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Special Constables
& Notes from the Newspapers

Rushden Echo, 23rd October 1914, transcribed by Kay Collins

Higham Ferrers
Special Constables for Higham, Rushden, Irthlingborough, and Stanwick district assembled to the number of about 60 in the cricket field on Sunday morning for marching drill. Captain Jackson, of Wellingborough, was in command, and Inspector Bailey was present. Captain Jackson expressed himself as being quite satisfied with the progress shown.

Rushden Echo, 27th November 1914, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Special Constables - Last night at the Drill Hall over 100 of Rushden and district special constables attended for the weekly drill, under Capt. Jackson and ex-Col.Sergt. Rogers. At the conclusion of the drill, Mr. George Bayes, in a suitable speech, referred to the impending departure from Rushden of Insp. Bailey, who is leaving to take up duties at Daventry. Mr. Bayes said that all regretted the Inspector’s departure, as during his stay in Rushden he had always carried out his duties in a thoroughly courteous and gentlemanly manner. He wished the Inspector in his new division, continued good health, prosperity, and every success. Capt. Jackson thoroughly endorsed all Mr. Bayes had said concerning the Inspector, and expressed pleasure that reference had been made to his departure. Inspector Bailey had been of invaluable assistance to him in the formation of that particular company of special constables. Supt. MacLeod further spoke in support, saying that he had known Inspector Bailey ever since he entered the police force, indeed, he was the Inspector’s first sergeant. He had always found him a courteous and capable officer. Inspector Bailey expressed thanks for the kind remarks that had been made concerning him. He was sorry to have to leave Rushden, but had no choice in the matter. He was leaving for his new sphere of labour with the determination to carry out his duties as conscientiously as in the past.

Rushden Echo, 1st January 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Special Constables—Firing practice on Wednesday was well attended. Last night, under command of Capt. Jackson, a route march to Higham took place. Before dismissing the Company, Capt. Jackson said that the playing of the Rushden Temps at the church parade last Saturday was highly eulogised by the Wellingborough Company.

Rushden Echo, 12th March 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Route Marches—Route marches by the Special Constables (104) and Volunteers (150) were held last night. The former proceeded via Wymington-road, Wymington, and Bedford-road, and the latter via Bedford-road, the Court Estate, and Newton-road. The Temperance Band accompanied the “Specials” and the Rifle Band the Volunteers.

An accident, fortunately not attended with any serious consequences, happened to Mr. Leslie Silburn, of Wellingborough-road, last night. He was accompanying the Rushden Special Constables on their route march and when near the Isolation Hospital, Bedford-road, a motor car driven by Mr. Woods, farmer, of Little Harrowden, approached from behind the ranks, and in passing through and trying to avoid some cyclists, he failed to notice the rear of the “Specials,” with the result that his left mud-guard caught Mr. Silburn, who was thrown heavily to the side of the road. Beyond a severe shaking Mr. Silburn was luckily not otherwise hurt. Mr. Woods conveyed him to Rushden in his car.

Extract from Council Meeting May 1915

Special Constables - An application was received from the Captain of the Special Constables for permission to use Spencer Park on Thursday evenings from 7.30 to 9 for drill, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.

Rushden Echo, 18th June 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

An exciting incident occurred in Spencer Park last Sunday morning whilst the Special Constables were at drill, as despite the fact that the park was crowded, a hare ran right across the grounds, passing through the people who were standing and sitting about on the grass. People struck at it with sticks and kicked at it, and in addition several dogs gave chase, but the animal succeeded in making its escape without injury.


Rushden Echo, 19th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Man Misses his 'Rushden Echo'€
Former Special Constable in France

Gunner A. Downing (Rushden), of the R.F.A., in a letter to his wife says that the chaps are short of news where he is in France, and that a '€œRushden Echo'€ would be welcome. Gunner Downing, who prior to joining the colours was a member of the Rushden and district special constabulary, enlisted only eight weeks ago and is now in France. He had been an employee of Messrs. Nurrish and Pallett for 17 years.


Northamptonshire Special Constables
Rushden Company 1915
Names in alphabetical order
Addison H Chamberlain W W Freeman W Moore W Sparrow J Turner W J
Bates G Cure W J Groome G Martin A P Seckington W Tomlinson W
Bettles J T Chapman S George J Meadows H Seckington H Tilley W
Brown G H Clarke C Green E E Middleton S Snelson C G Tebbutt F H
Bettles G Clarke J Harison J Meakin A H Swannell T W Tinston M
Bailey J Cox A Haigh I Madin W B Swingler G Thompson W A
Brawn H Cockin W Holyoak J Mantle A W Sumpter F Tailby C
Bellamy F Chettle E A Hardwick B Nichols A Scott J T Underwood P
Bates H J Clayton H Hills W Nichols E Sellwood F Underwood G
Baines H C Claridge O Holmes H Newton C J Spicer W H Willmott T
Baker T A Cave A Hanger W B Oberman J H Safford G W Wigginton T
Bailey J S Coulton H Huke E T Parker C Tusting R Waters F
Brazier F D Craddock F Hart J L Philby G Timpson W Wooding C H
Britchford L Clark T Hind J Peat J Tall C F White A E
Brightwell S C Cook J F Harris J Pooton A Tomlin J Woodman O
Barwick G Chamberlain R M Harris F Pashler E K Tailby G Whitworth T J
Bellamy A Darlow F Juggins F W Putnam C Thompson J White G A
Bates J Dickenson H Jeacock W Robinson W Officers
Beeby W Dartnell W J Knight C Robinson G (on chairs 10th - 5th from right)
Bridgement H Dickens B Knight C H Robinson C Col-Sergt. Instructor J W Rogers
Boyce C Durham W Knight W Robinson J Supt. H D Macleod
Brawn H C Endersby A H Lawrence W Robinson R Captian H W Jackson
Booth B Eagles C Marriott R Richardson E Inspector Osborne
Chambers A Fletcher C H Mead H Reynolds J Col-Sergt. R Knight
Photo by J W Rogers - Stanley Studios, Wellingborough Mr J Hyde

Rushden Echo, 11th August 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

An Accident occurred to a cyclist about 1p.m. on Wednesday, the victim being Miss Minney, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden, who whilst cycling down Skinners-hill had the misfortune to collide with a cart. Fortunately her injuries were confined to bruises, and assistance was rendered her by Special Constable W. L. Sargent, who happened to be passing at the time of the accident.

Rushden Echo, 25th August 1916

Mr. John Glover Perkins ....... He was a special constable until failing health compelled him to give up the work. [Extract from his obituary]

Rushden Echo, 1st September 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

...... The firemen received valuable aid from Special Constables H. Clayton and T Clark.

[Extract from a longer report - Stack on Fire at Rushden]

Rushden Echo, 4th October 1916

Special Constable
T Wilmott
The Blazing Zepp. Seen
Distinctly Viewed From Rushden
Police and Special Constables – Have a Midnight Thrill

We are able to state authoritatively that a distant but undoubted view of the Zeppelin which was brought down in flames at midnight last Sunday was obtained by several of the Rushden special constables and police on duty at the time. The conflagration was also seen from other places in the surrounding district, various reports having been received from Higham Ferrers, Wellingborough, Souldrop, Bedford, &c., and, as the time given tallies, there is no reason to doubt that what was then witnessed was the doom of the Huns’ baby-killing apparatus at Potters Bar, Herts.

Perhaps the best local description is that given by Councillor T. Wilmott, who in his capacity as special constable was on duty in the Newton-road, Rushden, with special constable E. Robinson and P.C. Mantle.

Interviewed by a representative of the “Rushden Echo,” Mr. Wilmott said:

“On Sunday night we were on duty in Newton-road, and about midnight were standing by Mr. Saint’s yard, looking in the direction of London. Our attention was attracted by a sudden glare in the southern sky similar to that of Wellingborough furnaces, but much brighter.

“Then a mass of flame appeared high in the sky, and this is a moment or two resolved itself into a perpendicular streak of fire falling towards the earth and giving the appearance of a walking stick on fire from end to end.

 “When about a dozen feet above the skyline, as it appeared to us, this streak of flame changed into a belt of fire, about the .....

Rushden Echo, 20th October 1916

PresentationSegt. H. Mead, who has been the instructor for the Special Constable recruits during the last few weeks, was on Sunday morning presented by them with a silver mounted pipe, in case, in appreciation of his efforts. Mr. Rose, making the presentation on behalf of the recruits, thanked Sergt. Mead for the deep interest he had  taken in the work. The recipient replied, and said the recruits had made good progress.

Rushden Echo, 12th January1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Church Parade
At St. Mary’s Parish Church, Rushden, on Sunday afternoon, a church parade and men’s service was held, addressed by the local chaplain, the Rev. Stainsbury.

The local Volunteers, under Lieut. G. R. Turner; the Special Constables, under Mr. Mead; and the Church Lads’ Brigade, under Lieut. Bailey, fell in at Spencer Park, and headed by the “Hallamshire” Bugle Band and accompanied by the C.L.B. Band, marched to the church.

Rushden Argus, March 29th 1918, transcribed by Susan Manton

New time – the putting on of the clocks came as almost second nature on Saturday night. There is a story of a “Special” who forgot and failed to get to drill, but most folk were too anxious to gain an hour’s daylight in the evening to forget the clock.


Bert Wells - Special Constable
Bert Wells - Special Constable 618 c1920s

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