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Vickers Dunfee

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  1. Hope this is not going too far off thread but I found this whilst looking for something else. This is a copy of instructions issued to SCs parading in the City Of London in November 1887. Hope th works as my first attempt to upload anything.
  2. I think it unlikely that the original picture was of a driver. MSC motor transport was supplied by the HQ Department and known as the AA Section which was formed in January 1915 and went through to the stand down in 1919, so if the SC is H Div he would not have been a driver. The duty band was issued to MSC from the start in 1914 and obvioulsy was worn high on the left arm, I learn something new each day. Badges of rank were worn on the right arm hence the 'white' band in the second picture.
  3. The issue of uniforms to SCs varied widely around the country but the Met were amongst the first if not actually the first to issue uniforms but the early issue was a flat cap, greatcoat and I think trousers (as pictured elesewhere on this site) so hense my thought that this photo of a tunic was towards the end of WW1. Other forces took some time to do much and there were a couple of promptings from the Home Office. In at least one force the headgear issued was something similar to a trilby with a specially produced hat band, I have never seen a photo of one of these but I live in hope, must be one in a force museum somewhere.
  4. Mervyn Not knowingly but I have an interest in SC truncheons please let me have details. I would suspect on reflection that SC on this badge is a rank identification and there may have been othes for Sgts, Inps etc.
  5. Mervyn I would disagree I think SC stands for Special Constabulary but if you are looking for a force how about Surrey Constabulary, they put SC on their painted trucheons, but as to age it need not be a war time issue, thousands of SCs were sworn in for the 1926 General Strike and most were not uniformed but needed to be identified, quickly and cheaply.
  6. Brian This is certainly an interesting photo. H division has always been Metropolitan not City of London but in answer to your question about this man being an ex regular this is absolutely possible. When the SC was set up as a standing force there were 4 sections A to D of which A specials were mainly police pensioners. I have never seen the duty band worn in this way and I am sitting here trying to think which arm the Met wore theirs on because I think it may be on the wrong arm (City of London officers still have the band but it is worn on one side by Pcs and on the other as Sgts) also there are no 'collar numbers', the whistle is being worn in the 'City' fashion rather than the 'Met' fashion and then as worn on the old great coat not tunic and I would have thought a retired regular would have known better, could he have been an ex service man? Finally the use of a tunic may indicate that this is very late in WW1 or possibly afterwards.
  7. Sorry if I touched any raw nerves it was not my intention to sart a discussion on Special/Regualr relationships it was a throw away remark that was intended to show some understanding of the views of Regulars I have know. The relationships between standing forces be they police, armed services, fire or ambulanace are all problematical, have two sides to them and cry out for a Phd if one has not already be written.
  8. Brian SC Inspectors were/ are not that unusual. Some forces would have more than others but you could probably think in terms of 1 Insp to 3 Sgts to 24 constables. There would then have been administrative Insps and pre 1960s there would have been Sub Insps and Staff Sgts below, above Insp there would have been Chief Inspectors, Superintendents, Chief Superintendents, and Commandants. All this brass always got up the Regulars noses!! However I have not seen one of these before so very interesting.
  9. A little strong for us I think but I know that when a Special of my acquaintance visted Soth Africa some years ago he was told that the Reserves were all right but they should shoot more people. Whilst 10mins seems a short time in most urban areas during the day when PCOs work they would get support within two or three minutes. The point of PCSOs is that the Home Office was concerned that the Public did not see enough police on the street so they first tried to recruit a large number of SCs but there was resitance from both the Regulars and Specials so they came up with what amounts to civilians walking the streets in a unform that from a distance looks as if there are 'proper police' on the streets. At least one force did not want them but was brow beaten by the Home Office to have a nominal number. Had the Regulars not been so anti SC when a suggested expansion of the SC first arose they would not be saddled with PCSOs now.
  10. Very impressive and well beyond my limited knowledege of Ireland. I know most is spoken about the B Specials but is there anything written about the A, C & D's does anyone know? In passing I watched the B Specials behaviour on TV when the 60's troubles started and when I was a Special Constabulary Serial Commander during the first Brixton riots I used it as an example of what I would not accept from my officers and I am proud to say they all behavioured themselves impecably even when stoned and firbombed. Also in passing my Grandfather was deployed as part of the British Army in Dublin in 1916 and I have a friend who's Grandfather was on the other side and we often muse on what might have happened had either Grandfather been a better shot.
  11. Known as Plastic PCs, lower on the food chain that Special Constables who actually out rank them. Their hat bands, at least in the Met, are a sort of off white or very light blue. They are very poorly trained and supervised unless they are on a Neighbourhood Team. They have powers to detail someone for 10mins but no power of arrest.
  12. Mervyn Yes I was a Special for a rather long time. You are right that the problem with all this is the muliple layers of people prior to the mid 19c with policing responsibilities / powers and with the number of different ways the appointment of SCs was dealt with in each locality. Generally most SCs were called up for a short period of time and that most people taking part in Watch & Ward were not SCs not least because they appointed deputies to carry out their duties but in some places, City of London for instance, they were often appointed as SCs and particularly so where they had any kind of supervisory responsibilities. I would suggest that 'volunteer' or unpaid policing can be traced back to at least Saxon times with the appointment of certain individuals to oversee the good behaviour of a number of families reporting through to the courts in each Hundred and that is perhaps closer to what we now think of as the SC because of the 1832 Act but the British being an enterprising people used the appointment for for all sorts of things in the 18 & 19th centuries. It was the urbanisation of the population that broke the old system down through sheer wait of numbers in towns, London in particular, although if the City of London had continued with the use of the Trained Bands to enforce the law, alldgely a better system than using the City Marshalls, we might have gone in a very different direction. In the 20th Century of course some small Police Forces used SCs as a cheap means of policing, many seaside places used them to supplement the winter compliment of regulars rather than pay out for more full timers and as I have said before there was also commercial exploitation of the office. Finally of course the Observer Corps were an extention of the concept, all being appointed as SCs.
  13. Brian The 'royal' medals start with WW1 service but the question of standing forces is far more complicated. Certaintly after the SC Act of 1832 and possibly before there were some people who permanetly held SC appointment but probably not in large numbers and almost mainly if not totally without uniform. The issue is also complicated by others with police powers such as Parish Constables, Bow Street Runners and the Thames Police. Many towns operated a Watch & Ward system where residents were supposed to take turns in policing either during the day or at night and many of these people would have been SCs. Commercial operations also made use of the appointment for instance the regular police rank of Chief Constable is said to have first been used by one of the south Wales ports, Swansea I think, who when they first appointed paid police put them under the command of the senior SC and called him Chief Constable.
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