Romsey Road, West Hill, Winchester
Police Officers’ World War 1 Memorial
On the 27th January 1923, a war memorial to those members of the Hampshire Constabulary who had fallen for their King and Country was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant in an impressive and moving ceremony.
The memorial itself was in the form of a monumental approach to the flight of steps leading to the headquarters building in Winchester and thus placed, had to be passed by everyone visiting the county police station. Placed on either side of the steps were two stone piers or pillars inscribed with the names of the twenty-one officers of the force who had given their lives.
The whole had been designed by Captain A. L. Roberts, the county architect. The proceedings were favoured with beautiful weather and attended by a large and distinguished company representative of the county, the constabulary, the armed services and families and friends of the fallen.
Each division was represented by the superintendent, one sergeant and a detachment of constables. In addition there were several contingents of special constables and a large number of ex-sergeants and ex-constables of the force, as well as many of the general public. The Duke of Wellington, in his capacity as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, invited the Lord-Lieutenant, Major General The Right Honourable J. E. B. Seely, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., to unveil the memorial. This the latter did, but not before he had paid a remarkable tribute to the Hampshire Constabulary. In the course of his address, he said, I think it ought to be said what good services the Hampshire Constabulary rendered during the war. We are here today to commemorate those who gave up their lives.
Among those present were:-
Superintendents, Knox, Winchester, Reuben, Alton, Davis, Aldershot, Wyatt, Basingstoke, Garrett, Bournemouth, Deacon, Eastleigh, Abel, Gosport, Sackley, Kingsclere, F.G Jones, New Forest, W.T. Jones, Petersfield, Pragnell, Ringwood, West, Romsey.
Mr. T. Davies, Chief Constable of Portsmouth, Supt. Salter, Insp. Hawkins, Sgt. Evans, PC Gamble, Isle of Wight, Ex-Deputy Chief Constable J Silence, ex-Supt. G.A. James, ex-Supt G.H. Reynolds and a large number of ex-sergeants and constables and of the general public.
Major General Seely addressed the assembly as follows:
No fewer than twenty one members of the Hampshire Constabulary were killed in the Great War out of 540 of all ranks who were ready and anxious to join, so much so that a special order had to be issued to say that it was not possible for them to join and retain all their pension rights. In spite of that order many of the Hampshire Constabulary surrendered those rights in order to serve at the front but I am glad to hear from Major Ward that after all they were allowed to count their time spent in the army for pensions. Of course, it was not possible to allow too many of the constabulary to go as they had vitally important duties to perform. That was the case in all counties, but especially in Hampshire, where there were so many great military camps. I have seen from the testimony of the officers commanding those various camps of Canadians and Americans and of our own troops that you were vitally important in fulfilling many duties of maintaining order and other duties specially devolving on the police. . . I have always thought and said that Hampshire is the best ordered county in England. If that’s so, and I make bold to say it is, it is largely due to the Hampshire Constabulary and it must he a pleasure and delight to you. Major Ward, after nearly twenty nine years’ service as chief constable, to reflect that the force which you have so ably commanded should have rendered such valued services in the Great War.’
The Lord Lieutenant continued with a special compliment to the special constables present. When the members of the constabulary went to the war you came forward to till their places and augment their number. The King, whom I represent in this county, has more than once testified his royal approval of the great services you have rendered and I can only endorse his words or his behalf, and say that the whole community, from (the King downwards), ‘thanks you for what you did.’ Later in the proceedings the Lord Lieutenant informed the Assistant Chief Constable, Major Nicholson. that he was greatly impressed with the fine appearance of the men and had never seen a finer guard of honour.
In a General Order after the ceremony the Chief Constable expressed his deep satisfaction that the tribute to their fallen comrades had been of such an impressive nature “and that the Lord Lieutenant of the county should have felt justified in giving voice to such remarkably high testimony to the character of the force which it is the great privilege of its chief to command’.
The Chief Constable Major Warde and others laid wreaths.
The Memorial Described
The memorial is in the form of a monumental approach to the flight of steps leading to the headquarters of the Hampshire Constabulary, in a prominent position which has to be passed by everyone visiting the county police station. The square piers op either side of the steps are terminated by caps representing caskets, which bear the county arms and are surmounted by wreaths representing the leaves and berries of the long-foliaged laurel, which is one of the most beautiful of its species.
The piers are inscribed as follows:-
“This Memorial was erected by the Members of the Hants Constabulary to the Glory of God and in memory of their comrades who lost their lives in the Great War.”
Roll of Honour
Pte. F. W. BENDALL Royal Marine Lt. lnfty.
Pre. F. BEW, Coldstream Guards
Pte. H. M. BRINE Seaforth Highlanders
Pte. F. BROAD Royal Irish Fusiliers
SGT. A. BROOKS Royal Field Artillery
CPL. E. E. CROCKORD Coldstream Guards
Pte. H. J. Douglas Grenadier Guards
Pte. E. C. T. DOWLING Coldstream Guards
2nd LIEUT. G. FRIPP Dorset Regiment
SGT. H. GOODMAN Coldstream Guards
Pte. E. R. JACKSON Coldstream Guards
PTE. A. T. JOYCE Grenadier Guards
LCE. CPL. E. C. LEGG Military Foot Police
CPL. W. F. LONG Grenadier Guards
Pte. R. W. MACKETT, Coldstream Guards
Pte. W. MCPHERSON Scots Guards
Pte. A. C. MOODY Hants Regiment
Pte. T. TODD Grenadier Guards
Pte. F. W. VANE Hants Regiment
H. F. VERRALL Dorset Regiment
Pte. R. W. WILLIS Berks Yeomanry
This memorial is proportioned in accordance with the most advanced ideas, every detail being rhythmically related to the memorial as a whole.
The piers and wing walls are constructed of Hartham Park box ground stone, with panels formed with flints. The steps are of Pateley Bridge Brown York stone, which is well-known for its wearing properties.
The memorial has been designed by Capt. A. J. Roberts, the county architect, and the work skilfully carried out by Messrs. Vokes and Beck, of Stockbridge Road, Winchester. The wreaths and county badges have been well carved by Mr. P. J. Lyness, of Southampton
Details of this event are taken from a report in the Hampshire Observer.
At present it is not known where the memorial was relocated to at the time of the construction of the new HQ in the 1960s?