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RECENT DEATHS NOTIFIED TO AD+: If you would like to add an obituary for any of the officers mentioned please send to email@example.com Ex PC 500 'A' (POW) Peter YOUNG (April 2011) Ex PC 227'A' (POW) Russell 'Russ' GILBERT (Dec 2010) Ex 'A' PC Roy Murphy (Buckingham Palace) (2007) Ex 'A' PC Bill Bridal (Clarence House) (2007) Ex PC 149 'A' /121517 George SHARP (2007) Ex PS Ian Scott (POW) (2007) Ex Superintendent 'A' Cyril CANHAM (2006) Ex PC 584 'A' Bert FULCHER (2006) Ex 'A' PC Eric OTTEWILL (2006) Ex PC 343 'A' Cyril WALKER (2006) Ex PC 390 'A'/139138 Albert LEWIS (2005) Ex PC 'A' 123094 (AP) James LESLIE (2005) Ex Insp 'A' George EBORN (2005) Ex PC 285 'A' (AP) Tony McCONNON (2005) Ex PS 'A'/135489 Stephen 'Paddy' POWERS (2005) Ex PC 562 'A'/157557 (AP) Michael THORNTON (2004) Ex PC 'A' (AP) Doug ATHERTON (2004) Ex PS 41'A'/125854 Horace THORPE (2004) Ex PC 840'A'/161204 Len RICHES (2003)
RECENT DEATHS NOTIFIED TO AD+: If you would like to add an obituary for any of the officers mentioned please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ex PC 500 'A' (POW) Peter YOUNG (April 2011)
Ex PC 227'A' (POW) Russell 'Russ' GILBERT (Dec 2010)
Ex 'A' PC Roy Murphy (Buckingham Palace) (2007)
Ex 'A' PC Bill Bridal (Clarence House) (2007)
Ex PC 149 'A' /121517 George SHARP (2007)
Ex PS Ian Scott (POW) (2007)
Ex Superintendent 'A' Cyril CANHAM (2006)
Ex PC 584 'A' Bert FULCHER (2006)
Ex 'A' PC Eric OTTEWILL (2006)
Ex PC 343 'A' Cyril WALKER (2006)
Ex PC 390 'A'/139138 Albert LEWIS (2005)
Ex PC 'A' 123094 (AP) James LESLIE (2005)
Ex Insp 'A' George EBORN (2005)
Ex PC 285 'A' (AP) Tony McCONNON (2005)
Ex PS 'A'/135489 Stephen 'Paddy' POWERS (2005)
Ex PC 562 'A'/157557 (AP) Michael THORNTON (2004)
Ex PC 'A' (AP) Doug ATHERTON (2004)
Ex PS 41'A'/125854 Horace THORPE (2004)
Ex PC 840'A'/161204 Len RICHES (2003)
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR OBITUARIES
Bill Bridal (Bridle?)
The skimpy information I have about Bill is that he was for many years at Marlborough House and then Clarence House. He was a gregarious character, full of life and smiles. This despite the terrible loss of his darling daughter killed in the St. Johns Rail Crash when she was on a train passing under the rail bridge carrying a
The Queen mother once saw the maid taking Beer bread & cheese over to the police lodge. She said the Police must have the sam meals as the rest of the staff I was very pleased to be one of the first casuals to receive this bounty i.e. Devilled Kidneys on Rice with Bacon and Tomatoes. Followed by Trifle and Ice Cream.I did not bother to go into grub when ever I acted as a casual at Clarence house after that.
Bill was a super chap as indeed were his colleagues mentioned above. May he Rest in Peace.
Royston MurphyI first met Royston in about 1955 when I learned that he was a Welsh School Boy International at both Soccer & Rugby Union. P.S. Danny Falconer wanted Royston to play left back in place of Bernie Bush who was injured.
Sergeant Paddy Powers arrived on promotion from L Division. He. Roy Knapton, Don Evans and I managed to scrape a divisional rugby team together. We lost our first three games by small margins, when I again persuaded the ever reluctant Royston to play at stand off half. He was again first class. A position he held until Robin Whalley took over with Alan Biddle at scrum half.
Royston confined himself to Soccer once more. We had by then got Pete Fox, John Torpey, Norman Appleton and Maurice Bennett as our other backs. We never lost a game for five years. Paddy Powers had scouted these guys from Training school. With these and Forwards such as Terry Oglethorpe, Eric Johnson, Fred Cox , Alan Fittel and Pete (Heswell) Honeywell, we had the most successful team in the Police and beat the Welsh Guards when they were Army Champions. 9 points to 3points.
Royston was quite a handsome bloke and he and one of Her Majesties personal secretaries, married. He then took up golf and eventually became the Captain of The Royal Household Golf Club.
A great sportsman if some times reluctant. A good pal and a wit. He has a great friend Tony (Morriati) Mowbray who, if he reads this, may well come up with
POLICE SERGEANT IAN SCOTT (POW)Ian Scott a thorough gentleman passed away on the morning of Monday 23rd of July 2007. I have had the advantage of taking most of the following in dictation from his great and good friend John Alliston who like Ian served on H Division in an earlier period of Service with the Met. Ian came to AP POW on the reorganization in the 70s having served at Bethnal Green along with Mike Thornton (deceased see obituary). John Alliston & Ken Gladwell also came at that time having served at Limehouse on H. On his arrival at AP, Ian was installed as Admin Sergeant, under Chief Supt. Ken Evans and Supt Sid Skinner. He performed his duties in his usual quiet and efficient manner, to the satisfaction of all concerned. Particularly the Golfer’s of which Ian was one. Those concerned will understand. He remained at the Houses of Parliament until retirement from the Police.Whereupon he took up the position of Beadle, to the Honourable Company of Brewers, where as a resident of the City of London. He was rewarded with the Freedom of the City. He later resigned this position and moved up to Carlisle, where he became managing clerk, to a firm of solicitors in that city. On his final retirement from work he lived in Brampton near Carlisle and then visited Canada, U.S.A, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa. On coming back to the UK he settled down in Brampton where he spent the rest of his life with his Dear wife Florence and stepson. He will be sadly missed by friends and family. PC 154A Terry Brooks assisted by PC John Alliston.
THANKS FROM MRS IVY CANHAM
Ivy Canham the wife of Cyril Canham wishes to thank everyone who sent messages to Cyril's obituary.
Your kind words were a great comfort to me and my family, I'm sorry that I'm not able to write to you all personally but I'm sure Mr. Brooks will be able to place this message on the 'A' division website.
Terry, thank you for the donation to the Royal British Legion "Necton Branch". I would like to also thank Brian Smith , Siobhan and Danny Clark who came to the crematorium and afterwards at the George Hotel.
Thank you all once more.
God Bless you all.
Ivy Canham and Family
Michael B. Knight
On behalf of Mrs. I. Canham)
Superintendent Cyril Canham
Mrs Ivy Canham has been unable to place Cyril’s ashes at the part of the wood in which she wanted. So she will place them in the church precincts at Necton. Should any other persons wish to donate to his memory, head the communication with those words and make any cheques payable to The Royal British Legion Necton Branch.
Terry Brooks Ex PC 154'A'/138932
Superintendent Cyril Canham
Alpha Delta Plus,
Sad news indeed. Like many a probationer, my first encounter with Cyril Canham filled me with awe. Like my colleagues, including you, I quickly learned that he was fair and very astute and came to respect him. Later still, I realised that he was probably one of the best guv'nors I ever had the pleasure of watching in action. Nothing escaped his attention and he almost certainly steered many a copper away from trouble, although not all necessarily appreciated it at the time.
I'm in East Anglia next week and will try to find time to get to King's Lynn on Monday morning. If I don't make it, my thoughts will be with Cyril, his family and those who do.
Kevin Delaney Ex PC 'A' 153283
Superintendent Cyril Canham
Tony Phillips informed Terry Oglethorpe on Tuesday 4th July that dear old Cyril Canham had died last week. Terry rang me with the sad news, that the best guvnor any of us in A division ever had was now with his maker. Cyril will be cremated at the King’s Lynn Crematorium at 10 45 am on Monday 10th July 2006. I do not know about donations or flowers. Terry however, tells me that a wreath will be sent from Cannon Row through Cannon Row Old Pals via Sioban Clark. Who states that her husband Danny Clark who was very close to Cyril may attend. I am glad for this as I am a cripple and unable to attend due to a hospital appointment, as is the case for Jim Fitzgerald who is attending Kings Lynn Hospital with a 10 am appointment and will if able, attempt to get there in time.
Cyril was twice at Cannon Row first as a young Inspector having been in R division with his friends the Vandervill,s. I believe Ivy knew them too, as indeed I did living at Swann House, next to Greenwich Nick, where I used to see Cyril visiting these good people.
Cyril was also twice at Bromley, lastly as Chief Superintendent. I have left a message for his former Bromley colleagues Keith Collcutt, Graham Newman and Malcolm Chapman. I should also mention Sammy Main, who served under Cyril at both Cannon Row & Bromley.
Cyril was popular with all the men who had the honour to serve under him, he always knew both your first name and your Surname.
When I had missed collecting my Long Service Medal from the Commissioner and later from the Commander. Cryil by now Superintedent Grade One, rang me at the House of Lords and suggested that I might like to come over to his office for a drink and the medal. Reminding me that it was high time that I read Police Orders regularly. He was always supportive of his men, despite some minor errors on their part. He would put you right in the best possible way.
Terry Oglethorpe tells me that when as Federation Rep he would ask Cyril for a character reference for a man he was to defend, Cyril would always say, “ If I can’t say anything good about the man, then I’ll say nothing.”
What a good Copper he was!
There are numerous fellows much more able than I, who could really do Cyril justice in an Obituary.
Cyril was much loved by all who served under him and will be missed by all of us.
Terry Brooks Ex PC 154A /138932
Ex PC 584 ‘A’ BERT FULCHER
Dear old Bert Fulcher died on Sunday 11th June I am told that he had had a slight stroke prior to this, though my informant did not know that he had been ill prior to his passing, Bert and his brother Jim (more later) were the sons of a former Palace of Westminster Police Constable and as boys they lived in Kennington quite near the Oval. They both went to The famous Kennington Ragged School which I believe still has those words picked out in different coloured bricks on it’s walls. Bert later passed the examinations to go to the Borough Technical College and as I was at the time at Woolwich Poly we often wondered if we had met at the White City Track & Field meeting for Tech & Grammar Schools.
Bert was a contemporary of mine, he having joined a few months before me. I believe he was an Ex R.A.F. man having served in the Middle East. I believe as a communications man having been with the G.P.O. i.e. Post Office Telephones prior to joining up. I estimate he would probably be about 74 or 75.
Bert was hoping to be posted to either AW or AH in order to avoid the Crossings and BP.
He came with me & Dear old Cyril Walker, who passed away a few days prior to Bert, He was from AH we all three went to the crossings. We all got on so well with many a laugh in our basement mess room at 5 Old Palace Yard. With PS89A Jamie Mc Morran as our stalwart boss. He was oft times portrayed in Lee of the Evening News cartoons.
Bert was a very big man and strong he came 4th twice in the MPAA sports Shot Putt. Behind internationals George Brooks of R Division , McCorquindale of E and MacKay of L Division these three represented their countries on several occasions. One day Bert and I arrived at Imber Court to find only four entries in the Hammer. So I being our Sports Rep entered Bert and I. We watched these other four spinning in the circle and then letting go of the hammer. I was the 5th on , so I tried it, unfortunately they had not bothered to fix up the wire protective cage. Yes you’ve guessed it, foolish here let go the hammer up it went into the grand stand, where luckily no one was sat. I broke a seat therein. The bloke in charge said “Listen! you two are just here for the extra points, I know. So just pick up the damned hammer and with one swing let it go out behind you. This we did Bert got 90 yards or so I got only just over 50 but those three point got A division to pip Training School for second place in the Victor Ludorum Trophy, behind the usual winners L Division. The next year I did Bert’s duty whilst he for the second time got fourth in the Shot. Jock Adams a very slight Scot assured me that he had competed in Highland games. In the shot Bert told me Jock’s attempt was only about 15 feet. “Have again mate” someone said He still could only manage about 25 feet. Bert was laughing ‘til his sides almost burst. However, in the Javalin after Jock lent back on the move to throw, the tail of the javelin hit the ground heavily jerking the thing from his grip. It is thought Jock did this to bring some amusement to whole thing as before. He did however, finish third with 170+ feet and valuable points.
I had the pleasure of playing soccer with his brother Jim for the Palace of Westminster. Jim was a competent defender. We later got thrown out of the Civil Service League after leading the points table for their Premier Division for playing guest such as Jim was. The investigation showed that we only had five players from the House.
Bert’s first wife June unfortunately died of breast cancer many years ago. At that time they lived in the same road as Kathleen & Cyril Walker in Norbury. June & Bert have a son Andrew, who also has two sons, they all live in Canada. His wife Pat a senior officer in the Inland Revenue, would appreciate an attendance at the funeral .Unfortunately I am taking and collecting my grand children from school as both parents work.
Bert’s funeral is at Worthing Sussex Crematorium on Thursday 22nd June 2006.at 1.40pm
I have been unable to learn if there are to be donations.
Apologies for the late notification I only got back from holiday at 3p.m on 16th June.
Sincerely Bert, we will be thinking of you, a great pal and though you always rubbed your poor old knees, you would be amused to learn that I can no longer walk without crutches and need a wheelchair for any distance. Both my knees are useless. Too much sport!
Terry Brooks Ex PC 154A /138932
I first met Eric when we joined on the same day at Peel House and were sent to Percy Laurie House, Putney as Training School did not have room for us. Also in the class was Arthur Titmarsh. Later an Inspector in Cyprus who returned to A Division as a PC and refused promotion. We were also privileged to have Harry Slipper, former Senior Federation Rep. for the Met. Who was re- classed to us, due to’flu. Eric was a ex Matelot Royal Navy and well spoken, a great fan of the Ray Coniff Orchestra. Whilst at Putney we all went to a Ladies Hostel as invited dancing guests. We almost all, over indulged in the drinks. Hence by the time we got back to Putney, most were the worst for wear. Someone fired a Water Gas Fire extinguisher in to my bed. I created merry hell and the Section House Sergeant Morley came up and tried to investigate. He interviewed all of us to no avail. He could not wake Eric, who was asleep in his bed as could be seen from the rooms over the other side of the circular building. Morley hammered & hammered on Erics door. Finally Eric opened the door and in a loud and authorative voice said “ Jack’s in his hammock and when Jack’s in his hammock he’s home and dry and no I know nothing of any Fire Extinguisher. Now clear off and let me sleep.” Next day Morley kept us at Percy Laurie, still trying to find the culprit. Buck Taylor owned up, on the understanding that we would all pay for the ruined mattress. He did not do the dirty deed. This finally satisfied Morley and we were finally allowed to get on the bus to Hendon. As we were doing so however, John Christie of 10 Rillington Place, the famous murderer was brought in to the nick right in front of us. He had just been arrested on the riverside tow path at Putney. Our first real sight of police work. Eric went from Training School to R Division. He was at that time living with his family in his mother in law’s pub, on the Woolwich Road. We were not allowed to live in Pubs, so he soon got married quarters. His wife Josephine was very beautiful, as was his daughter Anne. She was an almost Olympic Class skater. He also had a son whose name I cannot recall. Renie my wife & I later moved into lovely Swann House, Greenwich, where we residents had the use of the nice Gardens, in Gloucester Circus. Who should be there also? Eric & Josie of course. These were brand new maisonettes. I thank Chief Superintendant Bill Gilbert for getting me there from rough old Edward Henry House.
Eric later joined us on A Division and went immediately to Windsor with pals Norman Scarlett and Eric Blencoe who later joined Bill Bridle, Stan Rivers and Punch Burrows at Clarence House. I only met Eric on a few more occasions, when as aid to Windsor Castle, for Garter Ceremonies and The Royal Berkshire Regiment getting their Colours from H.M. The Queen. He was a great character and always the gentleman, except on that rare occasion with PS Morley, who had the effrontery to disturb his rest.
I hope someone will let Josie and the family have a copy of this, as I do not know their whereabouts now.
Ex PC154A Terry Brooks 138932
Ex PC 343A Cyril Walker
Cyril was a great character. When I arrived at AD in May 1953 he was at AH where he and Jock Smith (25 stone or there about) were great pals particularly as Cyril was a good motor engineer. He had to weld angle iron reinforcing to strengthen Jocks car chassis. They played a few tricks on the Toms, Queers and Peeping Toms by tying a wire low down on the shrubs and all around the bushes, having seen these folk go into therein. Then they would say, “They are in here lads” and flash their torches. Out they would all run tripping over the wire on to the soft grass.
There is elsewhere on this site a yarn I wrote about Cyril, Jack Sly & Paul Bennett VC the Marlborough Street Court hero.
Cyril and I prevented a mad soldier from jumping to his death at the Military Hospital Millbank. He had got out of a toilet window and said he was to jump from a height of about 36 feet or so. His backside was on the stone windowsill and his middle back was against the bottom of the open sash window, which was up as far as it would go. So we could not get him in through the gap. Cyril got me to get my arms around the idiot and then gently pushed chummy off the sill, so that we could both draw him back in to the toilet and safety. The soldier was shaking like a leaf, but was taken charge of by the Medical Staff. We warned them to ensure that he did not escape or we would take him and have him deemed for 14 days observation at St Pancras Hospital. Cryil and I were both posted to POW at the time and were Sessional men, so we were on patrol on AD’s Mannor.
Cyril had special dietary problems I believe it was Celiac or something. I know he had to be careful what breads he ate.
Cyril was married in about 1956. His wife was I believe a nurse and was his pal Dave Seely’s cousin.
He was also Lafone Cup Light Welterweight Champion in the early 50s
God rest your soul Cyril you were a great copper and an interesting man
Terence Brooks Ex PC 154 'A'/138932 .
PC JIM LESLIE
FORMERLY OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS LOBBY.
It was with great regret that I heard from Vic Potter that Jim Leslie’s name was listed in Memorium in the London Police Pensioner.
Regret because though Jim was 92 at least and had led a good life with Annie his 94-year-old wife, I felt that some how I had failed them. I used to call on Jim and Annie at their nice house in Pett’s Wood.
Jim had been in hospital at Farnborough with prostate problems. Despite this he still rode his bike into the local shops at age 91. Annie became very feeble physically but was sharp as a knife in her mind. However, after several serious falls Jim along with his daughter a former Lady Almoner got Annie into a home locally. Though I never knew which one.
I used to phone Jim occasionally but he never wanted any help, though from the time he took to answer he was obviously in need of mobility. The last time we spoke was early 2005 I think. He told me he hoped to go to the same home as Annie. I offered to drive him over there when the time came. He declined saying his daughter and Grand son would help him. After that despite several phone calls I never got a reply. I should have made more extensive enquiries.
Jim Leslie (James Batchelor Leslie) Warrant Number 123094 retired 02/01/1964 and died 21/11/2005. He was an excellent Police Officer serving in the House of Commons Lobby during his last days in the job. He was a witty and intelligent man who with his great pal Bert Treeby, had many a lark with us youngsters. Jim kept in touch with all the older P.O.W. officers and their surviving wives.
I think he became a civil servant on retirement and was an excellent guide to the Houses of Parliament too.
He hailed from Dundee and came down to London as a deck hand on a potato boat to take the tests and medical for the Metropolitan Police. Returning to his hometown in the same role. He again travelled from Dundee in the same capacity to take up his 30 years service in the job.
Jim was an honourable man and is missed by those of us who knew him in his halcyon days.
An interesting fact is that the potato seedlings should always be replanted south of where they were raised. They are much heavier croppers if grown south, at least as far as the Northern Hemisphere is concerned. Hence Arran Banner, Arran Pilot and Catriona etc. There are probably exceptions to this obscure rule.
Terence Brooks Ex PC 154A Warrant Number 138932
The Writing of the "Times" Obituary for Supt. Brian Jeffery, Deputy Queen’s Police Officer
By Martin G. Spillane
In January 1991 I was asked by the London "Times" to write an obituary for Superintendent Brian Jeffery, who had just lost his battle against cancer and had retired from the Met in 1986 as Deputy Queen's Police Officer in the Royalty Protection Group. Prior to my retirement, I had been in the Customs and Excise Investigation Division and I had met Brian when he acted for the Defence in an Arms Smuggling case I investigated. I later did some work for him at Business Risks International and, as our brains and attitudes were very much in sync, we very quickly became good friends.
I had only known him for about five years and he had always been very discrete about his former role in the Royalty Protection Group. I was also aware of the reluctance of Buckingham Palace to let staff discuss the relationship between royalty and their retainers. It was 10 am and the Obituaries Editor of the Times, Peter Evans, had given me a deadline of 4 pm the following day. I anticipated that I would have to find my way round the numerous obstacles and to obtain sufficient material to do justice to the memory of a good friend and someone I knew to be an amazing man.
My first call was to Brian’s son, Neil, to advise him of what I was doing and to seek his co-operation, which he was happy to give. My next call, to the Metropolitan Police Press Office, was similarly a matter of courtesy, but was also intended to give me authority to speak to serving Police Officers, particularly those still in the Royalty Protection Group. The Met Press Office were very helpful, and gave me some useful background on the role and structure of the Squad and, even more usefully, gave me the direct telephone number of Brian's successor as Deputy Queen's Police Officer: that I was able to call him on this line gave me a great deal of credibility and made my approach very much easier. The Press Officer later called me back with a brief biography of Brian's Police career and details of his award of the Royal Victorian Order, a medal in the gift of the Queen and reserved for people rendering personal service to the sovereign.
At the time of his death, Brian was the London representative of the American security firm, Business Risks International and it was there that I had worked with him. I therefore telephoned his secretary at BRI, June Hewitson and, although extremely upset at the death of her boss, she was happy to co-operate. I knew that Brian's office was decorated with souvenirs of his career, and I therefore asked her to list them, with brief details of each, as far as possible in chronological order and to fax this information to me.
I then called the Deputy Queen's Police Officer, to find that the Press Office had called him in advance and that as a result he was well briefed, and very willing to co-operate. When I explained that I was writing the obituary, not as a disinterested journalist, but as a personal friend of Brian's, he became even more helpful and told me several stories, which although not suitable for inclusion in the obit, gave me a much deeper insight into the man, about whom I was to write and about whom I now realised I had so much more to learn He also told me that when Brian had received the award of the Royal Victorian Order, the Queen had insisted on presenting it to him in a special private ceremony rather than at the annual ceremony as was the norm. He also gave me the unlisted telephone numbers of three people who had known Brian very well: the Queen's Gamekeeper at Sandringham, a former secretary to the Royal Household and Brian's assistant at the Royalty Protection Group, who had retired from the UK to Florida.
By now the list of trophies was flowing from my fax, and it gave the main dates and places of Brian’s career: the Royal Tours, the Tiger shoots with The Duke of Edinburgh, the visit with the Queen to the Pope in the Vatican, etc., etc. It also gave details of a journey Brian had made with the Duke in 1985, when they had travelled 17,458 miles in 23 days in connection with the World Wildlife Fund, of which the Duke was Patron.
When I called Brian's predecessor I received a very cordial greeting and a flood of information. He told me that Brian had been very protective of junior staff: Once, following the murder of Lord Mountbatten by terrorists, Brian had seen a royal housemaid being plied with drink by journalists in a hotel bar. Brian had rescued her, sat her amongst his party and then arranged for a junior officer to see her home, thereby avoiding her possible dismissal from the Royal Household. When junior ranks had problems they frequently took them to him direct, for they found him to be highly sympathetic. However, if a junior officer failed in his duty, Brian would be quite ruthless.
I then rang the Queen's Head Gamekeeper. He was very reluctant to speak to me, being fearful of Palace protocol, which forbad unauthorised contact with the press. I explained that I had been a personal friend of Brian and that as I had been given his number by the Deputy Queen's Police Officer, so it must be all right. He was then reassured and opened up. He told me how much Brian had been missed when he retired, for he had been so different from the other officers assigned to the Royal Squad. He said that Brian had always taken an interest in everyone and had mixed and blended in, not hesitating to take the gamekeepers out to the pub for a drink. They had been very appreciative when, in devising security measures at Sandringham, he had called on their expertise and utilised their local knowledge.
He also told me that the Queen had had a little black spaniel called "Medler", which was a "real natural, completely wild". Nobody could run her as a gun dog because she never obeyed commands. Brian had studied her in action and had then taken her in hand. By anticipating her moves, he had blown his whistle at just the right moment, so that it appeared that the dog was doing his bidding. The Queen had been suitably impressed and had been even more amused when Brian had told her the truth. She had then given him one of Medler’s pups, which was named "Peach". The Game Keeper also told me that Brian had studied horses and harness and so was able to share The Duke of Edinburgh's enjoyment of horse-driving trials.
I next called the former secretary to the Royal Household. She had only just heard the news and so, having commiserated with her over the loss of our mutual friend, I agreed that she should phone me in about two hours, when she felt more composed. I spent the intervening period preparing my first draft of the obituary, noting gaps which would need to be filled: Had he done Service in the Armed Forces? What schools had he attended?
Brian was obviously athletic, but had he had any successes in that area? I called his son, Neil, for the second time, and gave him a brief run down of the facts I had unearthed, and had him confirm the details. He also told me that his father had served with the Royal Engineers in Hong Kong and had boxed for the British Army, and gave me information about his father’s schooling.
I then received the call from the former Secretary to the Royal Household, who gave me a great deal of additional background information. Apparently Brian had been meticulously sensitive to the Duke's requirements and so had managed a record eleven years as his Personal Police Officer. She told me that, for the visit to the Vatican, the Queen had insisted on taking Brian as her personal detective. The Secretary also described the tensions that had arisen with various Security Services, who often set a lower standard of security than Brian would accept. She related the story of the parcel which the Swiss Security Service agents (who were not noted for their sense of humour) had delivered to the Royal Plane, addressed to Brian, and with instructions that it was to be kept refrigerated until opened in the privacy of his home. Brian had obeyed, keeping it in the refrigerator on the plane and carrying it home in a portable icebox. When he eventually opened the icy parcel, he had been amused and delighted to find it contained a book on Swiss glaciers.
I then sat down and wrote and re-wrote the obituary, phoning it through to the copy-taker just before the deadline. On the afternoon of the day on which it was published I received a telephone call from the Queen's Police Officer. He told me that when he went to see the Queen that morning she had drawn his attention to the obituary and had said how "splendid" it was. The Queen had also wondered "how on earth" I had obtained all the information.
Dr Martin G. Spillane, BSc, MA, PhD, FRSA is now lecturing in Criminology at the Institute of Forensic Studies at the University of Malta
STEPHEN 'Paddy' POWERS B.E.M.Steve Powers died after a longish illness at 10am on Monday 18th April 2005.
He was one of nature’s most interesting characters. Born just north of Clifden in County Mayo some 85 years ago. Clifden is where Alcock & Brown landed after their transatlantic flight in 1919. He in 1938 prior to the out-break of the 1939/45 World War joined the Royal Navy. He ended up a Chief Petty Officer Stoker, the most vulnerable job aboard ship in battle. During the Battle of the River Plate, he was serving as such, aboard the 6 inch gun. Light cruiser H.M.S. Ajax, which along with the 8 inch gun cruiser Exeter and another 6 inch gun light cruiser H.M.S. Achillies, took on the 13 inch approx. gun Pocket Battleship Graf Spee. The guns of the Graf Spee could fire almost 13 miles whilst Exeter could manage 8 miles and Ajax and Achilles could only make 6 miles. Despite being severely damaged the three British ships damaged the Graf Spee so much that it sought safety in the River Plate and requested assistance, which was refused by the neutral powers. H.M.S. Cumberland was en-route from the Falkland Islands. This and the presence of our three ships blocking the estuary caused Captain Von Langsdorf to scuttle the Graf Spee, going down with his ship.
He left the Royal Navy in 1950, five days later, Steve known as Paddy Powers joined The Metropolitan Police and was later posted to Camberwell. One day he caught Claude Dennington a contender for the British Middleweight Championship up to no good. Claude fancied his chance and was prepared to have a go, Steve told him that if he won the scrap Claude would be nicked. Sure enough Claude went quietly to the nick.
Later he passed his Sergeants exam and was posted to A Division, which is where many others and I got to know and respect him. He, Roy Knapton, (who has earlier passed on) and I formed A Division Rugby team. Which after the first two games won all its matches for four years. Beating the Welsh Guards when they were the Army Champions 9 points to 3. Our first loss was on tour against the next Army Champions at Aldershot the Parachute Regiment 20 points to 5, in a game arranged by General Sir Brian Horrocks the Black Rod in those days. We assigned this demise to the fact that several of our players were boozed on a barrel of Cider, pinched from the Devon Constabulary. Roy Knapton took no part, as he broke his ankle running down the pavilion steps.
Steve would check the Training School for likely lads and somehow got them posted to A Division. In this way we got Maurice Bennett Full Back, Robin Whalley outside half, Alan Biddle scrum half, Jack Brough centre and Pete Fox centre Pete Honeywill, Eric Johnson and Fred Cox forwards. We already had Royston Murphy and Norman Appleton. Both excellent players. Norman was a recruit from soccer and was very fast. (He too has passed on). Steve, Terry Oglethorpe and I made up the front row.
After a game in early January one year for the Metropolitan Police 1st XV against the Royal Navy Chatham. Steve had thrown the Officer of the Day’s trousers up a tree with the assistance of some others in the team. The Officer retaliated by snatching Steve’s cap that was a Christmas present from Hilda his wife. The bounder cut off the peak. When Steve walked in boozed and laughing into their house in Plumstead. Hilda gave him a sharp piece of her mind.
Hilda and Steve brought up five children, Terry, Lillian, Kathleen, Margaret and Stephen. Lillian unfortunately contracted Polio. This prompted Steve to give up a lot of his time, encouraging handicapped children to swim. He as a consequence was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the handicapped youngsters.
Steve was soon promoted to Station Sergeant and then rapidly to Inspector where he performed his duties at North Woolwich and Lemon Street, where he met his very good friend John Alliston who has remained so loyal to Steve all these years.
Whilst at Lemon Street Steve was commended for his work at the Ronan Point disaster.
I was witness whilst attending a West Ham United soccer match with my Dorset pal, to Steve’s arresting ways. I saw him reach into the crowd and pull a yob out with one hand and the another, taking them both in custody, with their arms up their backs holding each of their collars.
Later after Steve had left the Police, John Alliston and I used to go to my old school Woolwich Polytechnic (Then part of London University),where Steve was the Steward of the Students Union Club. There was a fool who challenged him and who went sliding on his back along the highly polished floor. There never was any further trouble.
Steve was a regular contributor to the London Police Pensioner and wrote very amusing articles for that magazine.
I last saw Steve when John his wife Helen and I attended Hilda’s Funeral Service at Irchester. Both he and I were crippled with bad Knees walking with great difficulty using support sticks. We both warned the young rugger players present in the Royal Naval Association Club, not to follow our example of playing the lovely game, until age 42. But to go no further than age 25. I wonder if they followed our advice?
Steve it has been a privilege to have known you and I know I speak for all your former colleagues. God rest your soul old son, you were one of the best.
I am indebted to his daughter Lillian and my friend and former colleague John Alliston for several of the details in the above.
Terry Brooks Ex PC 154 A warrant number 138932.
MEMORIES OF PADDY POWERS
Paddy came to Limehouse sometime in the 60’s, I think it was the sixties; my memory for dates these days is hopeless.
He came to us from either Tower Bridge or Carter Street as an S.P.S. and due to a shortage of inspectors was usually the duty officer and that was how he acquired his third name. His first obviously being ‘Steve’ and his second ‘Paddy’.
We had a very good snooker table at Limehouse, which was very popular on night duty. A variation on the game was snooker plus, which entailed the use of an extra ball. After lots of complicated moves and shots, which baffled me, the one who potted the pink ball won the game. Paddy particularly enjoyed a game on nights and as duty officer could pick his opponents to be on their meal break together, he then became known at Limehouse as ‘Pinky Powers’, due to his uncanny knack of always winning.
Paddy had his own unique interpretation of police procedures, which were, nevertheless, effective for the time, place and circumstances, and if the regulations acquired a slight kink in the process of hastening what could be a tedious and non-productive process, what harm in the long run?
One example was a member of a particularly rowdy bunch of yobs was arrested and taken to Limehouse where Paddy was station officer. His mates duly turned up at the station and all wished to make a complaint. Paddy told all eight of them to go through the door and sit in the complaints department. After about five minutes they started to get noisier and noisier until Paddy was obliged to charge them all with ‘creating a disturbance in a police station’, result all appeared in court, warned as to their future behaviour, no complaints, everybody happy!
Another example of his grasp of the situation and likely result was one that I could only observe in total fascination.
A young P.C. who rejoiced in the nickname ‘Peaches’. He will know whom I mean, on nights at the Isle of Dogs (part of Limehouse sub-division), stopped a Lighterman on the way home from work at about 2 a.m., simply to show that the Powers that be that he was about.
Unusually, the man called at the police station to complain about the action of ‘Peaches’ in stopping him. Paddy, as duty officer had to deal with the complaint and I went with him to the Isle of Dogs to see the complainant. We listened patiently until he had got it all off his chest and obviously felt better. To my surprise Paddy’s answer was to say "Right, this is what I’ve been waiting for", turning to me he said "get him (Peaches) off the street, take his warrant card off him, I’m going to sack him straight away" To the complainant, he said "Will you sign an official complaint about this P.C.’s conduct, if you do, I can sack him straight away, I’ve been trying to nail this bloke for ages" ‘Peaches’ of course was a conscientious officer of unimpeachable character. Before I could respond, the complainant said, "I’ve met your sort before, get your knife into a bloke and he don’t get a minutes peace, I won’t sign any statement, and if anyone asks, I shall deny all knowledge of it. I’m a working man myself with a family and I won’t help you to sack a bloke who was only doing his Job!" That was the end of that complaint with everybody happy.
Paddy like the rest of us had his weaknesses. His was an inability to refuse hospitality.
Limehouse was a dockland sub-division with lots of small wharves that were served by small coasters from the near continent. One evening a drunken seaman, who turned out to be the mate of a Dutch coaster called the ‘Carlo’, was incarcerated at Limehouse to be dealt with at the local magistrates court the following morning. At about midnight, the captain of the Carlo appeared at the station to explain to Paddy that the ship sailed at 2.30 a.m. and needed the mate, who by this time had sobered up, in order to get back to Holland. The captain said that if Paddy could arrange bail, the captain would guarantee he would surrender on the return trip. This was arranged and I drove Paddy, the skipper and the mate back to their ship. Paddy went aboard the Carlo and told me he would phone me when he was ready to return. At about 5 a.m. we received a phone call from customs at Gravesend that Paddy, who, apparently had been engaged on some sort of investigation, had turned up, via the pilot boat, at Gravesend in a rather exhausted state and would like to speak to the duty officer on the early shift as soon as he arrived. I have no further knowledge of that episode as I went home, before someone started asking silly questions to which I would be obliged to give silly answers.
I only recall one incident when Paddy came off second best. We were patrolling in the early hours of one morning when we came across a van parked outside a cafe, into which two men were carrying boxes which were later found to contain shirts stolen from a nearby factory. One of the men had a plaster cast on his arm. We waited until both men were carrying boxes and made a grab for them. Inside the cafe was a pile of boxes already brought in. I chased one man upstairs and was leading him back downstairs when I heard a yell from where Paddy had got the other man. When we got down stairs, Paddy was leaning against the wall in a dazed condition, holding his prisoners jacket. Of the prisoner, alas there was no sign. He having told Paddy his arm was hurting and then belting Paddy across the head with his heavily plastered broken arm, before legging it down the road, having wriggled out of his jacket. Obviously back at the nick Paddy’s plight was met with a great deal of concern and sympathy and much merriment. All ended happily, as the escapee had left his wallet with his name and address, etc. in his jacket!
Paddy and I shared an interest in keeping canaries, which we housed in large open flights in our respective gardens.
Rumour has it that on one particularly dark night, a dark coloured van was seen on nearby open ground, dragging out by their roots, gorse bushes, which are especially favoured as nesting habitat for linnets. Coincidentally, I found a large gorse bush in my front garden the following morning. Paddy had a particularly good year for breeding linnets that season.
One of my abiding memories of Paddy is of a canary’s head and feet protruding from his enormous fist whilst he trimmed their claws. A gentle giant indeed!
On the theme of gentleness, which perhaps is surprising in some one of Paddy’s stature, he was tireless in his efforts on behalf of ‘The Lions’ swimming club. A club which taught handicapped children to swim. He had the happy knack of being able to persuade local businesses to provide all kinds of assistance willingly and with a smile to a cause obviously close to his heart and for which he eventually received the B.E.M.
These are just a few of many recollections I have of a man, who served his adopted country both in the Royal Navy and the Metropolitan Police, in an exemplary fashion. Attributes which, unfortunately, in this day and age of political correctness (whatever that may be) is derided in certain quarters by people who consider themselves to the ‘trendsetters and leaders’ in my opinion most of them aren’t fit to clean his shoes.
I count myself lucky to have known him, worked with him and to have been his friend.
A big man indeed in all senses of the word.
John Alliston Ex 'H' Division and 'POW'
On Monday 14th June 2004 in the afternoon my wife Renie took a call from Mike's Grandson Lee. It devastated us both, as the news was dreadful. Lee informed us that his dear Gandad had passed away in the night. This is so sad as Mike was I think only in his late fifties. He and Jean his beautiful wife were living in Calpe, Alicante, Spain. This is where we have a small apartment and Mike and Jean always checked it out after storms and prepared it prior to our families visits. Our stays there will never be the same, as we always met up at our place and theirs. Jean and Mike have become so close to my daughter Sharon and husband Peter, their daughters Katie and Emma and also to my sister in law June Matthews and to her dear departed husband Peter, Renie's brother.
Mike first met Jean a petite blond Glaswegian girl when he was a trainee hotel manager and she was the receptionist in Lancashire, from whence Mike emanated.
Mike had been educated at a public school. They married and had I think five children sons Michael, Ross and Phil, daughters Ashley, and Debbie. Mike joined the Met Police and became a Dog Handler at H Division Bethnal Green. Unfortunately, one night responding with the dog van on a shout, Mike sustained a severe whiplash neck injury. This was to change his Police career causing him to have to give up the Dog and luckily for those of us at the Palace of Westminster necessitated a transfer to Alpha Papa. Along with an H Division influx that included John Alliston who is likewise devastated at the sad news.
Mike wore the Divisional number 562 A which had been worn my great friend Bob Frith who died earlier last September. (See his obituary on this site). Mike was always the gentleman liked by all whom he came into contact with.
He was one of the subjects of a magnificent cartoon by P.C. Ian Nuttall who portrayed Mike with Lady Masham, Lord Denham Conservative Chief Whip Lord Ted Graham the Socialist equivalent, Lady Trumpington and Doug Huxley the Principal Doorkeeper of the House of Lords. They are all standing at the Peers Staircase which is perfectly drawn and is extremely decorative. Jean I'm glad to say has this with her in Calpe.
There is a photograph of Mike on the web site.
May you rest in peace Mike, you are much missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing you.
Terry Brooks Ex P.C. 154 'A' Warrant Number 138932.
The funeral of PC 349A Doug Atherton is today Wednesday 19th May 2004.
Unfortunately, I am unable to be there to pay my last respects to an old friend of many years since late 1953. I have a dental appointment and am lunching at Millie Chenery's in the company of Bert Ryder another old A Division man of distinction, and his wife Jean. Millie is the wife of Hugh Harry Chenery. (See Obit section). Our thoughts will be with Renie, Doug's wife and our colleagues who will be present.
Doug was a fine strong well-built and handsome man. A former Coldstream Guardsman who joined the Met. in the late 40s. We first met when he was at the time on the Sessional Staff at the Palace of Westminster and he used to do in the recesses of Parliament, duty at Cannon Row. He was always a very affable fellow easy to talk to and not at all disrespectful to raw recruits such as myself. Later I was to join him on the same staff. Doug and Renie used to visit with my Renie and I at our flat in Canonbury, where they were near neighbours residing in the superb Police married Quarters at Canonbury Park South, adjacent to Tony Creasey and Doreen. Both Tony and Doug were large men, so I used to let them cycle in front to shield myself from the wind on our way to work at P.O.W. One morning Tony was in front and spied a silver sixpence in the gutter. He braked hard and bent down to pick it up. Doug and I swerved to our left and the relative safety of the pavement. We both crashed into the doorway of the Islington Furniture Shop, ending up on the floor. The salesmen must have wondered who the customers were in such a rush. We both swore at Dear old Tony. We could not have gone the other side of him, as we would have been knocked down by on coming traffic.
Tony bought a car and then used to run us to work and back. On several occasions he would also ferry John Stonehouse M.P. home, as he lived in Alwyne Close opposite Doug and Tony. Stonehouse was the Socialist Post Master General at one time and Tony used to stir him up from a conservative point of view, so much so that Stonehouse in the end refused to travel with us. (Stonehouse later did a Reggy Perrin i.e. pretended that he had drowned at Sea and was later discovered in Australia with his Secretary.)
Doug later worked with our great pal 562A Bob Frith as the Plain Clothes Officers at Parliament. They were a good team. Bob's Obituary is available below .On retirement Doug worked at the Church Commissioners Millbank along with another Chum Mike Chapman 496A who is also to be found in the Obituary column.
We of P.O.W. who were present at this years reunion were pleased to see dear old Doug and are surprised that he has been taken from us so soon after.
Dougie was one of natures true gentlemen and I know all the P.O.W. folk send our sympathy to Renie.
Terry Brooks x PC 154 'A'.
POLICE SERGEANT 41 'A'/ 125854 HORACE THORPE
Horace passed away peacefully on the 29th March 2004 at The Royal Sussex hospital after a stroke had damaged him severely on the 10th March. Horace joined the job in 1937 and retired in 1967. His first posting was to Kennington and completed his service at Cannon Row. His funeral was on Tuesday 6th April at Woodvale Crematorium Lewes.
His role was of extreme importance to the 'smooth' running of a busy central London police station such as 'AD'.
He would always carry these duties out with humour and compassion. Sometimes he couldn't oblige the individual due to the policing requirements for large demonstrations being sprung on him at the last minute, but if he could arrange duties to help out, he would.
Thanks Horace for helping our family life run just that little bit smoother.
Memories of Horace by Ex PC 153283/157146 Kevin Delaney.
My sadness on hearing of the death of Horace Thorpe will, I guess, be shared by all who knew him. Horace was unfailingly fair and helpful and by example, instilled the principles of give and take that served most of us well throughout career and life. Above all, Horace provided an endless test of mental dexterity and determination for all who tried to reconcile his well stocked daily duty sheets with an almost empty parade shed and especially those fortunate enough to be Night Duty section PS whose job included 'reconciling' the previous day's duty state with the 'Divisional strength'. Rest in Peace Horace, you've earned it. Any chance of an 'early' on Saturday?
Kevin Delaney 153283/157146
To view the now famous cartoon of Horace in his 'hey day' and comments from his colleague PS. Ernie Jeffery select 'SIGNPOST' from main menu at top of page / choose 'Alpha Delta Plus (3) from lower menu / then 'General 'A' pictures (3)'.
It is with sadness that Alpha Delta Plus announces the death of Ex PC 562 'A' Robert Frith on 28th July 2003.
Terry Brooks has provided us with a short history of Bob's life below:
POLICE CONSTABLE 562 'A' ROBERT FRITH
Robert Frith D.S.M. (1923 to 2003)
Was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for firing the Hedgehog, a depth charge firing device, which was both a danger to the ship and the man firing it. The Skipper Lt. Comdr. SCOTT of the Royal Navy Frigate HMS 'Nyasaland' had positioned his vessel above a U Boat in the bay of Biscay, and had ordered all water tight doors to be sealed as is normal at Action Stations. He then called for the Captain of the Guns crew to fire the device. Bob FRITH later 562A was the trained man. The depth charge type bombs needed to set at different depths all around the Frigate, which was restricted to 2 knots. It was fired successfully and sunk the U Boat with all hands. The Frigate was also damaged to its underside due to the force of the explosion and the lack of depth. However, it made for Glasgow where it was repaired. The device which threw a pattern of Depth Charges all around and close to the firing vessel was discontinued in that form due, to collateral damage to the firing vessels. Robert FRITH and the Asdic Operator were both awarded the D.S.M. The Lt. Comdr. SCOTT the D.S.O.The Nyasaland was afterwards handed over to the free French Navy with over twice the complement of The R.N.crew, accompanied by variuos farm animals i.e. chickens. Bob was part of the R.N. crew who assisted in the running of the ship along with the French Navy who were a tough lot of blokes.Afterwards he joined the superb new destroyer HMS 'Zenith' which was eventually sold to the Egyptians and was scuttled as a blockade ship in the Suez Canal crisis.
Robert also served on numerous Russian Convoys to Murmansk and Archangel, as a Leading Seaman Gunnery. Known as Captain of the Guns Crew.
Later he joined the Metropolitan Police in Royal A Division and served as plain clothes officer at the Palace of Westminster the Houses of Parliament. Retiring after 28 years service plus two years allowed from his six years at war . He currently resides at Yapton, Near Arundel, with Valerie his wife, the daughter of Dr Russell CARGILL the donor of and founder of the Cargill Cup and Middlesex Sevens.
POLICE CONSTABLE 196 'A' MIKE CHAPMAN
Mike Chapman PC 196A passed away peacefully at approximately 4.30pm on Monday 6th January 2003. He had been very ill with cancer of the stomach for quite a while. He was taken into Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich in late October. There they operated on him with a view to removing a cancerous tumour in his stomach. Unfortunately, they were unable to proceed. By quirk of fate his son Graham's ship, the James Clark Ross the epitome of survey ships was struck in Port Stanley harbour by a Russian oil tanker. This necessitated a trip to Montevideo for repairs, which in turn gave Graham, its first mate, a chance of leave. This enabled him to come home to see his Dad for a short while. Whilst home Graham was appointed Captain of the Shackleton the sister ship and the other British Antarctic Survey vessel. Due to his wish to be with his father he was not immediately able to take up his appointment and joined the Shackleton at Montevideo a little later. Mike by now had been sent home and was then transferred to Guys Hospital for ChemoTherapy, where he remained until just prior to Christmas. He had been allowed home to Plumstead for the festivities.
Mike has been nursed whilst at home by his other son Jim, who had come home from Germany where he is a hydraulic engineer, his daughters Katherine and Helen and Evelyn his very able wife who was a Phlebotomist. Graham the eldest son had a twin brother Christopher who unfortunately died age three weeks. There are four grand children Kelly, Stacey, Michael and Nikki (Nichole).
In the past the family spent many enjoyable times at Evelyn's mother's home in the interesting town of Wells Next the Sea, in Norfolk.
Mike was a delightful man who never said a bad word about anyone.
When he left school in his native Essex he became a bicycle mechanic preparing bikes to various people's requirements. He was a light Heavy Weight boxer with the Berry Boxing Club in Laindon. Mike was very tall, about six feet six, and had a very long reach. He was well taught in the noble art and fared well in his contests because of his reach.
When he became of age for call up to National Service, he joined the Royal Military Police, later passing out with the rank of Corporal. On leaving the Army after his National Service he joined the Metropolitan Police in 1952. He was after training posted to Rochester Row Police Station.
After finishing his two years probation, he was posted to the Parliamentary Crossings staff under Sergeant James McMorran. Continuing to serve there with his great friend Len Coles, (regrettably now also deceased) and also from Rochester Row, for about eighteen months. He was then posted to the Palace of Westminster Sessional Staff under Sergeants Andrew Forbes and Andrew Bain and Inspector George Ridgewell, and Len came too.
Mike graduated to the Permanent Staff and served with Charlie Brooker, Mick Purcell, Len Coles, Roy McAuliffe, Ken Chilvers and Pete Dickens in the Central Lobby area Cross Doors and Admission Order Office. Of these men only Roy and Pete survive today.
Mike was one of the nicest men you could wish to meet. A gentle giant and a very good fast bowler for the Palm Court Police Cricket team. This is the Police Mess Room at the Palace of Westminster and could not be more removed from a hotel Palm Court. Only fractionally an improvement on the Leicester Lounge.
He had a wonderful sense of humour.
We are the better for having had the privilege of knowing him and are the poorer for his demise.
The funeral will take place at 11am on Friday 24th January 2003 at Falconwood.
A wreath from the Palace of Westminster Retired Officers will be taken to the funeral.
Any donations should be made to the Mc Millan Nurses and can be sent via Mrs Evelyn Chapman.
Police Constable ROBERT (MICK) PURCELL
At our time of life 70 years plus, we are always, so it seems, either attending funerals, or reminiscing about colleagues, who have passed on. Bob or Mick Purcell as he was mostly known, died on 8th February 2002 having served on A Division as PC 514 A after returning from several years service in the Palestine Police Force, with Bill Anderson PC 498 A & Sean Casey PC 504A. All three joined the Met, I am told, on 12th July 1948 at the expiry of the British Mandate. Bob joined the Palestine Police I hear, as an alternative to National Service. Whereas Bill joined them, from his war time Royal Navy Service, as an AB Range Taking Rating, whilst serving mostly on H.M.S. Cavalier. Now a museum ship at Portsmouth. Sean having joined directly from Kerry in Eire They all three were sent to Cannon Row. Unfortunately, only Bill is alive today, but suffers from emphaceamia. All three were stalwart officers at the Palace of Westminster. Mick was on the Central Lobby Barrier, dealing along with Charlie Brooker (also deceased) with all the lobbyists. Quite a tricky job, as invariably, such people had problems to get off their chests.
Mick was a fun loving bloke and a great many amusing times we all had in his company. One stands out in my memory, which involved my drinking a large tot of Poteen at his home. I should have realised when Vera his wife warned Mick that if he got that out, she was off to bed. Needless to say, I was not much good the next day, whilst on line of route at the House of Lords (This is when the public were allowed to tour through the Palace accompanied by guides). I managed to do my stints of duty, but when ever I was relieved, I went to sleep in the Palm Court Mess (Nothing else could be such a misnomer). A horse was going that day called Poteen. All the lads were on it, except me. Imagine my chagrin, when informed, now fully recovered that it had won at 100 to 8.
There were many other great times shared. I know all his colleagues at A Division will join with me, in saying how much we will miss his cheerful face and great comradeship. God Bless you Bob. Our sympathies are with Vera and his daughters and their families.
Terry Brooks Ex 154 'A'
Police Sergeant Denis SPEARMAN /128895
I see from the latest L.P.P. that underneath the line about Bob Purcell (see this sites earlier obituaries) that Denis Spearman has passed to the better fishing ground above.
Dear old Denis,(see picture on LEFT) was one of the nicest blokes you could meet. He was at Chelsea with Micky Green & Brian Howes. On promotion, in approx 1965, he came to A.D. Shortly afterwards, he became Billy Gilbert's District Clerk Sergeant, in place of Don Hawkins, who had retired to be the Clerk to the Superintendent at P.O.W. He remained there until he joined the Parliamentary Crossings Staff, as the Boss in 1970. His dear old Pal Alf Boulter, was at this time, one of the Sergeants with Bill Cross at P.O.W. Alf was also a great bloke, (who has also passed on a long time ago). Both were married to beautiful Algerian Ladies. When Bill Cross retired, to become Master at Arms on the Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Liner. Denis moved into his place at P.O.W. P.S. Johnny Greenaway took his place.
Denis was a great sea fisherman and was captain of our team, which annually fished a match at sea, against A.D. Sergeant Bob Wilson was
their guv'nor. The first year, Bob hired Percy Tapp's brand new Newhaven Sea Angler. We were lumbered, with Percy's mates, leaky old boat, whose skipper was frightened to take us out, much further than the Rye Harbour Sand Bar. Where we caught a load of dabs; whilst he pumped most of the day. A.D. and Bob, had been out about six miles wreak fishing and made it unnecessary for us to weigh in, as they had thrashed us, with a good catch of wreak cod. The following year, we chose the venue and got out at Deal with Budd and his nice open boat. Bob had Angel and his slightly bigger boat. This time our team consisted of Denis, John Greenaway, Bob Frith 562A, Tony Creasey 220A, KenChilvers 282A and myself Terry Brooks 154A. I caught 85lb of Cod in 4 fish. All the others had caught reasonable bags too. When Bob and his crew came in sight, Denis said 'Terry hold up your four Cod'. Bob Wilson admitted defeat and he too, did not bother to weigh in. Unfortunately, of the P.O.W. Team, only Bob Frith (who is at P.P.H.A. Yapton along with Albert Lewis 390A) and I are still alive. They were all great blokes as indeed were our opponents at AD.
Denis retired on 1st August 1976. He has not been well enough to attend the P.O.W. Reunions. He is none the less, missed by all those who had the great pleasure of knowing him. BROOKO 154A / 138932
Police Constable MIKE ACKHURST
I have heard from Mrs Paddy Brooker wife of Charlie (deceased) that Mike Ackhurst died of cancer of the throat, very suddenly, just around the first week in November 2001. Mike will be remembered with affection, by all of those who really knew him. He at one time ran The Griffin Inn, Fletching, Sussex. What a good meal several of have had there! Mike wanted to treat us, but we would not allow it, as business is business. I saw him along with Mike Chapman & Roy McAuliffe at Charlie Brookers funeral earlier this year, and he looked fine. He was still in touch with Ray Kindley of A.R., with whom he played guitar and sang, for Bill Cross's 'Blue Beats'. Mike was up to a few weeks ago, still singing to his guitar for old folks and charity do's. He was in the local Amateur Dramatic Society productions as an accomplished actor. In fact, how I came to learn the awful news, was because I asked dear Paddy, to contact him via her friends opposite in Nutley, who were in the same theatrical society, re our web site Alphadelta etc., It was they that told her.
God rest you Mike you were a good bloke and great company.
Terry Brooks PC 154A. 138932
Police Constable 302'A' MANUS 'JOCK' BOYLE
Manus Boyle, Jock as he was known to some, was a great wit, and a very good footballer, unfortunately he played for F Division and Chiswick, where he served his playing days, and not for A division where he ended up. We had many a tussle on the pitch in those 1950s to mid 60s. Having fouled one another on several occasions. This was quite normal in the robust Police Football of those days. In fact Manus had a brother who played for Celtic and I believe also for Scotland.
When Jock arrived at the Palace of Westminster, I recognised him and he me. We struck up a firm friendship. He wrote a very amusing article in "The Palm Courtier", about me being the Peter Rachmann of Spain and how I filled the flat with numerous guests, for a consideration. He reckoned that the place would have looked like the old doss houses, where you had the Tanner on the Line. (This alludes to the practise of a strong line being erected and inmates would hang therefrom, by passing it between their arms and their backs). So I wrote an article about him and I meeting up in that Great Dog Race in the Sky, and him complaining that he was fed up with St. Peter acting as the hare driver, and causing him to win all the time. How he longed to get back down to that hell hole, White City, where he lost so often, due to the unpredictable actions of the hare driver down there.
Manus was also a superb pen and ink artist. He gave me a super drawing on a post card, of the Palace of Westminster from Lambeth Bridge.
When Jock retired he moved to Brighton and worked as shift caretaker in the Royal Masonic Benevolent Fund Nursing Home at Hove, a job he got through Tony Creasy (now deceased) and Roy Stead (living in Mallorca), both of the Norbury Lodge. Manus was never a Mason, but he was loved by all the patients and staff, except for a jealous opposite shift caretaker, who was the cause of Jock resigning with reluctance, after about two years service. We heard that the residents were most upset at this, and bought him a very nice leaving gift.
We unfortunately lost touch after that. Hence it is with great regret, that I learned of his passing, finally to that Great Dog Race in the Sky. Let us hope he will enjoy everything up there, including St Peters Hare Driving.
I know that I speak for all Manus's old chums in the Job when I say how sorry we are to hear of his passing and that we did not pay our last respects to our dear friend.
God rest you in Peace Manus Jock Boyle warrant number 131139 F Division and POW A. Division
Terry Brooks PC 154A w/n 138932.
Police Constable 282 'A' Chilvers.
A number of Ex Palace of Westminster Officers, will have been sad to learn via the L.P.P. Obituary page of the death of Ken Chilvers. A real character, who unfortunately, did not stay in contact with his former colleagues. So none of us would have been at his funeral. This is much to our regret, as he was held in our minds with many pleasant memories of his sparkling company.
I first met Ken, when he and 390A Albert Lewis arrived at AD in about September 1953. Lew and I got the Athletic team together, of which Ken was a star member. On one occasion at Battersea Park, Lew timed him at 1 min 55 secs for the half mile. In fact on the same day, we discovered another of similar ilk; Norman Appleton (regretably also deceased) did 50.2 secs for a quarter mile in plimsolls, would you believe? Unfortunately for us, they were both unable to compete in the M.P.A.A. sports at Imber Court in the 1954 year, when we came 3rd in the Divisional Victor Ludorum, thanks to Roy Stead 140 A who could throw the discus in excess of his divisional number and Dave Maidment a sprinter and Long Jumper etc.
More of Ken; he was an accomplished sea angler, catching on Start Bay, a 22 lb Turbot close to the English Rod Caught Record. This was on the boat Our Unity out of Brixham. Not content with just that, he along with others caught several +70 lb. Conger Eels. His heaviest was I believe 79 lb., only 4 lb. under the then Record. Of course this was from the same boat, and in the same week.
He also played some Cricket for the Palm Court House of Parliament team and was a good performer at tennis.
Joan his first wife, and mother of his three boys informed me that he Died on the 19th May 2001 of a heart attack.
Ken was great company, he has been missed by a lot of blokes especially Albert Lewis, Bob Frith, Mike Chapman, Jim Fitzgerald, Mick Purcel (who unfortunately has Altzheimers) and myself Terry Brooks.
Terry Brooks 138932 Ex 154 A
OBITUARY FOR STANLEY GEORGE HURRELL MBE WESTMINSTER NEWSAGENT
Although Stan was not a Police Officer he was liked and loved by all who knew him, Police Officers and MP's alike. Stan sold and delivered newspapers on AD's ground for more than FIFTY years. Click on the image to the left for enlarged version.
Information presented by Ex PC 681 'A'/147924 John Spinks.