Senior Policemen of Dorset at Conference Point
I wanted to share this photograph with you taken in 1923. Posing for this photograph is the most senior policeman in Dorset Constabulary at the time. Grandad Beck had a copy of this photograph in his collection but this is a scan of a framed photograph my cousin was given, that had been on the wall in one of the police offices for many years. Hence the fading at the sides.
|Note the moustaches, when these men joined the force a moustache, was likely, to have been compulsory but beards forbidden|
The photograph was taken at a conference point, which is a meeting of policemen, at Dorset Constabulary Headquarters in Dorchester. Standing (left to right): Supt. Lawrence, Blandford Division; Sup. Miller, Weymouth Division; Supt. Thomas, Wimborne Division; Supt. White, Sherborne Division; Supt. Beck, Bridport Division; Supt. Barrett, Dorchester Division. Seated: Supt. Toop, Wareham Division; W.P. Plummer, Deputy Chief Constable; Capt. D Granville M.V.O. O.B.E. Chief Constable and Supt. Sprackling, Poole Division.
The most of the superintendents, like Grandad Beck, where the sons of gardeners,farm and other labours,bought up in the villages of Dorset. They would have benefited from an education and joined the force as PC’s from their early occupations as labourers or servants. I believe Supt. White was from Derbyshire and Supt. Miller’s father had also been a Police Constable in Dorset. These young men rose through the ranks to their present position achieving a success in life that could have only dreamed about by their parents.
They had seen many changes in the force from long 15-20 hour days, with only 7 days off a year to the present shorter days and more days off. They would have walked and cycled many miles, before achieving a senior role when they would have had a horse and cart, motor cycle and sidecar or used their own motorcar for their duties. More changes were to come because Deputy Chief Constable retired in November 1923 followed by the Chief Constable in May 1924. Capt. D Granville having been in the position for about 25 years.
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