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Hi,

I`d very much like to hear from anyone who can explain to me, the differance between, a Special Constable and a War Reserve Constable. I have a LSGC Special Constable Medal to an Officer who served 40 years in the Kent Constabulary, the paperwork with this medal includes two certificates one to Special Constable Beville for his work/volunteering for duties during the 1926 General Strike, and another for his services as a War Reserve Constable 1940-1944. His obituary states that he served for 40 years!!!
I take it that War Reserve, like Specials were unpaid, am I right. Do War Reserve Offciers get the same LSGC as a Special?

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War Reserves were also called War Reserve of Pensioners. Generally retired police officers recalled to the police force during WW2.

Most served the duration of the war, but a few did not last the entire war, mainly I believe due to age and advancing years.if they served over 3 years they usually were entitled to the defence medal but they were not entitled to a Special Constabulary Long Service medal as they were not SC but paid officers.

the police LSGC medal was not instituted to 1951 so I doubt if any WRC's were still serving then, but if they were and had previously served over 22 years as regular oficers they would have been entitled to the medal.

as for your officer did he serve as a SC for 40 years or did he originally serve as a SC and then join the regular force, retire and then rejoined as a WRC for the war ?

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Thank you very much for your reply, it answered my question, however, it has caused more!!! I do not know if Beville, served as a full time Officer, I have writen to Kent Police, but as yet have not received a reply. I know Beville was a Special in 1926, and a War Reserve, 1940 to 44, his LSGC has GVR E type profile. Any idea when this profile was issued from?

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you may have problems researching items from this area. I had a very nice RSPCA medal for bravery in silver to a PS in one of the earlier Kent police forces prior to it all becoming Kent Constabulary.
Unfortunately, most records for these smaller 'out posts' etc were pulped due to the needs of WWII.
This particularly included SC records. The 'Kent Messenger' were very helpful though, and you can Email them, and they are surprisingly helpful. wub.gif

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Just to clarify matters a little. There were two types of War Reserve Officer during WW2.

1st War Reserve Officers as said were Police Pensioners recalled to full time paid service. Many were a bit past it and the numbers did dwindle over the years of the war due to ill health or the fact they were simply too old despite best intentions.

There were also Special Constables and Full time War Reserve Constables. The War Reserve Constable (not to be confused with the 1st War Reserve of Pensioners who were retired police officers) were essentially auxiliary full time paid volunteers. They were usually ill trained, although many Special Constables who were better trained, did join as full time WRCs. At the end of the war most WRCs left the police and returned to their previous employment, although a few did stay on in the police and there were still a few WRCs serving in the early 1950's.

I would say your man was a long serving Special Constable hence the early George V Special Constable LS medal. At the outbreak of war it looks like he either left the Special Constabulary or he may have not served with the SC for a number of years and joined as a full time paid police auxiliary (War Reserve Constable). Like the majority of WRCs he left the police towards the end of the war and probably went back to his former employment or more likely into retirement.

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Smashing thanks again for the further information, that sounds about right as I know he retired on the 6th August 1944, due to ill health, I have also since discovered that he was born in 1893, so he was getting on a bit then. His obituary states that he served for 40 years as a Special, but given other facts, I can`t see how this information is correct, for instance, it also states that he served in WW1, in the Coorg & Mysore Rifles (he was born in India and worked as a Coffee Planter), he was also the son of an Indian Army Col. So even if he joined the SC in 1919, that still doesn`t give him time to do 40 years, unless of course he joined up again after the war as Special again, in his 50`s??? His Medal appears to mounted as worn (very tatty ribbon), but no sign of a BWM, Defence Medal or any bars? Do you know when the E Type LSGC was issued? It looks just like the BWM, which poses the question when was the C type issued? Will have to dig deeper into this guys service if I can. If I turn anything up, I`ll let you know.

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