Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 36

Location of interview:London

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 7 December 1937

Date left Met Police:28 February 1968

Rank of leaving:Sergeant

Divisons served:F (Hammersmith) T (Bedfont)

Specialist service:No specialities

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Track 2: 10'04"  Childhood. Father disabled in 1st World War. Elementary school and secondary school. Enjoyed sports and made lifelong friends. Lived near railway line and watched trains as young boy. Scout group. Attended church . Father was church organist. Mother had poor health. Saw airships,including R 101 and Croydon aerodrome. Worked as office boy with timber merchant. 7Am – 6pm for 9s 7d per week.

Track 3: 11'24"  Promoted as accountant in timber company, but did not enjoy lack of contact with other people. Went into Croydon police station, enquired about joining and was sent brochure and application form in October 1937. Cursory medical examination and interview, after which he was offered 10-year commission. On outbreak of War offered permanent appointment which he accepted. Reported to Derby Gate, with headgear, and taken by tender to Peel House, Regency Street. Accommodated at Peel House. Instruction Book. Primary Objectives of an Efficient Police. Haircuts. Fellow recruits described. Physical fitness. Crystal Palace fire seen from Shirley Hills in 1936. Weekly examinations during Peel House training. If successful, attended stores at Lambeth for uniform fitting. Purchased own boots.

Track 4: 16'45"  Routine of Peel House training. Start of day with training run around London streets. Superintendent Smith in charge. Breakfast, parade and start of classes 9am. Studying in evening. Paid £2 per week. Sworn in as Constable by Assistant Commissioner. Sent to F Division. Police redevelopment of accommodation halted for financial situation, and therefore lived in private accommodation. Paraded on Tuesday, learning beats. Description of tunic without pockets, except for in tail of tunic. 15 beats at Hammersmith. Paraded on own first morning on his own, reporting to Reserve officer and Station Officer. Called to street by Fulham Palace Road to man who had apparently cut his throat. Ambulance called by milkman, and successfully treated by hospital. Helped by Sergeant to compile report for OB. Later attended hearing by Lunatic Justices and warned for attempted suicide. Became coxswain in Rowing Section of MPAA and rowed at Henley Regatta, entertained by Sir Henry Noble.

Track 5: 2'48"  On night duty went with colleague to see young lady Mary who later became his wife, married for 62 years.

Track 6: 13'06"  Point duty near Hammersmith Broadway. Air raid siren signal that World War II had been declared. Rode on back of motorcycle to retrieve tin helmet and gas mask. Ground split into three and beats sub-divided to accommodate War Reserves who firstly had armlet and truncheon with plain clothes. 45 minutes refreshment period extended from 30 minutes. War Reserves were normally too old or not fit enough for armed forces. Incendiary bombs dropped, including furniture depositories. Street lights extinguished. Air Raid wardens run by Borough Council. On 7 October 1940 his flat was bombed. His wife had been evacuated to Preston. Moved to Belgrave Court, Turnham Green where he remained until 1941. Joined Royal Navy March 1942. Police Officers under 35 years could then join Armed Services. Went by train to Ipswich and HMS Ganges, RN training centre.

Track 7: 0'55"  Met at Ipswich station by Royal Navy training staff.

Track 8: 8'11"  Left HMS Ganges as potential for being commissioned as officers. HMS Verdun. Many of his classmates went to HMS Curacoa and were lost after collision with RMS Queen Mary. Former police officers were invited to apply for regulating petty officer. Protecting ships from torpedoes and E-boats. Transferred to HMS Argus aircraft carrier. In July 1946 he returned to Hammersmith Division stores, collected his uniform and rejoined for late turn duty on Saturday.

Track 9: 31'09"  Resumed police duty after World War II. Living in Chiswick. Duty at Hammersmith, employed as Reserve Officer. Applied for CID, and duty in plain clothes. CID diary. Posted to Kensington. Men stealing lead from roofs of bombed houses. Not selected for CID duty. Month duty as RT Operator on Q car in Humber Super Snipe in 1949 - 1950. Olympic games in Wembley 1948. Coachloads of athletes being taken from Richmond to Wembley. Yellow No Parking lines introduced. Had passed Sergeants examination chaired by Chief Superintendent Fred Archer. Involved in teaching Boy Scouts about police duty. Promoted to sergeant 1952 and transferred to T Division. Posted to Bedfont. Ashford Remand Home. Powder Mills at Hounslow Heath. Cycled to Bedfont from home. Vacancy for Sergeant and transferred to Hounslow in 1962 to 1965 when transferred to Twickenham. Transition of weeks of early, late and night duty rather than a month of each duty. Preferred Late Turn for domestic reasons. Bought house at Isleworth. Mother-in-law lived with them. Transferred to Twickenham to take over arrangements for Twickenham rugby matches, and compiling Operation Orders. Bars open at the stadium until 9pm after the match. Fires started by fans. Briefing of officers from other Divisions. Enquiry section opened to combine traffic investigation enquiries and rugby match planning, giving him 9am – 5pm duties for remainder of his service. Perception of workload of Inspectors and above. Lord Trenchard had introduced recruitment for Junior Station Inspector which blocked promotion for the other Inspectors. One or two female officers at Twickenham. Different duties re women and children. Essential in some degree. Did not come across any BME officers. Had no contact with drugs. On duty for funerals of King George VI in 1952 and Winston Churchill in 1965. Impressive arrangements for funeral. Reaction to Churchill's speeches on radio during World War II.

Track 10: 7'36"  In 1947 week's duty protecting wedding presents for marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  Approaching end of service and applied for job with Ealing Borough Council in Cemeteries Department. Employed when ICI were opening Sion House and left.  Worked with wine merchants as credit controller. Moved to a bungalow at Bognor Regis, then moved in with family at Swindon, later to Beckenham.

Track 11: 6'17" Employed for a year at Bognor Regis River Authority in Chichester. Then Education Welfare Officer post.

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