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Alan Baird

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Alan Baird last won the day on September 11

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  1. If at the height of the 'Sidney Street Siege' they had approximately 750 Police Officers in attendance from the Metropolitan and City of London Constabularies, then they must have pulled in every man available and probably some that were even off duty in the Section Houses etc. The reinforcements must have come originally from the nearest divisions to Whitechapel and worked there way outwards. It would be interesting to know the official establishments levels for Whitechapel or 'H' division and the City of London Police were in 1911.
  2. Police Constable 882 Joseph Phipps joins the City of London Police in 1871. Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins joins the City of London Police on the 15th of May in 1871. Their collar numbers also confirm they joined at the same period. Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins on completing his 25 years service, retires on pension, on the 28th of May in 1896. Therefore it is reasonable to suspect that Police Constable 882 Joseph Phipps also retired at the same period, maybe just slightly later, at the very most. The criteria for temporarily employing more Policemen for the Jubilee and Coronation Parades through London, appears to be that the City of London and Metropolitan Police would re-hire their pensioned colleagues first for these events. All in all, these two Police Constables must have known each other quite well.
  3. After the Siege of Sidney Street was over, people had to be compensated for their losses ie all the residents of 100 Sidney Street which was now just a burn-out-shell of a building. Here is a small paragraph on how this incident impacted on Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson's life. '''''Detective Sergeant Leeson's experiences made him a ten-day celebrity. Sympathizers sent him and the hearthstone's victims a profusion of flowers, messages arrived from the King. Both the sergeant's lungs had been severely damaged and for some days pneumonia or bronchitis was feared. As with Sergeant Woodhams, his recovery was to be slow and difficult, not until 8th February was he considered fit enough to leave the London Hospital's Gloucester Ward for a convalescent home at Felixstowe. The Metropolitan Police upgraded him to first-class sergeant on the 10th of January and on 23rd February the newspapers announced a King's Police Medal for him, unhappily, the promotion only preceded his invaliding out and the story about his decoration proved false.''''' I think the ''hearthstone's victims'' would have been firemen. A heavy hearthstone coming down of them, would have brought a lot of other debris with it. I almost forgot to say that after it was all over, the City of London Police announced its gratitude to the Metropolitan Police for all their assistance in helping to deal with such a difficult crime/major incident and awarded gratuities to :- Chief Superintendent Stark £50. Detective Superintendent Ottaway £40. Detective Inspector Wensley £25. Detective Chief Inspector Willis £12.10s. Detective Inspector Thompson and Newell £10 each. Detective Sergeant Leeson £10. And 5 others £5 each.
  4. Stirring stuff......... The moment Detective Sergeant Leeson was shot, City of London Detective Inspector Hine opened fire to give cover to his colleagues caught out in the open street. Leeson stumbled towards Inspector Wensley [H divn.] and the archway, calling out, ''I am shot.'' Detective Sergeant Richardson [H] supported him to the rear of the yard. Leeson and Wensley had started out together as constables in Whitechapel in the late 1880's and were brother Freemason. Inspector Wensley came to him at once, ''I am dying,'' the heavily built sergeant gasped. ''They have shot me through the heart. Give my love to the children. Bury me at Putney.'' ''The two men embraced, ''I am with you to the last,'' said Wensley. ''I know that Fred'' Leeson answered. After the shooting started and by 9am about 750 policemen, some of them mounted, were at the scene. The crowds already numbered several thousands.
  5. I will need to get more up-to-date with things. I have always preferred a book to a kindle but 0.99 pence to read 'Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson's story'......is such a great offer. I enjoyed reading the Jack the Ripper chapter, many thanks for that. It is a couple of years since I read the book 'The Battle of Stepney, and so I forgot all about 'Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson.' When the Latvian anarchists repeatedly shot Police Constable Choat at the Exchange Buildings.....it was because he would not let go of one of their gang - 'George Gardstein.' The gang then accidently shot George Gardstein whilst trying to kill Police Constable Choat. Later information came to the Police's attention, that his body could be found in certain rooms within the district and 40 Metropolitan and City Policemen descended on the house in question. Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson was in the vanguard of this group. Later and at the beginning of the 'Sidney Street Siege' Police attempted to make contact with the anarchists at 100 Sidney Street and even threw pebbles at the first floor window panes to gain their attention. This was answered by a volley of fire from those inside and Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson was shot in the chest and in the foot. Detective Inspector Hine returned fire and the fight was on. They had a difficult time trying to evacuation Detective Sergeant Leeson from the scene and to the hospital but they did it in the end.
  6. Found a couple of examples of his book ''Lost London by an East End Detective.' [£145 and £125, depends on condition] and Sidney Street is one of the sections mentioned. I would still like to read the story but it is still a bit too expensive for me.
  7. Very interesting point......... I remember Detective Sergeant Benjamin Leeson for 2 reasons ;- Benjamin Leeson's photographs, in my opinion, makes him look a very interesting character. and existing copies of his book 'Lost London by an East End Detective,' which was published in the 1930's are always extremely expensive to buy. I just checked and there appears to be a copy on Amazon for over £300. The big story within the book, always appeared to be that he has assisted PC Ernest Thompson at Francis Cole's murder in 1891. Although there was never any original evidence/record of him actually being at the site of the murder. Since he was still a Detective Sergeant in Whitechapel or 'H' division in January of 1910 [Houndsditch Murders] and January of 1911 [Sidney Street Siege], he must have recorded these events. It would be interesting to know what he said about these incidents but not at that price for a copy of his book.
  8. This is the final presentation of '''''Detective Constable James Frederick Amos's medals''''' as it they now go into my collection. Their write-up is completed and all the information is placed into a folder and the medals are housed as shown in the photographs. The presentation boxes and the padded insert can be found on ebay or by going directly to the company and they are made in China and of good quality and most importantly quite cheap to buy.
  9. Here we have another Whitechapel or 'H' division Police Constable who may have witnessed the Sidney Street Siege, first hand. PC John William Cole who was awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medals for 1902 and 1911 and served his entire pensionable engagement with the Police in Whitechapel. John William Cole joined the Metropolitan Police on the 14/10/1901 and was assigned to Whitechapel or 'H' division and he was given the warrant number of 87893. In 1902 he was awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902 whilst serving in Whitechapel. In 1909, PC John William Cole married Rose Georgiana Darnell who was the widow of Police Sergeant William Darnell who had retired from the Metropolitan Police and Whitechapel or 'H' division on the 29th of July in 1907. Retired Police Sergeant William Darnell died shortly after retiring from the Police and this occurred in Bethnal Green in 1908. John William Cole was approximately 10 years younger than Rose Darnell and it would appear police widows regularly remarried other members of the police service. There definitely appears to be a real family bond within the Metropolitan and City of London Police during these times and you can regularly see cases where police widows are then employed as cleaners/house keepers in various police establishment etc The criteria for bringing back officers to assist with the Jubilee or Coronation Parades also appeared to favour their retired [pension] colleagues first and there are lots of examples of daughters marrying their partners who are already serving within the Police establishment etc. In 1911 he was awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1911 whilst serving in Whitechapel. On the 16/101927, PC John William Cole retired on pension from the Metropolitan Police and from Whitechapel division.
  10. Here is another example of a Whitechapel Policemen who might have been in attendance at the Sidney Street Siege. PC Edgar Greenacre was awarding the Metropolitan Police Queen Victoria Jubilee medal for 1897, Metropolitan Police Coronation medals for 1902 and 1911. Police Constable Edgar E Greenacre who joined the Metropolitan Police on the 10/3/1890 and was assigned to Southwark or 'M' division, warrant number 75404. Awarded the Jubilee medal for 1897 whilst serving with Southwark or 'M' division. Sometime between the last half of 1897 and the first half of 1902, PC Edgar E Greenacre transferred to Whitechapel or 'H' division. Awarded the Coronation medal for 1902 whilst serving with Whitechapel or 'H' division. Awarded the Coronation medal for 1911 whilst serving with Whitechapel or 'H' division. 1911......Sidney Street Siege.......was he there? 20/12/1920 Police Constable Edgar E Greenacre retires on pension from Whitechapel or 'H' division and the Metropolitan Police and in his pension records we find the following information :- When PC Edgar Greenacre retired from the Metropolitan Police on the 20/12/1920, he was on 'Special Duties' attached to the 'Tower of London' and it was paid for by the 'Office of Works.' This is confirmed in his pension records. Special Duties are only recorded on the Metropolitan Police pension records when the individual was still employed on them at the time of leaving the police. This special duty fell within Whitechapel or 'H' division's responsibility since it was within the divisional area. Because special duties are only recorded on the pension records when the individual is still activity on them at the time of his retirement......this means they are harder to fine and evidence.
  11. I have only read one book on the subject of the 'Houndsditch Murders and the Sidney Street Siege' and that was 'The Battle of Stepney by Colin Rogers' and I read that several years ago. But there is a short paragraph which I think helps imagine what it was like for Detectives, like Detective Constable James Amos'.......remembering the original murders were committed on the 16th of December in 1910. '''''All City Police Christmas Festivities had been abandoned and all leave for the force's hundred-odd detectives cancelled. Not one was at home for his Christmas Dinner. Marathon spells of duty remained commonplace; food was snatched or gone without. With the holiday freedom of London's other citizens and the substantial reward on offer, hundreds of hours were spent investigating alleged suspicious characters. The uniformed branch also had its troubles; the two Bank Holidays which followed Christmas Day brought thousands of sightseers into the Exchange Buildings neighbourhood.'''''
  12. Thanks for the information dpk and I had a quick look on the ''OMRS'' site and it is extremely interesting. Hi Gordon - Since you are evidencing the photographs together with his detailed service with Whitechapel or 'H' division, during this period, I think the chances of this being the same person are reasonable/good but the chances of him having attended Sidney Street Siege are even better. I would suspect of the 200 City and Metropolitan Police that initially attended Sidney Street, the greatest percentage of that number would have come from Whitechapel or 'H' division. I don't know what Whitechapel or 'H' divisions uniformed establishment was in 1911 but it could easily mean a quarter of the entire division's men attended the siege. I believe further reinforcements were requested later as the siege progressed but I am sure these would have been supplied by the other divisions nearby. I believe I read somewhere that initially shotguns were given to Policemen that had served in the military but I am also sure they would have been issued to Policemen who had fired and had experience with shotguns ie those from estates and from the countryside. Anyway it is an interesting question - what was the total percentage of manpower supplied by Whitechapel or 'H' division. I remember reading the City of London Police had to commit 100 police officers to secure the ''Exchange Buildings,'' location after the Latvians anarchists/revolutionaries killed the 3 City Policemen.
  13. Here are some items that relate to the 'Sidney Street Siege.' The first 2 photographs show 2 original newspaper publications covering the siege. The next 2 photographs are 'film stills' advertising the film 'The Sidney Street Siege.' I can't remember but I think the film might have produced in 1960. Some people might even recognise the actors and actresses. The last photograph is a standard article that would have been used in various magazines.
  14. The first photograph - is portraits of Sergeant Tucker, Sergeant Bentley and Police Constable Choat. One of the sergeants, I suspect it was Sergeant Tucker, should have retired on pension but decided to sign up for another year so that he could assist in the Coronation of 1911. A decision that cost him his life. The next 3 photographs are of the funeral parade through London for Sergeant Tucker and Sergeant Bentley. The last photograph is of the book, 'The Punjab Mail Murder,' by Roger Perkins. A collector and researcher of medals and stories. In 1977 whilst in a bric-a-brac shop he found an ''''Indian General Service medal [1908-1935] with the single clasp for North West Frontier 1930-31 and which was awarded to 2/Lt G R Hext 2/8 Punjab Reg.'''' From researching this medal he was able to piece together the whole story of the murder of 2/LT G R Hext.
  15. 'The Investigation.' At the end of 1910, City Detective Constable James Frederick Amos was a very experienced Detective Constable stationed at Bishopsgate Police Station. Detective Constable Amos had approximately 7 years service in the Bishopsgate C.I.D. and had been on 'Plain Clothes Duties,' with the City of London Police since July of 1899. Detective Constable James Amos had official commendations and there was also a number of Old Bailey trial records which also evidence his successfulness as a City of London Detective. Therefore, especially with Detective Constable James Amos being attached to the home station of the dead policemen and having known them and worked with them and his knowledge and experience with the local population and area - these qualities would have been invaluable in the investigation into the murders etc. It is recorded that the City Detective were not taking any leave over this period and they were working very long shifts to ensure their colleagues killers were caught. It appears that the two London Police Forces worked well together and this can be evidenced by the use of very large numbers of City of London Detectives scouring and flooding into Whitechapel in the search for the murderer.
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