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The Community's Collective Wisdom "Scotland Yard was really no wiser on the subject than it was 15 years ago.."-F.G.Abberline,1903. The question is...are we ?

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Old December 19th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #1
Alan Baird
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Default CO [PCB] division as SPS

Hello anybody and everybody,
This is such a small point/query that I was hesitant to bring it before the forum but it has been driving me mad.....so here I am and hopefully somebody can help.

I am interested in a Police Constable who served in the Metropolitan Police from 1891 to 1917. He definitely served his last 15 years service within the Commissioner's Office and when he retired on pension, his rank and division were quoted as being, ''last posted to CO[PCB]division as a SPS.''

CO = Commissioner's Office [H.Q.].
SPS = Station Sergeant [rank]
PCB = don't know.

PCB obviously is a section or more probably a branch within the Commissioner's Office but I have never read much on what all happened within Commissioner's Office so I don't have much knowledge on this subject.

Does anybody know what the abbreviation ''PCB'' stands for ?

many thanks anyway,
Alan.
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Old December 19th, 2016, 04:12 PM   #2
Robert Linford
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Hi Alan


Monty's the expert on the police, but my guess would be Public Carriage Branch.


http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=8115
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Old December 19th, 2016, 04:31 PM   #3
Alan Baird
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Just for background information to my previous entry.

Sorry, I forgot to explain why I find this particular Sergeant so interesting.........after Jack the Ripper in 1888........ I think the 1909 to 1911 period in the Metropolitan's Police history would have also been extremely interesting. You had the Tottingham Outrage, the Houndsditch Murders and the Sidney Street Siege which are all related incidents and so anybody serving within the Commissioner's Office, may have had information or been directly connected with the investigations of these incidents.

So whatever ''PCB'' means....might be relevant or might not be relevant.


tks
Alan
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Old December 19th, 2016, 04:44 PM   #4
Alan Baird
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Hi Robert,
That sound about right so the equivalent in 2016 is the licensing of taxi's by the Local Authority. I will need to see if I can find out more regarding his job.

I unfortunately was going down the wrong path and imagined it might be some form of protection branch of the service.

It must have been a massive job licensing all those carriages in those days.

many thanks,
Alan.

Last edited by Alan Baird; December 19th, 2016 at 07:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 20th, 2016, 06:28 AM   #5
Alan Baird
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Default thanks for the thread

Hello,
I just wanted to say thank you for that forum thread you pointed out. I have seen it before but did not realise it contained the information I was looking for i.e.

Commissioner's Office..... divided into 3 parts.

[a] Executive Branch.
[b] Public Carriage Branch.
[3] Criminal Investigation Dept.

and now I also know that this Sergeant was one of only 63 sergeants working within the Commissioner's Office and it seems the Public Carriage Branch also dealt with all the lost property, they must have been kept busy.

[It appears that in 1896 the Public Carriage Office and the Lost Property Offices amalgamated under the new designation of. 'Public Carriage Branch.']

There may have been other changes by 1917.

tks,
Alan.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 03:52 PM   #6
Alan Baird
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Finishing the story.

In the Metropolitan Police Annual Report for 1887 which was presented to the Home Secretary by Sir Charles Warren, we obtain an early insight into the workings of the Public Carriage Office. Later to become the Public Carriage Branch.

For example in that year they:-
[a] Licenced 7219 two wheeled hackney carriages [hansoms].
[b] Licenced 4027 four wheeled hackney carriages [clarences].
[c] Licenced 2710 stage carriages.
[d] Licenced individual drivers and conductors, as stated below:-
[i] 15,100 to hackney drivers.
[ii] 5321 to stage drivers.
[iii] 1086 to conductors.
[e] They created miles of new cabstands/accommodation area's in London.

The police officers did not only carry out inspections during the day, they also conducted night inspections. These would be done in plain clothes and in that year, resulted in 394 hackney carriages, 15 stage carriages, 35 horses and in five cases of the harness, being reported as unfit for public use. They had the power to refuse or revoke licences.
They were the equivalent of modern day traffic cops.

Now imagine in 1902, PC Walter Ford [warrant number 76890] assigned to the Commissioner's Office [PCB] and remain there for the next 15 plus years and reaches the rank of Station Sergeant.
Now..... you have motorised hackney carriages etc and the technical skills and workloads would have massively increased since that report of 1887. I suspect only the best suited individuals would have been rewarded with the assignment to serve within this Branch.

bye
Alan.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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Default passing of the ''age of the horse.''

Hi
Here are a couple of observations and hopefully are of interest.


PC Walter Ford joins the Met. just a couple of years after Jack the Ripper.

PC Walter Ford is assigned to PCB in 1902.

By 1903 there are 7,500 hansom 2 wheeled cabs and 4,000 4 wheeled cabs The Motor Act allows petrol cabs to be licenced for the first time and a speed limit of 20 mph is put in place.
This general situation is something that PC Walter Ford would have been accustomed to on the streets of London.
By 1914, Police Sergeant Walter Ford's job in the PCB has totally changed...the age of the horse is now gone....there are 3,000 motor buses, 3,000 electric trams and 7,000 motor cabs and only approximately 100 horse drawn trams, 200 hansoms and 1,300 4 wheeled carriages left. This is a huge administrative and social change in a very short period.

One of the biggest stories that relates to the ''Public Carriage Branch'' occurred at approximately 7pm on the 27th of November in 1912 when Commissioner Sir Edward Henry [responsible for the PCB] was entering his home. Albert Bowes [25] and a barman accosted the Commissioner and stated he required 5 minutes of his time. Sir Henry told Bowes to come to his office tomorrow morning and see him then. As the Commissioner passed through his front door, Albert Bowes fired his pistol 3 times, of which one of the bullets wounded the Commissioner. Police Constable Albert English who was the Commissioner's chauffeur, seized and overpowered the prisoner. This incident occurred because Albert Bowes had been refused a taxi cab licence. He had been unable to meet the requirement in providing evidence of good character and sobriety during the past 3 years.
Found guilty and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Nice ending because one he was released from prison Sir Edward Henry paid for his passage to go to Canada and start a new life.
Police Sergeant Walter Ford's career covered a period from just after JTR to the WWI, retiring in 1917.

have a nice Xmas and bye.
Alan.

Last edited by Alan Baird; December 23rd, 2016 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for that story, Alan. Kind-hearted gesture by Sir Edward - or maybe he just felt safer with Bowes in Canada.


Happy Christmas to you.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 02:32 PM   #9
Alan Baird
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Hi Robert,
Actually, even although Sir Edward Henry was still suffering from his wound whilst giving evidence at the trial, he pleaded for leniency for his attacker.
Sir Edward was not seriously wounded but did suffer greatly from shock. One of his daughters dragged him into the house and to safety which was very courageous.
He stated that Bowes had simply wanted to better himself and earn a living to improve the lot of his widowed mother.
[Somehow, Bowes had got the idea in his head, that it was Sir Edward Henry that had personally stopped the granting of the taxi licence which was obviously totally wrong. The real reason he was refused the licence was that he had recently been fined for being drunk.]
Albert Bowes was released from prison in 1922 so Sir Edward Henry had taken an interest in his attacker over a very long period.

The incident took place in November and with a heavy and well made overcoat and the other heavier garments that Sir Edward Henry would have been wearing and because some of the ammunition and pistols in those days, were not as effective and powerful as you might expect, then this may be part of the reason why his wound was not severe.
Maybe there is a direct connection between being able to forgive and show compassion to an attacker because you are not badly wounded in the attack.

bye
Alan.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:51 PM   #10
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The incident as covered by The Illustrated Police News

Name:  The Illustrated Police News Saturday 5 December 1912.jpg
Views: 75
Size:  176.7 KB

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