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Hello folks,

I've been a member of GMIC for a while, but posted rarely as I never really felt I had any knowledge to share so bear with me if I ask lots of questions!

By the way although the name above is the Gentleman's Military Interest Club......I am a female member, not a very PC one either ;)

I wonder if any members have in their collection a Silver Token, such as those given to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and whether you have any photos of the said item?

I've collected a variety of items related to the Police in my time, but one thing I've never seen is a silver token!

Thanks folks....

SP

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Hi - SP . I have seen examples of these silver tokens - however, I have never seen one for sale. They are obviously regarded as heirlooms by the families. They were issue to the Commissioner and the Deputy Comm. - the practise started with the first joint Commissioners in 1829. They are carried in a special wallet and fixed to prevent loss. I believe the original design was rectangular and the Name and Rank engraved into the silver.

There must be illustrations - but, I am unable to remember where. Write to the Press Office at Scotland Yard and ask if they can help you ? I think we would all be interested. Mervyn

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Hi Mervyn.

Thanks for the info.

I'll certainly have a go at trying to find a photo or illustration of a silver token.

I'd love to get hold of one, they are a very different collectors item.

Regards.

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Hello folks,

I've been a member of GMIC for a while, but posted rarely as I never really felt I had any knowledge to share so bear with me if I ask lots of questions!

By the way although the name above is the Gentleman's Military Interest Club......I am a female member, not a very PC one either ;)

I wonder if any members have in their collection a Silver Token, such as those given to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and whether you have any photos of the said item?

I've collected a variety of items related to the Police in my time, but one thing I've never seen is a silver token!

Thanks folks....

SP

I am attaching herewith a photograph of a Metropolitan Police Silver Identification token which I have in my collection. As you can see it was issued to "F.W. Abbott, Deputy Assistant Commissioner". The reverse is blank apart from a Birmingham silver hallmark for 1934. It is a fairly uninspiring item. It is 1 1/4 inch tall x 1 inch wide. The small suspender ring was used to attach to a chain, probably a watch chain.

Mr. Abbott was appointed a Chief Constable in the Metropolitan Police on 6th June 1930 and Deputy Assistant Commissioner in January 1935. He did not hold that position for long and retired on pension in 1936.

The "Silver Identification Tokens" are mentioned for the first time in Metropolitan Police Order dated 11th November 1919, when it said that they shall be issued to all senior officers. The ranks involved are not mentioned. However, research suggests that they were issued to Deputy Assistant Commissioners up to Commissioner. They were also issued to the "Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District" (an individual who headed the Met. Police civil staff). I have not been able to discover when the practice of issuing these tokens ceased.

The Metropolitan Police have only one example in their archives and that relates to a Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

I hope this information is of use.

Dave.

My apologies, I've not been able to upload to photo (your system indicates that it is too big). If "SP" contacts me I will allow her sight of the token. My email address is:- dave.wilkinson73@btinternet.com

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Hello Dave.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my topic. I've sent you an email and I would be grateful for a photo of the token.

I guess I'm unlikely to lay my hands on a token for my Police collection, so a photo of one will have to be the next best thing!

Thanks again.

SP

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Well done Dave - my memory wasn't so bad, I had remembered the rectangular shape - although I think the earliest ones had it sideways. They started with the first two joint Commissioners. The rank of DAC has appeared and disappeared several times over the years - didn't it come back in the 1970's ?

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Well done Dave - my memory wasn't so bad, I had remembered the rectangular shape - although I think the earliest ones had it sideways. They started with the first two joint Commissioners. The rank of DAC has appeared and disappeared several times over the years - didn't it come back in the 1970's ?

Mervyn,

Silver Tokens.

The Metpol. official website says that they were introduced in 1919. This is confirmed in the book "The Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard" (Fido & Skinner) who go on to say that they were issued to Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and Deputy Assistant Commissioners. The text suggests (but does not definately say) that they are still issued. However, I know from information given to me personally by a DAC who was serving in that rank post 1993, that this is not the case. He did attempt on my behalf to discover when they ceased to be issued, without success. No one appears to know and Police Orders are silent.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner rank.

Again, the Metpol. website quotes 1919 as being the date the rank was introduced. The above quoted book suggests continual use to-date. However, the "Police & Constabulary Almanac" for 1956 makes no mention of the rank under the Metpol. entry for that year. So, your suggestion that the rank has had intermitent use seems correct.

Best wishes, Dave.

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I have a strong re-collection of finding in an early book ref. to the two original Commissioners having a silver badge to show who they were.

However, as we all know, these memories can rarely be tracked back and I have no idea where I read this.. I will have a look back - but, for now we will have to accept 1919.

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Certainly Silver tokens were still being issued as late as 1987 so it must have been in the late eighties early 1990s that the practice ceased.

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I recollect that a photograph of a silver token was shown in the Instruction Book so that an unwitting P.C. would not wonder what it was if exhibited by a plainclothes (senior officer).

When and if the token was abolished I do not know. The D.A.C. rank in the Met was reintroduced when the senior ranks were revised in the late 60's, early seventies. Prior to the revision the Commander rank in the Force was immediately below that of the Assistant Commissioners. Their importance was reflected that they governed each of the four Districts of the MPD and had deputy commanders as subordinates. Chief Superintendents were in charge of the old divisions with a Superintendent i/c of each sub-division. E.G. the old "H" division even in the 1960's was known as "H" or Whitechapel Division. Chief Superintendent's rank at that time was designated by a crown and 2 bath stars. Superintendents a crown and one star. At the time of the re-structuring the Met upgraded over a couple of years all Ch.Supts to Commanders who became i/c of Divisions. The rank insignia of Ch.Supts and Supts fell in line with that of the Provinces - 1 crown and 1 bath star (Ch.Supt) and Supt ( a crown). The dormant rank of DAC was re-instituted. I think it had been abolished in the 1930s. The rank of deputy Commander was also abolished at this time. I have a recollection that these changes occurred at the start of the Troubles in N.I. as the R.U.C. chief supt was allowed to retain the old insignia so that he equated to a full colonel in the military with whom they were having a great deal of liaison and to the military rank is everything.

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Update: I have been reliably informed that Silver Tokens are still given to Senior Ranks in the Met. However they are no longer used for identification purposes as they are issued warrant cards and they are given when the officer retires or leaves office.In fact when the head of finance left the Met a little while back, he received a Silver token as a mark of respect to the old post of Receiver, despite that post not existing anymore. They are of the same design which has not changed significantly over the years and given in a presentation box. I know of one collector who has several silver tokens from Senior Met Officers, but he obtained them all alongside their respective medal groups. So it would appear to be difficult to obtain one without having to purchase other items of significance.

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Tom - this is very interesting and we appreciate your efforts to sort out the chronology. Do you think the collector

you mention would allow a photograph ? Mervyn

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I know this is an old post BUT....

I have written to the commissioner and got a reply from him personally and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that he and the Deputy Commissioner STILL have a silver token AND a Warrant Card.

In my reply to him I enclosed a copy of the photo Dave Wilkinson posted and his Personal Admin Manager relied (this time) and she said that the Sir BB-H token was like the photo.

Hope this answers some questions!

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Great work all.

I still haven't seen one in the flesh though!

Perhaps one day.

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Here is a picture of a provincial Scottish silver badge. I wish more badges were around to be collected. They are very scarce.

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This appears to have the King William 4th Crown - he had sharp sides - unlike the earlier Georgian patterns which

tended to be rounded. Do you have any knowledge on who wore this - or, perhaps carried it for identifiaction.

Some Scottish areas - Forftarshire for one - carried pewter badges as a tipstaff. It was attached on a ribbon around

the neck . Mervyn

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Yes, the disc has the name engraved on back of the chap who carried it along with his title. The badge is Scottish hallmarked silver to the 1940s. Quite a nice thing.

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Yes, the disc has the name engraved on back of the chap who carried it along with his title. The badge is Scottish hallmarked silver to the 1940s. Quite a nice thing.

Are you going to share that information with us? Perhaps you would also post a photo of the reverse.

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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Sorry, I don't have the information (it's not my badge). I was just told about it and was sent the picture.

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Possibly a catalogue picture from the recent auction of Scottish regalia ?

I haven't been able to find out. But I did find another interesting token, this one from Forfar and GR4. You can see a picture of it posted to the british online police museum here:

http://www.pmcc-club.co.uk/museum/displayimage.php?album=400&pos=0

Looks to be a really interesting token with great age, does anyone have any background information on it or has seen this one before? I venture a guess Mr. Mitton will know about it and can enlighten us.

Edited by tjones

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