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  1. In his description of the shown rattle, the seller, from England, wasn't sure of its origin or what to call it. He wrote that it was quite load and perhaps it was used as a fire or police alarm or used to scare birds away. In fact, on the customs declaration, he wrote, "Bird Scarer". It is very similar to the watchman's rattle shown in Mervyn Mitton's extraordinary book in several ways. An examination of it suggests, by the patina, tool marks. and fastening devices, that it is quite old. There is a hole in the body that approximates the location of the turning knob in Mervyn's book. I would like to believe that it is. in fact, an early rattle with a policing connection, and I'm leaning that way. It's pictured along side a Parker, Field ( 59 Leman St E) rattle in my small collection for comparison. My question to the experts of this fine forum; Would I be justified in believing that this rattle is the "real deal", or should I face reality and take it outside and scare some birds way? Thanks for any comments, Mike.
  2. Hello, this a first posting by myself, although I have been lurking for quite a while now. My name is Andrew Upton, a long standing WW1 reenactor, but last year as a result of some good fortune I decided to branch out into another area that has interested me for some time, namely Police kit of the late 19th/early 20th century. Having looked extensively through this section of the forum last night I am now certain some of my questions I am struggling to answer at the moment might be found here. I have decided to concentrate on the Metropolitan Police, given its long-standing history and large size, and focus on two main dates. The second covers the Great War, and I am looking to expand into this when the first is up and running. This is the period 1880-90, more specifically c.1888, Whitechapel… To break things up, I will start at the top and work down! One item I am currently trying to locate is a replica London Metropolitan Police helmet plate of the pattern used at the end of the 19th century (the style illustrated below, with the Guelphic Crown). Given I am aiming for Whitechapel, one with an H prefix would be preferable, however if it was a good copy with removable numbers like the originals then this is unimportant as I can change it. This is holding me back on the tunic front at the moment, since whatever number is on the plate will ultimately have to go on the collar as well, so I cannot finish the tunic until I have located one. As I understand it, copies of this were quite abundant about 5-10 years ago, yet seem to be rarely seen today (and often seem to go for a tidy bundle on Ebay when they do appear!): I am also looking for one of the later Kings Crown version, either original or reproduction (as seen below): To end this first post, I am also looking for a suitable cork helmet for the late 19th century. As I understand it, for the Met this should be cork, 6-panelled, rose-topped, with a single vent either side, a metal band around the body (metal fittings being blackened). I have seen the following two helmets for sale on a dealers site. Both are my size (7 1/8). To my eye the top helmet seems to generally fit the pattern, with the exception of the cloth band as opposed to metal (which I believe would be easily swapped over). The lower seems to have the right sort of fittings, but the style seems somewhat off to my eye. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated: More to come later!
  3. Hello all, My first ever post on this super site. I have a couple of 1887 Jubilee Medals, Metropilitan Police issue, one named to PC O. Freemantle J Division, the other to PC I Godding J Division. Neither have 1897 bars. I am aware J Division centred around Bethnal Green but I would love to learn more about the recipients. I hope some of you will be willing to help.
  4. I recently purchased this book illustration dated 1898 that has the title 'A sharp look out' - It shows Metropolitan Police Constable 128.W (Clapham) looking around the corner of a brick wall while smoking a clay pipe. It always makes me smile - Is he on the look out for street crime or the Duty Sergeant while he is having a crafty smoke. I'm in the process of getting it framed and it would be great if anyone can put a name to the constable.
  5. Hi all, As per the above title, does anyone know anything about the 'Police and the East End of London' exhibition in 1974?? If someone has the booklet for the exhibition could they post a scan her, please?? Mervyn has said in a another post : ''These are two informative drawings, made by Bob Marrion - the 'H' Division plan drawer in 1974. I have shown them in the past - but, this seems a good time to repeat them. They are accurate and drawn as illustrations for the booklet for the first Police Exhibition ever held by the Met. Police - this was in 1974. My Home Beat had a wonderful hall above the Regency period local library. I put forward a suggestion that we have an exhibition - "The Police and the East End of London" . It had great publicity and many people loaned exhibits - we had over 30,000 visitors and schools bussed their pupils-in. We had a formal lunch at Bethnal Green station - in our basement - the guest of honour Bishop Huddleston, The Commissioner, Dep. Comm, and all 4 Asst. Comms. attended and then visited the exhibition - which was extended to 5 weeks.'' Thank You, Zeb
  6. The country's longest-serving policeman is retiring after almost 47 years on the job aged 66 ! PC Mick Mountain joined the Metropolitan police in 1966 and for the past 18 years has worked at the Place of Westminster He recalled one frightening arrest when the man, who was holding a hand grenade, threatened to pull the pin. PC Mountain ripped the grenade from him before throwing it into open space. Although he feared for his life, he said it is not until after that sort of scenario is over that you realise the danger you were in, and "that's what police do". PC Mountain, who is married with two children, is looking forward to enjoying travelling more in his retirement. The photo's show him at Horse Guards parade for trooping the colour in 1972 & at Horse Guards last week
  7. Well I have just received my first Victorian Truncheon to start my collection off. It is by a company called Hebbert & Co London, and also stamped into the rounded end on the handle is W D with what I believe is a pusser's arrow between the letters. Stamped into the wood near the bottom of the painted area is an E with the numbers 512 below, Also stamped just above the painted VR is, a B with a 4 and a 3 below - B 4 3 Hopefully someone can tell me a bit more about the Truncheon. I also have a J Hudson & Co whistle........a small start, but at least I've finally started. Regards Tim
  8. http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_07_2014/post-6209-0-31469300-1405768624.jpgclick I am closing down my Bournemouth flat and intend to rent it. However, whilst it was being cleared a number of old items came to light. These included many of the items that will be in Wallis and Wallis sales over the next few months. See Pinned item at top. Some of the pieces found were my original equipment when I served in the Met. Police from 1967 to 1974 , when my Father died and I had to take over our Company. Rarely, I have my full set of official notebooks - rare, because they have to be handed-in. However, if you had Court dates coming-up they were left with you. I also had brought over my original truncheon. This will feature in further posts - however, today I thought I would cover my original whistle. Strange, that I would carry it for so many years - yet, I don't remember ever reading the front inscription. I was surprised that it turns out to be one of the very first issued. The original means to raise an Alarm for the Met. Police - was a rattle, which was carried in a pocket in the tail coat. These lasted for over 50 years, but by 1884 it was felt they were out- dated and also, they could not be heard easily with increased traffic noise. Tests were carried out between whistles and Rattles. The Rattle could be heard at approx. 400 yards - where-as the Whistle carried for approx. 800 - 900 yards. The first whistles were domed and used a pea inside. They looked rather like a Referee's whistle. The air whistle followed with-in a few years. The were always numbered for the officer they were issued to - however, common sense said that they would keep re-issuing them - even if the number was wrong. Mine has the key for the old Police Boxes - and the wording - The Metropolitan Patent METROPOLITAN POLICE Then address Details for Hudson's. Birmingham 031576 This last being the original constable it was issued to. Marched out in 1829 - progress to 1884, possible Warrant Number at that date - 031576. Whistles of this age are rare - COULD ANYONE HELP WITH TRACING THE NUMBER ?
  9. Am curious to know whether it's possible to put a name to either of these chaps?
  10. Ladies/Gents, Can anyone shine any light on the role of a Metropolitan police reserve officer in Edwardian period? Where they like a modern day special constable? I know the chap I'm interested in joined up in 1890 (would he have joined as a reserve?), certainly by 1906 he was listed as a reserve, finally retiring in 1917.
  11. Ladies/Gents, Can anyone confirm for me which numbered Divisions equate to which area? I believe that the numbered Divisions are related to the various London docks, but which is which?
  12. Has anyone got any experience of researching officers disciplinary offences, who could offer me some advice? What type of information would be contained, if I can find his entry? The officer in question is PC William Arthur WHIFFEN - Disciplinary Offence as 250H in Jan 1900 while he was serving in H Div.
  13. I was deeply disturbed to learn that the serial killer Dennis Nilsen was once a Police Constable!!! It appears he was stationed at Willesden Green. Does anyone know what collar number was? I wonder if it was used again? It also appears that he spent 11 years as a chef in the Army Catering Corps, during this period he deployed to Aden. I have found a picture of him in his police uniform and it would seem that he has one medal ribbon, which I am assuming is the General Service Medal, with the clasp South Arabia. I wonder what ever happened to it? How creepy would it be to discover you had this one in your collection!!!!
  14. Why do medals sell for such silly money, just because they have a H Division connection? I could see if they were to men who served and are documented to have been involved in the Ripper case, but these two examples have no connection whatsoever other than being in H Division. I have a couple of medals to J Division both of whom served in Bethnal Green at the time of "Jack" and I didn't pay a quarter for them that these two have sold for. Would be interesting to know how much City of London Police medals sell for? It should also be considered that any medals to any Division during this period have a possibility to have been seconded to H Division, would be interesting to know of any confirmed examples of this and how much they sold for? Apologies to you, if you have bought these medals, it's in no way meant to be disrespectful to you. But I would be interested to learn your rational.
  15. Just out of curiosity, what the likely success rate, with regards to researching officers from portrait photographs, such as this one?
  16. Hello , I have a original commemorative metropolitan police cert dated 1829 - 1929 that belonged to my great great grand father , if anyone can help with information and how rare, thanks.
  17. I've seen, from time to time, 2 different marks stamped on weapons from the Metropolitan Police. By far, the more common is the MP with a crown. This stamp was hammered on just about everything that wasn't nailed down. The other one, featuring a depiction of hands secured by handcuffs, and accompanied by the MP, shows up on Webley revolvers. I suspect that the former, more simple stamp was placed on police property by the Metropolitan Police, and that the more more colorful, latter depiction was stamped by Webley & Scott to identify a specific model, but I'm not certain about either. The existence of either stamp seemingly elevates the value of the gun, but the handcuff stamp seems much more valuable. Realistically, I would think that the gun marked by the Department would be more sought-after. Alas, I have not yet been in a position to afford either type, so I have to rely on others to lift the shroud of mystery with a closer examination.
  18. I've had these three Met horse badges in my collection for years now, and still am on the look-out for earlier examples. However, years ago, I was told, by a collector that I respect, that prior to the reign of George V, the martingale badge used by the Met did not have 'Metropolitan Police' written on them, but wore the Royal Motto, like so many military badges did (see example). I don't know what his source of information was, or how reliable it is. Is anyone out there able to confirm this information, or has anyone seen a martingale badge with both the wording, 'Metropolitan Police' as well as cyphers for VR or EviiR? It seems like somewhat of a waste of time to continue a search for something that doesn't exist, when I could spend the few hours I have left on Earth doing something worthwhile, like mowing the lawn or painting the bathroom.
  19. The attached greeting card / photo was given to me many years ago. It shows a whole bunch of coppers. I think everybody showed up for the picture, but I don't imagine everybody was smiling for the camera. No 'Porta-Potties' to be seen anywhere. Double click to enlarge.
  20. Hey chaps, I'm sharing a couple of illustrations here which I have produced based upon research using old photographs, and scraps from regulations where I could find them. These may not be perfect but I am hoping with collective input to make these into useful online references for those starting out with an interest in British Police uniforms, other periods and other forces may be covered if people can provide information! These images are quite easily edited and I am posting them with the intention of updating them as more details come to light, hopefully forum members will be able to help and also point out any errors I have made. With regards to these first two I am particularly interested in confirmation/correction of dates, details on any dress uniform for Met Inspectors (supposedly similar to the Super's uniform?) and in addition details of more senior officers in the City Police and any dress uniform Inspectors may have worn.
  21. I was really pleased to stumble across this forum the other day and wasted no time in creating an account. From reading other threads I am hoping there will be someone on here who can help me with some specific questions to fill gaps in my research into the thread topic.Please forgive the barrage of questions; hopefully it will make this an interesting thread! I have a fairly good handle on the ins and outs of Constable's and Sergeant's uniform and equipment including changes over the period, rattles progressively changed for whistles, Station Sergeants wearing 4 stripes etc. One specific of Sergeants and Station Sergeants uniform I hoped might be clarified, were their stripes/chevrons at the time formed from thin silver russian braid as here; Or were they formed from a thicker form of flat lace or braid? It is something I have had trouble deciphering from period photographs. Were the same pattern worn on overcoats? The greater portion of my questions relate to officer's uniform, some details I am very sketchy on. Helmet plates raise the first query, I understand that ceremonial helmet plates for officers were like those of Sergeants and Constables but bore either a single, large divisional letter, obviously no number being worn, or in the case of more senior officers the royal cipher; VR. My question is, who wore what? My best guess based upon organisation at the time was that up to Chief Inspector the lettered plate was used and from Superintendent upwards the plate with the royal cipher, could anyone clarify please? How did officer's helmets differ from those worn by Constables and Sergeants? Referring to the image I have attached it purports to show a Superintendent W Hammond with his Inspectors, he is wearing dress uniform, similar to the British Army officer's patrol jacket of the time. The Inspectors are wearing their own version of the normal uniform tunic and caps. I realise this image is post-1902 due to the Imperial State (King's) Crowns as collar insignia. However I have been informed the details of the uniform were little changed from the 1880s, even then the image raises more questions than it answers. - How did officer's dress uniform differ from rank to rank, other than in the helmet plate details already mentioned? - Did Superintendents and above have a plain every-day uniform more akin to that worn by the Inspectors here? - It is impossible to tell from the photograph but did cap peaks bear braid rank distinction as today? Rank insignia is also something of a grey area for me, again referring to the attached image Inspectors left and right of the Superintendent are wearing collar insignia. At left a crown and at right a single star. As I understand it the crown represents a Chief Inspector at the time, the star presumably the equivalent of a pip at the time (it is difficult to tell the shape from the photo) to show a Station Inspector? The other Inspectors are wearing no collar insignia at all it would seem. The Superintendent seems to be wearing no rank insignia either, how differing rank was displayed on dress uniform is another detail I'd be interested in if anyone has the answer. If I've got anything wrong in my current understanding please do correct me and thanks in advance for any help you can give!
  22. http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2013/post-6209-0-22146300-1368987473.jpgclick I have just read on the Internet Mail (The Daily Mail is one of the top Daily newspapers in Britain ) that arrangements are being made to sell New Scotland Yard. They mentioned a price of 150 million pounds. The plan seems to be that the new HQ will be back on the Embankment and near to the Ministry of Defence - but, in a much smaller existing building. They also are saying that dozens of existing Police Stations will be closed and the land sold. Finally, the land owned by the Metropolitan Police around the Police College at Hendon is to be sold to build 2000 houses. The College will - apparently, remain. How do you sell off the World known Scotland Yard - which was built in 1967. When it moved at that date it was from the original Scotland Yard from where the Met. was first established. Many smaller Police Stations have already been converted to daytime opening - they have a phone in a box so you can call for help................ What happened to the concept of a major Police Force being there to assist the Public - does everything have to come down to money ? Having sold these assets, the money will be swallowed-up quickly - however, the traditions and service will have gone. Our Army - Navy and Airforce have already suffered terrible cutbacks - and all of this from a Conservative Government. Perhaps it is time we stopped financial aid to places like India and Zimbabwe ? May I suggest that if you live in Britain - particularly in London - that you protest to your MP.
  23. Could anyone assist with information on an Inspector J.Davis "B" Divn. Metropolitan Police 1887. Thanks Peter
  24. PC James SAMPSON Born on 26th January 1868 in Croydon Cambridgeshire, James William Sampson. Baptised 23rd Feb 1868. 1881 Living in Fordham Newmarket. Was an unmarried leather dresser from Cambridgeshire prior to enlistment. Had his medical examination on the 25th June 1889. His height given as 5` 10 and a half inches. Weight 11 stone 4 Lbs. Chest 35 and a half inches. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair dark. He joined the Met 15/07/89 as a PC in R Div Warrant No. 74634. Collar number being 191R. (possibly on independant patrol by August?) 1891 stationed/living at Eltham Police Station, High St, Eltham Police Station- R Division (5th April 1891) 1894 (29th September) posted to H Division. Collar number 469H. The reason for the move was Disciplinary. 1897 H Division for Diamond Jubilee. 1901 living at 102 Mile End Road Old Town with 11 other Constables and a Sergeant (census 31st March 1901) - predominantly support for Arbour Square and Shadwell stations. 1902 (8th March 1902) posted to V Division. 1902 V Division (married living at 20 Smeaton Road, Wandsworth 11th September 1902) -(address destroyed by WW2 bomb?) 1904 (11th August 1904) posted to L Division. 1911 living in Newington (L Division). He was pensioned 20/07/14 as a PC in L. Discharge Register and it shows he got a Class 3 Conduct, which may account for him being moved around quite a bit and no promotion. His medal entitlement is 1897 Jubilee PC H Div 1902 Coronation PC V Div 1911 Coronation PC L Division Time served in each Division. R Division 15th July 1889 - 29th Septemeber 1894. H Division 29th September 1894 - 8th March 1902. V Division 8th March 1902 - 11th August 1904. L Division 11th August 1902 -20th July 1914. Possibly died in 1936?
  25. http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_01_2015/post-6209-0-42155200-1422530517.jpgclick QUICK TEASER : Both of these had a Police associated function. No prizes - but, can you tell me their names - who carried them - and what fashion were they carried. Extra points for an approx. age ? Mervyn
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