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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

We Will Remember Them

11 November 2021

We Will Remember Them

The UK has come together for Armistice Day - here Devon and Cornwall Police Federation Chairman Andy Berry gives a personal reflection on the day and remembers fallen colleagues

Andy says: "I always find this such an emotive time of year and my thoughts always drift to those massive cemeteries, which I have visited in France and Belgium, bulging with the memories and remains of those who gave their lives in the two world wars. Of course Devon & Cornwall weren’t immune from the ravages of war and particularly so the second world war and I am reminded of this when looking at the ‘Roll of Honour’ in our Branch conference room.

"Many officers were killed during raids on Plymouth and Exeter. Killed going about their duties trying to help and protect the public instead of trying to find safety. The first seems to have been Reserve Police Constable Alfred Crosby who was killed in Plymouth during an air raid on 7th July 1940 as he was leading people to the safety of an air raid shelter. The last, Special Constable Francis Allin, a member of the Devon Constabulary, was killed during a enemy raid on 13th June 1943.

"A really sad incident occurred during a major raid on the Royal Dockyard at Devonport on April 30th 1941. Recently promoted Sergeant Edward Gibbs, was killed while on duty at the corner of Corondale Road and Beacon Park Road. His brother, Mr Sydney Gibbs, the Head ARP Warden, and Sydney's 15-years-old son David Gibbs, an ARP messenger boy, were killed at the same time.

"So during this Remembrance Day I encourage you all to spare a thought for those 27 regular officers, special constables and reserve police constables who were killed during air raids in Devon and Cornwall during the Second World War."

Their names are listed below:

Reserve Police Constable Alfred Crosby
Special Sergeant Sidney Hannam
Special Constable William Hutchings
Reserve Police Constable William Cheek
Police War Reserve Constable Wilfred Stribley
Police Constable Kenneth Walters
Police War Reserve Constable Walter White
Special Constable Albert Harris
Sergeant Edward Gibbs
Police Constable William Sandover
Special Constable William Beer
Police Constable William Brooks
Police War Reserve Constable Leonard Vickery
Special Constable Sidney Baker
Police Fireman Joseph Gerrity
Special Constable Samuel Chetham
Special Constable Frederick Pearse
Special Constable Stanley Whittaker
Special Constable John Cartwright
Special Constable Alfred Ford
Special Sergeant William Rendell
Special Constable Ronald Hockin
Special Constable Francis Allin
Special Constable Harold Luxton
Police Constable R A Chilcott DFC
Police Constable R Sandover
Police Constable N West