he had been arrested previously for suspicious behaviour. George Compton complained about being arrested and that he could have been lynched by a mob. His story was checked and he was soon released. I have seen another specialist thread where it has been suggested that ex-Whitechapel Police Constable George Compton and the newspaper article George Compton are the same person. I want to make it quite clear that I am not suggesting this. This is just looking at the situation from a logical point of view and having a bit of fun. George Compton [ex-Whitechapel Police Constable] is he the stranger...……………………….. George Compton, 18 years with the Metropolitan Police including the last 8 years serving in Whitechapel. Now retired and knows the people and area and has the necessary expertise. Everybody knows the man that catches Jack the Ripper will receive fame and fortune. Everybody would have wanted to be that local hero. Where would you get good information, I would suggest Beerhouses would be a good starting point. Especially if you are not known in that Beerhouse and you are discreet. Being an ex-Police Constable you might want to keep this information private and I am sure you would not want to divulge your home address. George Compton had a weather beaten face [reddish] and in normal clothes, being in his mid-forties and suddenly you may look totally different to what you looked like a few months before in uniform. One danger George Compton, ex-Whitechapel Police Constable, would have been well aware of.....is that of being arrested as a Jack the Ripper suspect and of the real dangers of Whitechapel mob justice. If George Compton was arrested at Bishopsgate Street Police Station, you would think the Metropolitan Police would have disclosed the fact that he was not a suspect and that he was actually a Metropolitan Police Pensioner. But so many rumours could quickly spread through the district that maybe they would not have wanted any kind of Police connection suggested with Jack the Ripper. Anyway I will stop there and hope you like this entry. I am not the greatest typist so please excuse any typing errors etc. Remember I am not saying the two are connected. Alan.
  10. Hi, Thanks and that definitely makes sense and is probably the reason for the age difference. George Keay was 5 feet and 11 inches in height so it may have been easy for him to appear to be a few years older than he really was. He must have been quite intelligent if he was working as a chemist's assistant, in a chemist shop and he appears to be physically well built, if you go by his height so I suspect he would have been an ideal candidate for the City of London Police from their prospective. Alan.
  11. Hi Mike, Alas, I fear I must defence old George Keay. [ha, ha]. He actually did his full 25 years qualifying service for his City of London Police pension. From 1906 to 1910, he is recorded as being employed but it does not state the type of employment. In the 1911 Census, he is recorded as being a 'Wharf Beatle' and is residing at 277 Tooley Street, in Bermondsey. From 8/8/1914 to 10/9/1915 he returned to 'City of London Police Reserve duties'...….. during the war. After his period of Police reserve duties, he immediately took up a post as the 'Housekeeper' at the Offices at Christ Hospital, at 26 Great Tower Street. 9/4/1917 we know he is still residing at Christ Hospital at 26 Great Tower Street. And George Keay's death certificate, dated 25/2/1923, states he was still employed as the Housekeeper, at Christ Hospital, at 26 Great Tower Street. I know what your are thinking...…….good old George. [ha, ha] Alan.
  12. Hello, It would appear there is a small discrepancy in George Keay's records. The declaration on application to become a City of London Police Constable clearly states that George Keay was 21 years and 1 month old and that his previous employment was with Mr P L Blackmore [chemist] was from October in 1877 to March in 1881 and the declaration was signed on the 2nd of March in 1881. On the other hand, the England Census of 1881 confirms George Keay as being 18 years old and a chemist's assistant and was born in 1863. Other records also appear to support this year of birth. Therefore, either the original City of London Police Declaration should have read ''18 years and 1 month old'' or he told a little white lie about being ''21 years and I month old.'' The declaration is a very official document so I am sure you would have been advised to read the declaration carefully before signing this official document. Maybe George Keay thought the City of London would prefer older and more mature applicants. The copies of these original City of London documents are quite dark in colour and so I don't believe they would photograph well.....so no photographs have been included with this entry. One point I probably should include, is that on the 6th of March in 1902, Police Constable 821 George Keay was given a commendation for his vigilance and intelligence in detecting and arresting 3 men for attempted larceny. Good old George, whatever exact age you were. Alan.
  13. I just noticed a small mistake when George Keay joined the City of London Police on the 7th of April in 1881 he was 21 years and 1 month old so his birth was 1860/61 and his employment dates with the chemist would be slight earlier. That's what I get for doing things later at night. Alan.
  14. Hello, Police Constable 821 George Keay, City of London Police. The reason I have added Police Constable 821 George Keay's story to the thread relating to Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins is because they both served in the City of London Police during approximately the same period and both were awarded the Queen Victorian City of London Jubilee Police medal for 1887 with the 1897 Jubilee clasp. Obviously, Edward Watkins had recently retired from the City of London Police before the 1897 Jubilee Parade through London but the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police had to temporary re-employ many ex-policemen to supervise and organise this huge event and since Edward Watkins was considered to have been a very good Police Constable, actually completed his pensionable engagement, was quite famous at the time and resided in the area, he would have probably been at the top of the list for re-employment. Police Constable 821 George Keay's medal, is one of the medals, I used to compare to Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins medal. Police Constable 821 George Keay's service with the City of London Police is extremely well evidenced and documented. His personal City of London Police file is available through the London Metropolitan Archives and there is also his original discharge certificate which has survived. George Keay was born in Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, in 1863. George must have been quite a bright boy because at the age of 14 he was employed by a Mr Peter L. Blackmode [Chemist] as a chemist's assistant from 1877 to 1881. George Keay joined the City of London Police on the 7th of April in 1881 and on a rate of pay of 25 shillings per week. [warrant number 5440] Unfortunately, on the 20th of January in 1885, Police Constable George Keay was found in a Public House whilst on duty and on plain clothes assignment but was admonished with no further action being taken. By the 28th of October in 1886, Police Constable 821 George Keay had achieved the rate of pay for a first class constable of thirty one shilling and six pence per week. On the 14th of June in 1890 George Keay marries Mary Ellen O'Reilly at, 'The Church Most Holy Trinity,' in Bermondsey, in Surrey. They were both from the Catholic religion which is relevant later in the story. Unfortunately, on the 20th of December in 1890, Police Constable 821 George Keay was found guilty of neglecting to report the loss of his helmet and cape and was reduced to 2nd class rate of pay for a period of 6 months. Now to push on.......Police Constable 821 George Keay was obviously a good, solid and reliable Police Constable because when he retired on the 18th of October in 1906 his conduct was classed as, 'very good.' What makes this medal even more special is the other items that belonged to George Keay and which have survived the decades. There is his City of London Police whistle.There are two Catholic religious medals. There is his, 'Key of Heaven Prayer Book' which must have been well used as it has loose pages and is well worn. But the most important item of all and which is extremely rare is Police Constable 821George Keay's ''Discharge Certificate'' from the City of London Police. This vellum document is still enclosed in its original envelope which is approximately eight and a half inches long by one and a half inches wide. It is in extremely nice condition and almost certainly spent most of the time enclosed in the envelope. The document is probably one of the reasons why the different items belonging to Police Constable 821 George Keay have remained together. The point of this story is that when comparing one medal to another ie engraving, patina etc then the comparing/evidencing medals should be of the highest quality possible. regards, Alan.
  15. Somebody recently said, 'it is hard to imagine there are still important medals out there, after all this time.' They were referring, in general, to the Policemen that served in London during the 1888 period [JTR] and this was an informed observation. I would class myself as an expert, in Police medals from this period, so lets have some fun. I will give you a short story regarding a medal I purchased approximately a year ago which I consider to be an extremely important one. The medal was being sold as part of a small group of 4 Police medals which were all approximately from the same period. The seller was one of the most respected and professional London Auction Houses and has a worldwide reputation and following. [Auction Houses have archives, December 2017 sale refers] The lot/medal could have been viewed at both the preview and completed catalogue stages, on the Auction House site. It would also have been available to view on sites like 'the salesroom.' The lot/medal was on open view to the world for approximately one month and not just to hundreds of collectors and dealers but probably to many thousands of collectors and dealers. To cut a long story short, I purchased the lot/medal without any real opposition, sold off the other medals and kept the important one. This was the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902 and awarded to, 'Insp. J Helson M divn.' ' Insp. J Helson is :- [a] On the 24th of October in 1887, Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Helson was promoted to Inspector and transferred to Bethnal Green or 'J' division. Detective Inspector Joseph Helson was in charge of the Bethnal Green C.I.D. At 06.45am on the 31st of August in 1888 Detective Inspector Joseph Helson was notified of Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols murder, examined her body at the old mortuary, in Old Montague Street and then examined the murder site. Detective Inspector Joseph Helson subsequently took charge of the murder investigation. He attended the inquests and liaised closely with Detective Inspector Abberline especially on the murder of Annie Chapman. [c] Detective Inspector Joseph Helson also had a good team of detectives in Bethnal Green and Detective Sergeant George Godley particularly stood out. This is a relevant point later in this story. There is so much information of Detective Inspector Joseph Helson that it would take too long to list it all so lets cut to the chase. [d] On the 14th of January in 1895, Detective Inspector Joseph Helson retires on pension from Bethnal Green division and the Metropolitan Police. Joseph Helson was 49 years old and had completed 26 years and 10 days in the Metropolitan Police. Joseph Henry Helson and family return to his place of birth and retired in Devon. Joseph Helson was recalled to duty with the Metropolitan Police on the 20th of June in 1902 for the Coronation Parade through London. Inspector Joseph Helson was assigned to Southwark or 'M' division and given the temporary warrant number of 1869. Now somebody will say why did he not serve with Bethnal Green or 'J' division instead of Southwark or 'M' division in 1902. Well there are three reason for this deployment. [a] Firstly, there was an Inspector's vacancy at Southwark or 'M' division. Secondly, Joseph Helson's son Albert Henry Helson was a young detective serving in Southwark or 'M' division at the time. [c] And last but not least, his old colleague and friend Detective Sergeant George Godley, was now Detective Inspector George Godley in charge of the Southwark C.I.D. The moral of the story is that like Edward Watkins and Joseph Henry Helson, there is always the possibility of new finds out there. [The medal was out there and in plain view for the world to see.] regards, Alan.