ACTING POLICE SERGEANT 618 S GEORGE MORRIS
George Morris was born in Westport, south Somerset on 2 April 1852. He was the fourth child of John Morris, an agricultural labourer and parish clerk of Barrington where they lived, and Eliza Barrett, a kid glove maker. George was living in London with his wife, Mary Hunter, who was originally from Cumberland, when their daughter Ellen was born in 1878. He worked as a labourer and they lived in south Kensington at the same address as his elder brother Henry, his wife and two children. The following year on 10 March 1879 George joined ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police and when a second child, Alice, was born in 1881 he was stationed at Edgware Police Station; they lived in Church Road, Great Stanmore. After being appointed Acting Police Sergeant in April 1898 he was transferred to Shenley where they remained until he resigned on 11 April 1904 after twenty-five years service with a yearly pension of £57 8s 6d. During their time in Shenley the Morris’ lived in New Road (No 7) near the Mission Room. Ellen, the eldest of their five children married Archibald Lea, an oilman, at St Botolph’s, Shenleybury in 1903.
They returned to south Somerset and lived in the small town of Wincanton where their twenty-one year old daughter, Rose, died in 1906. George died on 10 July 1920 not long after moving to the village of Ludwell near Salisbury, Wiltshire.
POLICE CONSTABLE 366 S LEONARD W. NEVILLE
Leonard William Neville, born at Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire on 9 April 1867, was the youngest son of James Neville, an agricultural labourer, and Mary Smith. He married Elizabeth White on 2 May 1892 at the parish church in Chalfont St Giles and their first child, William was born in December. The following year on 2 October 1893 he joined ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard. Prior to this he worked as a labourer for Henry Damer Cape at 383 Hornsey Road, Holloway.
When a second child, Reginald, was born in 1894 they were living in Camden Town. After transferring to Shenley Police Station in about 1896 they lived at Elm Cottages in Green Street later moving to Chapel Cottages in London Road. Three more children Hilda, Aubrey and Laurence were born in 1897, 1901 and 1907.
P. C. Neville resigned on 3 May 1919 after twenty-five years service with a pension of £85 14s 8d per annum. They remained in Shenley and continued to live at Chapel Cottages until his death on 12 May 1951 aged eighty-four. Elizabeth went to live at the Wilton House Old People’s Home and died on 11 April 1962. William and Reginald Neville both served in the Bedfordshire Regiment during WWI and Reggie joined the Metropolitan Police in 1919.
POLICE CONSTABLE 193 S DANIEL J. MURPHY
Daniel Jeremiah Murphy was born on 23 February 1861 at Kingston, Portsea, Hampshire. He was the eldest son of Daniel Murphy, a Royal Navy seaman from Castletown, Cork, Ireland, and Mary Ann Martin from Portsea. Fifty-six year old Daniel Snr was accidentally drowned in Portsmouth Harbour when he fell overboard from a coal hulk on Christmas Day 1878. He had been returning from a trip ashore to buy oranges with one of his children.
Daniel attended the Gunnery School in Portsmouth before joining the Royal Navy as a Ship’s Steward’s Boy in April 1876 progressing to Ship’s Steward’s Assistant when he turned eighteen in February 1879 and had signed on for ten years continuous service. After being discharged just three years later in July 1882 he joined ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police at Great Scotland Yard, Westminster on 4 June 1883.
He married twenty-two year old Elizabeth Rule, a miller’s daughter from Suffolk, in Islington in 1889 and when their first child, Elizabeth Florence, was born in November that year they were living in Chipping Barnet following his transfer to Barnet Police Station. Elizabeth was baptised on 24 September 1890 at Great Cornard, Suffolk. They were living in Sebright Road when another daughter, Grace, was born in 1892. Elizabeth died after the birth of their third child, Charles, in November 1893 and Daniel married Sarah Ireland, a widow with an adult son and teenage daughter who worked as a cook in Barnet, in 1895. Charles, who was baptised at Great Cornard on 19 August 1894, lived with his maternal grandparents in Suffolk.
Daniel was stationed at Shenley Police Station from about 1896 and lived with Sarah, Florence and Grace at No 2 Bay Cottages, The Folly (the village end of Rectory Lane where 1 & 2 The Pines are today between Coombe and Warwick Cottage). Grace died aged thirteen after a four months illness in November 1905 at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. Eight members of the Metropolitan Police carried her coffin from the Murphy’s home to the churchyard at St Botolph’s, Shenleybury for her funeral.
Daniel resigned on 8 June 1908 after twenty-five years service with an annual pension of £54 3s 10d. After leaving Shenley he became the caretaker of Castelnau Mansions in Barnes, S.W. London later moving to Reading. He died at the Star Inn, Newbury on 24 February 1927.
POLICE CONSTABLE 256 S WILLIAM C. LANCASTER
William Charles Lancaster was born in the hamlet of Moulsham, Chelmsford, Essex on 2 October 1869. He was the eldest son of William Lancaster, a brickmaker, and Eliza Drane, who lived in Lower Anchor Street, Chelmsford. Prior to joining ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police at Great Scotland Yard on 22 December 1890 William was employed as a labourer by William Hull Boardman, a brick and tile maker, of Duke Street, Chelmsford.
When he married Ellen Jane Smith, a housemaid originally from Worcestershire, on 14 September 1892 at St Stephen the Martyr Church, St Marylebone, he was stationed at New Street Police Station, St John’s Wood and lodged nearby in Barrow Hill Road. Their daughter Ethel was born in 1894 and baptised at St Botolph’s, Shenleybury following William’s transfer to Shenley Police Station. They stayed in the village for about twenty years and had six more children who were born between 1896 and 1912. In the early years they lived in Harris Lane and later in New Road next door to Fern Cottage. William was a keen gardener and a regular prize-winner at the annual Shenley Cottage Garden Show.
After being transferred to Barnet Police Station just prior to 1914 they lived in Salisbury Road, High Barnet. William resigned on 27 March 1916 after twenty-five years service with an annual pension of £64 14s 1d and became the manager of the Rose and Crown Inn, Church Street, Welwyn before moving to Hastings, Sussex. They were living in Shropshire, where their youngest daughter was married to a dairy farmer, when Ellen died in 1953 and William in 1961 aged ninety-one.
Alfred Ethelred Lancaster, their eldest son, was killed in action on 3 May 1917 aged twenty-one. His name is on the Shenley war memorial.
MOUNTED POLICE CONSTABLE 598 S FRANK SMITH
Frank Smith, born in Blackmoor, Selborne, Hampshire on 10 January 1869, was the fifth son of James Smith, an agricultural labourer, and Ann Walker. When he was nineteen he joined the 20th Hussars as a private in February 1888 transferring to the 18th Hussars four months later. He spent just over a year and a half with his regiment in India returning home in July 1891. After five years and four months he was transferred to the army reserve for a further six years and eight months.
In 1895 prior to joining ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police on 25 March at New Scotland Yard he was employed as a coachman by Dr Edward Crouch in Gosport, Hampshire. At the time of his marriage to eighteen year old Emma Chamberlain, a farmer’s daughter from Norfolk, at St Cuthbert’s Church, Hampstead in October 1898 he was stationed at West Hampstead Police Station in West End Lane not far from the large detached house where Emma was employed as a servant.
Following the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War Frank was recalled to army service in January 1900 and embarked for South Africa on 10 February. He returned just over a year later and was reappointed to police duties in March 1901. Later that year he was transferred to Shenley Police Station where he remained until resigning on 13 June 1921 aged fifty-two after twenty-six years service with a pension of £165 4s 8d per annum. He and Emma lived with their two children, Sidney, born 1903, and Frank, born 1909, at Daisy Cottages on London Road (Metropolitan Police property) for about twenty years. They stayed in Shenley after Frank retired moving to a new council house in Anderson Road and later to Woodhall Lane. Emma died in 1936 and Frank in 1945. They were buried in the churchyard at St Botolph’s, Shenleybury where a headstone marks their grave.
POLICE CONSTABLE 106 S DONALD ROSE
Donald Rose was born on 2 March 1867 at Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was the seventh son of Alexander Rose, a tailor, and Sophia Cowie Gordon, who lived at Knapperthillock, Auchindoir. When he was twenty-one he joined ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police at Albany Street Police Station, St Pancras on 30 July 1888. His older brother, Alexander, a tailor, lived in Battersea and a younger brother, Robert, worked as a tramcar conductor in Islington before joining the Metropolitan Police in 1892.
Initially, Donald lived in the section house of the police station at Albany Street later taking lodgings nearby. He married Maud Mary A. Chester, a carpenter’s daughter from Buckinghamshire, on 1 June 1898 at Christ Church, Albany Street, and their first child, Maud Violet, was born in March 1899 after Donald had been transferred to Shenley Police Station. For several years they lived at the lower end of London Road in one of the semi-detached cottages just past Woodhall Lane opposite the Smithy. Two more children were born during their time in the village: William Alexander in 1901 and Donald Albert in 1903. On 11 August 1905 Donald was transferred to ‘N’ (Islington) Division. They moved to Seaford Road, South Tottenham and a daughter, Annie Georgina, was born in September. Three year old Donald Jnr died the following year and another son George Albert was born in 1907.
Maud died in January 1910 aged thirty-seven and later that year, on 28 November, Donald resigned from the Metropolitan Police after twenty-two years service with an annual pension of £41 19s 1d. He returned to Aberdeenshire with his young family and lived in Ballater, Glenmuick where his brother David and his family also lived. Donald married Mary Gordon in 1926 and died on 6 December 1933.
The Rose family maintained their links with London and Donald’s youngest son, George, also joined the Metropolitan Police. Violet and Annie both married Metropolitan police constables.
POLICE CONSTABLE 10 SR WILLIAM JONES
William Jones was born on 27 January 1854 in the village of Eglwysbach, Llanwrst, Denbighshire, North Wales. He was the third child of William Jones, a general labourer, and Margaret Evans. When he was seventeen William was employed as an assistant porter by the London & North Western Railway at Tal-Y-Cafn and Eglwysbach station (opened in 1863) on the Bettws-Y-Coed branch line from Llandudno Junction. Ten years later, in the spring of 1881, he was an unemployed gardener and living at Lerpwl Cottage, Eglwysbach with his parents and three youngest sisters. The following year, on 18 August 1882, he joined ‘S’ Division of the Metropolitan Police at Old Scotland Yard and was stationed at Albany Street Police Station when he married Elizabeth Morris, a tailor’s daughter from Denbighshire, at St Mark’s Church, Regents Park on 18 January 1883; their daughter, Margaret, was born in November the same year. A second child, William John, was born in March 1886 after William had been transferred to Shenley Police Station and between 1888 and 1907 they had another nine children, two of whom died in infancy. For around twenty-eight years they lived in Green Street at Limes Farm, which was four doors down from the Green Willows beerhouse, where Shenwood Court is today. The four bedroomed house had a large garden and an adjoining farmyard with pig styes, a cow house, stable and other assorted outbuildings. William also rented the three quarter acre paddock next door. Fellow police constable Leonard Neville lived next door at Elm Cottages for several years before moving to Chapel Cottages in the village.
William was an active member of the Shenley and Green Street Total Abstinence Society which organised outings and entertainments several times a year. He also took part in fundraising events for the Church Missionary Society and for many years he was a regular prize-winning exhibitor at the annual Shenley Cottage Garden Show.
On 18 August 1907 William resigned after twenty-five years service with an annual pension of £54 3s 10d. At the end of August the Jones’ eldest son William, who worked as a baker, left England for the United States. Robert, his seventeen year old brother, and his sisters, Elizabeth and Edith, left in 1911 and 1912 to join him in Salem, Oregon where he was studying to become a doctor at Willamette University.
In the late spring of 1913 William, Elizabeth and their remaining four daughters also left Shenley for Salem. Mrs Jones’ fourteen year old nephew, Henry Morris, and Henry Southcombe, a friend of their son Ellis who later married Edith Jones, went with them. Ellis Jones’ wife, Agnes, died in July 1913 when their daughter, Mabel, was just under a year old and in 1914 he joined the rest of his family in Salem accompanied by his sister-in-law Emma Hitchings, whom he later married, and also Thomas Males, a gardener at the Grange in Shenley, and his wife, Margaret.
By 1920 all the family were living in Seattle, WA where William died on 1 March 1923 aged sixty-nine and Elizabeth on 10 April 1938. They were buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle.
POLICE CONSTABLE 257 S DENNETT E. FOX
Dennett Edgar Fox was born on 30 April 1863 in the hamlet of Upper Dicker, Arlington, East Sussex. He was the second son of Stephen Fox, a blacksmith who died in 1874, and Jane Barnes. In the spring of 1881 nineteen year old Dennett was living in Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, Sussex where he was employed as a grocer’s assistant. Later that year he became a porter with the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway at Eastbourne station where he remained until resigning in October 1884.
He joined ‘X’ (Paddington) Division of the Metropolitan Police at Old Scotland Yard on 22 February 1886. In April the following year he was a witness at the wedding of his sister Clara who married Harry Brooker, a railway guard with the L, B & S C Railway, at St Peter’s Church, Croydon. Shortly after, in May 1887, Dennett was transferred to ‘E’ (Holborn) Division and lodged at the section house of Bow Street Police Station. When he married twenty-five year old Elizabeth Price, a farmers daughter from Malmesbury, Wiltshire, on 18 February 1889 at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Strand he was lodging at the police section house in Leicester Square, near the Alhambra Theatre.
Their first child, Mabel, was born later the same year at Derby Buildings, Wicklow Street, Kings Cross but when their second child, Jessie, was baptised on 5 April 1891 at St Pancras New Church they were living in a large, and otherwise unoccupied, Regency house in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury which was part of the Bedford Estate. Their stay only lasted a few months and in October that year Dennett was transferred to ‘S’ Division. Mabel died in the summer of 1891 and when Daisy was born in 1893 they had moved to Church End, Finchley where he was stationed at Finchley Police Station. They rented rooms in a house in nearby Newcomen Road before moving to Malmesbury Villa, Birkbeck Road in North Finchley. Thirty-two year old Elizabeth died in 1896 leaving Dennett with the sole care of their two daughters who were aged just five and three. The following year he married Ophelia Bethia Clark from Malmesbury, a widow who was nine years older than her new husband and had seven children of her own whose ages ranged from eleven to twenty-five.
Dennett was transferred to Elstree Police Station in c1898 and they moved into a house in Drayton Road, Boreham Wood. He resigned on 5 April 1902 when he was thirty-nine after sixteen years service and received an annual pension of £26 4s 5d. They remained in Boreham Wood for several years before moving to Hanwell, Middlesex in c1909 where Dennett was an Insurance Agent and later a certified Bailiff. He died on 23 June 1949 aged eighty-six and Ophelia died in 1950 aged ninety-six.
METROPOLITAN POLICE OUTSIDE THE POLICE STATION IN HARRIS LANE, SHENLEY c1901
Back row left to right:
P. C. Donald Rose, P. C. William Jones, P. C. Dennett Edgar Fox
Middle row left to right:
? P. C. Reuben Fordham (not in uniform), P. C. John Houndsome, P. C. Leonard Neville, P. C. Daniel Murphy, P. C. William Lancaster, P. C. Frank Smith, ? P. C. John Gardner (not in uniform)
Front row seated left to right:
Act Sgt Sackville Boobyer, Sgt William T. Lanning, ? Sub-divisional Inspector Thomas Browning, Stn Sgt Richmond B. Young, Act Sgt George Morris