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Author Topic: Special Constables  (Read 5812 times)

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Offline ann

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Re: Special Constables
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 16:16:37 »
Thankyou for the information.  I have looked on the reverse of the medal and it does indeed say about faitfhful service. Unfortunately there is no bar added, just the medal on its ribbon.

I wonder if there are any sources where I could find out more about local duties that special constables in the area would have had to deal with.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Special Constables
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 23:01:02 »

If he served three or more years he would qualify for the Special Constabulary Faithful Service Medal.
Do you think that this was what the medal I have was given for?

A nice piece of family history.
As editorsfoot notes the medals correct name is the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal.
The medal was instituted on 30 August 1919 to be awarded for nine year's unpaid service with more than 50 duties performed each year. War service counted triple. (three years service.)
See http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=248&products_id=5724
Padstow May Song Lisa Knapp

Offline editorsfoot

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Re: Special Constables
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 18:27:38 »
The Medal ribbon matches the current Special Constabulary long service medal, is there anything on the back of the medal about faithful service, if so it probably is the faithful service medal.

Offline ann

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Re: Special Constables
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 16:01:43 »
Thank you for all the information.  4 hours a day was quite a commitment as I would imagine there were long hours to be worked on the farm.  It sounds a very important role, carrying with it a lot of responsbility.

If he served three or more years he would qualify for the Special Constabulary Faithful Service Medal.
Do you think that this was what the medal I have was given for?

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Special Constables
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 21:58:01 »
Special Constables 1914-18.

In 1914 the role of the special constable was redefined under the Special Constables Act 1914. The act created special constables as part-time police officers to fill the place of full-time officers who had volunteered for the armed forces.
The special constabulary was controlled by the Home Office and the supervision of its formation was carried out by George Cave. MP.
The specials had all the legal powers of their regular police counterparts. It was a volunteer part-time force, each member required to take duty for four hours each day. The only money they were paid was for their expenses.

In the beginning there was no uniform, only their own clothes and an armband. Boots and a waterproof cape came later, together with a metal special constable badge.
A full uniform, with steel helmet if necessary, was introduced later in the war.
Equipment consisted of a truncheon, to be worn hidden and not with a lead core!, a whistle, note book and a warrant card. Other weapons could be carried under special authorisation.
A specials company consisted of an inspector, three sub-inspectors, ten sergeants and ninety constables.
If he served three or more years he would qualify for the Special Constabulary Faithful Service Medal.

Early in the war the specials were detailed to guard bridges, locks, reservoirs, railway arches, etc, against possible attack by enemy aliens. This was a twenty four hour job and fortunately no attacks occurred. Other duties included convoying enemy aliens to internment camps and guarding German owned shops against attack by the British public. If he had a motor-cycle or cycle he might carry dispatches or give warnings of an air-raid and announce the all clear. There was also the regulation of food queues and checking public houses.
Later in the war vulnerable points duty almost disappeared and more normal police duties took their place. As far as possible the specials would be employed near their homes.
Later in the war the four hours per day was reduced to three hours, then to two.

Main source, 'The Home Front in the Great War. Aspects of the conflict 1914-1918.' D Bilton, Leo Cooper 2003, ISBN 1-84415-068-2.

Padstow May Song Lisa Knapp

Offline ann

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Special Constables
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 11:42:24 »
I have discovered, from a medal, that my grandfather served as a special constable during the 1st WW.  He was born in 1878 so would have been 36 at the beginning of the war. He worked all his life on a farm for Whiteheads at Wainscott, and lived in a tied cottage there, working his way up from ag. lab to stockman.  I was aware he wasn't called up as he was in a reserved occupation, but not that he was a special.
Can anyone shed any light on what he might have had to do or be involved in? There does not seem to be much written on 'specials' that I can find.  Of particular interest would be linformation of any events that happened in the locality that he might have been involved in.

 

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