Location of interview:via Skype, Australia
Date joined Met Police:26 July 1948
Date left Met Police: 4 December 1973
Rank of leaving:Superintendent
Specialist service:No specialities
Transcript of interview
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Track 2: 1’52’: Life before joining the MET; private schooling, middle class family. Left school age 17 and worked as a clerk while he was waiting for National Service. RAF National Service age 18. Palestine police under the British Mandate. 27th February 1947 posted to Palestine. Finished in May 1948 and returned to the UK. Recalls going to many schools during the war due to moving home regularly. Describes his schools. Ealing College.
Track 3: 6’20’: Explains why he decided to join the MET; experience in Palestine and lived in London. Application process. Interview and acceptance process. Recalls that his colleagues were all ex-Palestine police. Training at Hendon. Instructions in Law and reporting procedure. Working on the home beat. Limited equipment. Posted to 1 beat per month. First station at L-division. Recalls clashing with another constable over beat territory. Calling for assistant. Incident outside Brixton Road in 1952. Called to a man with an axe smashing windows. Describes his role apprehending the man with his truncheon.
Track 4: 14’59’: Memories during his time at the MET. Recalls his income, the Palestine police grant and the Hendon training school salary. Receiving an additional pension through the Palestine police. Reflects on the character, crimes and police role during his early career in the MET. First arrest apprehending a burglar. Arrest and prosecution, discovering he was an escaped prisoner from prison. While he was a Sergeant at Wandsworth common he recalls an incident of a lady who was stabled and claimed it was by Berty Dimes. Explains that at the time Dimes was wanted for assaulting another criminal called Jack Spot. He took the lady to hospital and discovered it was a self-inflicted hoax.
Responsibilities as a Sergeant; managing a relief. Enjoyed his time as a Sergeant, but pursued promotion. Explains that to get promotion you did not just need to pass the exam. Limited places available for promotion. Made promotion in 1955 to being sergeant and station sergeant in 1957. Station duty role. Explains the role of a station officer; front desk, responsible for responding to any callers who came into the police station. Example when Station Sergeant at West End Central and they were informed that an elderly man had died at a prostitute’s flat. Describes having to deal with the scene and looking after the wife.
Deaths by dangerous driving and responsibility writing up reports. Describes the process of reporting the incidents of death by dangerous driving. Importance of continuity. Issue of Prostitution in the West End Central and the Masino brothers, who ran 2 prostitutes. Describes the issue of arresting the Messina brothers who prevented arrest by producing a bail slip within 14 days. Corrupt Inspector. Describes being implicated in the court case. Complaint from the commissioner who directed him not to arrest the prostitutes. Recalls the enormous number of prostitutes in the area. Change in court procedure to prevent prostitutes escaping punishment. Describes a loop-hole to enable the officers to arrest the prostitutes.
Residential course to become an Inspector.
Track 5: 7’48’: Process of becoming an Inspector. Nomination for a board selection process. Residential course for 6 months to qualify as an inspector. Describes the 6 month course. Included officers from overseas police forces and provisional police. Law and policing procedure. Considered studying law. Reflects on his career if he had pursued a law career.
Inspector and posted to Wallington Z-division. Reflects on the police station. Swapped with an officer at Tower Bridge in 1960. Describes the transfer request and clashing with an officer Perry who objected to his transfer. Describes his court work and involvement of police officers in the police procedure. Describes his role in changing the procedure whereby one officer was appointed to the role. Chief Superintendent Perry’s objection to his suggestion. Nevertheless, his suggestion was approved and he received a commendation.
Track 6: 11’40’: Recommendation for promotion. Describes the promotion board. Board for Chief Inspector. Problems with an officer called Perry who stalled his promotion. Royalty protection. Southwark police station for 6 months and it was requested that he transfer to Royalty protection. Process of becoming a protection officer; fire arms experience.
Incident of a baby being discovered in a rubbish bin.
Working at Balmoral Castle and working as the personal police officer to Prince Philip. 5 weeks on the Royal yacht in the West Indies. Perry requested he moved to Kensington Palace to work for Princess Margaret.
Making a complaint about Perry who was blocking his promotion. He directly sent his report to Scotland Yard and requested to see the Commissioner about promotion. Describes explaining to Jim Starrit about his promotion problems. Perries retirement allowed for his subsequent promotion.
Working with Princess Margaret.
Track 7: 7’35’: Press reports. 1973 working with Princess Margaret in Italy. Describes issues with misquotes in press reports. Investiture of the Prince of Wales. Stayed with Lord Snowden and worked with Princess Margaret during the event. Recalls taking a helicopter to the Lord Lieutenant’s house where the whole of the British Royal family were lined up for lunch. Royal family transported in a non-descript cars. Investiture event. Returned to stay at Lord Snowden’s house for a ball. Driving late along the Welsh lanes and responding to threats from Welsh nationalists. Police escorts. Accident along the road involving police officers. Describes caring for the Princess during the ball. Returning to London. Pressure of the Royal protection job.
Track 8: 0’17’: Helicopter involving the private secretary.
Track 9: 6’09’: Royal protection duties. 180,000 miles flown with the Princess and Prince Philip. Firearms and dealing with guns during the travel requirements. Reflects on the pressures of working on your own as the royal’s protection officer. Incident of a flight from Manchester with the Princess and a bomb threat was on board. Considers how their reaction would have been different today. Incident of a man at Charing Cross road theatre who took an abandoned bag, which later exploded. Attending the Hippodrome theatre with the Princess and assessing bomb threats. Incident at the Festival Theatre and dealing with a bomb threat. Hoax.
Track 10: 5’55’: Retirement. Decisions for retirement; pension. 1972 promoted to Superintendent. Decided to retire after 25 years and emigrate to Australia. Worked in Australia with Princess Margaret. Describes their emigration. Private audience with the Queen in Buckingham Palace before he emigrated. Western Australia. Work after retirement: Under-secretary to the Premier offered him a job to plan the security surrounding the visit of royalty. Prosecutions officer in traffic department. Clerk of the Children’s court. Retired at 56. Describes his pensions. Problems of pension policy for ex-pats.