Friday 6 November 2009

A bit of my family history

My Aunty Lena is 93 and she has just had a family gathering to celebrate having her book published 'The Chronicles of Lena Barden'. I found she had kept a newspaper cutting about my Grandad on my Mothers side, and although I knew he was in the Police and had worked in the Isle of Man I knew little more. This article just gave me more details and lovely quotes, that I can just imagine him saying. I was a little shocked to find out that he was once a heavy weight boxer, and a little proud to know he was good with a riffle. I loved my Grandad.

I have written out the news article for you.

Ex-Boxer Pc Retires


Exactly twelve years ago (in early October, 1941) fifty hand – picked metropolitan Policemen went from London to Peel Camp on the Isle of Man to control fascist riots. One of the fifty was Pc Tom Williams, who last week retired from the force at the age of 50.

Pc Williams an 18 stone heavyweight boxer and rugby player living now at 3 Lansdowne-road, Ilford, was stationed at East Ham in 194 when news came through that the “Mosleyites” in the Manx internment camp had staged a riot.

This coupled with other discontent on the island, brought about the riot.

The Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill, called a conference with the Home Secretary, Mr. Herbert Morrison, and put forward the suggestion the London “Bobbies” would soon settle any differences at the camp.

Orders were sent to many London divisions to choose special men for the job, and Pc Williams, a crack rifle shot, was picked from East Ham.

Pc Williams told a “Recorder” reporter on Thursday (the day he retired), “I still don’t know why I was picked for the job, but I expect Mr. Churchill had experience of London coppers. We’re just the right size for a job like that!”

Pc Williams stayed on the Isle of Man for four years, with his wife and children.

“They were a ripe lot there,” he said, “I’ve met a couple of them since.”

When he came back, tom was stationed at Ilford, where he stayed to the end of his period of service.

“A bit quiet after the Isle of Man, but you’d be surprised at the things that go on in Ilford…”

Although retiring from the police force, Tom is not old enough to settle down to a peaceful retirement. He will be travelling up to Town to a work from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday in an office.