Sergeant Dudley Francis Proctor
Served from December 1950 -  December 1975
 
Sgt Dudley Proctor

Retired Sergeant Dudley Proctor is one of our senior police pensioners at the age of 84, and he is still active enough to have attended the Bermuda Police Parade of Staff (past and present) held during the  Police Week Celebrations in October (2014).

Dudley was born on 10th August 1930, the son of Zaman Proctor, and Rita (nee Bulford) Proctor.   His grandfather on his mother’s side, Albert T. Bulford was born in Plymouth, England in 1862. He came out to Bermuda to work in the Dockyard, believed to be as a blacksmith, and while in Bermuda he met and married Emma Geraldine (nee Evans).

    
 Dudley's parents Zaman and Rita (nee Bulford) Proctor

Dudley attended the West End School then Merle Brock’s Adult Education School, and after leaving school decided to learn a trade, working as a plumber at the Royal Naval Dockyard until it closed. 

He recalls his Uncle, Edwin Arnold Bulford, advising him to “be of some service to your country”. Dudley says that as a young lad he knew a Somerset constable who’s name he recalls as Carl Simmons who was a very upstanding policeman, and looked up to him as a good role model.  Maybe P.C. Simmons had some influence in Dudley decided that he should join the Police Force/

At that time it was essential that police recruits had an unblemished record, and Dudley says local recruits had to provide references from two members of Parliament and a Minister or Pastor. 

He was able to meet all of the criteria, and he applied for and was accepted as a Police Constable on 17th December 1950. The only officer still with us who joined before Dudley is Gladwin “Doc” Hall who joined in 1st October 1950.

Dudley describes how he was given some law books, including the Hamilton Traffic Ordinances, a book entitled “Police Duties” and a copy of the Criminal Code.  He would sit in an office at the back of Hamilton Police Station (situated on Parliament Street where the Government Office Building now stands) under the direction of Superintendent Percy Miller.

He became friendly with another new recruit, William “Syke” Smith who was accepted on the Force on 1st January 1951.   Early in the New Year, Dudley was posted to Hamilton Police Station and he recalls that his first Sergeants were Harold Dunstan, Joe Ray, Leslie Burge, and Sergeants Burch and Blackwell.

Dudley recounts how he was given excellent advice by Constable Sinclair “Bunkers” Bean who gave him “lectures”  about how to approach the public, and how to handle yourself in difficult situations such as when dealing with domestic complaints. “Bunkers” also gave him some sage advice about patrolling Reid Street East -  the area on Reid Street between Court Street and King Street which at that time was by far the roughest area in Town.

This was at a time when there were numerous bars in the area, including three owned by James “Dick” Richards, a Jamaican who Dudley describes as a very successful businessman who died a millionaire and also owned the White Hill Field. One of “Dick’s” bars was upstairs and was used by him to entertain special guests such as his business associates.  Another of Dick’s bars was very rough and was used extensively by longshoremen who would often get into fights but would usually shake hands after a scuffle. 

Dudley remembers three of the longshoreman who called themselves "The Three Musketeers". They were all very strong and fit longshoremen who would often get involved in fights.  Their names were Dill, Iris and Trott.  He says the longshoremen’s favourite drink in those days was black rum and port wine, called “Sneaky Pete’s”.

Another regular feature of life on Reid Street East was the arrival of sailors off visiting ships. One of the attractions of the area was the presence of prostitutes, and of course alcohol, and the Reid Street East area was strictly off limits to all service personnel!  But Dudley described how the sailors would leave their ships in uniform and then change into civilian clothes because  Shore Patrol would have no authority over “civvies” unless they could prove they were military personnel.  For that they needed the help of local police in asking for ID.  And woe betide them if caught because Shore Patrol wouldn’t hesitate to rough them up and throw them in the back of their vans to take them back to the Naval Operations Base (NOB).

Dudley spent 7 years on the beat in Hamilton working alongside Winston “Super” Lottimore, Carl Maybury, Mel Dickinson, and many other young constables, and he was then transferred as a Parish Constable to Pembroke East, which covered a wide area including Cavendish Road, Happy Valley, Lower and Upper Middletown, Parsons Road, Friswell’s Hill, Glebe Road, Government Gate, and from the Tennis Stadium all the way to Richardson’s Restaurant on North Shore Road which was then  owned by “Pop” Richardson  who also operated a  horse-drawn lunch wagon in the evenings between the Flagpole and No. 1 Shed on Front Street.

Dudley and Oriel (nee Richardson) on their wedding day in 1952

Two years after joining the Force, Dudley married the love of his life, Oriel (nee Richardson) in 1952, and they had three children, Colin, Alaine and Laurie. 

After getting good results in the Parishes, Dudley was recruited into CID by D/Supt Dick Fielders, and there he worked alongside Chief Inspector Oliver Trott,  Sinclair Bean, Syke Smith and other great detectives.

 P.C. Dudley Proctor (2nd from left on front row) and other officers
attending a Refresher Course at Prospect in August 1962

He was promoted to Sergeant in March 1965, and served for a while in Central Division (Uniform) before attending a CID Course at the Police Training School at Bishopgarth, Yorkshire, in 1964. 

(Editors note -  I worked on Dudley’s Watch in Hamilton shortly after he was promoted, and shortly afterwards we had our photograph taken at  the birdcage.)

Sgt Proctor with P.C. Roger Sherratt directing
traffic at the birdcage on Front Street

In 1966 Dudley was transferred to Western Division (Somerset) as a Sergeant and took over as Acting Inspector when Inspector Derek Taylor was away on leave. He retired after 25 years service  on 17th December 1975.

Dudley relaxing at the PRC tennis courts

During his service Dudley played for a while in the police cricket team, and he enjoyed playing tennis.  He also became an active Freemason.

He served under five Commissioners  -  McBeath, Henderson, Robins, Duckett,  and Clark .

Sgt Dudley Proctor takes a call

Dudley received three Commissioner’s Commendations. The first was on May 29 1958, for zeal and intelligence in handling a case of stealing for which he received a reward of £5. Dudley recalls that this case involved the culprit stealing from a visiting tourist while she was at Devonshire Dock on North Shore Road.  Dudley was living on Dock Hill at the time and was just coming home on his lunch break. He obtained a description of the culprit from a fisherman at the scene, started looking around the area, and found the culprit who he then arrested. 

Sergeants  Dudley Proctor & Norman Ingemann 
 outside Hamilton Police Station

He received his second commendation on 28th January 1965, for excellent interrogation of a suspect involved in a robbery that occurred on Parsons Road on New Year’s Day.  As a result of obtaining a confession two culprits pleaded guilty and were sent to prison.

His third Commendation, awarded on 9th February 1970, resulted from an incident where a man walked into Somerset Police Station and confessed to Dudley, who was the Sergeant on duty, that he had just murdered his girlfriend.  Dudley recalls that the man was shaking and trembling, and when asked how he had killed her, he replied ”With my hands man.”

The man had been watching a football game at Somerset Cricket Club on a Sunday with his girlfriend when she starting talking to another man.  The man accompanied his girlfriend back to her family home and in a fit of jealous rage he tried to choke her to death.  After she collapsed, he was convinced he had killed her and walked into the Station to tell the first police officer he met that he had just killed his girlfriend.

After obtaining brief details of the woman’s name, Dudley knew her family and where she lived, and thinking quickly, he grabbed a resuscitator from the Station and rushed to the scene to find the victim collapsed next to her bed.  Dudley immediately used the resuscitator and asked his duty driver to call for the ambulance.  While using the resuscitator, a piece of equipment not often used, even by police officers, Dudley says he felt the warmth returning to her body, and she was rushed to hospital where she made a complete recovery.  There was no doubt that Dudley had saved her life through his quick thinking and quick action.

Sgt Dudley Proctor receiving his Colonial Long Service and Good Conduct
medal from His Excellency Lord Martonmere, with Insp Dave Parsons
looking on at the Police Field, Prospect, in December 1968

Dudley was awarded the Colonial Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in December 1968, and the clasp in February 1976.

Sgt Dudley Proctor at Government House to receive the clasp to his
Long Service Medal from H.E. Sir Edwin Leather in 1976. He is seated
on the left of the front row. Next to him is Sgt Charles (J.J.)“Bongo”
Williams. Other Police officers in photo include  Sgt Mike Burke,
  Insp Doug Hebbard,Inspector Gladwin “Doc” Hall and Sgt Gerald “Gerry” James.

While still in the Police Force, Dudley was seconded to the Magistrate’s Court as Deputy Provost Marshall and under the supervision of the Registrar of the Supreme Court he helped to re-organize the Bailiff’s system.

After his retirement from the Force he was employed by Benny Rego, owner and manager of Rego’s Real Estate working as an independent agent.  He also worked for a while in the Collection Office at the Bermuda National Bank, and took the position of Consumer Collection Officer when the BNB merged with the Bank of Butterfield.

Dudley retired from the Bank at the age of 65 but never one to stand still, he opened a shop at the Clock Tower Mall in Dockyard selling flags, military uniforms, memorabilia, and souvenirs.  He also took time to write his memoirs in a book entitled “Code Blue”.

Throughout his life Dudley has been an active member of the Bright Temple AME Church which he had helped to build.  He had moved to Warwick in 1964 and this gave his late son, Colin, an opportunity to work with his father on helping to build the church.  Dudley went on to serve as a Trustee on the Finance Committee and also helped to organize the church’s harmonica choir.

Sadly, Dudley has had more than his share of tragedy.  His oldest son Colin died of cancer at the age of 39;  his daughter Alaine passed away in July 2007 at the age of 51, and his beloved wife, Oriel, passed in July 2004 at the age of 74.

 Dudley's late daughter Alaine and her daughter
Shohreh who now lives in Engand 

However, his youngest daughter, Laurie, now lives in Pennsylvania with her two son’s Aaron, now aged 19 and Brian now aged 16. Dudley loves to spend time with his two grandson’s whenever possible.

 
Dudley's daughter Laurie Quarterman
 
     
Dudley's grandsons Aaron and Brian Quarterman

His other grandchild, Shohreh, lives in England and recently married a fellow Bermudian D’Jean Smith.

Dudley still manages to keep active. He is a seasoned traveler and also loves to bake cakes, especially gingerbread.   He was the oldest retiree to attend last October’s Police Week Parade of Staff celebrating the 135th Anniversary of the founding of the Bermuda Police.

Retired Sergeant Dudley Proctor with Commissioner of Police,
Michael DeSilva outside City Hall, at the Police Week Parade of Staff –  October 2014
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Comments  

#3 Doug Proctor 2016-01-07 20:00
Knew Sgt Proctor when I first arrived as a constable (396) in Bermuda in June 1972. Often wondered whether he was a long lost relation of mine - Proctor is a not so well used North of England name (tell him that the old English meaning is 'Keeper of the Kings Purse - one of the first tax collectors!) I would be very proud to call him a relation. (My father Dennis Proctor was born in the same year as Dudley) Keep up the family name, Sgt Proctor!!

Editors note - Thanks for writing Doug. Will pass your message onto Dudley who is not on internet. Any chance you could write and let us know where you are and what you are doing these days, and send us a recent photo for out "Keeping in Touch" column. Would be very pleased to hear from you again.
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#2 Davie Kerr 2015-02-22 10:25
With all due respect, Roger, I think the photo of Dudley receiving his LSM from Lord Martonmere in 1968 is at National Stadium rather than Police Field, which didn't exist until the '70s and was officially opened in '71.

Editors note - Thanks for pointing that out Davie. I think it was Dudley himself who thught it was at the Police Field.
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#1 Terry 2015-01-17 14:35
Something about those west end buys.
Soft spoken with an iron fist but never used.
I don't think I ever worked with him per sey on a watch but he may have filled in in Central at times in the late 60's/early 70's.

Memories.
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