Police Roll of Honour - Lest We Forget

Remembering British Police Officers who Lost their Lives in the Line of Duty

Police Roll of Honour

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National Police Officers Roll of Honour and Remembrance

In Memory of British Police Officers who Lost their Lives in the Line of Duty

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 Peace Officers of London Parishes, Night Watch and Public/Police Offices
killed prior to the formation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829

Prior to 1829 policing was carried out by various peace officers such as the locally appointed but unpaid Parish Constables; the first professional law enforcement officers came some 150 years earlier in the reign of Charles II with a paid Night Watch. In the mid 18th century the Bow Street Patrol was formed and in 1792 the first statutory salaried Constables were attached to Police Offices throughout London, followed in 1798 by the Thames Marine Police Office. Records for this period are very rare and exactly how many of these earlier peace officers died in the execution of their duty is unknown but the first recorded death in the "Proceedings of the Old Bailey" dates from 1680 with the killing of a constable whose name was not recorded.

The unknown constable may be seen as representing all the unknown dead.

Lest We Forget

London Parishes

An Unknown Constable

Died about May 1680

Bludgeoned to death attempting to quell a drunken street affray at Wapping.

(First recorded death of a constable on duty in the UK)

Const Thomas Smith

Died 3 April 1694

Fatally shot attempting, despite threats, to arrest an armed burglar.

Const John Cooper

Died 16 May 1702

Fatally stabbed while dispersing a disorderly crowd at the May Fair.

Const John Dent

Died 8 March 1709

Fatally stabbed when attacked by a crowd attempting to free a prisoner.

 Const William Diggle

Died 8 July 1744

Fatally assaulted by a drunken man whose wife asked for protection.

London Night-Watch

W/man Isaack Smith

Died 22 September 1680

Struck with his own staff and fatally injured stopping an unruly gang.

W/man Robert Teagle

Died 28 August 1684

Stabbed with a sword attempting to arrest a man for causing damage.

W/man Thomas Small

Died 13 May 1687

Fatally bludgeoned with his own staff by a man he had warned.

W/man John Pascall

Died 22 January 1690

Fatally wounded when struck with a sword by a man he had stopped.

W/man Thomas Lashly

Died 30 May 1691

Bludgeoned to death attempting to quell a disturbance in the street.

W/man Will Vernish

Died 25 May 1692

Died after being beaten and kicked on the ground during a street affray.

W/man Thomas Trevis

Died 11 February 1704

Stabbed to death while assisting a Constable with a prisoner.

W/man Peter Parry

Died 29 May 1720

Stabbed to death with a sword while dealing with a street affray.

W/man Joseph Candy

Died 26 December 1724

Bludgeoned to death by another watchman found drunk on duty.

W/man Samuel Alexander

Died 17 May 1733

Fatally bludgeoned while assisting a constable arresting smugglers.

W/man Charles Dubois

Died 21 January 1737

Fatally stabbed with a bayonet by a soldier stopped for questioning.

W/man Isaac Crawley

Died 11 April 1742

Fatally shot assisting a constable by suspects encountered at night.

W/man William Ridley

Died 12 December 1767

Fatally bludgeoned with his own staff confronting drunken men.

W/man John Bigby

Died 24 December 1769

Struck with a poker and killed when intervening in a drunken brawl.

W/man   Philip Moss

Died 3 February 1775

Fatally wounded when attacked by a mob who had freed a prisoner.

W/man Thomas Grimsley

Died 21 March 1776

Fatally wounded while attempting to arrest a suspect armed with an axe.

W/man Edward Cox

Died 15 January 1781

Fatally bludgeoned with his own staff when accosted by a drunk.

W/man James Bonner

Died 29 August 1789

Bludgeoned and cut with a cutlass attempting to arrest three burglars.

W/man Thomas Price

Died 4 February 1795

Shot dead when he went to assist a woman being beaten by a man.

W/man Barney Shields

Died 29 September 1814

Received fatal head injuries when bludgeoned during a street affray.

W/man John Coe

Died 1 February 1825

Fatally injured when run down by a stagecoach near the watch-house.

W/man Ephraim Darkin

Died 24 July 1827

Fatally struck with a stone helping a woman accosted by a man.

London Public/Police Offices

Officer Mr Hind

Died about April 1755

Died of gunshot wounds received arresting two highway robbers.

Runner John Atwood

Died 24 May 1771

Fatally beaten and kicked trying to arrest an escaped prisoner.

Officer William Barnet

Died 1 August 1779

Stabbed by a woman while he was executing an arrest warrant.

Officer John Wilkinson

Died 16 July 1789

Fatally stabbed attempting to arrest a soldier causing a disturbance.

Officer David Price

Died 13 January 1795

Shot dead executing a warrant on a man wanted for highway robbery.

Officer Gabriel Franks

Died 16 October 1798, aged 22

Shot when the new Marine Police Office was attacked by a mob.

Officer Duncan Grant

Died 22 January 1799

Killed while attempting to quell a disturbance in a public house.

Officer Samuel Prestow

Died 30 November 1813

Shot dead while attempting to take an armed escaped lunatic into custody.

Officer Richard Smithers

Died 23 February 1820, aged 33

Stabbed with a sword disrupting a meeting of political conspirators.

Officer Nicholas Dawkins

Died 24 May 1825, aged 55

Fatally injured when run down by a carriage he was trying to direct.



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Page updated 13 January 2012

Police Roll of Honour Copyright Anthony Rae 1985-2012

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