Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Recommended Posts

Here is a nice pair with the BWM and the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal.

The BWM is named to S-16522 PTE. W.M.HUME, GORDONS and the SCLSM is named, WILLIAM M. HUME.

The SCLSM has the bars, LONG SERVICE 1945 and LONG SERVICE 1954.

It is interesting to see that this fellow served his country and his community under the reigns of three monarchs. The two bars are original to the medal as shown by the small corrosion spots shared by the medal and its bars. I posted this a few weeks ago under another section, perhaps some may have seen it.

The "S" indicates war time enlistment in the Scottish Highland Regiments.

The medal roll states that he was intitled to the BWM and the VM, unfortunately the Victory Medal was not offered with the pair.

Thanks to fellow members, Chris, Leigh and Dan for the above information you were all a great help in this research.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Everyone,

Here is another brassard from my collection made by HAITT & Co. B'HAM for the Northumberland Special Constabulary. It is made of aluminum and measures 63mm in diameter. The strap is leather and is in great condition and complete with its buckle.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a brassard that I was very lucky and excited to add to my growing collection. This oval brassard was made for a Special Constable Inspector. There is no manufacturer's name on this aluminum piece but it has all of the ear marks of Hiatt & Co. B'HAM. You can reference earlier posts to compare but I think this is a safe assumption. The brassard measures 88mm wide (including the strap loops) and 55mm in height. The strap seem a little too new to be original but it fits like it was made for this piece so I will reserve judgment on that point.

The reason I am excited about this piece, and yes I do still get excited about new additions, is the rank of inspector. I do not know the ratio of Inspector to PC in the regular police let alone for the Specials but I don't believe there would be many. As always I welcome any views on this.

I hope you like this offering.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

SC Inspectors were/ are not that unusual. Some forces would have more than others but you could probably think in terms of 1 Insp to 3 Sgts to 24 constables. There would then have been administrative Insps and pre 1960s there would have been Sub Insps and Staff Sgts below, above Insp there would have been Chief Inspectors, Superintendents, Chief Superintendents, and Commandants. All this brass always got up the Regulars noses!!

However I have not seen one of these before so very interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two nice Brassards, Brian - and the post came out well, so you're comp. problems may be solved. Vickers has laid out the normal ratio of Insp./Sgts/P.C.'s. He also mentions the hostility that has often occured in the past between Regulars and Specials. I don't really think your post on Specials is the right place to explore this, being oriented to equipment - however it has always been a problem and is worthy of some discussion - but, is a collector's forum the place to go into something which can be sensitive and cause hurt feelings ?

Perhaps we should start a discussion in the Lounge - or on the new Forum, if there are enough Police ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

SC Inspectors were/ are not that unusual. Some forces would have more than others but you could probably think in terms of 1 Insp to 3 Sgts to 24 constables. There would then have been administrative Insps and pre 1960s there would have been Sub Insps and Staff Sgts below, above Insp there would have been Chief Inspectors, Superintendents, Chief Superintendents, and Commandants. All this brass always got up the Regulars noses!!

However I have not seen one of these before so very interesting.

Thanks Vickers,

This information is very hard to come by especially here in Canada.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two nice Brassards, Brian - and the post came out well, so you're comp. problems may be solved. Vickers has laid out the normal ratio of Insp./Sgts/P.C.'s. He also mentions the hostility that has often occured in the past between Regulars and Specials. I don't really think your post on Specials is the right place to explore this, being oriented to equipment - however it has always been a problem and is worthy of some discussion - but, is a collector's forum the place to go into something which can be sensitive and cause hurt feelings ?

Perhaps we should start a discussion in the Lounge - or on the new Forum, if there are enough Police ?

Thanks Mervyn,

I still can't send emails through the Bell system (bell.net) but I can receive them. I have been responding through my hotmail account. I can put up with that and as long as I can post on the GMIC I'm a happy fellow.

You're right about the friction between Regulars and Specials, it exists here as well.

I would like it if any such discussion was carried out on another area such as the Lounge because so many members have added to this one that I would hate to see it locked due to heated discussion. I would like to see this post stay with equipment (and photos?) as you have suggested.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that any problems between Specials and regulars ( In the Met anyway ) have long since passed. The problem children now are PCSO's. A recent scheme in London has encouraged members of the Met Civilian staff and managers of retail establishments to become Specials and in my opinion they do a bloody good job. It is also a staging ground for those thinking of a career in the regulars. Specials now also recieve good training and good kit and speaking for myself would be more than happy to be posted with one.

In the counties you will need to ask Leigh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully agree - I never had any problems and often walked with Specials who were on their own. I think a lot of the problems came from the older police who re-joined after the War. You are obviously more up-to-date then I could be - so let 'sleeping dogs - get on with it ' ! (or something like that...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I touched any raw nerves it was not my intention to sart a discussion on Special/Regualr relationships it was a throw away remark that was intended to show some understanding of the views of Regulars I have know. The relationships between standing forces be they police, armed services, fire or ambulanace are all problematical, have two sides to them and cry out for a Phd if one has not already be written.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to open a new thread please, if discussion of the pros & cons of Specials & PCSO's is to continue - simply because we will be "spoiling" Brian's thread on medals & insignia etc if we continue on this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an apology to Brian, for going 'off topic' - a picture of three quite rare Special Constable's truncheons :

FROM LEFT : William 4th (1830-37) Special Constable- area not known ; Queen Victoria - Edinburgh Special Constable - showing their badge of a fouled anchor on a chaplet with blue bands. (A chaplet was the padding to go between the iron helmet and the head. Gentlemen would wear it when the helmet was off.) - this example would date to about the 1850's. ; Very rare longer staff for the City of Perth High Constables. They were an association of leading shopkeepers' and citizens who acted as a support for the Parish Constable. They were a little like the Mason's, being an association with rituals - however, they were acting as Special Constables - this would date from the time of George 3rd. - 1760-1820 ; Finally, this is for the Constable of Port Talbot - in Wales. Dates to William 4th. - a little battered, but rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once in a while there is a Special Constabulary Medal offered either in a group or with related items and these are always nice to add to a collection. Naturally there is often a premium to be paid for such groups and when the items' relationship to one another cannot be substantiated by any official documentation one needs to be careful not to pay too much for the grouping. I've read opinions that if the vendor is known and trusted that this should go a long way to accepting the authentisity of the grouping as being from one individual. I have a bit of a problem with such assumptions and don't invest too much cash in one of these so-called "attributed" groupings. Having said that I did pay a bit of a premium for this grouping as the SC Medal is the King George VI FID:DEF: issue which is quite scarce being only issued from 1949 - 1952.

Here is the grouping that is "attributed" to William T. May of the Devon Special Constabulary Service.

The bar on the named SC Medal is 1960 which places William May in service starting in the rein of King George VI and still serving during the rein for Queen Elizabeth II. The three bars on the 5 Years Safe Driving Competition Award are 1960 (same as the SC Medal bar), 1961 and 1962. The maker's name on the plane reverse of this medal is, FATTORINI & SONS Ltd., 36 BARR ST., B'HAM. The lapel button is to the Devon Special Constabulary and it is held on to the jacket etc. by a half-moon shaped stud. This stud is marked, J.R.GAUNT, LONDON.

I liked the red and the blue enamel on the Driving Medal and the lapel pin and makes a nice little (so far unattributed) grouping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope this is not going too far off thread but I found this whilst looking for something else. This is a copy of instructions issued to SCs parading in the City Of London in November 1887.

Hope th works as my first attempt to upload anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope this is not going too far off thread but I found this whilst looking for something else. This is a copy of instructions issued to SCs parading in the City Of London in November 1887.

Hope th works as my first attempt to upload anything.

Obviously not I will try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello All,

I would like to start what hopefully will become a series of submissions under the this thread of 'Special Constabulary' relating to Northumberland. I have recently acquired a file of original documents concerning Northumberland Special Constabulary dating from WW1 (with a couple from the General Strike of 1926). The contents are, in my opinion, a rare insight into the local activities of the SCs during the Great War and should add to our understanding of the Home Front during this period. It has long been noted that contemporary historical documenation relating to the Special Constabulary is relatively rare. As a collector of SC memorabilia I know that I share a common frustration with others interested in this field. I have no particular expertise in the Northumberland area and would be delighted if this contribution would encourage submissions from others. I will start the 'ball rolling' if, I may, by submitting a few examples of Northumberland Special Constabulary insignia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello ,

Just a couple of historical Notes on the Northumberland Constabulary which hopefully will place the SC documentation in perspective.

Northumberland County Constabulary :- formed on 1 April 1857

Establishment :- 61 officers

Population served :- 171,485 over some

Area served :- 1,131,175 acres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome SCcollector,

That's a great addition to the thread.

When I started this thread I thought I would be posting material and information purely for myself, never dreaming that there were so many others with like interests.

Thanks for helping to keep this thread alive and well. I look forward to seeing more of your submissions.

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, This is the first attempt at uploading a document. This particular one is a questionnaire dated 16 September 1914 to a Special Constable in the Denwick Parish asking the following :-

1. Can you ride a horse?

2. Do you own a horse?

3. Can you ride a bicycle?

4. Do you own a bicycle?

5. Can you use a rifle, shot gun or pistol (specify which)?

6. Do you own a rifle, shot gun or pistol?

There is a bundle of such documents all completed and returned from various Special Constables. What is of interest is that the question of driving a vehicle is not included, which is probably not surprising given the socio economic situation at the time and the somewhat rural location. The approach would appear to indicate a very 'bottom up' approach to planning.

I have attempted to upload a few more documents which have failed due to the file size but will perservere. Where it is not possible I will attempt to explain the content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Brian

Many thanks for your kind response.

The next attempt at uploading a document has failed so I have recorded the contents below. The letter seems to highlight the importance of the need to 'black out' the area and begins to put into context the role of Special Constables in WW1, which differed markedly from previous times when they were almost exclusivley 'deployed' to assist in the supression of civil disorder. A large emphasis during the Great War was placed on guarding key instillations, preparing for air raids, responding ( in the case of areas such as Northuimberland) to naval bombardment, preparing for invasion, and being alert to the possible presence of spies. Many of the duties developed in WW1 appear to have been incorporated into the functions of ARP and the Home Guard during the Second World War. Anyway, here is a copy of the letter :-

Number 4.

Chief Constable's Office

Morpeth

16th October 1914

MEMORANDUM TO GROUP LEADERS.

1. Stack Fires. these are to be expected at this time of the year and should a Special Constable get to know of one in his neighbourhood, the Chief Constable will be glad that he should attend without further summons.

2. When these fires are not accidental, the perpetrator is very difficult to discover and the presence and assistance of the Special Constable will therefore be all the more welcome.

3. Sometimes several fires in places adjoining break out in one evening : the presence of a certain number of Specials would, on such occasions, allow cordons being drawn round the first outbreak and probably in this way the criminal would either be didcovered or prevented doing further damage.

Fullerton James,

Chief Constable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×