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Alan Baird

PC 881 Edward Watkins City of London Police

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This is some information on City of London Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins family and it might be of interest for future research etc. 

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My Brother popped along to the Jack the Ripper museum in Whitechapel a couple of days ago. He sent me a couple of photos of PC Watkins original whistle, notebook and handcuffs that were donated to the museum by his Family.

hope they are of interest.

 

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Hi David,

          That is really interesting and I just looked at their site and the Victorian house/museum looked great. I would really like to see the photographs. Living in the Scottish Borders is nice but it is not so convenient for visiting London so that is why your info is so good.

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Posted (edited)

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Hi Alan, hopefully the photos are showing now. Enjoy.

David

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Posted (edited)

I have another of his helmet badge but don’t seem to be having much luck uploading it. I will keep trying 

Edited by David68

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Hi Gordon and David,

             The pictures look good and the museum would be worth a visit, very interesting. I have to admit I did not know these items were there or about the helmet badge. The BBC article I did see a couple of years ago but after that I never heard any more.....so thanks for the update to both of you.

Alan.  

 

 

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Hi,

Edward Watkins died in March of 1913 but less than a year and a half before this event, he was contacted by an old friend. 

On the 2nd of November in 1911, Mrs Piddington [appears to be Mrs but the title could have been Mr] wrote to the City of London Police Office requesting the address of ex-Police Constable  Watkins. They in turn wrote to Edward Watkins passing on the request and the address of the ''Piddington's'' at 26 Marine Parade in Dover.

On the 4th of November in 1911, Edward Watkins thanked the City of London Police Office for putting him back in touch with an old friend.

I am finding it hard to read parts of the second page of the letter and I have not identified the period the friendship probably started from but I will give you the details I have so far.

 

England Census 1911.

[a] William Thomas Piddington [50], born in Woolwich in Kent, in 1861. Occupation Naval pensioner and teacher of music.

Mary Ann Elizabeth Piddington [45], born in Chatham in Kent, in 1866. Occupation Lodging Housekeeper.

The Piddington's residing at 26 Marine Parade, in Dover.

 

England Census of 1901.

William T Piddington occupation ''Bandmaster Military.'' No occupation listed for Mary Piddington. The family home is at 5 Bereford Terrace, St Mary, Dover, in Kent.

 

15th of April in 1893. First payment of Lodge fee's by Sergeant Piddington R.M.L.S. [Lord Warden Lodge in Deal]. 

 

England Census of 1891 is unfortunately missing.

 

Marriage in 1886 of William Thomas Piddington………. marries Mary Ann Elizabeth Bromley at Medway in Kent.

 

England Census of 1881.

William T Piddington [20 and single] musician R.M.L.I. and residing at the Royal Marine Barracks, Gillingham, in Chatham.  

 

I just thought I would list it but I am not sure how it fits in just yet.

aLAN.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎04‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 15:16, Alan Baird said:

...I am finding it hard to read parts of the second page of the letter and I have not identified the period the friendship probably started from but I will give you the details I have so far...

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“…I think if he is still alive I thought the PENSION office might give me the address of himself or his wife which I very much would like to GET or you PERHAPS would kindly put me in the way…”

Edit - next bit -  "I don't think he held a HIGHER RANK but not sure" I now believe.

Edited by ayedeeyew

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1 hour ago, ayedeeyew said:

“…I think if he is still alive I thought the PENSION office might give me the address of himself or his wife which I very much would like to GET or you PERHAPS would kindly put me in the way…”

Edit - next bit -  "I don't think he held a HIGHER RANK but not sure" I now believe.

Sent this to my mother, who is a dab hand at transcriptions, and she had these three observations:

Without even knowing details of the Piddington family she thought it was not MR/MRS, but Wm. - the standard abbreviation for William

Not "Yours sincerely" but a "Yours TRUELY", possibly with a missing E. Note the wayward slash of the T over the middle of the word, which is repeated in words like "thought", "photographs" and "think".

She read the last sentence as "Thanking you and APOLOGISING".

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Many thanks and thank your mother for me.

108 years later and the letter comes back to life. Now that I know it was William Piddington that wrote the letter......it will help in trying to find a connection between William Piddington and Edward Watkins. 

Edward Watkins wrote back to the City of London Police Office and thanked them for passing on the address of an old friend [singular] so maybe the friendship started before William Piddington was married in 1886 and I need to look more closely at the early part of the 1880's. That's is just thinking out aloud.

again much appreciated,

Alan. 

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Hi,

I thought the translation of the letter relating to Edward Watkins was superb especially since I find these things so difficult.

I have one other mystery from December in 1888 which revolves around confirming just one word.

It does not directly connect with Police Constable Edward Watkins story except that when Edward Watkins was at the height of his fame, this other Police Constable was retiring on pension.

Police Constable Edward Browning served in the Metropolitan Police from the 21st of August in 1863 and until his retired on pension on the 4th of December in 1888. Police Constable Edward Browning completed his entire service in 'M' or Southwark division. If an individual is on, ''special duties,'' at the time of their retirement, then this is recorded below the particulars of service entry, on page two. Police Constable Edward Browning's special duty was on, ''diving service.'' It might be spelt 'divinng service.'

Because I felt I did not do so well on the Edward Watkins letter, I was hoping somebody might again give me their opinions on this entry. I might have read the entry wrongly so a second opinion would be interesting.

The entry, ''diving service'' appears quite unique, as I have not encountered this before. 

Alan.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

"In 'M' Division as Constable DURING service" is how I read that. I suspect the dot of the "i" is just a little wayward to the left.

Edited by ayedeeyew

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39 minutes ago, ayedeeyew said:

"In 'M' Division as Constable DURING service" is how I read that. I suspect the dot of the "i" is just a little wayward to the left.

Without seeing ayedeeyew's reply. I read it as "during service" as well. This would certainly make sense? 

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Hi,

 Many thanks to both of you, I couldn't see it before but now you have pointed it out......it is starring me right in the face. Now I feel a right numpty. One day I will get the hang of this joined-up-writing.

tks,

Alan.

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On 08/01/2019 at 18:34, Alan Baird said:

Hi,

 Many thanks to both of you, I couldn't see it before but now you have pointed it out......it is starring me right in the face. Now I feel a right numpty. One day I will get the hang of this joined-up-writing.

tks,

Alan.

It’s like those Magic Eye things, the hours I’ve pondered over Victorian script to then have someone point it out and it become obvious 😂.

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 Hi,

It is nice to know I am not the only one that finds these old documents difficult to read at times - tks.

Anyway, I was asked about researching City of London Police so here is an example of such an individual from my own collection which is still awaiting to be fully researched. It is the same medal, as that which was awarded to Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins and these two men would have served roughly during the same period.

It is a Queen Victoria City of London Police Jubilee medal for 1887 with the City of London Police Jubilee clasp for 1897. This is a nice example and was awarded to ''PC 353 J Saveall.'' James Saveall was born in Upminster, in Essex [Parish of Rainham/District of Romford] in 1852.

The establishment of the City of London Police in 1888 was :- 1 Commissioner. 1 Chief Superintendent. 1 Superintendent. 14 Inspectors. 92 Sergeants. 781 Constables. Making a total of 890 personnel. 

There is an Old Bailey trial record relating to a theft, pocket-picking offence which was dealt with on the 20th of October in 1879. James Saveall [City Policeman 353] gave evidence and the prisoner was sentenced to 7 years hard labour. This is roughly the extent of what I know about his City of London Police career.

On the other hand, through 'ancestry.co.uk' I have his family history ie his wife died between October to December in 1888 and his niece then begins to take over the role of housekeeper to the family. Between his wife dying and the hunt for Jack the Ripper, the end of 1888 would have been extremely difficult for this City of London Police Constable.

The London Metropolitan Archives, I believe, hold the majority of these officer's personal files. Therefore I 'e' mailed ''ask.lma@cityoflondon.gov,uk'' and they soon confirmed that James Saveall's personal file [reference CLA/048/AD/01/655] was available from their archives. Normally, depending on who answers your query, they will usually supply you with a few basic details about the individual you are researching. They will usually add an attachment which will allow you to pay a small fee [previously £20] which will then allow them to give you a breakdown of the file contents and the cost of providing copies of the documents. This is referring to distance researching, the 'e' mail will also give you all the information necessary for attending the London Metropolitan Archives personally. Obviously, attending the archives personally is much cheaper than having the London Metropolitan Archive staff prepare the documents for you which is, to say the least, quite expensive. Remember, if the file contents have been listed, then you can just order what you consider absolutely necessary and reduce the overall cost of the research.

I have used their services, at least half a dozen times and it has always been a good experience. I have not completed the research on this individual because one day I hope to visit the LMA personally. If anybody is thinking of visiting the LMA for research purposes etc make sure read up all the rules governing the archives. Hope this might be of interest.

Alan.

  

 

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