Following research by police staff Mark Rothwell, we may be able to shed some more light on to the officers of the Devon & Cornwall forces that served in the First World War; in particular, from Truro City Police (1836 – 1921). Following publication of the original article by volunteer Peter Hinchliffe last year, we were forwarded information from Tiverton Museum of Mid-Devon Life that enabled us to update our record of officers who served in WWI to include one from the borough of Tiverton. As Peter’s article stated, piecing together the full picture of those who served is a difficult and ongoing process;
All police officers who joined the military during World War One, as either reservists, volunteers or conscripted, were required to resign from the police. In Cornwall, having resigned, their constabulary number was re-allocated to a recruit almost immediately. In Devon however, the number was left vacant until mid-1919… Cornwall, Devon and Exeter City Police commemorated officers who fell between 1914 and 1918 with war memorials. However, we cannot be certain that the names of all the men who died as a result of the war are recorded.
Now, Mark Rothwell has found reference in the West Briton & Cornwall Advertiser of 23 December 1920 to several (although unnamed) officers who resigned their positions to go to war. Prior to this, we had no record of Truro City Police officers in the First World War. If you have any further information about this, or other officers from any of the constituent forces of Devon & Cornwall Police who served in the First World War, please get in touch with us here.
Header image: Historic Collections of Devon & Cornwall Police, catalogue number A2008.0004.001. Black and white group portrait, identified as Bodmin Police Station. A number of officers are wearing ribbons and medals (note the back row) from 1st World War (1914-18 Star, 1st World War Medal and Great War Medal).