Police Force up to full strength

Police roll of honour

[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, September 2nd, 1919]

Luton Borough Police Force has returned to full strength for the first time for close on four and a half years, all the men who donned khaki during the war and are still available for police service having now got back into the uniform of blue.

When the war broke out the authorised strength of the Luton force was 52 of all ranks. During 1914 two constables resigned, and on the outbreak of war three men who were on the army reserve were mobilised. All these vacancies were filled and at the end of 1914 the force was still at full strength, but during 1915 the number actually serving in the force was reduced by further enlistments to 41. There were then 11 members of the force serving in the army.

In 1916 another man was released for the army and another to go on munitions, and there were two more released for the army in 1917. By the end of that year the force had been reduced to 36 members.

Last year the authorised strength of the force was increased to 60, but in the early part of the year the actual depletion continued, two further recruits for the army bringing up the total enlistments to 16, in addition to the constable who went into munitions.

Up to the time hostilities ceased, Pc Goss was the only man returned as medically unfit, but after the armistice six were quickly released by the army authorities, and Pc Skelton from munitions.

Then came the retirement of Det Sub-Inspector Attwood, and by the end of the year the strength of the force stood at 40.

Since that time Insp Hagley has retired, and men have returned from the army in driplets, until at last only four remained to return – Pc Carter, Pc Franklin, Pc Madigan and Pc Weedon. Three constables, all of whom have been serving since varying parts of 1915, were demobilised a fortnight or less ago, some coming straight from the western front, but their period of leisure has been short for they practically got straight out of one uniform into the other, and all resumed police duty during last week.

The members of the force who served in the army during the war were constables Byron, Carter, Causebrook, Chandler, Cooper, Franklin, Fuller, Goss, Graves, Harbord, Madigan, Shaw, Stanbridge, Weedon and Wood.

The only fatal casualty was Pc Chandler, who died in France, but Pc Harbord, who was wounded, has sought other employment and may not return to police service. Pc Graves and Pc Stanbridge were also wounded, the latter very badly so in the head. Pc Causebrook claims the only decoration won by the police, being awarded the French Medaille Militaire.

In addition to three ex-servicemen the present force of 60 also includes a dozen new men, all of whom are entitled to wear war service ribbons.