Major John J Greig C.B., J.P., Chief Constable of Liverpool

 
 

he late Major Greig, who died so long since as December 2nd, 1882, aged 75 years, was during his long official career regarded with the highest esteem by his fellow citizens, and no

less by the members of the Force, of which he had been so long in command. The present Chief Constable, Capt. Nott Bower, and some 700 members of the Force and Fire Brigade, of all ranks, attended the funeral, at which all classes of the inhabitants were very largely represented, the funeral being in fact one of the most impressive civic pageants that has been witnessed in Liverpool. The character of the man is well indicated by the address to the Constabulary, which we publish in another column, and the details of his career are set forth in the following sketch which was published in the Liverpool Mercury of December 4th, 1882:


 
 

Major Greig belonged to an old Scottish family, which settled many years ago in Edinburgh, and which was held in high repute in that city. His father occupied a Government appointment in Midlothian, and the Major was born in Edinburgh, in 1807. While still a young man he entered the army, soon reached the rank o£ Lieutenant, and in that capacity served with his regiment (the 21st Foot) in Canada and the West Indies. He obtained a Captain's commission, and on his retirement from the army was appointed Staff-Officer of Pensioners for Liverpool and district.


 
 

When Mr. Dowlin retired from the position of Head Constable, Major (then Captain) Greig was appointed to that important position, on the 27th March, 1852, at a salary of £650 per annum, which was raised from time to time until it became £1,000. During the period the Major was at the head of the city Police, the Force attained a high state of efficiency, and he was ably seconded in his command of that body by such experienced Officers as Messrs. Quick, Ride, Brennan, L. Kehoe, Sibbald, Kissack, and Hancox. While he was Head Constable the Fenian troubles began. Liverpool for a time was the hotbed of the conspiracy, several of the head centres being resident here.


 
 

The Major, along with Mr. Kehoe and Mr. McHale, of the Irish Constabulary, did good service in bringing some of these to justice, and it was mainly to his promptitude that the Fenian attacks upon Chester Castle and the Holyhead Railway were frustrated. In recognition of his services in connection with this affair he was appointed C.B. on the 14th October, 1867. On the 15th December of the same year, a 'monster procession' was organised by some of the Irish residents here to express their sympathy with the 'Manchester martyrs' - Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien - who were executed at Manchester for the murder of Sergeant Brett. The Orangemen threatened a counter-demonstration, and a serious disturbance was apprehended. But Major Greig, acting under Magisterial sanction, promptly interfered, and with a strong body of Police, prohibited the procession from taking place. Some time after, a large and influential meeting was held in the Town Hall, when a handsome service of plate, subscribed for by all classes of his fellow-townsmen, was presented to the Major. In consequence of failing health, he sent in his resignation as Head Constable to the Watch Committee, in October, 1881. His resignation of the position he had held so long, with efficiency and fidelity, caused a general feeling of regret throughout the city. The members of the Force felt they had lost a fair-minded and considerate Chief, and the public an upright and energetic servant. After his resignation, the Major chiefly resided in the Isle of Man, and in the winter months in the South of England. Shortly after his retirement he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the city; and during the short time he occupied that position he performed his duties with an amount of judicial ability which was largely owing to the practical experience he acquired while head of the Police.


 

(Police Review and Parade Gossip, 18 October, 1895)

An address by Major Greig

To young men joining the Liverpool Police force

 

he substance of the following Address appears to have been delivered at various dates, commencing in the year 1852. It was revised from time to time, printed in 1873, and finally revised and published by the late Chief Constable in 1879, the portrait we now reproduce above having formed the frontispiece to the Address:


 
 

As I am about to speak to you at great length, I wish you to stand in as easy a position as possible, changing your position as often as you choose; and in return for the pains I take (not trouble, for I dislike that word), I want you to lend me your eyes and your ears, and give me your best attention. When any person is speaking to you, or when you are speaking to another, always fix your eye upon the person's face. It is often said, "He was just such a man as could not look you in the face." In addressing you I will use very simple words, earnestly telling you what you may expect from me, and what I expect from you.


 
 

PAY AND PROMOTION.
Not one of you has entered the Force by any letter from rich Merchant, Magistrate, or Town Councillor, or from any friend of my own. You have been selected from my own opinions as to your health, strength, intelligence, and respectability; and, now that you are in the Force, the best friend you can have is yourself - by your own good conduct, and the way you perform your duty. Your pay on joining will be 26s. 8d., in twelve months 27s. 10d, and in two years 28s. 10d. You will each rise in pay according to that service. Of two men, however, now before me, one may rise rapidly to a superior rank, because of superior ability and superior conduct, while another must serve the usual time. To merit promotion, it is necessary to be attentive, intelligent, and sober. If you are the respectable men described by your testimonials - which I am bound to believe - I am glad you have entered this Force; but if you are given to misbehaviour I shall wish I had never seen your faces.


 
 

UNIFORM.
The Watch Committee allow you very excellent uniform, and a Constable who does not take the trouble to keep it and himself clean is a discredit to the Force. It is very simple and becoming; it is easily kept bright and clean, with its belt-plate, buttons, and helmet. Compare it with the dress of a cavalry soldier, all over with pipe-clay and polished brass from plume to spur; and before he can touch his uniform he may have a horse with a wet belly to clean - perhaps two horses - and every lad from the country knows what time that should take. When the new clothing is issued, I see every man in the Force fitted, and a very long business it is; so I think that if I see 1,200 men properly clothed, each man should afterwards take care of his own coat upon his own back.


 
 

HURT ON DUTY, SICKNESS, SUPERANNUATION.
If you are hurt when upon duty you will receive full pay; besides which, I always make some amends to any man who has been ill-used.


 
 

If you are sick, you fall back upon a Club, which is managed entirely by yourselves. You are put under a stoppage of 1s. each week. Fourpence of this goes to your Club, for which, when you are sick of a common cough or cold, or such like, you draw 12s. weekly from that Club, and to this is added one-third of whatever pay you may be receiving. You have also medical attendance and medicine. Besides this, in the event of death (for you and I must die), your nearest relative in paid £12, £15, or £20, according to service. Eightpence of the stoppage goes to the Superannuation Fund, which pensions you off like the sailor or soldier, from the navy or army, only at higher rate. The Superannuation Committee have invariably taken by the hand the widow and orphan of a Constable, in frequent instances for many years, not by a pension, but by what is called a "compassionate allowance."


 
 

REWARDS AND STREET ACCIDENTS.
I am very glad when my men are rewarded - It pleases three persons - the person who gives; you, who get the hard money, and myself: because it shows you have rendered someone a service. If you think you are to receive something for merely seeing a door or window open, perhaps in broad daylight, you must be very expectant; but if you do anything worth noticing, the English are a very generous people, and quick to reward. It may be you happen to see a light in a house at an unusually late hour, your suspicions are aroused, and, thinking there may be burglars in such house, you place one Constable in the rear while you knock at the front door to enquire. Then, again, anyone meeting with a severe accident, enquiry is to be made by you as to whether the person would wish to go to a hospital, or prefer their own home. In cases of accident, handle the person very gently; and if a cab is engaged, tell the driver to move slowly over rough ground. People in pain are greatly alive to sympathy, and are very grateful for any thought and feeling shown to them. The Head Constable, serving under a Committee, has the power to reward Constables, which he does every week, not only for being hurt on duty, but for having done anything clever or meritorious, for discovery of fire, for alarm to Fire Station, for exertion at a fire.


 
 

Rewards received by Constables, either from the general public or from the Watch Committee, are of more value than the mere money; because they are entered into the Conduct Book, and weigh much in promotion. In this book is also recorded any punishment. I will not blot that book for a trifling fault.


 
 

A MONTH'S NOTICE BEFORE LEAVING.
You must give me one month's notice before you leave this Force. It has happened a hundred times over that a Constable who has been some time with me, and has conducted himself well, asks to resign at once, having been offered a situation with perhaps more pay, less night-work, etc. and I have allowed him to go forthwith. Another Constable may likewise ask me to forego the month, giving some reason or other; he is refused, because of his conduct not having been satisfactory. In fact, I just do as you would do. You would give one man a day's ploughing and you wouldn't stir a foot for another.


 
 

LEAVE or ABSENCE.
You are allowed seven days' leave every year, with pay; and you have in addition special leave about every three weeks, which means, when you go off duty at five o'clock one morning, you are not for duty again until a-quarter to nine o'clock on the night of the next day, being forty hours off. You get three days leave, with pay, on the death of a near relative, and one day if you get married. You also get an allowance in time for attendance at Court when off duty.


 
 

SECTION HOUSE.
Those of you who live in the Section House have many comforts and conveniences:- messroom, smoking room, reading-room, etc., books and papers, hot meat for dinner every day; and on the very lowest rate of pay you can each save somewhere about 12s, a week. Now, this is no small sum to save, for if you think of emigrating, surely you should land with money in your pocket to begin your new life. It is well to save 12s. a week, for if you marry (and I hope you all will, if she is a good washer and can mend and darn), it is a nice thing to have plenty to begin house with. It is a good thing to save 12s. a week, for you will be able to send to the "old folks at home" a guinea at Christmas, and I wouldn't wait till Christmas: do it every now and then - they were kind to you "all the year round."


 

 
 

PROBATIONARY CLASS- COURT DUTY.
You are not sent naked into the streets:- for the first three or four weeks you are of no use to me; but that is not your fault. You cannot perform your duty until instructed. You are formed into a Probationary Class and taken to the Police Court, where you will see the Constables in the position that you will be in by and bye. Observe how differently one Constable gives his evidence from another. One speaks low and thick, tells a long story, which is so rambling that when he has finished you hardly know what he has been talking about. Another stands erect, fills his chest, speaks distinctly, with voice sharp and clear, telling his case in very few words, and when be his done you know all he heard, all he saw, and all that happened. When you come out of Court, ask yourself the one question, "Have I learned anything?" Great pains are taken to instruct you whilst in the Probationary Class, and you will be sent out from six to nine in the evening, along with an intelligent Constable, to whom you must put all manner of questions, turning your thoughts into the groove of your new duties. Ask what kind of people live in this or that neighbourhood; what big building that is; where are the railway stations, etc.. etc., and especially where the nearest fire station is. In order to make you acquainted with the whole town, you will be in one neighbourhood to-day, in another tomorrow. Last of all, ask yourself the question, Do I know the name of the very street in which I have been walking for the last three hours, or the name of that church "whose lofty spire points to heaven?" If you thus make your duties the subject of your conversation and thoughts, you will get to be intelligent, and intelligence with good conduct leads to promotion.


 
 

PROBATIONARY CLASS — DRILL.
Whilst in this class an opportunity will be taken of teaching you drill. Everybody learns drill now-a-days - the young lady at school; the volunteer (after a hard day's work), both officers and men, the officers having heavy expenses besides; the soldier has little else to do; he finds himself at Aldershot to-day, tomorrow he may be on the deck of a ship for India, or elsewhere. If he is a prudent soldier he can save about 4d. per day. You are better paid, and can save, as 1 have said before, 12s. a week if you live in the Section House. You have no foreign service. It is necessary you should learn some of the simple movements of drill. Were we called upon to suppress a riot, you would require to know how to advance, and how to keep together. Drill opens out the chest, the great seat of life; drill will make you a healthier and, what may be of consequence to some of you, a handsomer man.


 
 

INSTRUCTION BOOK.
Each of you is furnished with a Book, of Instructions, which has an Index, coinmencing at page 285 and ending at page 360. It is brim full of Police information of every kind, from murder to pitch-and-toss. The Index is like a finger-post, pointing out to you the page where you will find the information you seek. Among all the variety of subjects there, the only one I will talk to you about is the very simple one of flying a kite in the street. It is a very dangerous practice; and if the string breaks and the kite flaps in the face of a horse, it will frighten it: the horse may injure himself, kill his rider, and, seeing how crowded the crossings of our public thoroughfares are, cause great danger to many. The kite is almost always in the hand of a very little boy or girl, bought probably with a penny given by a next-door neighbour. To bring such a little creature before the Magistrates would never do, although it is an offence against the bye-laws. To put a stop to flying kites, one Constable, of rough deposition, snatches the kite, snaps it in two, at which every person passing by will say something like, ''What a horrid fellow that is; the Police are not at all a good sort of men." Probably this is the very Constable who gave the bad evidence in Court. Another Constable, seeing the same thing, will call out in a pleasant voice, "My little lad (or lass), go to the fields and fly your kite there, it, may cost a man his life flying it in the street; "thus showing the public that, whilst a Constable has to do his duty, he has some regard for what people will think of him. The opinion of the public is often formed by the single act of a single individual, whether rough or smooth. I shall again introduce this little matter of kite-flying in the course of speaking to you.


 
 

FIRE.
In the Index to the Book of Instructions you will find that there are nearly four pages entirely occupied in telling you where to find information upon all points connected with fire: how to pass the alarm, and every other particular. There are 19 fire stations in this town, and fire escapes are at six different points, nearly all connected by telegraph. At each of these stations there is a Fireman Turncock, night and day. You must make yourself acquainted with where these stations are, as well as the situation of all the public buildings. The subject of fire is one of great importance. I do not call your attention to magnificent buildings, such as St. George's Hall, etc., for these must strike you in the eye, but I do call your attention to those large, dull-looking blocks of warehouses all along the line of docks and elsewhere. The, shipping of Liverpool is greater than that of London, the great Babylon itself, and produce from all countries is brought to this port - petroleum oil from America: tallow from Russia; palm oil from Africa; sugar and molasses from the West Indies; cotton from India and Egypt, etc., etc. There are 180 Firemen, who, when there is no fire, do the duty of ordinary Constables; but in case of fire act as Firemen They receive 2s. per week additional pay, and are selected from the Force generally for their activity and good conduct. What is fire: Fire is to be discovered by the eye, seeing smoke issuing; by the ear, hearing at night the crackling sound; and, best of all, by the nose. Many Firemen can tell the nature of the substance burning by the smell. Fire, when first discovered, is under your hand: in five minutes, where are you? Fire is loss of property, whether it be insured or uninsured. It may be loss of life. At all events, my fine fellows, the Fire Brigade have to stick to it whether it is wet or dry, January or June.


 
 

ATTENTION AND ACTIVITY.
There are two ways of doing duty; - One Constable - he who gave bad evidence in Court, and who broke the kite - as soon as he gets on to his beat begins to read newspaper placards, look into shop windows, careless and regardless of what is going on around him, or of what the public may think; and when he does move, just lazily dawdles about, without any life or observation. Another Constable - one who did not break the kite, and who gave good evidence in Court - goes upstairs to his brain, and thinks and knows that being in uniform makes him seen by everyone. If posted in a broad thoroughfare, he draws himself well up, walks as if on a half march, and looks sharply to the cross streets, putting his eyes, as it were, on a swivel. He is careful to remove from the roadway broken glass or large stones, orange peel from the footway, etc.; but, though active, he is careful not to be meddlesome or over-zealous, nor to interfere needlessly with persons under the influence of liquor.


 
 

PUBLIC-HOUSES, BEER HOUSES ETC.
There are 1,899 public-houses in this town. Their value is from £2,000 to £150 each. They are re-licensed once a year by the Justices; and if they have been guilty of any violation of the law, or infraction of their licence, the Magistrates may refuse to again grant the licence. The offences leading to this are:- Keeping open during prohibited hours; receiving stolen property; permitting drunkenness; harbouring Police Constables; or supplying persons under 16 years with spirits. Whenever a licence is in jeopardy, it is always upon the evidence of the Police. If you accept liquor from a publican, you, as it were, take his enlisting shilling, and cannot possibly, therefore, do your duty, as you could not inform against one whose beer or spirits you have taken. By the acceptance of any such thing you will have ticketed and labelled yourself, for what a very small amount you have been bought and sold. You are quite unfitted to give evidence in Court in any such cases. If you are fond of a glass of beer, why not have it at your own fireside, after your own dinner, and paid for by your own money? It is of no use offering me any excuse for having taken liquor while on duty. "That you met with some old friend or other," "that you were taken ill," or that you "were nearly teetotal, and it had an effect upon you." If you are taken ill, go to a druggist's shop, but not to a public-house. I don't admit any of these excuses, but have simply to deal with the question as to your having had liquor, and by that you stand or fall. Besides these public-houses, there are 313 beerhouses. As these pay only three guineas for their licenses they have less to lose. Upwards of 220 places at which beer and spirits could be lawfully sold (including many restaurants) shut up entirely on Sundays, thereby making some distinction between Saturday and Sunday, and showing respect to God's holy day. With regard to public-houses, if you merely hear coarse language you are not to enter, for a Policeman has no more power there than anyone else, except he goes in to apprehend, to arrest, or on some other duty. In the event of being called in, because of an assault, or robbery, or for some other Police purpose, you will, if possible, take another Constable with you, for if there is a row one Constable would be nowhere; take another with you for that reason, and also to bear you out in your evidence that you were called in, and did not go in of yourself. Whoever calls you in is bound to appear in Court next day in support of the case.


 
 

All bad words, such as ****** are out of my Force. Such is not the language of respectable men; moreover, it is well to tell you, that when anyone readily says: - "I will take my oath," or "I wish I may never stir," I that instant think to myself" What an awful lie that man is telling." The language of truth is simple - "It was," "it wasn't;" "I did," " I didn't."


 
 

GOOD TEMPER.
Good temper is as essential as sobriety. If there is an angry man amongst you he is of no use to me. He will only get himself into trouble, and the Force into disgrace. No one enters this Force without my telling him that a mild word goes further than a big stick. I would rather have a young fellow as thin as a lath, with a silver tongue and pleasant way, than the most muscular, if coarse in voice and action.


 
 

USE OF THE BATON.
I give no lessons as to the use of the baton, except that the human skull in some persons is as thin as a worn-out sixpence; therefore, whenever you have occasion to use the staff, you are never to strike at the head. The best Constables I have are on some of the worst beats in the town. They don't make use of threats (especially to a man whom they know to be a violent and fighting fellow), such as "I'll give you a taste of what you had last month." They have the good sense to know that he will be more easily dealt with by some feeling expression, seldom thrown away, as "Don't be foolish," " I'm sorry for what happened," " Remember the wife and the children," "I wish I could go home."


 
 

PUNCTUALITY AND NEATNESS.
In addition to sobriety and good temper, punctuality and neatness of person are essential. Sixteen sections parade for duty at nine o'clock each night. Men coming late cause a delay of perhaps a minute. If several men do so, so much the worse. A minute is a certain period of time. A postman on delivering sixty letters at sixty different doors, at each of which he is delayed one minute, causes the last letter to be delivered one hour later than it would have been if the servants had been more nimble. Come five minutes before the time - your watch may be wrong, you may have to speak to a friend on the way - come as you would to a railway or a steamer. Never come overheated to go on a long duty; you will feel all the more jaded at the end of your watch.


 

 
 

TRUTH.
The next subject is the most important of all. It is TRUTH. The nature of your duties will put you in the position of giving evidence against others. I want you to be very, very careful. The Magistrates put great weight upon the evidence of the Police, and upon your evidence the guilty may escape, or the innocent be punished. In connection with this, in all your dealings with the public, I want you to think of the value of character. You must tell the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the TRUTH, and always be within the TRUTH - never speak of a push as a blow, don't make black blacker. A person passing through the hands of the Police recovers his liberty, but his character seldom or never. I would rather have ninety-nine bad men escape, than that one honest lad or lass should unjustly lose character. Whenever you have a case in Court (at least for a long time to come), you must consult your Inspector, and get his help in every way, by asking what witnesses you will require, what time you are to be at Court, &c., &c. A pleasant face is pleasant to look at, but a senseless smirk or unmeaning smile, is always to be avoided when giving evidence. And it would be well for you to give a thought as to what may have been the history of the wretched creature against whom you may be about to speak - a man who possibly did not know who his father was, born in the gutter, uncared for by any one; or a woman who, unfortunately for herself had parents, sent out by them in her earliest years to beg and to steal, and when grown up, sent out for viler purposes. One word more about TRUTH. If you lose your presence of mind and forbearance, and, under perhaps great provocation, are tempted to push or strike, whatever scrape you may get into, Truth always goes furthest; and if you tell me all that happened, I will do all I justly can to get you out of trouble. A liar is a wretched creature, and I will not serve with him; he may do any amount of mischief - he is the only man I am afraid of.


 
 

DISREPUTABLE HOUSES.
Manchester and Glasgow are neither of them equal in population to this town. In the former there are * * * houses of ill-fame, and in the latter * * * In Liverpool there are no less than * * * * I have already said that the tonnage of this port exceeds that of London. Our Docks are at our doors, with 15½ miles of quays. There is an average floating population of 20,000 seamen. No class of men I admire more than sailors. They are exposed to continual danger; every newspaper tells us of shipwrecks and loss of life; they are noble fellows generally; still it must be said there are very many, both English and foreign who after a long voyage, and with much pay to receive, spread sin and drunkenness all around, forgetting the promise made in the storm; and it is this which causes so many loose girls to be upon our streets. If these girls use bad language, or are disorderly, you must do your duty and lock them up. But even to them, disgusting as they may be, try the mild word, remembering that if someone had not done them a big wrong they would not be the wretched creatures they are. I warn you against familiar conversation with this class of women.


 
 

BASKET GIRLS.
Some girls who go about with baskets, &c., are neither more nor less than bad characters. Many are not, but are poor, striving creatures, trying to keep themselves off the parish and off the town; thankful if they can take home fourpence or fivepence to an old parent, or perhaps to a house with fever. It may happen that three or four of these are complained of by an angry shopkeeper for being in the way, and in speaking he may say to you that you are a useless set of fellows. He may have had a heavy bill to pay that day, otherwise he would not speak in such a provoking tone. Say you will at once attend to his complaint, and go up to these girls, telling them they must move, but that if they will go either to this or that place nobody will touch them. If you act thus, you will please four people; the shopkeeper, because you do his bidding; the poor girls, who thought he was hard upon them, but found a friend in the great big Policeman; and your own heart and mind will be light as a feather, because you have done a kindness to a poor girl; and you will pleaseme, because I wish my men not to do all the harm they can, but to abound in doing good.


 
 

INFORMATIONS.
I am not over fond of informations. I wish you to give everyone a chance, and to do to others as you would they should do to you. If you see a chimney with red flame coming out you must lay an information; and when you see a man ill-treating cattle, striking a woman or child, I would go off at a gallop to have him punished. But Constables can be very vexatious by bringing persons into Court for trifling obstructions, which perhaps have never been asked to be removed. If you pursue this course people will dislike you; but if you are civil and obliging you will find most persons acknowledge it in one way or another. It is a great pleasure when some friend tells me of the civil and obliging answer he had from a Constable. It may happen that you are posted at a gate or place, with orders not to leave it: someone may come up to you saying that there is a fight, or disorder, or some such, in the next street, wishing you to go there. You explain that you have very strict orders not to quit your post; if you do this with an eagerness of face, pointing out where another Constable will be found, and stating that you will tell your Inspector, you may be spoken of as having been active, although you had not even stirred. Activity of the foot is the lowest kind of activity; a kitten will beat you at that. I want activity of the eye, activity of the ear, activity of the brain, and activity of the mind. In all the thousands of people whom each of you have seen there have not been two with countenances alike, or voices alike. The expression of the face is the indication of what is passing in the mind. The expression of the face is even quicker than the voice. If any of you young men ask an old farmer for his daughter, you do not wait for the word "yes" or "no," but you would fly to the face and see written in it the "yes" or " no" long before the word could be spoken. So much for expression.


 
 

RETURNED CONVICTS.
There are upwards of * * * returned convicts in this town. They are very clever and desperate fellows. They may choose a particular night to effect a burglary, when a particular Constable is on duty - knowing him to be anything but wide awake. For your foot's sake, if the roadway is not muddy, walk on it, because it is good for the foot, to preserve the spring, besides there is less footfall heard; when it is moonlight keep to the shade if you wish to watch, and at the same time not to be seen, stand straight against a lamp post.


 
 

ATTENDING CHURCH.
I have nothing to do with your religious beliefs; I keep no record of that. There is no church parade, because you would have to assemble, be marched to a place of worship, and afterwards, when dismissed, have barely time to get refreshment before you might be for duty again. Moreover, you have quite walking enough, without my adding to it. Besides, I think strongly that much more good is derived by you going with your families to Church or Chapel - it has an influence for good on the parent and on the child; and I like to meet Constables, whether they are in plain clothes or in uniform (for I have no objection to plain clothes, Sunday or Saturday, if on a proper errand) doing as I do - going with my children to the House of God. It is a great pleasure to me that the duty will now allow so many Officers and men to attend divine worship once a day at least.


 
 

CONCLUSION.
I have now spoken to you at great length, and if I have made an impression upon you I am richly repaid. If you don't like the Police duty don't quarrel with me. A new coat, a new shoe, does not fit well at first, neither will your new duties. Give them a fair trial, and if they do not suit you, leave the Force with the same good character you brought into it.


 

 

 

 

dmund Gordon Charmley was born to John and Elizabeth Charmley at Altear, Lancashire on September 15 1886. His birth was registered at Ormskirk. His father was a farm labourer. He was baptised on October 24 1886.

 

In 1901 at the age of 14 years he was employed as a cycle maker and living with his parents at 89 Sutton Green Road, Sutton, Denbighshire. He joined Liverpool City Police on July 15 1906 at the age of 19 years. He was pensioned from the service on September 14 1943.

 

In 1911 he was lodging as a single man with the Hughes family at 24 Wellington Street, Garston, Liverpool. He married his first wife, Lilla Bray Davey (b1885), circa 1914/15. They had two children (?), Ronald Gordon Charmley 1915 and John Edmund Charmley (1917). His wife Lilla died in September 1921. Edmund re-married at St Peters Church, Harrogate, on March 18 1922. He married Alice May Stables (31yrs) the daughter of George Henry Stables, a gardener of Beech Cottage, Victoria Road, Harrogate.

 

He was awarded his Liverpool City Police Bronze (20 years) Good Service Medal in July 1926. A few years later he was awarded his Liverpool City Police Silver (25 years) Good Service Medal in July 1931. His 30-year clasp was added in 1936 and his 35-year clasp in 1941 shortly before his 55th birthday.

 

Edmund died on October 2 1949 at his home address, 385 Brodie Avenue, Liverpool 19. There were some problems with his estate, the effects of which were valued at £1806-9s-6d, as probate was not granted until March 271952. Administration was granted to his widow and his eldest son Ronald, (a Corporation employee). His wife was awarded a widow’s pension from October 3 1949 to May 21 1956.

 

The medal ribbons illustrated in the photograph of PC Charmley were the originals issued prior to the mid-1930s when the ribbons were changed and new ones issued of a more conventional vertical striped style. PC Charmley is photographed wearing his two Liverpool City Police Good Service medals on his left breast, which is incorrect wear for what are classed as unofficial medals and they should only be worn on the right breast. Following the issue of his silver medal recognising his 25 years’ service, the two further award bars were issued when he completed 30 and 35 years.


 

 

Above: Liverpool City Police Merit Badge

 

n extract from the 1944 edition of Liverpool's manual of general orders & instructions:


 
 

An Officer, Sergeant or Constable who has been awarded a badge for any specially meritorious act wears it on the right cuff.


 
 

The badge has a Liver, the word "merit" and a number, to indicate the number of times the badge has been awarded.


 
 

A Sergeant wears a "Liver" above his chevrons after completing five years in the rank with freedom from punishment.


 
 

A Constable wears one, two, or three stripes upon his right cuff, after 10, 15 and 20 years' service respectively, but the wearing of these stripes is dependent upon freedom from punishment.


 
 

"Freedom from punishment" means freedom from punishment for the period of service mentioned. 10 years' service meaning 10 years from any date continuously free from punishment, in like manner 15 and 20 years' service means continuous years free from punishment. Thus, if a Constable is punished after 10 years' service, he cannot earn the second stripe until he completes a further continuous period of 15 years' good service, and so on.


 
 

When stripes have once been earned they will not be forfeited on punishment, unless the losing of the stripes is especially laid down as a part of the punishment.


 

 

Liverpool City Constable with a single service stripe, c1890/1900 (Submitted by Dave Jones)

 


 

Liverpool City Constable J Price wearing summer issue tunic with two service stripes, late 1930s

 

 

On the subject of when service stripes ceased to be worn, it seems that they were allowed to lapse gradually. After a given date they were no longer awarded. However, those who had them could wear them if they wished and of course as the men retired the stripes disappeared. (Submitted by Dave Wilkinson)


 

Superintendent James Nimrod Race, Chief of Liverpool Mounted Police, wearing the full ceremonial dress of 1898

 


 

Liverpool City Police Fire Brigade (Submitted by Alan Swain)

 


 

Liverpool City Police, Constable 580 (Submitted by Ray Ricketts)

 


Police Lanterns: Liverpool 1900

 
 

Accidents having occurred to persons travelling by night on horseback or in carriages and particularly in districts where there are no lights, by Constables suddenly turning the light of their lanterns full on the person approaching them, and thus frightening the horses, this practice should be avoided, unless in cases of accidents, or when desired by the person concerned.


 
 

If the light is turned on previously the Constable should let it remain on so, until the horse has passed, as turning it off too suddenly may produce the same effect as if it was suddenly turned on.


 
 

Standing Instructions Liverpool City Police c1900


 

 

Liverpool City Police, Inspector (Submitted by Ray Ricketts)

 


 

Liverpool City Police, Sergeant 1C (Submitted by Ray Ricketts)

 

 

The photograph below was taken in Liverpool on August 8, 1911 during a period of extreme civil unrest. It shows a group of Liverpool City Police Officers being transported through the city in an armoured motor vehicle, surrounded by a detachment of fully armed soldiers.


 

 

 

These desperate measures became necessary when the British industrial situation reached a critical point during a nationwide strike by stevedores, railwaymen, carters and other transport workers. Much of the country was brought to a standstill, with the northern industrial cities particularly badly affected, and with very real fears of widespread famine.

 

The situation had escalated when the Home Secretary, Mr Winston Churchill, took a tough stance against strikers, whom he accused of endangering the country’s industrial wealth and putting other men’s jobs at risk.

 

Liverpool was wracked by riots in which at least two men were shot dead. Three warships were sent to the Mersey in which a long line of passenger liners and merchant ships were waiting to be unloaded at the city’s docks, which were then among the most important in the country. Naval detachments from these ships were on standby to assist the troops and hard-pressed police to contain the situation in which an estimated 200,000 people had taken to the streets. The city was totally without electricity because coal was prevented from reaching the power stations.

 

In London, fuel shortages led to buses being taken out of service, and all Police leave was cancelled.

 

The unrest continued throughout August, with 50,000 troops assisting the Police in London alone. On the 29th an inquest on two strikers shot dead by troops in Llanelli returned verdicts of justifiable homicide.

 

The situation was not helped by extremely hot weather, which persisted throughout the month. It was reported in London that 2500 children had died because of the soaring temperatures.


Below: Truncheon with silver band which has been engraved “Liverpool City Police. Riots. August 1919" (Submitted by Dave Jones)

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

Below: 1920 Liverpool City Police shooting team and trophies (Submitted by @angelcakephotos Twitter)

 

 


Below: PC 157 A, Mathew Bryce Leitch, on duty at Liverpool’s landing stage during the 1930s and Liverpool City's LSGC (Long Service and Good Conduct) medal awarded to Constable Leitch.

  

 

(Submittd by Alan Leitch)

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Pre-war photograph of the Liverpool City Police Driving School taken in Sefton Park

 


 

 


 

Two Liverpool City Constables at shift changeover in the early 1960s (Submitted by Alan Leitch)

 




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