Officers protected King George V dockyard from espionage, prevention of loss from HM stores, supplementing the fire service, and control of diseases amongst women

Met pays tribute to Great War dead

Officers during 'air raid warning' duty

Metropolitan Police officers in the army

Officers during gas mask training

Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe lays a wreath in Hendon

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Scotland Yard has today paid tribute to the hundreds of officers killed protecting London and UK dockyards throughout the First World War. 

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey today said: "The Metropolitan Police is proud and honoured to remember all those who fell during the First World War, including a number of police officers.

"Their sacrifice helped to shape the world we inherited from them and the freedoms we so often take for granted. We are forever in their debt." 

As thousands of troops were deployed abroad, the Metropolitan Police became the first operational armed force to provide security to Londoners, with over 360 officers killed in action during the conflict.  

The force began making preparations for conflict in late 2013, but actually started preparing for war after news had broke of the shooting of Archduke Francis Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo.

Prior to the declaration of war against Germany 100 years ago today at 11pm, the Met was responsible for policing King George V's dockyards around the country. 

However, as soon as war was declared, they were reinforced with over 1,000 extra officers from the divisions in London which proved an enormous logistical operation. 

Aside from normal police duty additional police responsibilities at the dockyards, officers were also responsible for preventing espionage and loss from His Majesty's stores, supplementing the fire service, and controlling diseases among woman in the dockyard communities. 

Across the capital, police guarded recruitment offices and factories making uniform and ammunition. 

Uniformed female officers were ordered to supervise women munitions workers in 1915, paving the way for a greater role in the force thereafter.   

From 1913, Special Branch were tasked with monitoring foreign agents and were on constant standby until the last stroke of Big Ben at midnight on August 4 1914. 

By noon the next day, officers had arrested 500 secret agents, dismantling the German espionage system in Britain.    

To compensate for the loss of manpower, 1,200 police pensioners were recalled to duty in 1914 and 24,000 'Specials' protected vulnerable locations and other duties.

A few months on from August 1914 saw the first eleven officers killed in action recorded, but numbers quickly increased, leaving many police widows and their children in poverty.

Colleagues still working in London paid a levy of 1d a week to support widows and orphans, with the first grants made on October 9 1914. 

As a result of hostile air raids, the Met took action on 65 occasions between January 1915 and August 1918. 

The defence from aerial attacks largely remained the responsibility of the police and the 18,000 serving officers were heavily relied upon to support the war effort. 

To mark the sacrifices of the Great War, the commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Commissioner led tributes in a ceremony held in June at the Memorial Garden in the Hendon Peel Centre. 

Comments (3)

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10:55am Mon 4 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness.
This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

12:11pm Mon 4 Aug 14

tjm01 says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness.
You just can't resist it can you , an article praising the effort of policemen and women during W W 1 and you have to use it to have a pop at todays police force, do you really have no morals or are you just plain stupid
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness.[/p][/quote]You just can't resist it can you , an article praising the effort of policemen and women during W W 1 and you have to use it to have a pop at todays police force, do you really have no morals or are you just plain stupid tjm01
  • Score: 11

12:51pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

tjm01 wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness.
You just can't resist it can you , an article praising the effort of policemen and women during W W 1 and you have to use it to have a pop at todays police force, do you really have no morals or are you just plain stupid
I agree with the article, the good old days, when we had a police 'force'
[quote][p][bold]tjm01[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: This was a period when we had a police force with officers of true grit, served in the services in many occasion prior to becoming police officers. As was the first and second world wars. With this kind of experience, tackling the low life and crooks on the street was second nature to them unlike today where the police hide away from the public and are afraid to confront the Ferals who now rule the streets, the police scared to intervene as they may breach political correctness.[/p][/quote]You just can't resist it can you , an article praising the effort of policemen and women during W W 1 and you have to use it to have a pop at todays police force, do you really have no morals or are you just plain stupid[/p][/quote]I agree with the article, the good old days, when we had a police 'force' Villagecranberry
  • Score: -9

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