A Trubute to P.C. 241 John Tolcher

Portsmouth City Police

The dog by his side was “Rex” and the dog being “muzzled” by Inspector Harding was the famous Mount Browne Ingot (Inky) on the occassion of the dog’s retirement.

John Victor Charles TOLCHER, was born on the 24th June 1920. After war-time service in the Army, he joined the Portsmouth City Police Force on the 1st June 1946, at the age of 26 years, and became P.C. 241 of the Force.

He served at Kingston Crescent Police Station, Portsmouth until 1956 when he became the Force’s first dog handler and was posted to Police Headquarters, Queen’s Crescent, Southsea.

His first Police Dog was a jet black Alsatian “Mountebrowne Ingot”. ( Mountebrrowne was the Headquarters of the Surrey Constabulary, who supplied the dog). John and “Inky” as the dog was nicknamed worked together for almost 6 years.

In March 1958 they were lent to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Force to track a murderer on the Isle of Wight, earning the thanks of the Hampshire Chief Constable.

During their service together John and Ingot were responsible for more than a score of arrests, and the recovery of a large amount of stolen property. Ingot died in 1966 and was buried in the Police Dog Compound in Burrfields Road, Portsmouth that had been built by the THREE Portsmouth Police Dog Handlers, namely ; John, Joe GARVEY and myself.

In 1968 P.C. TOLCHER was commended for his courage and restraint in arresting a man armed with a revolver. (When Ingot retired he paraded with specially made leather boots on his rear paws, now sore through partial paralysis).

John served at Cosham Police Station until he retired on the 1st June 1971. He died on the 5th January 2001, aged 80. He was survived by his wife Ivy to whom he had been married for 54 years, together with his son John, daughter Norah and four grandchildren)

P.S John’s last dog was PortPol REX who took over from Mountebrowne Ingot.

P.P.S. After amalgamation John’s number became P.C.1036, but he insisted in wearing his Portsmouth City Police uniform much to the dismay of the Chief Constable, who would throw up his arms in disgust and was even known to turn round and walk the other way if John was approaching.

Terry Swetnam