Police Constable 69 Arthur Childs
Served from 1935 - 1950
 

This is the story of a young Englishman who travelled to Bermuda aboard a military troopship in early 1934. Within eighteen months of his arrival Arthur Childs had bought himself out of his regiment and joined the Bermuda Police Force. He went on to distinguish himself as a legendary boxer on the island who became a Light-heavy and Heavyweight champion. Likewise, after leaving boxing he was a full bore rifle champion and is credited with a number of Bermuda Bisley honors and trophies.

The story of Constable Childs’ interesting life was brought to our attention after a graphic designer in Canada was attempting on behalf of her client to reconstruct a damaged Bermuda boxing program poster dated April 1936. She reached out to the Editor of ExPo’s website for help in identifying the partially obliterated names of some of the boxers  due to wear and tear. Prominently billed at the top of the fight program was P.C. Arthur Childs whose life story is documented below. 

 Restored 1936 Boxing Poster
A badly damaged copy of this Boxing poster resulted in
extensive enquiries into the life of Arthur Childs, and to its restoration
 

George Rose was invited to carry out some research to see if we could assist the conservator, and also discover more about Arthur Childs.

Sadly, our official Police records for that time period are almost non-existent and Roger Sherratt checked and confirmed that we had no record of Arthur Childs  having served in the Bermuda Police. This is not unusual because the vast majority of police records dating back further than the 1950's are non-existant.

There were only two other enquiry channels available. One was to check the Annual Blue Books in Government Archives which were published each year from around 1900 - 1950. The blue books record data such as the names and basic details of all members of the Police Force and civil servants. The other option was to seek out any surviving family members of Arthur Childs in the hopes that there might be someone remaining who could assist in some way. It was also quite well known that after leaving the Bermuda Police Force, Arthur had set up business as a locksmith and general repair man on Serpentine Road.

Fortunately, Arthur’s legendary exploits as a boxer in Bermuda were described to Roger some years ago by another great local boxer and Police Inspector Custerfield “Custy” Crockwell.  Well before his death, “Custy” had confirmed to Roger that Arthur Childs had been the best boxer we have ever had in the Police Force, and one of the best ever in Bermuda. Roger asked me if I would be interested in researching further to see what could be discovered about Arthur and his boxing exploits some 81 years ago. The project turned out to be a fascinating journey back in time, complete with one major surprise, as you will read, when searching for surviving members of the Childs’ family.

Initial enquiries revealed that Arthur Richard Childs was born on 24 January 1914 in Frodesley, Shropshire, England to William Childs and Annie (Jervis) Childs. Frodesley, then a tiny village [a hamlet] and civil parish in the English county of Shropshire, is now part of the Shrewsbury and Atcham district.  {see Index 1, 2}

Arthur was the eldest of a family of fourteen children born to William and Annie, including his younger sister Doris {see Index 3,4}. There were two additional children from William’s first marriage. The then family is recorded on the Descriptive Report (Enlistment Form) in the British Army WW1 Service Records 1914-1920 as follows:.

William Childs                     Head
Annie Jawis (sic)                Spouse
Sarah Childs                      Child
Hannah Childs                   Child
Arthur Richard Childs        Child
William Henry Childs         Child
Vera Annie Childs              Child

As a child, Arthur attended the Cressage County Council School in Shropshire {see Index 6} . In about 1928, he joined the Manchester Regiment (described as a "boxing" regiment) in England as a drummer boy at the very young age of thirteen or fourteen in order to lighten the work load of his mother Mrs. Annie Childs.

Technically, young Arthur was several years too young to join the Army. In terms of the minimum age for enlistment into the Manchesters there is the following quote from Mr. Johnson in Hansards from a Commons Sitting on the Army & Air Force Bill dated 21st April, 1926.   “………… As the law stands to-day, I understand, if a boy joins the Army by giving a fictitious age, his parents may secure his release at once if his age be under 17. But the boys between 17 and 18 can only secure a free discharge if their parents can prove real necessitous home circumstances.”  {see Index 7,8}

Arthur Childs (back row centre) is seen here with the company
boxing team of the Manchester Regiment in 1931.
The photo is believed to have been taken in England when Arthur was aged 17.
Source: Patricia Ann Leyburn nee Childs, only daughter of Arthur and Winnie Childs.
 

Arthur most likely took up boxing upon joining the Manchester Regiment and he won at least one boxing trophy during his military service. The trophy is inscribed on the rear as follows:  "Individual Championship 1932 Light Heavy Weight   Pet. A. Childs"

  
 Arthur's Boxing Trophy 
 

In 1933, during the Inter-War period, the 1st Manchester Battalion received orders to move to the West Indies; half of the Battalion to be stationed in Kingston, Jamaica, and the other half in Bermuda {see Index 9,10 11}.   Arthur was assigned to Bermuda and he gave the name of the steamship by which he arrived in Bermuda as the HMT DORSETSHIRE and the date of his entry as February, 1934. {see Index 12}


HMT DORSETSHIRE
(His Majesty’s Troopship)

Further confirmation that Arthur first came to Bermuda in February 1934 with the Manchester Regiment can be found in a letter dated 28 November, 1950 from lawyer Wm. R. Kempe, Appleby & Spurling & Kempe, {see Index 21} following their receipt from  the Major, Commanding Detachment, 1st. Bn. The Manchester Regiment at Prospect, Bermuda and addressed to the Chief Immigration Officer, Board of Immigration, Hamilton, Bermuda which reads:

Dear Sir,

I wish to notify you that No. 3522997, L/Cpl. A.R. Childs, of the Detachment under my Command, will be discharged from the Service (Manchester Regiment) on 3rd June, 1935, and will take up employment with the Bermuda Police Force, with effect from 4th June, 1935.

Yours faithfully,
Major A.V.A. Moore.{see Index 13}

By letter of reply dated 7th June, 1935 the A/Chief Immigration Officer advised that the discharge in Bermuda of No. 3522997, L/Cpl. A.R. Childs, for enlistment in the Bermuda Police Force, ‘has been noted by this Board.’ {see Index 14} Item No. 27 of Meeting No. 164 of the Bermuda Immigration Board states:

‘The Board had no objection to L/Cpl. A.R. CHILDS, the Manchester Regt. obtaining his discharge in Bermuda for the purpose of enlisting in the Bermuda Police Force. Childs will be on contract and should he not prove to be an efficient constable or should he be discharged for any reason [he] will be required to accept repatriation on the first available ship.’  {see Index 15}

Having completed its tour of duty in Bermuda, the 1st. Battalion of the Manchester Regiment returned to the U.K. in October, 1935. Its next posting was to Egypt in 1936. {see Index 16}

Upon joining the Bermuda Police Force young P.C. Arthur Childs very quickly established himself as an excellent boxer whose exploits in the boxing ring were reported at length in the daily newspaper. He became a major attraction at boxing matches held in No. 1 Shed on Front Street in Hamilton.

 Smile for the Camera!
P.C’s Jack Harrison and Arthur Childs at Heyl’s Corner


The above photograph was published in the 110th Anniversary Issue of the Police Magazine in October 1989, along with the following caption:-  

P.C‘s Jack Harris and Arthur Childs at Heyls Corner.  Arthur Childs came to  Bermuda with the British Army in 1935 and later joined the Police Force. He had been an outstanding boxer in the Army and quickly became Bermuda’s lightweight (sic) champion, fighting at such venues as Number 1 Shed, Prospect Gymnasium and B.A.  (Editors note - The year should read 1934 not 1935).

  
Numerous press reports of the day reflected a series of boxing events that followed Arthur’s first bout in Bermuda as a police constable on 26 December, 1935 at No. 1 Shed, Front Street, Hamilton. That first fight drew over 700 boxing fans to No. 1 Shed and many more were to follow as the craft gained popularity on the island into the 1940’s.
 
THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
27 December, 1935
OVER 700 AT BOXING SHOW LAST NIGHT
Main Fight Ends Within a Minute or So
H.E. PRESENTS PRIZES

Over 700 people attended the boxing show at No. 1 Shed last night and saw the main bout of the evening, a six-round heavyweight joust between Police Constable Childs and Ldg. Stoker Hill, of H.M.S. York, end within a minute or so as Childs literally knocked out the stoker on his feet.

The referee, Mr. Al Reich, who has fought the former world champion Dempsey and knows what boxing is about, wisely decided to stop the fight after Childs had put Hill down on his knees and slashed the stoker to a stupor. Hill wanted to carry on, but the referee rightly abided by his decision.

The best fight of the evening was that between L/Cpl. Finch, of the Sherwood Foresters, and A.B. Lake, of H.M.S. York. Finch absorbed a terrific amount of punishment with a smile, and gave Lake the hardest fight he has had in Hamilton. This fight went the full distance of six rounds.

(References in these news reports to A.B. – means ‘Able Bodied Seaman’
Ldg. Sto – means ‘leading stoker’ a person employed to tend a furnace, as on a steamship)

An expanded version of this fight was reported the following day:-

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
28 December, 1935
SPIRITED BOXING SEEN AT No 1 SHED
Funds for Olympic Team to Benefit by Large Amount
OVER 700 PEOPLE PRESENT

The funds of the Bermuda Olympic Games Association, the newly-formed body which is sponsoring a Bermuda team for the Olympic Games in Berlin next August, benefitted substantially from the boxing show in No. 1 Shed, Hamilton, on Boxing Night. A brief report of the bouts appears in yesterday’s issue of the Royal Gazette.

The main bout, scheduled for six rounds with two light-heavyweights pitted against one another, had an unfortunate ending in the first round, the referee stopping the fight and giving the decision to Police Constable Childs of the Bermuda Police Force. Childs, who weighed 170 lbs., was fighting Ldg. Stoker Hill, of H.M.S. York, who weighed 172 lbs.

CROWD DISAPPOINTED
Childs came out on the bell at a great pace and landed some terrific blows to the face and body of the stoker, who never really got going. Hill went down to his knees and came up to a raging onslaught by the policeman.

He was crouching helplessly by the ropes, his gloves in front of his face, when the fight was stopped. The referee’s decision was not popular with the crowd of more than 700, who had hoped to see a battle royal, but there seems little reason for not believing that Childs would have finished the stoker within another second or two. It was a disappointment. Childs surprised even those who had some inkling of his prowess with the gloves.

The six-round bout between A.B. Lake, of H.M.S. York (155 lbs.) and L. Cpl. Finch of the Sherwood Foresters (159 lbs.) was the feature fight of the programme. Lake is a sturdy fighter who is well-known to followers of boxing here. Finch, an unknown quantity to the local fans, provided the strongest opposition the seaman has had at any of his fights here.

Both men mixed freely in the opening round, with Lake in the ascendant and trying hard to register a knock-out blow. Finch took some jarring punches without flinching, and gave nearly as good as he got. Flinch plied both hands to Lake’s face and body as the second round got under way, but the seaman replied in kind and with greater power, obviously surprised to find that Finch was able to absorb the punishment and continue to mix it.

FINCH TAKES COUNT OF 9
The third round was a repetition of the other two, with Lake exerting more pressure and trying hard with punches to the throat and body. Finch had to take a rest to the count of nine in the fourth round, and Lake pressed in to finish him off. The respite had given Finch confidence, however, and Lake’s blows, swinging almost from his knees, failed to obtain the desired effect.

Both men traded wallops with a smile in the fifth round, each of them probably realizing that this was to be no knock-out decision. Lake did most of the attacking throughout, but Finch was never unwilling to stand toe to toe and exchange broadsides.  A keen fight, a deserving winner, and a gallant loser

The only knockout of the evening was scored by A.B. Wolstenholme of H.M.S. York (153 lbs.) against Pte. Guest, of the Sherwood Foresters (147 lbs) The fight, intended for four rounds, travelled only part of the first round before the seaman slogged Guest to the canvas. Guest had already been down for counts of two and three.

Louis Flood, of Bermuda (143 lbs.), was another loser on points who took a good deal of punishment.  His four round bout with Cpl. Taylor, of the Sherwood Foresters (147 lbs.) was never slow and reached a pitch of high excitement several times as the soldier had Flood down for counts up to nine. Flood came back gamely and both men were ready for a knock-out when the final round came. They were both tiring, but managed to hang on to the final bell.

Also fighting that evening were three more Bermudians;  Bobby Spence  who won by a slim margin against Private Lee of the Foresters,  Sonny Flood who lost to O.P. McKay of the York, and an all local fight between Teddy "The Boston Kid" Abbott and "Tiger" Ward of St. David's, won in the 3rd round by Abbott.

__________________________________________

The next fight for P.C. Childs was a bout against the Canadian Navy light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion, A.B. "Pal" Clark  which was the subject of the poster that George Rose was researching.  The Boxing Show to be held at No. 1 Shed received extensive publicity in the daily newspaper as shown below.

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Thursday, March 19, 1936
Boxing Show at No. 1 Shed, Tuesday, April 7th

At No. 1 Shed on the evening of April 7th, a Grand Boxing Show has been arranged, proceeds for the funds of the Bermuda Athletic Association and Bermuda Olympic Association

MAIN BOUT
A.B. “Pal” Clark vs. P.c. Childs

The main bout of 6 rounds [is] between A.B. “Pal” Clark and P.c. Arthur Childs.  Clark has been holder of the Light-heavy and Heavy weight championship of H.M. Canadian navy for the past five years. Many will remember seeing him in action here a few years ago when he knocked out L.S. Sweetlove of the H.M.S. Capetown in one round. He also holds two first round knockouts over L.S. Jock Moir, the Heavyweight Champion of B.W.I. Squadron.

Clark is at present cruising on the H.M. Canadian ship Champlain and is in hard training and is looking forward to meeting the best man who can be found in Bermuda on this programme; he hopes to weigh in at 173 lbs.

CHILDS IN MAIN BOUT
Childs was formerly of the Manchester Regiment in which he held the Light-weight Championship and is now on the Bermuda Police Force. He has only appeared once in Bermuda and that was on December 26th in the main bout against L.S. Hill, Light-heavyweight Champion of B.W.I. Squadron. Childs knocked him out in the first round and he is confident he can win over Clark in this forthcoming show.

There will be 5 other 4-round bouts. It is hoped that this will be the greatest show ever to be seen in Bermuda. Ringside seats will be on sale in a few days.

The following report in the Royal Gazette and Colonist Daily enabled George Rose to unearth all the names on the original poster, some of which were unreadable, and provide them to the conservator in Canada who did an excellent job of re-creating the poster just as it would have appeared in 1936.

 

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Saturday, March 28, 1936
Boxing Show Tuesday, April 7th – Eight Bouts

At the No 1 Shed Tuesday, April 7th a grand Boxing Show has been arranged and proceeds are for the Bermuda Olympic Association and Bermuda Athletic Association funds. No less than eight bouts have been arranged, between the Canadian Navy, British Navy, and local talent.

PROGRAMME

MAIN BOUT
(6 Rounds)

A.B. Pal Clark, 173 lbs., Light – heavyweight Champion of H.M. Canadian Navy vs. P.c. Childs 175 lbs Bermuda Police
SEMI FINAL  (6 Rounds)
 
Sto. MacIntosh, 160 lbs., Middleweight Champion, H.M. Canadian Navy vs. A. B. Garvais, 158lbs., H.M.C.S. Saguenay.
SPECIAL  (6 Rounds)
 
A.B. Lake, 135 lbs., Lightweight Champion of B.W.I. Squadron, H.M.S. York vs  A.B. Laidlaw, 131 lbs., Lightweight Champion, Canadian Navy.
4 Rounds
 
Lou Bayers, 136 lbs., H.M.C.S. Saguenay vs. Bobby Spence 133 lbs., Bermuda
4 Rounds
 
Sto. Lutes, 160 lbs., H.M.C.S. Champlain vs. A.B. Woods, 163 lbs., H.M.C.S. Saguenay
4 Rounds
 
A.B. Ponder, 155lbs., H.M.C.S. Saguenay vs. A.B. Steiner, 152 lbs., H.M.C.S Champlain
4 Rounds
 
A.B. Grainger, 150 lbs., H.M.C.S. Saguenay vs. A.B. Hancock, 152 lbs., H.M.C.S. Champlain
4 Rounds
 
A.B. Short, 161 lbs., H.M.C.S.  Saguenay vs. A.B. Speight, 168 lbs., H.M.C.S. Champlain

The above programme is one of the best ever arranged here in Bermuda and it is expected to be the best show ever seen here. Many will remember seeing A.B. Garvais in action here last April when he fought Sto. Rankin and gave away 20 lbs.

Others who fought last April were A.B. Grainger, A.B. Steiner, A.B. Laidlaw, Lou Bayers and A.B. Short, who fought against his brother. It was hoped to match these two brothers again this year but one of them had to stay in the Dockyard at Halifax. He is matched against A.B. Speight.

These two fought a draw before leaving Halifax and it has been said by members of the Canadian ships that it was the same kind of fight that was put up here between the two brothers last year. The decision was a draw and they asked to be matched in this first show so the fans in Bermuda have something to look forward to seeing A.B. Short in action.

Advance sale of Ringside seats are on sale at The Smoke Shop. The price of Ringside are 8/-, 6/- and General Admission 4/-.

Two other shows have been arranged for April 14th and 20th. Members of the Canadian Navy, British Navy and local talent and a Golden Glover [are] to meet the winner of Childs vs. Clarke. [sic]. Also one wrestling match. A.B. Denneson, middleweight champion of Canadian Navy, matched against the best opponent available. P.c. Childs is willing to wrestle Denneson, but the promoters are not quite sure of his weight. If he is around Childs’ weight probably that will be the match. This latter bout, however, is subject to confirmation.

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Monday, April 6th, 1936
Boxing Thursday Night at No. 1 Shed

This show was scheduled for Tuesday but due to the absence of naval vessels at Gunnery Practice it has been necessary to change to Thursday night. All holders of reserve seats for Tuesday will be honored Thursday night.

A great programme has been arranged. Main Bout between A.B. Clark and P.C. Childs for 6 rounds, but all say there will be a K.O., one way or the other. Clark has won practically every fight. He has a very hard punch and is a very fast mover. He has held both the light-heavy weight and heavy-weight championships of the Canadian navy for the past 5 years.

Childs has only appeared in Bermuda once and he knocked out Hill in one round.

The Boxing fans have something to look forward to, for on Thursday night they will see these two hard hitters in the same ring at the same time. The winner of this bout will be matched against an opponent from the U.S.A.

There are 2 other 6-round bouts and 5 four-round bouts.

Tickets are being sold very fast and those wishing a good seat are advised to book early. 

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Thursday, April 9th, 1936
Great Boxing Programme at No. 1 Shed Tonight

As already advertised in these columns a great boxing card is scheduled to take place at No 1 Shed this evening, the proceeds of which will go to the Bermuda Olympic Association.

Mr. “Chummy” Hayward has been responsible for the programme and has worked untiringly to make the show a success. It is hoped that the house will be packed.

The main bout will be between A.B. “Pal” Clarke and P.c. Arthur Childs over six rounds.

The thanks of the Bermuda Olympic Association are due to the Mayor and Corporation of Hamilton for their lease of No. 1 Shed for the occasion.

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Saturday, April 11th, 1936
CHILDS RETAINS HOLD ON BOXING TITLES
Knocks Out Canadian Navy Champion in 4th Round

NAVY MEN IN HARD FIGHT
Constable Arthur Childs, of the Bermuda Police Force, retained his hold on the light-heavyweight and heavyweight boxing titles of the Colony in the bouts arranged by the Bermuda Olympic Association at No. 1 Shed on Thursday night. Childs’ was seriously threatened in the first and second rounds of a scheduled six-round conflict with burly Able Seaman “Pal” Clark, light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Clark, however, fell into a defeat of his own making, the tide of battle slowly turning as Childs persistently hammered him with short-arm blows and finally knocked him out cold in the fourth round.
Childs, at 275 lbs., [should probably read 175 lbs.] was two lbs. heavier than Clark.

ARMS LIKE PISTON-RODS
Clark definitely had Childs worried in the first and second rounds. He came out on the opening bell at a great pace, and slashed into the policeman with arms going like piston-rods. Coming in at a crouch, his feet shifted the seeming ungainly bulk of his body with amazing swiftness. Clark forced Childs into the refuge of clinches again and again in the first round.

Childs did not let Clark take the fight in his own direction completely, and kept jabbing a straight left to the sailor’s jaw as he pressed in. Clark opened the fight out towards the end of the round, but continued definitely in the ascendant with his bull-like rushes.

The first of several low blows struck by the sailor brought a warning from Referee Stanly Paschal in the second round, which was marked by a series of clinches. Childs forced Clark to the ropes midway through this second round and put in some punishing blows to the body. For the rest of it Clark was the pace-maker, feinting low with his right and hooking in a vicious left, repeatedly breaking through Childs’ guard.

The third round saw Clark slowing down considerably, and Childs pressing in. Clark no longer came in at a crouch; he was standing up and endeavoring to keep Childs away at arms-length. He registered a series of hard rights to the jaw as the two men exchanged blows freely in the middle of the ring. Childs was pummeling away with those short, jarring deliveries which had evidently caused the sailor some anxiety.

Childs sailed into Clark several times as the latter backed to the ropes. While Clark scored with an occasional left and right, Childs gave Clark’s head a body a drubbing, the round ending with Childs connecting left, right and left to the face and body and shaking the seaman visibly.

CLARK WEAKENS
On the opening of the fourth round Child sensed Clark’s weakening and tore into fight with a rush that swept Clark to the ropes. His arms were now flashing in and out of Clarke’s guard with cumulative effect.
Not one blow but a rapid succession of jabs was responsible for putting Clark to the canvass for a count of nine.

The seaman was now the victim of his own early pressing.  He could not step away from Childs’ onslaught; he went into a crouch but failed to stop the shower of jolting blows Childs was no tattooing on his face and body. A beautifully timed blow to the jaw was the sailor’s nemesis. He sank to the canvass completely out.

The other bouts were good, but not of the kind to make one unduly excited. There was an over-anxiety to score rapid decisions, and some of the fighting was not as scrupulous as one expects of these Navy fellows. This is not say the boxing was dirty; it was not..

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Wednesday, April 15th, 1936
UNITED STATES’ GOLDEN GLOVE BOXER SAILING TODAY;
WILL MEET ARTHUR CHILDS at No. 1 SHED, APRIL 23rd

The next Boxing Tournament to be held in Bermuda will take place on Thursday next week, April 23rd, and will feature a U.S. Golden Gloves boxer, at present unnamed, who will be pitted against Arthur Childs of the Bermuda Police Force, holder of the light-heavy and heavyweight titles locally.

This news was imparted to the “Royal Gazette” yesterday by the local promoter, Mr. W.F. “Chummy” Hayward, who stated that arrangements for the bout were being made with the secretary of the Amateur Athletic Union in the States. The name of Childs’ opponent will be announced in these columns shortly. The date of this second boxing programme has been altered from Monday next to Thursday on account of the facts that H.M. Ships will be engaged in target practice during the early part of next week.

Promoted by Mr. “Chummy” Hayward to raise further funds for the Bermuda Olympic Association, there will be another fine boxing card presented at No. 1 Shed next Thursday, April 23rd. The Shed has been kindly loaned for the occasion by His Worship the Mayor, Sir Henry Watlington, and the programme will be under His Worship’s patronage.

The secretary of the B.A.A., Mr. J. F. Murray, has received a cable from Mr. Daniel Ferris, the secretary of the Amateur Athletics Union in the States, stating that “a light-heavyweight Golden Gloves boxer is ready to sail for Bermuda on Wednesday” (today). The local promoters of the forthcoming tournament have not actually been advised of the boxer’s name, but in a covering letter Mr. Ferris made it quite clear that he would be sending one his best available men in the 170 lbs. class to be matched against Bermuda’s champion, Arthur Childs.

PUBLIC “WORKOUTS”
Arrangements are being made locally for this unknown contender for the Bermuda title to work-out daily, and the public will be welcome to watch Childs’ opponent in action.

To date Childs is undefeated. So far the Constable has appeared in Bermuda rings on two occasions and both times he has won by knockouts. In the first instance he floored L. S. Hill, the British West Indies Navy champion, for the full count in the initial round, while he accounted for the Canadian Navy champion “Pal” Clark in the fourth round of a scheduled six-round at No. 1 Shed last Thursday night.


The main bout will be supported by a strong card, including one six-round contest and five 4-round bouts in which the best boxers from the English and Canadian Navies will participate. Four Canadian men, who have recently been transferred to the crew of H.M.S. Dragon, will also appear: namely A.B. “Pal” Clark, A.B. Garvais, A.B. Hancock and A.B. Granger.

Further particulars of this programme will appear in these columns shortly. In the meantime reserved seats may be booked at the Smoke Shop, Front Street, ringside 8/-, other seats 6/- and unreserved 4/-.

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Monday, April 20th, 1936
BOXER HERE FOR BOUT TO AID OLYMPIC FUND,
MATCHED AGAINST CHILDS

The Monarch of Bermuda which arrived on Friday brought among the passengers the much talked of boxer from the United States. In an earlier issue we stated that while all arrangements had been made, the local promoters could not give the name of the visitor, and we now learn that he is “MIKE COOGAN” of the Newark Athletic Club, Newark, New Jersey.

Mike, a native of Belfast, Ireland but who has now adopted the United States as his home has met practically all of the leading amateur boxers in the States during the last five years; these meeting were so numerous that he has actually lost count of the total; however, out of all his starts he has only lost five of them, all of which were lost on points.

Arrangements have been made for Coogan to train in the old Gymnasium on Victoria Street, immediately behind the Hamilton Hotel, and the public will be admitted between the hours of 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. daily when he will be seen working out with his several partners, all this week.

The bout is scheduled to take place at No. 1 Shed, Hamilton, through the courtesy of His Worship the Mayor and Corporation of Hamilton, on Friday evening next, and the promoters have arranged an attractive card of six preliminary four round contests in which will be featured the pick of the Royal Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and local talent with the main bout of six rounds in which Coogan will be matched against P.C. Arthur Childs of the Bermuda Constabulary.

Mr. Coogan comes to Bermuda under special arrangements with the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, and accompanied by his Manager, Mr. Ronald T. Garrodette. Both gentlemen are very favourably impressed with what they have so far seen of Bermuda.

Tickets for the show are now on sale at The Smoke Shop, next to the cable office on Front Street, and already a large number of the best seats have been sold, so that those intending to be present should make early reservations.

Mike Coogan and Arthur Childs
Photo Source: Patricia Ann W. Leyburn nee. Childs
 

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Friday, April 24th, 1936
United States Boxer matched against Bermuda Champion
at No 1 Shed Tonight

As will be seen from an advertisement elsewhere in these columns the boxing show to be held at No. 1  Shed tonight will feature Mike Coogan of the United States of America and P.C. Arthur Childs, Light heavyweight champion of Bermuda. Coogan has been fighting in the United States for the past five years and has a great record. Up to the present time he has only lost five matches, all on decisions; he is yet to be knocked out. He has held the championship of the U.S. Marines for a few years.

Childs has appeared twice in Bermuda, both times in the Main Bout, and he has made a great showing for himself. The first fight was against Leading Seaman Hill of the H.M.S. York and Light heavyweight Champion of the B.W.I. Squadron. Child’s k.o’d Hill in the first round. His second fight was against another Navy champion, A.B. Pal Clark the Light heavyweight Champion of the Canadian Navy.  Childs k.o’d him in the fourth round.

The main bout will supported by a good 6 round Semi-final between two Champions. Taff Bowers, the Fly Bantam and Featherweight champion of Bermuda, has fought over five hundred fights and up to the present has only lost one decision here in Bermuda. He will be matched against A. B. Lake of the H.M.S. York and Lightweight Champion of the B.W.I. Squadron of the British Navy. Lake has appeared in Bermuda several times and up to the present has never lost a fight.

The Main Preliminary will be between two Navy Champions A.B. Pal Clark of the Canadian Navy in which he has held the Light heavyweight Championship for the past five years and Leading Seaman Hill of the H.M.S. York and holder of the Light heavyweights Championship of the B.W.I. Squadron. They will both weigh-in at 175 lbs.

Four Round Preliminary: between A.B. Garvais, Welterweight champion of the Canadian Navy, and Sto. Perks of the British Navy.  Perks in 1934 and 1935 won the welterweight championships of H.M. Home fleet.

Four Rounds: between A.B. Hancock of the Canadian Navy and A.B. Wolstenholme of the British Navy.
Four Rounds: between Cpl. Castill, of the H.M.S York and A.B. Pat Welsh, South African fleet Champion 1931-1932.

Four Rounds: between A.B. Jock Rankin of the H.M.S. York and seaman Noble, North Command Champion.

The bouts will all be three minute rounds. Advance sale of ringside seats at The Smoke Shop and the Hotel New Windsor. The proceeds will go to the funds of the Bermuda Olympic Association. This show is being promoted by W. F. Hayward.

THE ROYAL GAZETTE AND COLONIST DAILY
Monday, April 27th, 1936
U.S. BOXER AWARDED DECISION OVER CHILDS
Local Man Outpointed In Grueling, 6-Round Fray
RECORD CROWD AT No. 1 SHED

Despite the threatening weather of Friday night, seats and standing room were at a premium in No 1 Shed, scene of the big boxing event of the season, with P.c. Childs, light-heavyweight ring champion of Bermuda, and “Mickey” Coogan of the Newark, N.J., Athletic Association featured in the final.

Coogan, an accepted contestant for “Golden Gloves” honors, and champion of the U.S. Marines at Nicaragua, was reported as weighing 160 pounds. The 22-year-old New Jersey boy looked very fit and all of his weight.

Childs, announced as having tipped the scales at 170 pounds, was also in prime condition, in spite of the pounds avoirdupois he must have lost since his encounter with the Canadian Navy champion, “Pal” Clark, a few weeks ago. From the standpoint of physical appearance there seemed little to choose between the two men, except that Childs’ showed a greater thickness in the nether extremities.

THE WARY “FIRST”
Following the preliminary bouts hereinafter described, there came an interval before the appearance of the major contestants, the usual taping of hands, glove adjustments, posing and photographing. Then the whistle, accompanied by the authoritative, “seconds out of the ring”, and then the bell sounded.
It was more or less of a “feel out”, that first round, with Childs on the aggressive side, registering a few nasty but not dangerous “wallops” and taking a few for himself. There was much wrestling about, causing the referee, Mr. Stanley Paschal to work about as hard as did the fighters. A tame round, altogether, with Childs slightly the better, or, if one prefers it, a trifle more than even.

Coogan’s superior sparring ability, in conjunction with his longer reach, served him in good stead in the second round, and Mr. Childs received a few unwelcomed but not especially hurtful “facials”. The constable proved that he could dish it out as well as he could take it, however, and Coogan did not go unpunished. In fact, he absorbed some rocking head blows that made the excited, expectant crowd look for something better (or worse), but the round ended before Childs could follow up his advantage.

COOGAN’S QUICK CROUCH
In the third round Childs pursued his stamp and rush tactics which had worked so successfully against his former opponent, Clark, but Coogan countered with a crouch which proved most disconcerting to the local boxer. Once, the stocky policeman nearly somersaulted over his opponent’s back. At no time did he gain any decided advantage from his precipitate advance. In most cases he took more than he gave.  But he was consistent.  He tried it over and over again, apparently undiscouraged, likewise apparently unable either to change his style or to profit by his opponent’s invariable counter.

The fourth was Coogan’s on points, and the fifth could be conceded to him on sheer ring-craft. He showed signed of weariness from Childs’ heavy blows, and if the latter had fought a headier battle things might have been different. But Childs stuck tenaciously to his stamp and rush style, Coogan elected to clinch, and neither man could gain any marked advantage.

CHILDS GREW STRONGER
It seemed as though Childs was growing stronger in the concluding, sixth round, or else Coogan was growing weaker. They went in at high speed, the preliminary handshake being a very brief, perfunctory affair. Coogan took some smashing blows to the face and body, his breath came in gasps, and he looked in distress, but always that long right came out to hold off his now more aggressive opponent, and in the in-fighting he covered up as well as ever. The round ended with both men fighting hard, both seemingly able to carry on. It looked as though Childs might have been better able to carry on if another round or two had been on the card. But that is a matter of opinion, perhaps, or of one’s ringside point of view.


COOGAN GETS DECISION
A hush fell over the excited audience, whilst the Judges made their decision. Then the referee walked over to Coogan’s corner, and held up his right arm. Childs had lost. The American boy was pronounced the winner, amid the usual cheering and booing.

Certainly he had out-boxed his opponent, but opinion seemed to be divided as to whether he had actually outfought him. Ten rounds or even eight rounds MIGHT have told a different story, and then, again, they might not.

But at all events it was a rare, good fight between two strong men, a sporting fight, a fairly even fight, and well worth remembering.

OTHER GOOD FIGHTS
The preliminary bouts provided plenty of action and three knock-outs of which the hardest was scored by A.B. “Pal” Clark, Canadian Navy champion, over tall L.S. Hill of H.M.S. York. Clark, at 175 lbs. had an advantage of five lbs.  Repeating the tactics which failed him in his recent bout against P.c. Arthur Childs, Clark came out of his corner a great and immediately whirled Hill into a neutral corner, where he landed some nasty body blows.
Hill boxed him off – sent him, in fact, across the ring in retreat – but Clark renewed the onslaught, flooring Hill with a jolting body blow followed by a straight left to the face. Hill came up immediately, but Clark swung a terrific right almost from his knees. It connected to the button of Hill’s jaw and he went to the canvas with a sickening thud. It was the deadliest knock-out seen here for many a day.

Although Arthur lost this bout to "Mickey" Coogan who was an excellent Golden Gloves contender, it would appear that the two men had a second fight in Bermuda according to a Royal Gazette article published on 22nd August 1969 shortly after Arthur's death.  According to the article,  this was a "spectacular return bout" which was won by Childs.  The Royal Gazette article also reported that following  this second fight the  two boxers enjoyed a long friendship, and that many years later when Arthur Childs had to go to the USA for treatment for a back ailment, it was "Mickey" Coogan who made arrangement for Arthur's hospitalization there.

 
RMS QUEEN MARY
 

P.C. Childs apparently made a 3 month trip to England to see his family in late 1937, and on 2nd February 1938 he sailed back from Southampton on board RMS Queen Mary  arriving in New York on 7th February 1938. At U.S. Immigration he gave his status as a single man; Aged 24 years (1914); and born in Shrewsbury, England; Occupation ‘police’; and that he was ‘in transit’ through New York to Police HQ, Bermuda. He stood 5’9½” tall.  He gave his father’s name and address as: W. Childs #6 Huntingdon, Horshoy, Wellington, England

He was travelling in company with another police officer named Patrick James Fennessy, aged 25, also in transit through New York to Bermuda. Both officers declared to the U.S. Immigration Inspector their intention to stay for 12 days in New York City, residing at the Taft Hotel. Both officers gave their last permanent address as being Hamilton, Bermuda. {see Index 18} 

VISIT TO BERMUDA BY DUKE AND DUCHESS OF WINDSOR

In August 1940, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited Bermuda enroute to the Bahamas.  Four years earlier the then King Edward VIII had renounced the throne for "the woman I love", Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, who he subsequently married.  The Duke and Duchess were on their way to the Bahamas where the Duke had been appointed Governor, and they stopped off in Bermuda for several days staying at Government House.  For more information about this visit go to Bernews at http://bernews.com/2013/05/the-duke-of-windsors-1940-bermuda-detour/

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the grounds of Government House -  August 1940
 

It was not unusal to have police officers guarding Government House when VIP's were staying there. In fact the Duke of Windsor had visited Bermuda on two previous occasions.  On this occasion, not surprisingly, P.C. Arthur Childs was assigned to security duties at Government House, and he would no doubt have spent the evenings guarding their sleeping quarters.

Note to Constable Arthur Childs signed by
Edward Duke of Windsor and Duchess Wallis Windsor
 

The  above note was presented to Arthur having been signed by the Duke and Duchess, and it is still in the possession of his daughter Patricia Ann W. Childs.

 
P.C. Arthur Childs stands on Queen
Street near the Perot Post Office
 

The Blue Book for 1946 confirms that by then Arthur Richard Childs was a First Class Constable (Supy. Sergeant) with an annual pay of £460 per annum plus “uniform allowance in lieu of quarters of £60 per annum.  There are other personnel listed as “Sergeant” with a slightly higher pay scale, so “Supy.” Sergeant probably means Acting Sergeant or Supervisory Sergeant.”  {see Index 22}

In this context I believe "Supy." means Supernumerary i.e. exceeding a regular or proper number; an extra. Also means to function as a substitute or assistant with regard to a regular body or staff. Supernumerary is an old term that once referred to part-time police officers.  Nonetheless, a supernumerary is a fully sworn officer who has the same powers as other officers but does not hold the substantive rank. Police departments define the job differently and some departments (and legislation) limit a supernumerary's powers. {see Index 19}

By 1950, Arthur was considering leaving the Police Force. Later that year he decided to retire and apply for permission to remain on Island and seek other employment

On the 15th November 1950 a letter was received by the Chairman of The Board of Immigration, from Captain Ross Winter, M.C.P. on letter-head of Winter-Cookson & Company, Limited read as follows:

Dear Sir,

As I have been given to understand the Sergeant [sic] Arthur Richard Childs, Bermuda Police Force, is about to be retired from that force in the near future and is consequently applying to your Board for permission to remain in the Colony and engage in an occupation suited to his ability, it gives me great pleasure to submit to you what I know of this gentleman:-

I have known Arthur Childs for something over 12 years and have always found him to be of the most exemplary character in every respect. He is a keen sportsman and has been a champion boxer in his younger years. It is my opinion that Mr. Childs would make an excellent citizen of Bermuda and be an asset to the Colony in all respects.

He is a fully trained mechanic specializing in internal combustion engines and has maintained his efficiency in this line of endeavor, during spare time, for a number of years of his police service. He informs me that if given permission to go into business here it is his intention of carrying on this particular line of endeavor by opening a Repair Service for automotive and similar types of equipment and I believe there is a decided need for further efficient and highly trained technicians in this field here and that this need is increasing be leaps and bounds owing to the steady influx of motors of all types.

I am further informed that Mr. Childs is engaged to a local girl and intends to be married in the near future.

I therefore strongly recommend your favorable consideration of his application to acquire domicile in this Colony following honorable retirement after many years of faithful service as a Police Officer.

Yours sincerely,
Ross Winter,
Captain M.C.P.{see Index19}

On the 28th November, 1950  the Chief Immigration Officer received a letter from lawyer Wm. R. Kempe at Appleby & Spurling & Kempe which read as follows:- 

Dear Sir:

We have been consulted by Mr. Arthur Richard Childs with regard to making application for permission to take up employment in Bermuda.

We enclose herewith the usual documents for such applications. These documents consist of two letters of recommendation, one from Dr., The Honourable R.C. Hollis Hallett, the Assistant Justice, and another from Captain Ross Winter. There is also a medical certificate from Dr. M.C. Fulton.

Mr. Arthur Childs came to Bermuda first in February 1934 in the Manchester Regiment. He joined the Police Department here in June 1935 and has served with the police ever since. After a six-month probationary period he entered into a series of three-year contracts with the police and is now about to end his fifth contract on the 4th December 1950. He has given due notice of his anticipated termination of duties with the police.

Our client has a good, sound knowledge as a mechanic. He has kept this up as a hobby for some years and would be able to immediately set up in business as a fully qualified repair mechanic. Permission has been granted by your Board to numerous firms in Bermuda to admit the importation of qualified mechanics in order to make up for a need for that trade in Bermuda. There is still a need for persons of those qualifications here in Bermuda. Our client has an exemplary character and is well known to most Bermudians. He was born in Shropshire and is 36 years of age. He has an Army discharge with an exemplary character and has conducted himself beyond reproach while with the Bermuda police force since he joined that force in 1935. He hopes to be able to set up in his own business as a repair mechanic and the letters of recommendation which we are submitting herewith aptly bear out the fact that he is qualified to maintain an efficient establishment in that field. It is hoped that your Board will see fit to give its favourable consideration to this application, and we would be pleased to forward any further information if you should so require.
Yours faithfully,
Appleby Spurling & Kempe {see Index 21}

ARTHUR RESIGNS FROM THE POLICE FORCE

Arthur terminated his employment with the Bermuda Police Force on Monday 4th December, 1950. Arthur’s daughter Patricia Ann Leyburn recently said that her father “did not stay in the Police because they would not promote him. He only made it to Sergeant and he deserved much better. He was loved by everyone and very well known on the island.”

On Wednesday 6th December, 1950 a letter to Messrs., Appleby, Spurling & Kempe from the Chief Immigration Officer, Bermuda reads as follows:-

Gentlemen,
I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 28th ultimo in behalf of your client, Mr. Arthur Richard Childs, and to advise you that the Board of Immigration will not object to Mr. Childs setting up in business as a repair mechanic.

A character reference from the Hon. R.C. Hollis Hallett is returned herewith.

Yours faithfully,
Chief Immigration Officer {see Index 23}

Arthur's niece, Dorothy Fogden (nee Hebberd) recently explained that “Whilst in the police force, Arthur was also working in his repair shop on the eastern side of Burnaby Hill where the Bank of Butterfield is located today. After leaving the Force he relocated to Victoria Street East at its junction with Union Street and from there moved later to Serpentine Road, Pembroke. Initially, he repaired mostly lawn mowers and cycles but later became a skilled locksmith advertising Keys Cut; Master Keying; Lock Repairs & Suitcase Repairs. Sales included Door Locks; Padlocks & Suitcase Hardware”.

His change of career was reported in the daily newspaper with the headline "FORMER BOXING CHAMPION WILL WRESTLE WITH MACHINES NOW.  Arthur Childs Opens Repair Shop in City."

FORMER BOXING CHAMPION WILL WRESTLE WITH MACHINES NOW
Arthur Childs Opens Repair Shop in City

The above article reads as follows:-

When professional boxers dream of their retirement they more often than not see themselves as proprietors of little country “pubs.”
Bermuda’s ex-light-heavyweight champion, Arthur Childs of Warwick, has come as near to the fulfilment as possible by opening a machine repair-shop in Hamilton. He is not running a “pub,” but his shop on Burnaby Street looks out on two of them.

Thirty-seven-years old, Mr. Childs came to Bermuda in 1933 with the Manchester Regiment. Through his participation in local sports, his name is as well-known to Bermudians and residents as Tommy Farr’s is to the habituees of his Brighton bar.

Mr. Childs is climaxing a career in the army and police force by going into business for himself. Twelve years ago he started pottering around with motors and built himself a workshop. Soon his friends and acquaintances were bringing their outboard motors to his workshop to get them repaired. So many of them were bringing in work that the ex-boxer found himself toiling for eight hours or more after finishing his “beat” on the police force.

The logical thing to do, thought Mr. Childs, was to “pack up” one or the other. It turned out to be the police force. Mr. Childs decided to use his self-taught knowledge of motors and machinery as a full-time job.
“When auto-cycles started coming to Bermuda it was right up my alley,” he says. “It was easy to switch from outboard motors to the little two-strokes.”

Boxing enthusiasts remember how Arthur Childs knocked out Pal Clark, a Canadian sailor, while defending his Bermuda title. Childs disposed of his opponent in four rounds. Originally, he won the title from Seaman Hill who he knocked out in two minutes and 53 seconds.

WAS DRUMMER BOY
Joining the army as a drummer boy at the age of 14, Arthur found he was in a regiment which “specialized” in boxing. That was because General Freyburg was in command.
Freyburg, who won the Victoria Cross encouraged boxing and shooting in his regiment and Childs was one of the most promising candidates.

One of his best fights, he recalls, was a contest against Mike Coogan, a Golden Gloves finalist, who was brought to Bermuda especially for the bout.

Besides his boxing accomplishments, Mr. Childs was a prominent member of the B.A.A. rugby team. He shot at Bisley for three consecutive years as a member of the regimental team which won all the prizes possible for one infantry regiment to secure.

Mr. Childs, a “Shropshire lad,” bought his discharge from the army to join the local police force.

Arthur’s daughter Patricia remembers “my Mum saying that she bought him his first key cutting machine before they were married.”

MARRIAGE OF ARTHUR CHILDS TO WINNIE SINCLAIR

On Tuesday, 25 August 1953 – Arthur Richard Childs married Doris Winifred "Winnie" Sinclair at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Hamilton. Joe Lindley was the Best Man and Mrs. Gloria Dearborn was Matron of Honour.  Their reception was held at “Loxdale”, North Shore Road, Devonshire (the home of the bride’s mother). 

Wedding Day 25th August 1953
Bride and Groom  -  Arthur and Winnie
Back Row -  Douglas "Red" Hebberd,  Joe Lindley.  
Gloria Dearbourne and Stanley Greenslade
 
Arthur and Doris cutting the cake at their wedding
 

Editors note -  One of the men in the wedding party was young Stanley Greenslade, a nephew of the bride, who appears in the photo above.  Within days of receiving this photograph from George Rose I happened to be playing in a golf tournament with Stanley Greenslade who was just 22 years at the time of his Aunt Winnie's wedding.  Although this was 65 years ago Stanley remembered the wedding very well because within a matter of weeks he got married to his wife  Jeanette,  and another member of the wedding party Douglas "Red" Hebberd (the late Inspector Hebberd) also married Stanley's cousin Kitty.

After their marriage Arthur and Winnie first resided in Paget. They had one child, a daughter – Patricia Ann Winifred Childs born in Bermuda on 05 March 1954. Patricia married David Ronald Leyburn of Syracuse, New York on 25 September 1982. They had one son Drew. David died in March 2007. Patricia and Drew now live in North Carolina, U.S.A.

Winnie was born a Greenslade and married/divorced Alexander Sinclair – which is why Winnie is listed as Sinclair and not as Greenslade at the time of her marriage to Arthur.  {see Index 24}

In May 1959 Arthur submitted an application for Bermudian Status accompanied by a sworn Affidavit in support of the application.  His private address at that time is shown as 4th Avenue, Cavendish Heights, Devonshire. Of note in this status application is that Arthur gave the full name of his father as William Childs, and his mother Annie then living at #8 Park View, Buildwas, Ironbridge, Shropshire, England. 

Arthur gave details of two periods of time in excess of two months that he had spent abroad as: ‘1938 – 3 months’ vacation in UK; 1948 – 4 months medical in USA (ruptured disc operation)’

He stated his then possession of £5,000.00 as capital, and stated his annual income as £1,000.00 derived from his own business.

Arthur’s sponsors were as follows:

Capt. Ross Winter                     - Merchant of Hinsons Island, Warwick
Frank E. Gurr, J.P.                     - Merchant of Blue Harbour, St. Georges
E.T. Lindley                                - Electrical Contractor of Devonshire South
William Alexander Henderson   - Clerk (Rtd. C/Insp. Police) of Gwelly Lodge, Somerset
William Murphie                         - Merchant of Verandah House, Pembroke
J. Douglas Murphie                    - Merchant of Windermere Lodge, Fairylands

[With the exception of Mr. J.D. Murphie (as noted later by the Board) the above sponsors [collectively] replied in the following manner to a letter of request dated 26th May 1959 from the Board of Immigration concerning Arthur Child’s status application]  

a) Resident of Bermuda over 25 years. Married to a Bermudian; Wishes to remain in Bda with wife and family. Has a business in Bermuda. He married a Bermuda girl. He served for a number of years on the Bermuda Police as a very efficient member and since leaving the Force he has acquired a business of Mechanics. He is a good sportsman and at one time held the Championship of Bermuda. He wishes security; Is satisfied and pleased with life here; Is making a satisfactory livelihood. He has married here after retirement from Police Force and has a child. Has gone into business on his own account and is presumably doing well. Wishes to make Bermuda his permanent home

b) One of a few good locksmiths and auto cycle mechanics on the Island, an excellent mechanic. Boxing, Football, A motor mechanic, A practicing locksmith & small motor repairs. Police work. Mechanics and internal combustion engines

c) Excellent character – on police force for number of years with excellent record – has responsibility. Excellent Police record, and from personal observation, shown that he would make a good citizen. He is an excellent character. Is a member of local Masonic Lodge and shares a pew in St. John’s Church, Pembroke. He has always been respected and liked both as a Police Officer and as a member of the public after leaving the Police Force. He has always been a steady, honest and useful member of society with an excellent service record.

d) Police recreation Club; Colony Club; St George Dinghy & Sports Club. Has been proficient, and is still interested in all sports. Since I have been resident in Somerset for the past 20 years I have no knowledge of his interests in Hamilton. Rifle shooting.  An ex-boxer of some renown; an instructor in boxing and physical training. Has a general interest in sports; Does his full share of social work as [does] any other member of society. I have known Arthur Childs for number of years and can honestly recommend him for acceptance as for Bermudian Status. {see Index 25}

Arthur was granted Bermudian Status on the 20th October, 1959. {see Index 27}

AN EXCELLENT MARKSMAN

During the course of his career in the Bermuda Police Force, Arthur establshed a reputation an an excellent marksman.  He was a valued member of the Police Rifle Club. The photo below shows Arthur with his fellow Police Team members at Warwick Camp in 1949.  Arthur was also a member of the Bermuda Rifle Club.

Police  Rifle Club Team at Warwick Camp - 1949
(l-r) Supt. Pantry, Sgt Childs, Sgt Ferris and Insp. Amos
 
 
Arthur Childs (5th from left) with group of marksmen 

The photo above may have been taken at the 10th Annual Bermuda Bisley held at Warwick Park Range in which Arthur Childs won the full bore rifle championship firing for the Bermuda Rifle Club as reported in the Mid Oean News clipping shown below. Unfortunately we do not have a date for either the group photo of the press clipping.  In addition to winning the William Frith Challenger Cup for the Bisley winner,  Arthur also "copped" the Glasgow Cup awarded to the highest scoring civilian.  

MID-OCEAN NEWS ARTICLE
[Unknown date]
Arthur Childs wins Sunday Bisley honors

Whilst still serving in the Bermuda Police Force, P.C. Childs had been awarded a certifcate from the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs upon  winning the "News of the World Club Club Member Competition" in 1948.   Winning this prestigous title entitled him to shoot annually for the News of the World Challenge Cup at Bisley, without entrance fee, so long as it is offered for competition.   Arthur was clearly an excellent marksman.

 
News of the World Cartificate awarded to Arthur Childs on 3rd May 1948  
 

LEGAL LOCK-PICKER!

Arthur also made news "internationally"  as a "Legal lock-picker" as reported in the (South) Shropshire Journal in 1966 which describes an incident involving Arthur and a "safe cracking champion". The Journal reported the following:-

An unusual experience recently befell a Shropshire man in Bermuda where he has his own machine repair shop and is well known as a locksmith.

“Frodesley born, [a parish in Atcham district] Mr. Arthur Childs (aged 53), was being entertained with his wife by fellow locksmith, Mr. Sal Schillizzi (who holds the “safe-cracking championship” by opening a tough combination lock in 17 minutes) when police arrived and provided livelier entertainment.

“A few blocks away in a 21-storey luxury apartment building two burglars had lifted a haul of gems but had been disturbed and were believed to be still in the building. Many of the apartments were unoccupied so Mr. Schillizzi and Mr. Childs picked 80 locks in almost two hours before the police decided the raiders had escaped.
“Mr. Childs is the eldest son of a family of twelve of Mrs. A Childs, who lives at Park View, Buildwas. He is a former light heavy-weight boxing champion of Bermuda, and was taught boxing while serving in the Manchester Regiment which he joined as a drummer boy at 14. He went to Bermuda with the regiment in 1933 and later bought his discharge. He then joined the local police force. He resigned from the force about 15 years ago [circa.1951] to devote all his time to his business of machine repairing and locksmith.

“Married, he has one daughter. He still keeps in touch with Shropshire through the ‘Journal’ which is sent to him each week.

[SOUTH] SHROPSHIRE JOURNAL
Thursday 29 September, 1966
Legal lock-picker
 

As mentioned earlier, after  leaving the Police Force, Arthur opened his own locksmith and lawn mower repair shop on, firstly on Burnaby Street then he later moved to premises  on Serpentine Road. Bermudian Locksmith Mr. Norman Ward of ‘Ward’s Locksmith Services’, Hamilton informs that, as a youngster newly out of school, he began working for Arthur Childs in the wooden shed-buildings on Serpentine Road in the mid 1960’s. Norman remembers watching from his workplace as the BELCO riots developed on the adjacent property on Tuesday, 2nd February 1965.”

Arthur Childs standing outside his Repair Shop on Serpentine Road
with his daughter Patricia (left) and her friend from Baltimore (centre)
 
Telephone book advert for Childs shop on Serpentine Road
 

Former Constable Territt (Terry) Cabral was employed by Arthur in his workshop on Serpentine Road, Pembroke in February 1965.Cabral commented on an  ExPo article written in March 2013 by P.C. David Mulhall entitled “Bermuda: The Belco Riot – A personal Memoir”, wherein Cabral wrote:   
“I was there also along with Arthur Childs as he tended the numerous weapons he had inside his shop at the eastern entrance to BELCO. He was making lunch and I was sharpening lawnmower blades.” {see Index 29}

ARTHUR PASSED AWAY IN AUGUST 1969

Very sadly, Arthur died in hospital after a short illness on Wednesday 20th August 1969 at the age of 55. He is buried at St. John’s Church Cemetery, Pembroke.

Arthur’s daughter, Patricia, recalls: “I remember the day after he died the police came to the house and asked where his guns were located. I was 15 at the time and my Mum had no clue so I told them where they were locked up. I donated them to the police. He loved his guns and rifles and used them often as he was a top marksman.”

 
Arthur Childs' Firearms Licence issued in 1962
 
The death of Arthur Childs was widely reported in the local media and included the following articles and tributes:-


 

THE ROYAL GAZETTE Sports Page One
Friday 22 August, 1969
ARTHUR CHILDS
Former top boxer dies

“Well-known locksmith and machinist Arthur Childs, whose funeral takes place today, was a former amateur boxer of some repute. Frequently during the 1930’s he was the main bout fighter in boxing shows put on in Bermuda to raise funds for the travelling expenses of local athletes going abroad to compete.

“He will be remembered for his great contests at the BAA Field with the American Mike Coogan from New Jersey – Coogan won the first match, but a spectacular return bout went to Childs.

“Strangely, this was the beginning of a long friendship between the two boxers. Many years later when Childs had to go to the USA for treatment for a back ailment, it was Coogan who made the arrangements for his hospitalization there.

“In 1936, in an Olympic Games fund-raising bout, Childs won against Irving Goldberg who was specially sent to Bermuda by the AAU of the USA.

“Another boxer to fall against Childs’ precision punching was KO expert Pal Clark, former heavyweight champion of the Canadian Navy. Clark rose to fame when he floored Phil Scott at his Florida camp while in training for his world heavyweight title bout with Jack Sharkey. Against Childs it was Clark’s turn to be on the receiving end of a knockout punch. Childs finished him in three rounds.

“W.F. “Chummy” Hayward, Bermuda Olympic Association president who organized boxing shows in which Childs took part, said last night of him: “He was such a fine boxer that we had to look for outside competition for him. He always gave a good display”

Arthur Childs’ death occurred in hospital after a short illness. He was 55.
The funeral is at St. John’s Church, Pembroke, at 5 p.m.”

As related by Winnie’s niece, Elizabeth Moore:

“Arthur was a soldier, a policeman, a marksman, a boxer, a skilled locksmith and he played some rugby. He was a big man with a big heart.
He was also the best uncle, father and husband. The world would do well to have more people who could emulate him.
He was a good man with a very kind heart who died at the very young age of 55”.

 

THE ROYAL GAZETTE
Wednesday 27th August, 1969
Arthur Childs
A Tribute

The passing of Arthur Childs last week in the prime of his life was noted in your sporting pages as it should have been. Many however, may not know that in addition to his prowess as a boxer, he played rugger in his younger days and was an excellent marksman, so much so that he won trophies, amongst them the Bermuda Bisley Trophy, in open competition here under the Bermuda Rifle Association.

Perhaps, in a way, his marksmanship exemplified his life, for he was always “On Target” in sport and in work. He had no time for humbug, was forthright in his comments and gave of his best. In a time when so many want to know what they are “going to get,” Arthur Childs gave. First he served his country in the Army, then the Police Force in Bermuda, and finally he served the community well by being a good craftsman in the land of his adoption.

I doubt that anyone born here liked Bermuda more. His contribution to the island in sport, work and family, reflected this. The community needs people like Arthur Childs, his honesty, forthrightness, and we are the poorer for his passing.
(contributed)

WINNIE CELEBRATES HER 100th BIRTHDAY

Although her husband passed away in 1969,  his wife Winnie soldiered on in good health, and in October 2013 she celebrated her 100th birthday  which was reported in a lovely artcle published in the Royal Gazette as follows:-

THE ROYAL GAZETTE
Tuesday, 22 October, 2013
WINNIE CHILDS
‘Secret to long life is not dying young’

Winifred "Winnie" Childs at 100 years young!
(Photo courtesy Royal Gazette)
 

“The secret to long life is not dying young, that’s the tongue in cheek wisdom from Winifred “Winnie” Childs, 100, and nephew-in-law Norman Roberts, 95.
Mr. Roberts, a former St George’s mayor, celebrated his birthday earlier this month, and Mrs. Childs marked a century of living on August 10. They have known each other since Mr. Roberts first started courting his future wife Margaret, Mrs Childs’ niece, in 1945.

“With almost 200 years of life experience between them, the deeper lesson they have to teach might be - don’t take life too seriously.

“Honestly, I don’t have a clue what the secret to long life is,” said Mrs Childs.

“And while today’s nutritionists make various claims that what you eat extends your life, Mrs. Childs said, in fact, she eats anything, “except scuttle”.
“I hate scuttle,” she said with a shudder.

“Mrs. Childs grew up in Devonshire, one of nine children. Her parents were [Thomas John Watkins Greenslade and Rosina Harriet Maud Greenslade nee Loxdale]. One of her grandfathers’ came from England to work in the Dockyard.

“Growing up she said she didn’t have a lot of time for hobbies as she had to help her mother with her siblings. She attended Whitney Institute and worked at TJ Wadson’s, a bicycle repair shop, and then did book keeping at Bermuda Fire and Marine. She married Arthur Childs who came to Bermuda from England as a policeman. He later opened his own locksmith and lawn mower repair shop on Serpentine Road. They had one daughter, Patricia Leyburn. Mr Childs died in 1969." {see Index 31}

A MAJOR SUPRISE!

George Rose explains a major surprise during his research on the life of Arthud Childs -  "As part of my early enquiries, I came upon the above article and read much to my surprise, that Arthur’s wife, Winnie, had reached the age of 100 in 2013. I bore no thoughts that she could still be alive and well right here in Bermuda – (in 2017).

However, following the ‘Greenslade’ lead within the 2013 Royal Gazette article, I went forthwith to speak with a friend, Daniel Greenslade, who turned out to be Winnie’s great nephew. Daniel confirmed that Winnie was indeed still with us at the grand old age of 104 and that she was  residing at the Westmeath Residential & Nursing Care Home in Pembroke. I went immediately to Westmeath where I first confirmed her presence there, and then made arrangements to formally interview her as soon as possible in company with her niece Dorothy Fogden and Dorothy’s brother Peter Hebberd.

Winnie Childs aged 104 with her niece Dorothy Fogden and nephew Peter Hebberd


I have to say that it was a pleasure and an honor to be in the company of Winnie Childs who was delighted that we had taken such an interest in her husband Arthur after all these years. Winnie kindly agreed to have her photograph taken with me by Roger Sherratt, and I found her to be a most gracious lady whom I shall never forget.

Winnie Childs with George Rose taken at Westmeath - 2017
 

Grateful thanks are also extended to Arthur and Winnie’s daughter, Patricia Leyburn; and to Winnie’s nieces Dorothy Fogden and Elizabeth Moore for their sterling interest, knowledge and sharing of Arthur’s unusual life story. Without their assistance this article would have remained silent on many important aspects of Arthur’s life.

Elizabeth recalls:-

“Like Arthur, Winnie came from a large family.  She had eight siblings. She loves company and parties. The more the merrier. She is still very young at heart.
When in her own home, she was known to never let you leave without that famous “cup of tea.”

Patricia pays a final tribute to her father when she writes:-

“My Dad kept a scrapbook of all his exploits so it was easy to pull info for you.  He certainly had an adventurous life even though it was cut short. He left home at 13 as he did not want to be a burden on the family. He was the eldest of 14 and joined the army as a drummer boy. The Manchester Regiment was a boxing regiment. His brother, Sydney, also joined the army and boxed too. There is only one brother living. You have done my Dad proud. He deserves to be remembered and this will be a wonderful keepsake for generations to come. Thank you for all your efforts and Roger’s too. Great job, I will cherish this article.”

I’m appreciative also of the kind assistance of Karla Ingemann at The Bermuda Archives and extend my thanks to her accordingly.

Above press reports were transcribed with the use of a magnifying glass from difficult to read micro film held at the Bermuda Library. The extended scanning assistance by staff at the Bermuda Library is much appreciated.

For contact & further research into the activities of the ‘boxing regiment’ {see Index 32}

EDITORS NOTE -

This project began with a simple request from a graphic designer in Canada asking if we could assist her in re-constructing an old and badly torn poster advertising the boxing match in April 1936 between AB "Pal" Clark and P.C. Arthur Childs.  Although I was aware from a conversation with "Custy" Crockwell many years ago that Arthur Childs had been an excellent boxer in his day,  I was not aware whether there were any family members still on Island. A search of our Police records drew a complete blank other than a photo of P.C's Arthur Childs and Jack Harrison in one of our Police magazines.

When I approached George Rose about the possibility of him tackling this project I had no idea what a wealth of information he would uncover as he used his detective skills to piece this article together.  I can assure readers that George spent countless hours researching at the library and Government archives, then calling relatives of Arthur Childs, who have been most helpful in answering his questions and providing photographs. Fortunately, Arthur kept a scrapbook which was invaluable in piecing together his life story.  It sounds unbelievable, but neither George nor myself were aware that Arthur's wife, Winnie, aged 104, was still alive and residing here in Bermuda, until quite late in the project.  

Thank you George for doing such a brilliant job and sincere thanks to all those who assisted him, especially members of Arthur Childs' family.

We trust that our readers will enjoy this journey back in time about a police officer who richly deserves his rightful place here in our Hall of Fame.

 

NOTES

1    http://search.findmypast.co.uk  (subscription required)

2    https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2F5C-NQP

3    http://search.findmypast.co.uk (subscription required)     

4    https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:26CJ-2V9

5      https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2FR2-JDW
6    The Bermuda Archives – (Info supplied by applicant for Bermudian Status in 1959)</p> <p>7    <a href="http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=3547.0">http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=3547.0<br />     <br />8    <a href="http://www.themanchesters.org/indexold.html">http://www.themanchesters.org/indexold.html</p> <p>9    <a href="http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=6359.0">http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=6359.0</p> <p>10   <a href="http://www.tameside.gov.uk/LibrariesandLeisure/MuseumsandGalleries/1st-Battalion">http://www.tameside.gov.uk/LibrariesandLeisure/MuseumsandGalleries/1st-Battalion

11    http://www.bermuda-online.org/britarmy.htm

12   The Bermuda Archives / Application for Grant of Bermuda Status – 15th May 1959

13   The Bermuda Archives

14   The Bermuda Archives

15   The Bermuda Archives

16    http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/h/a/y/Richmond-H-Hayward/BOOK-0001/0004-0043.html

17    http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20131022/island/131029956

18     List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigrant Inspector at
       New York – on board [S.S.] Queen Mary in 1938
       https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-95N6-N58?i=289&cc=1923888
       https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-G5N6-JCH?i=290&cc=1923888ert

19     The Bermuda Archives

20     The Bermuda Archives

21     The Bermuda Archives

22   The Bermuda Archives / The Annual Blue Books for 1946

23   The Bermuda Archives     

24   Winnie’s niece – Elizabeth Moore nee Hebberd

25   The Bermuda Archives / Sworn Affidavit in support of an Application for the Grant of
      Bermudian Status

26   The Bermuda Archives / Minutes of a Meeting of the Bermuda Board of Immigration      
      dated 20th October, 1959 agreeing to the grant of Bermudian Status to Arthur
      Richard Childs.

27   The Bermuda Archives / Board of Immigration grants Arthur Childs’ application for
      Bermudian Status

28   The Bermuda Archives / Last will and testament of Arthur Richard Childs

29     http://expobermuda.com/index.php/dues/18-interesting/178-belcoriotmulhall

30    Winnie’s niece – Dorothy Fogden nee Hebberd

31    Extract from Lifestyle profiles senior citizens in the community by Jessie Moniz   
       Hardy.  http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20131022/ISLAND/131029956

32    http://www.tameside.gov.uk/archives/manchesterregiment

 

 

Tagged Under

Comments  

#4 Jay Clarke 2018-06-01 14:22
As the Grandson of Albert Pal Clarke. Thank you for posting this info. My Grandmother always said Pal might have only lost 1 fight and this is the one. I finally have some boxing info on my Grandpa :-)

Any chance for a better copy of the poster?

Editors note - Great to hear from you Jay. All of this amazing story came out as a result of the poster which was restored by the lady in Canada. I just checked my copy and it's not high res so I will check with the author, George Rose, and see if we can send you a better quality copy. Many thanks for writing. It's a small world!
Quote
#3 John McQuaid 2018-05-21 20:59
Only just spotted this piece by George. A great effort and enjoyable to read. Well done George, just shows that all this stuff is out there, waiting for us to seek it out!

Editors note - I fully agree John. George put a huge amount of painstaking reserach into this project as is evident from all the information he collected with the help of Arthur's family. George is presently working on another "Hall of Fame" article which should also be fascinating.
Quote
#2 James Amos 2018-02-01 15:40
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about Arthur. I was fortunate enough to be present when the photo of the four Police team members, Chas. Pantry, Arthur, Joe Fearis,and Dad was taken on Warwick Long Range. Insp. James Amos was my Dad and I frequently went with him on competition days and I am proud to say I knew Arthur quite well. I was 14 at the time. I also recall a number of shooters, civilian by that time, i.e.,Chas. Barnes, Donald Drury, Albert Whiting who I competed with and against..... all great memories.

Editors note - Many thanks for your kind comments Jimmy, Now we have to tackle the article on your dad!
Quote
#1 terry 2018-01-26 18:47
Thanks for the update and how one can respond to what one wants to say.

Best I take a back seat and let historic memories be shared by us and communication.

Winnie and I go back even more than George Rose can investigate.

Editors note - That's you decision Terry. I was hoping you would provide your own insights. George Rose has done an amazing job researching and writing the story of Arthur Childs, so much so that we will soon be publishing Part 2 of Arthur's life story.
Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh