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For the attention of the members of the British and Colonial Police forum, it is with a heavy heart that I have to pass on the very sad news of the passing of our friend and Senior moderator Mr Mervyn Mitton. Following service as a PC in the East end of London Mervyn became one of the leading lights in the Police collecting world and I'm sure most collectors have a copy of his " The Policemans Lot ".

I'm sure you will join me in sending our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends.

RIP Mervyn

Craig

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He was always energetic on the forums, helping whenever possible and I will always remember his passion and enthusiasm for organizing the Photo Competition. It won't be the same without you Mervyn, R.I.P my friend.

 

 

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Rest in peace, my friend.

That are very sad news. I didn´t know you personally, but your threads and your knowledge we´ll never forget.

Ruhe in Frieden, mein Freund!

Edited by The Prussian
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  • 2 weeks later...

It was after receiving a copy of Mitton's book 'A Policeman's Lot' in the late 1980's that I was inspired to start collecting decorated truncheons. Little did I know where this gift was to lead. I met Mervyn at his home in Bournemouth a few year's ago on what I think was his last trip to the UK. Although the bulk of his truncheons had been sold I was still extremely lucky to walk away with some choice pieces, which I still treasure. Like some others, I can't say we always reached the same conclusion on pieces, but he did have an amazing collection and knowledge. I like to think I gave him due credit when I published my own tome on the subject last year, and that our books complement each other in their very different styles. Trying to follow in his footsteps on a subject so close to his heart was always going to be a challenge, and I still don't think truncheons and tipstaves are cherished by the collecting world as they should be. His passing represents the  closing of a chapter on this topic and others now need to make sure they take up the challenge and build on what he started.

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Mervyn was the first authoritative source I came across, after Christopher McCreery mentioned tipstaves in his Canadian Symbols of Authority.  I picked up pieces here and there, always posting them here and asking him questions, which led to Mervyn finally saying (more than once) "You should pick up a copy of my book."

I did, finding an autographed copy for sale, and it's a joy to flip through.  Also, I was fortunate enough to pick up a picture of the lone Canadian truncheon in existence for him late last year.  He'd spoken about it in his book, but never got to see it until now.

I took Policeman's Lot to my OMRS meeting this week and it was only then that someone informed me that Mervyn had passed away. 

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As I got more deeply involved with this group and, at Mervyn's suggestion I might add, became a moderator, he was always ready and indeed eager to give advice, make comments and generally keep me from making to many new boy errors.  On a personal note, when he discovered my daughter was heade to SA he offered to connect us with friends of his in Capetown, though he had never met either of us.  An expert in many areas but, much more importantly, a true 'gent' in the old school sense.  He will be missed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very sad news - When I was still in Durban we met on numerous occasions but since moving to the Western Cape our conversations were limited to the odd phone calls -what a knowledgeable gentleman he was - He will really be missed

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RIP Mervyn. 

Always encouraged me with my collecting, of antique police material and other things. Sadly, only corresponded over the forum. 

Mervyn joined the Met in 1967, and served in the East End (H DIv). Retiring a few years later with a Commissioner's Commendation and, I think,  another Commendation. 

One tends to think of the old Latin phrase, 'de mortis nil nisi bonum' ('of the dead there is nothing but good'. 

 

Zeb

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