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Just out of curiosity, what the likely success rate, with regards to researching officers from portrait photographs, such as this one? 

PC123.png

PC328.png

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Pretty good. Both Metropolitan Police officers and you have their collar numbers. "C" division covered Mayfair and St James.

The Metropolitan Police have  a family records department which you can find on the net. I think they charge a few £ to search their database.

 

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Both officers appear to be wearing the Queen Victoria Jubilee Medal and clasp which indicates that they were present at the 1887 and 1897 parades in London. It is probable that the other medal is for the King Edward VII coronation in 1902. I suspect that either the photographs were taken to commemorate the officers retirement after 1902 or the award of the coronation medal. As you are probably aware, the Met identified their officers by a warrant number which remained the same throughout their service, divisional letter/numbers remained with the officer only whilst they remained on that division. 

Although there are people out there who can research police order, rolls etc. NL is correct in that usually visiting the Friends of the Met History website and paying a fee for records check will probably reveal the information which you require.

Or you can purchase -  THE METROPOLITAN POLICE THE MEN AND THEIR MEDALS by J Kemp

Edited by Polsa999

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Many thanks chaps. My concern was whether, you can conduct a search on an officer with only his collar. I assumed that the pictures must have been taken post 1902 but pre 1911. I was also concerned what the likelihood was that there might have been several officers who might have had the same collar number, if they'd been posted between divisions, during the 1902-1911 period? I wonder how quickly numbers were reissued? 

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I have identified two officers who retired between 1902 and 1911 who had the collar number 123C - both are entitled to 1887 and bar and 1902 Medals.

First is William Lavers Warrant Number 64277.  He joined C Div 9/2/1880 as a PC and retired 12/2/1906 still a PC in C Div (Divisional Number 123C)

The second is Albert Gunn Warrant Number 68571.  He joined C Div 13/8/1883 as a PC and retired 16/9/1909 still a PC in C Div (also 123C)

I would suggest Gunn was given the number 123C after Lavers left and therefore only held it for three years.  It was quite common for older officers to be given lower numbers as they became available - that's probably what happened here. 

Sorry I can't identify it any closer than that.  Will look at the other man next.  I must stress that my book won't help you solve this sort problem - the first draft had divisional numbers as well but they were taken out to make all the information fit on a portrait format page.  However I have an idea which I will be start exploring once I have looked at the other man.

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There are also two candidates for the other photo

Francis Markham joined as a PC in N Div 8/5/1882 and was pensioned 30/5/1907 as a PC in C Div (328C) - Warrant Number 66527 (he had served most his career in N Div)

George Dendle joined C Div as a  PC 14/04/1884 and was pensioned 26/04/1909 as a P)C in C Div (328C) - Warrant Number 69112

Again not possible to be 100% sure. 

So clearly this is not a precise science.

Edited by Odin Mk 3

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Many thanks Odin, you really are a wealth of information and for that and taking the time to do these checks, I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!

I did have my concerns that it would be that easy to identify bobbies purely from collar numbers. I'm sure there must be examples when it has been possible, but on these occasions sadly not. 

I would however, add that if anyone is interested in these portraits, they are currently up for auction on Ebay (not me selling them I hasten to add), they have about 5 days to run.....

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Not my area and I haven't checked the prices, but if I were collecting to a 'unit' and could narrow a portrait down to one of two men, I'd be ecstatic!

 I hope one of our police collectors, or I should say 'other' ppilce collectors, Odin, can shed some like or at the very least find time to track these men further.  As BigJar said, thank you for the time you've cl;early spent on this.  This is the attitude which makes the GMIC my favourite forum!  No egos, no put downs and many many members prepared to put themselves out 'for the hobby'.  Gentlemen indeed.

Peter

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It's a pity with both these examples that the Divisional Numbers were re-allocated to individuals who joined around the same time as the previous number holders, which meant they had identical medal entitlements. 

It is worth trying though as I have managed to identify several Policemen from their photos and that includes one someone asked me about that I found I actually had the man's medals. 

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