Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A very interesting thread. I have also been looking at the activities of the Special (Irish) Branch (S.I.B.) and in particular at the members of the Irish Constabulary involved in Port Duties, both during and after the Fenian dynamite conspiracies.

You may be interested in this thread (click here) relating to the S.I.B. and which throws a few more names into play. 

Members of the R.I.C. present in British Ports and Cities can be found here. It's largely unstructured but is an attempt to record further names some of whom may well have worked alongside, or embeedded in, the SIB.

Melville gets a fair bit of a mention from one of my members - 
 

Quote

Melville, a baker in Lambeth, at 5' 8.5" became a Const in *E* Division [ Bow St   - then also the Met HQ] on Sept, 16,  1872, in a Force where 6% of the 8,000 were Irishmen. He was among 114 officers dismissed on Nov 20, 1872 for Insubordination related to pay grievances, because on Sat night Nov 16, 1872  they had refused to go on their beats for 2-3 hours. 71 were in his *E* and 43 in *T* Div.  Nearly all were reinstated on Nov 29. In 1878 permanent Detective Units were created in each Met Division and Melville became a Det Sgt in June 1879, in *P* Div [ Camberwell, Walworth and Peckham ], transferring to the new *Special Irish Branch* in March, 1883, created in response to a Fenian bombing campaign begun in 1881, and headed by Supt Adolphus Williamson from 1882-1887. Melville, aged 53, officially retired from the Met as a Supt in 1903, after 31 years service, having spent 20 of those years combating Fenian and Anarchist terror, eventually heading the Special Branch from Monday March 20, 1893, but in fact he at once transferred to the War Office, becoming the first spymaster of the emerging Security Service [ MI-5 ] where he served from Dec 1, 1903 to Dec 18, 1917 [ hence the designation *M* in that body ]. He died from kidney failure, shortly after finally retiring, on Feb 1, 1918.  He had been awarded both an MVO and MBE, and spent longer [ 14 years ] in MI-5 than as Head of Special Branch [ 10 years ]. While they presumably never met, perhaps Igoe could legitimately be termed Melville's spiritual son ? What did Igoe know of Melville before he left the RIC  ? The presence in Dublin Castle in 1920-21 of many men sent from or trained in London must have led to some interesting stories being exchanged over a glass or several, even if secrecy was never totally relaxed. The Igoe film could yet turn into a whole series.

Melville's younger son,  Sir James Benjamin Melville,  KC, a protege of Ramsay MacDonald, and originally a Liberal, became Labour MP for Gateshead and Solicitor-General in the 1929 Labour Govt but died in 1931.
As a Barrister in 1911, after the Siege of Sydney Street, where 3 police were murdered,  he successfully defended a future Soviet Cheka Deputy Chief, the Latvian revolutionary Yakov Khristoferovich Peters, 1886-1938  [ when he was executed in the Stalin Purges ]  - an ironic role for the son of a man who had battled such violent revolutionary gangsters for most of his career. James became a Major in WW I and his early death was due to his injuries at Salonika - rated as 50% disabled in 1918.
The 2004 book *M  MI-5's First Spymaster*  by Andrew Cook tells Wiliam Melville's story

 

Hope this adds a bit more to the mix.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Peter,

Your information is very interesting and much appreciated and everything adds to the story.

The information on Melville's younger son Sir James Benjamin Melville was fascinating and Andrew Cook's book appears to be a good read and I will definitely visit your site. 

Sometime in the future I will go back over the research for these individuals previously listed and usually you can find new information. 

many thanks,

Alan.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Lapsang Souchong, when i first tasted this I thought it was like stale cigarette ends...it's an acquired taste for sure.  
    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
    • I drink tea every day (Chinese tea), I used to buy Sri Lankan black tea at the fair before, it was great! I have been reluctant to drink them all. . The tea I’m talking about is just brewing water, not adding other substancesI
×
×
  • Create New...