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The Station Cat

Policing the UK, during WW2.....

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From what I understand, there was an influx of Special Constables and War Reserve Constables, during the war. I'm curious to know what happened to "all" the regular officers. I assume that the one's with previous military service, either volunteered or where called back to the colours. But what about the officers with no previous military service, were they all called up as well? Hence the requirement for all the specials and war reserves? 

Edited by The Station Cat

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I only have some information for the Metropolitan Police.  The Police Orders show some retired officers re-joined as Reserve Police Officers at the end of August, several days before the war actually started.  So clearly those mechanisms were already in place.  Note quite a few of these reserve officers resigned before the war ended - possibly they were a bit too long in the tooth for plodding the streets etc.

Younger officers with recent service in the forces would have been recalled - they were also recalled for the Boer War and WWI.  In WWI this even included some men who had completed their Army Reserve time.  However in WWI there were also some officers who chose to resign to join the forces.  These men were initially shown as leaving the force but most were later allowed to continue their service and the entry for leaving was struck through and a later Police Order reference date is given (presumably the date they re-joined) as if they never left. 

I don't think men were actually called up from the Police in WWII as they would have probably been treated as being in a reserve occupation but obviously some chose to leave in order to serve in the armed forces.  Joining the specials or AFS may have been a useful ploy if you wanted to avoid being called up.  Most Police forces did increase the number of their Specials in WWII so this would have helped offset the loss of men who joined the army etc.

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