Remembering police officers who died in WW1 – including Edmund Kirk from Leighton Buzzard

Beds Police officers
Beds Police officers

This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One and Bedfordshire Police is remembering the 21 men from the force who died during the war – including one from Leighton Buzzard.

Keith Jackson, from the force’s museum, is hoping to trace the descendants of the men.

He said: “There were 11 regular officers and 10 special constables who died in the war. I am hoping to trace the descendants of those men to ascertain some of their family histories and to invite them to attend a service.

“It would be great to extend this to encompass the families of every man who served.

Locally there were around 90 regular officers, at least 40 specials and around 50 who joined after the Armistice and had served in HM Armed Forces during the War.

Amongst those who died during the conflict was Edmund Wressell Kirk, who joined Bedfordshire Police in 1913, where he was posted to Leighton Buzzard. He sadly died of wounds at a military hospital on 18 November 1914.

George Stephen Babbington joined the force in February 1912 and was posted to Sharnbrook. Records show that he arrested a man for theft from the Railway Hotel in Sharnbrook.

In 1915 George joined the 8th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment and achieved the rank of sergeant. He died in 1917 of wounds.

To share information or find out more, contact Keith Jackson on by the end of July 2018.

The full list of officers is as follows: PC George Stephen Babbington, PC William Dean, PC Henry William Gordon, Edmund Wressell Kirk, PC Francis Joseph McCartie died at home of TB contracted during War Service (buried Kempston Cemetery), PC James Norman, PC Charles Herbert Pedley, PC Walter Frederick Surridge, PC William Byron died at home in 1920 as result of injuries sustained during War, PC James Chandler - died in Germany (Army of Occupation) 26.12.1919 during the ‘flu epidemic, Charles Harold Slade. Special Constabulary: Charles W. Cooper, William Freeman, Cecil Henry Green, Albert Henley, Ralph Neale, Fredrick Robert Richmond, William James Roberts, Frederick Joseph Rolls, Frederic Baron Tanqueray,Thomas LLewellwyn Vaughan.