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Alan Baird

PC 881 Edward Watkins City of London Police

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Hi Alan, if you done the 'share this post' way it would look like the above. Or you could just 'cut and paste' the stories and then add in the pictures. 

Edited by David68

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Hi Dave and thanks,

                               Does that mean I should go onto the new thread, then 'share this post,' adding in the PC881 details so that it then comes up on my post on the new thread?  Maybe I should cut and paste but I think I will leave it for now.

thank you again,


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Somebody recently said, 'it is hard to imagine there are still important medals out there, after all this time.'

They were referring, in general, to the Policemen that served in London during the 1888 period [JTR] and this was an informed observation. I would class myself as an expert, in Police medals from this period, so lets have some fun.

I will give you a short story regarding a medal I purchased approximately a year ago which I consider to be an extremely important one.

The medal was being sold as part of a small group of 4 Police medals which were all approximately from the same period. The seller was one of the most respected and professional London Auction Houses and has a worldwide reputation and following. [Auction Houses have archives, December 2017 sale refers] The lot/medal could have been viewed at both the preview and completed catalogue stages, on the Auction House site. It would also have been available to view on sites like 'the salesroom.' The lot/medal was on open view to the world for approximately one month and not just to hundreds of collectors and dealers but probably to many thousands of collectors and dealers. 

To cut a long story short, I purchased the lot/medal without any real opposition, sold off the other medals and kept the important one. This was the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902 and awarded to, 'Insp. J Helson M divn.'

' Insp. J Helson  is :-

[a] On the 24th of October in 1887, Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Helson was promoted to Inspector and transferred to Bethnal Green or 'J' division. Detective Inspector Joseph Helson was in charge of the Bethnal Green  C.I.D.

At 06.45am on the 31st of August in 1888 Detective Inspector Joseph Helson was notified of Mary Ann 'Polly' Nichols murder, examined her body at the old mortuary, in Old Montague Street and then examined the murder site. Detective Inspector Joseph Helson subsequently took charge of the murder investigation. He attended the inquests and liaised closely with Detective Inspector Abberline especially on the murder of Annie Chapman.

[c] Detective Inspector Joseph Helson also had a good team of detectives in Bethnal Green and Detective Sergeant George Godley particularly stood out. This is a relevant point later in this story. There is so much information of Detective Inspector Joseph Helson that it would take too long to list it all so lets cut to the chase.

[d] On the 14th of January in 1895, Detective Inspector Joseph Helson retires on pension from Bethnal Green division and the Metropolitan Police. Joseph Helson was 49 years old and had completed 26 years and 10 days in the Metropolitan Police. Joseph Henry Helson and family return to his place of birth and retired in Devon.


Joseph Helson was recalled to duty with the Metropolitan Police on the 20th of June in 1902 for the Coronation Parade through London. Inspector Joseph Helson was assigned to Southwark or 'M' division and given the temporary warrant number of 1869.

Now somebody will say why did he not serve with Bethnal Green or 'J' division instead of Southwark or 'M' division in 1902. Well there are three reason for this deployment.

[a] Firstly, there was an Inspector's vacancy at Southwark or 'M' division.

Secondly, Joseph Helson's son Albert Henry Helson was a young detective serving in Southwark or 'M' division at the time.

[c] And last but not least, his old colleague and friend Detective Sergeant George Godley, was now Detective Inspector George Godley in charge of the Southwark C.I.D.


The moral of the story is that like Edward Watkins and Joseph Henry Helson, there is always the possibility of new finds out there.

[The medal was out there and in plain view for the world to see.]   





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7 minutes ago, Mike McLellan said:

Bravo! Nice one. 

Yes indeed. Another little gem, thanks for sharing it with us Alan!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It does make one wondered what other belters are still out there waiting to be discovered.........


Edited by bigjarofwasps

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