Friday, July 11, 2014

Great Grandad A Whitechapel Detective

I want to share with you a little about my Great Grandfather.  He was a detective in the Metropolitan Police Force in London, from 1887 - 1912, all his career being on H Division In Whitechapel.  He was made a Detective Constable on 8th October, 1894 with Whitechapel CID.

He lived as a resident at Commercial Street Station, they would have housing for single policeman, then in 1896 he resided at 74 Leman Street, a police residence.

As a married man Harry lived with Ada on 20 Walden Street, Mile End Old Town, Stepney from 1898 until he retired in July 1912, which back then was just inside the City.

I love the fact he served all his career in Whitechapel, and would have been at Commercial Street during the Jack the Ripper Murders.  He would have seen a lot of action on this as many suspects were taken to the Commercial Street station for questioning.   I only wish I had been older and understood all this when he was alive, what questions I would ask him.

Also in 1911 he was highly commended  at the Old Bailey whilst working as a Detective alongside Detective Inspector Wensley and Detective Sgt. Leeson, so I have a feeling he would have possibly been stood alongside them at the Sidney Street Siege, here, when Wensley knocked on the door and Leeson was shot.

Here is a video of the London Sidney Street Siege, 1911

No sound but very interesting from British Pathe

My great grandfather retired after twenty five years of service and lived a very long retirement in the country.  Unfortunatley great grandma died very young in her early fifties.

The photo above sent to my grandmother, Kit, Kitty.

I do have some wonderful photos of him as a young man in his dress uniform clothes, will have to find them and post them.



  1. The personal touch makes history come alive and is so interesting. Just been in that area on Tuesday. I don't think your great grandfather would recognize it! I look forward to more pictures.

  2. What an interesting life. I don't envy him being in on the Jack the Ripper murders, though. What lovely handwriting he had!

    1. Thank you Christine. Grandad stood tall and straight and I'm glad that I was old enough to remember him.


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