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Circa 1825 the Liverpool Town was policed by a rather rag tag outfit going under the loose title of the Liverpool Town and Liverpool Dock Police. By the mid century  the crime on the river was becoming out of control  and also the movement of gunpowder and other explosives on the river need to be Policed. In 1865 the Chief Constable got the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company to agree to fund a River Police. The Force was to be funded by the Dock Company but the officers were to be sworn in as Liverpool Borough Constables and administered by the Liverpool Borough Force Chief Constable.

The River Police wore a different uniform and insignia. Officers wore a Naval refer style short coat, blue pullover with police logo and officers number displayed on front ( and possibly the back ) The Force remained a part of the Borough of Liverpool  right through all changes including the 1880's when Liverpool became a City and the Police became the Liverpool City Police.

The River Police continued on until the 15th of February, 1920, on which date it was absorbed into the Liverpool City Police proper. For a full overview of this force  please go to the Liverpool City Police website.

Insignia to the Liverpool River Police is very scarce on the market and in 50 years of collecting I have only seen one Cap Badge and one collar dogs come on the market., I know of two other Cap badges and two Collar dogs  plus a number of buttons in a private collection. There was only ever approx. 14/15 men of all ranks so I am being generous saying they are scarce.

In 1897 the Liverpool City Police decided to mark the Queens Diamond jubilee with a silver or bronze  medal, this was to be a one off medal but circa 1900/01 the force began to issue similar medals for 20 years (Bronze) 25 years (Silver) and bars to silver medal for every 5 years thereafter. The Original medals bore the effigy of Queen Victoria.

As the River police were funded solely the Dock Company I did not think that the River Police would be considered for an issue, imagine my delight to see a silver 1897  Liverpool City Police Jubilee  medal to River Police Inspector John Elliott, there was only one Inspector in the River Police  so this medal is unique and I believe that no other River Police officer received a medal.

John Elliott was born in Weymouth, Dorset, c1845 and in 1851 was living with his Mother Jane ( Widow/Father at Sea ?) at Ivy Cottage,, Common District, Portland, Dorset. John joined the Royal Navy aged 13/14 years and by 1871 was serving as an Able Seaman on the Lord Warden of the Mediterranean Station. Sometime between 1871 and 1881 he leaves the Navy and briefly I believe he became a Constable in a Railway Company police Force but by 1881 he is a Constable in the Liverpool River Police, living with wife, Rose at 28 Canterbury Street, Everton District. !891 he is residing at 61 Gladstone Road, Edge Hill (Where I was born) with his wife Maggie.

By 1901 he if living beside the River Mersey at 6 Wright Street, Egremont, Wallasey, Cheshire with Maggie. I lose sight of John after this date. During his service John was awarded a silver Marine Medal of The Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society for a rescue from the River

A very rare medal indeed.

Hope of interest

 

River Police 2.jpg

River Police.jpg

LCP 1897.jpg

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Very informative, and superb images supporting the text. I wonder how many others were ex-RN and potentially holders of service medals.

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