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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Brian Wolfe

Staffordshire Police - a history and items from my collection

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Next up is the Officer's pattern. This would be a rank above the Constable, a Sergeant, for example. The blue ring is enamel and the badge is held on the hat by two claws that are inserted into the hat then spread apart. The badge measures 43mm wide and 51mm in height.

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This is an example of a warrant badge which is issued to every Staffordshire Police Officer. The badge is affixed to the leather warrant card holder.

Thanks goes out to Dave Wilikinson for this information.

Regards

Brian

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This is a photo of C.H. Kelly Esq., C.B.E., K.St.J., Q.P.M., D.L., LL.B. Chief Constable of Staffordshire taken for the 150th Anniversary of the Staffordshire Police in 1992. As may be seen in the photo the Chief Constable is wearing the same style hat badge as shown previously.

Regards

Brian

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Hi Brian, pity no close ups, I clearly remember the "Boys in blue" with the early Stoke Noddy Helmet and badge, wagging a finger at me for not being ?a "Good Boy", they actually caught me having a crafty fag (Cigarette, and? under age ?by the local canal side.

As I mentioned, early memories, (I've have since, of course grown into an eminently responsible and trustworthy member of society!! :speechless1: )

regards

Alex

I too have mended my ways, I wish it were due to the wisdom of age but alas it's just age. ;)

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

This is an obsolete sleeve badge that was worn by the Staffordshire Police service to indicate the officer was trained in first aid. While these are arguably generic in appearance I know for a fact that this one was issued to the Staffordshire Police service. The badge measures 33mm in diameter and is held onto the sleeve by a pin that ran through two loops. This badge is metal and in mint condition though the photo makes it look as if there is some wear. There is a small plate affixed to the back of the badge that reads, REGISTERED AT ST. JOHNS GATE LONDON.

These first aid badges were discontinued in 1960.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

This is a cloth patch that was issued to the Staffordshire Police service who were serving during the Queen's Jubilee. This commemoritive patch was worn on the lower sleeve and measures 45mm in diameter. These disapeared from use as new jackets were issues to replace worn ones and the patches were usually not transferred to the new jacket by the officers.

Regards

Brian

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Dear Brian - I've never seen one of these patches before - will be worth a lot of money in 200 years !!! Actually, with the ever rising costs of antique items many police collectors specialise now in button hole enamel tacs, sleeve patches and of course badges; however, an old Victorian crown helmet plate can easily fetch ?200. The patches everone seems to collect are the American ones, but very few are original - the companies that make them for the police forces make thousands extra for collectors. I must say, you have built-up a fine Staffs. collection.

Best wishes Mervyn

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Thankyou Brian - I always wondered when they stopped putting the St. John's badge on the sleeve. I thought it was earlier. All UK police have to pass the first aid requirements and be re-tested every three years - it is amazing the number of people who collapse in the streets ( and usually when we were going back to the station for refreshments - selfish !) I used to carry a piece of strap to put in the mouth of epileptics - I got fed-up with having my pens bitten in half. I must tell you a funny story - and quite genuine. I was walking down a busy street in the East End - about mid-morning, when I saw a crowd standing on a corner - you always know what's happened - the crowd parts like the Red Sea - and there is a collective sigh - 'Thank G.. - here's a policeman.' Anyway to cut a long story short (not that I'm known for keeping it short!) a woman had collapsed with epilepsy,so I took all the necessary steps and called an ambulance - suddenly a man came-up and pushed me to one side - now, this was unusual since I was in full uniform. I challenged him and he said he was a qualified first aider - - so I told him I was too, but let him attend to her while I kept the crowd back. When I looked round he was 'interfering' with her and in front of about 100 bystanders!! I dragged him off , but had to let him go as I was on my own and the woman came first. All P.C.'s have stories like this - it would be nice to hear some of them.

Mervyn

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Hello Everyone,

Here are a couple of shoulder titles and a slip-on from the Staffordshire Police service as worn by their Special Constables. These are generic and can be found used by many police services but in this case they came directly from a member of the Staffordshire Police.

The Special Constabulary was founded during WWI due to the need for officers to replace those who had joined the military. Special Constables were employed on a part-time basis and Specials have continued to serve their community to the present day.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

Here is an identification armlet or brassard of the type worn by the Staffordshire Police Special Constables during the WW I period. These are generic and this particular specimen, while exactly the same as worn by the Staffs Specials, is not directly from their police service.

These were worn over the coat sleeve and were held in place by a cloth belt as in the case of this specimen. Some other types such as the round shape bassard was held in place by a leather strap. The bassard is made of aluminum and measures 106 mm wide (110 mm along the curvature) and 49 mm in height ( 59 mm in height at the belt loops). This one is marked HIATT& Co B'HAM along the border, bottom front.

I will be posting more items regarding Special Constables later and setting up a separate section under the member's gallery for that part of my collection.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

This is an example of a lapel pin worn by the Staffordshire Police Reserve. The Special Constabulary and the Auxiliary Police also had similar pins. This pin with its blue and red enamelling and King's crown measures 19.5 mm wide and 29.5 mm in height. The attachment lug is missing on this specimen , the maker's name on the back reads "J.R.GRANT, LONDON".

Regards

Brian

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Brian

With these WW1 lapel pins, the colour of the enamel in the crown often showed the rank of the wearer. These are a collectable field in their own right now.

Mervyn

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Hello Everyone,

Here are three metals buttons from my collection of Staffordshire Police Service memorabilia.

From left to right they are:

Victorian period, Staffordshire Constabulary, measuring 23.5 mm in diameter. The front is marked STAFFORDSHIRE CONSTABULARY. The back is marked REYNOLDS & CO. LONDON. The button has a medal loop on the back for attachment.

King's crown, probably Geo. VI but it could be Geo. V., from what I can tell there was no change to the buttons as the same crown was used for both monarchs. The front is marked, STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTY POLICE. It measures 24.5 mm in diameter, with only a decorative border on the back. A metal loop was used for attachment. Note the absence of the Staffordshire Knot.

Queen's crown of Queen Elizabeth II, measuring 24.5 mm in diameter. The back with its familiar metal loop is marked with the same decorative border as the King's crown issue. The front is marked, STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTY POLICE. Later buttons had only the Queen's crown with no lettering.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Everyone,

Here are two more buttons from my Staffordshire Police collection.

They are both made of a dark material that could be plastic or perhaps Bakelite.

The one on the right has the King's crown and could be King Geo V or KIng Geo. VI, depending on the age of the buttons. There is noting on the back og the button except for a circle that runs 3.5 mm from the edge. There is a metal loop for attachment and it measures 25.5 mm in diameter.

The button on the left has the Queen`s crown the measurements and composition being the same as the one above. On the back is marked, J.A.GROVE & SONS HALESOWEN. I think this is the crown of Queen Elizabeth II but the button looks much older than the King`s crown example. I researched L.A. Grove and Son and found that the company was founded in 1857. I would like to think this is Victorian due to its look of antiquity but the crown looks like the Queen Elizabeth II version. My intention is to eventually post my collection on the Collector`s Gallery and I would like to be accurate so any help you can extend to me would be appresiated.

Regards

Brian

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Dear Brian

The button on the left is Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and, probably, the one on the right King Edward V11 (1901-1910). All early greatcoat buttons were made from horn and tunic buttons were metal , in most cases. When bakelite was introduced it was easier to use than horn. Are these greatcoat buttons ?

The difference in Crowns is that until 1877 only the Crown of King Edward the Confessor ,1066 etc.! , existed. This had been remade but followed the original style. In 1877 Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India and the present Imperial State Crown was made. When a new monarch is proclaimed , they have the right to choose which Crown they will be shown wearing - also, the directiion - left or, right - that they will face on the coins,banknotes and postage stamps. Ed.V11, George V, Edward V111, George V1 all wear the Imperial State Crown - Queen Elizabeth chose King Edwards. (Ed.V111 was never crowned , so is always shown bareheaded - however, he had chosen his crown.)

The easy way to tell them apart is the the Imperial has a domed appearance, whilst Edward's has an angular shape at the sides. Present pictures show it rounded off at the top of the arches - but, for Victoria and William 1V it is more cut-off. However, for the earlier Georgian crowns it is more domed. I am sure you will get more info..

Mervyn

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Hi Brian,

Whilst not connected to your previous buttons, I thought you might be interested in my early Staffordshire helmet.

I would think this dates from around 1920

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Hello Everyone.

When I started posting my Staffordshire collection I thought I would only have a few items to post so they were all entered on their own. Now I wish I had made only one thread and just kept adding as I went along. If you want to see my collection all in one place please go to the New Member's Showcase, the new one that can be accessed through Nick's post that the top of that section.

Today I am posting a hat badge to the Staffordshire Police Service that was issued in the reign of Edward VII. It measures 64 mm in width and 55 mm in height. The badge was held on by a pin that went through two metal loops on the rear of the badge, much like military hat badges. There is no maker's mark and there is a small bit of vertigris (that green oxidization) on the back, otherwise this is in mint condition.

A photo of a contemporary officer wearing a period uniform with this badge on the correct head gear will follow this entry.

Regards

Brian

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This is a photo of the hat badge in wear. It was taken from the cover of the Staffordshire Police Commemorative Issue magazine celebrating the Force's 150 Anniversary. There are some contemporary photos inside the magazine but they do not photograph well.

Regards

Brian

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Brian - lovely badge. I hadn't realised that they were one of the Forces that wore shako's and this must make it quite rare.

I think your point about a continuing thread is a good one - Leigh seems to do it very succesfully. Still, we've had the pleasure of seeing them and you are still making your showcase.

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Hello Everyone,

I am very excited to be adding a police sword from the Victorian period for Staffordshire Constabulary to my collection. The sword is 73cm overall with a 59cm curved blade which is etched "STAFFORDSHIRE No. 140 CONSTABULARY" plus Queen Victoria's crown over the Staffordshire knot. The hilt is brass and has a release button to lock the sword into the scabbard. The grip is shagreen rayskin probably from the Pearled Ray (Hypolophus sephen). The grip has not been wire wrapped as is sometimes found on rayskin grips. The scabbard is leather with brass fittings.

This type of sword is called a "hanger". The hanger, sometimes called a hunting sword, is a short sword similar to a cutlass that was used by woodsmen and soldiers in the 17th and 18th centuries. These small swords were worn supported on two chains of differing lengths suspended from a steel hook which was slipped over a belt or waist band [the term "hanger" may have come from this method of suspension and the term then became associated to the swords themselves]. Research on hangers comes from "Swords and Daggers" by Federick Wilkinson, Ward Lock & Co. Limited, London and Sydney, second printing 1969.

Now for some photos.

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Here is a closeup of the etching that reads STAFFORDSHIRE No. 140 CONSTABULARY. This is faint and hard to see let alone to photograph and this is as good as I could manage.

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