Who Where When Photos

Riot Squad recruits!

Riot Squad recruits!

We just received this photo of a group of guys who are clearly not on regular beat patrol.  Some of them had barely arrived on the Island when they found…

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The Eastern Crew!

The Eastern Crew!

We recently posted an article about one of the young constable's in this photo in our "Then and Now" column, and while checking our albums for photos of Eastern Divisional…

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One Whacky Team!

One Whacky Team!

We received this photo in November 2020 of a group of characters who appear to be in some kind of sports kit, along with a team mascot!   There was a…

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Knees on Parade!

Knees on Parade!

Here's a parade of knees in Summer uniform and we wanted to know who are the members of this Watch, who is the Watch Sergeant, and where and when was…

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Good Old Days at the Barracks!

Good Old Days at the Barracks!

This is a departure from our usual “Who, Where and When” photos because it consists of a series of photos that have come into our possession centred around Arthur Rose…

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Wingood's Westerners!

Wingood's Westerners!

We pointed out from the outset that this photo is of Western Divisional personnel  when the officer-in charge of Western Division was our good friend Hilton "Jellybean" Wingood.  "Jellybean" is…

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Group of Eight - Parish Constables

Group of Eight - Parish Constables

GROUP OF EIGHT  -  PARISH CONSTABLES   We thought this was  a group of real characters in this "Group of Eight"! We wanted to know they, where and when was…

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A Golden Group!

A Golden Group!

We were initially looking for a photo of this Localisation Course which took place in late October or early November 1970  for a feature article about all the young police…

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Sporty Bobbies on Tour

Sporty Bobbies on Tour

No. This is not the cast of performers from the 'Pirates of Penance' contingent of policemen!   It is a group of sporty "Bermuda Bobbies"  complete with their bobby helmets,…

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A Maritime Photo!

A Maritime Photo!

We recently (in late August 2020) came into possession of this photo with a distinctive 'maritime' flavour and we could see some very familiar faces but what we needed to…

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A Twenty Twenty Photo?

A Twenty Twenty Photo?

We're calling this our 20/20 Photo and you can hopefully figure out the reason why (nothing to do with the year!), but we also want to know the names of…

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Tuxedos and suits!

Tuxedos and suits!

Tuxedos and suits!   Remember the days when men used to wear bow ties and white tuxedos, and suits with collar and tie?  Here's a group of smart young men…

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Who's the young lady with these old timers?

Who's the young lady with these old timers?

Who's the young lady with these old timers?   Everyone in this photo has a connection with Bermuda, including the young lady!  We just need to know who they all…

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A Very Special Group!

A Very Special Group!

We are featuring not just one "Special" photo this week, but two photos taken perhaps within a few years of each other and with a number of the same faces.…

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Old Timers Galore!

Old Timers Galore!

Here we have a group of "Old Timers" from a bygone era,  and we wondered just  how many of these characters we can collectively recognise, and when and why was…

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Vic and Jimmy's lads

Vic and Jimmy's lads

We had just published this photo elsewhere on our website and wondered if you can find it.  But we also wanted to know who, where and when, as usual. We…

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Ron played Rugby?

Ron played Rugby?

        We figured that although this photo is slightly blurred we had no doubt the vast majority of our ExPo members would immediately know what sport they…

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Scotland Yard Team with Senior Officers

Scotland Yard Team with Senior Officers

We certainly have some great characters in this photograph and in some ways it is historic because of who are seen in it together.  We want to know where and…

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Room with a view!

Room with a view!

  WHO, WHERE AND WHEN? A ROOM WITH A VIEW!   We just received this photo of two police officers hard at work in an office and we want to…

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Old Photos of Bobbies at Heyl's Corner

Old Photos of Bobbies at Heyl's Corner

These four photos of police officers in Hamilton were recently posted on the wonderful website, “Old Bermuda: Our Island, Our History”. We are very interested to know if anyone might…

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A Mean Team!

A Mean Team!

Now here is one "Mean Team" but who are they,  which team are they, and when was this photo taken??  

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Fitness Fanatics?

Fitness Fanatics?

        It didn't take 24 hours for us to have all the answers as to the names of these seven superfit looking young men, who were, of…

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Safe drivers!

Safe drivers!

  Here's a memory tester for those who worked in Traffic Department in the 1980's, and for anyone else serving in the Bermuda Police along with any of these men…

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No tee totallers here!

No tee totallers here!

We recently received this photo of a group of young men heading abroad to some sort of gathering. We thought just for a mili-second that they might be some kind…

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Wild Westerners!

Wild Westerners!

    This group may not be "wild westerners" exactly but there is no prize for figuring our where this photo was taken.  What we would like to know is…

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A really motley crew!

A really motley crew!

  Now here's a really "Motley Crew" if ever there was one!   All we wanted you to do was to provide all of their names,  what pastime you think…

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A Motley Crew!

A Motley Crew!

  We  just recently came into possession of this photo of a group of policemen who appeared to be quite a motley crew!  We had no doubt that we wouldn't…

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Retirees Reunion - 1989

Retirees Reunion - 1989

  This photo has to be one of the most historic we have ever published, which we did for the first time  in May 2013.   It contained the largest…

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Drug Busters!

Drug Busters!

Here's another photo we received quite recently and is one of several of the same department taken at different times.  We figured it might not be easy to identify everyone…

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Is this an early Training Course?

Is this an early Training Course?

  We are about to publish an article about one of these police officers  and we are wondering just how many people we can identify from this photo from the…

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Boys in Blue - and flat caps

Boys in Blue - and flat caps

  This is the second photograph we received recently from the same era as our last "Who, Where and When" photo but not from the same source.  Sadly, one of…

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Khaki uniforms and flat caps

Khaki uniforms and flat caps

  We recently received this photo from one of our former Bermuda Police officers who settled in Western Canada after leaving the Island in the early 1960's.  We didn't have…

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An 'Official' Photo!

An 'Official' Photo!

  I doubt if we have ever previously published a "recent" photo in our "Who, Where and When" column but we decided to make an exception in this case. We…

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Wearing White Tuxedos for Weddings

Wearing White Tuxedos for Weddings

Wearing White Tuxedos for Weddings    We have just received this copy of a wedding party from the early 1960's  at a time when men wore white tuxedo jackets.  We…

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Who's having a good time!

Who's having a good time!

  We indicated that the guest of honour at this party is the gentleman wearing a white hat, not the young lad who appears to be quite intimidated by all…

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Eastern Division's Finest!

Eastern Division's Finest!

We have just published an article in our "Hall of Fame" column about Peter Stubbs who served in the BPS from 1957 until his retirement in 1981. Sadly, Peter passed…

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Old Timers!

Old Timers!

    These men in our latest "Who, Where and When" photo really take us back in time, and if you weren't in the Bermuda Police during the early/mid-1960's you…

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Singing Bobbies in the Birdcage!

Singing Bobbies in the Birdcage!

I'm sure we have featured our group of "Singing Bobbies in the Birdcage" before but I can't find a caption for it so we would like to test yourmemories and…

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Officers Brigade

Officers Brigade

  We found this photo in our files and wondered if we could collectively identify everyone it in, and work out when and why it was taken.  We have to…

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Oh Happy Days!

Oh Happy Days!

    It seems appropriate this week to post this photo of a very happy group of our colleagues at a time when we are mourning the loss of one…

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Gardening Brigade!

Gardening Brigade!

   As stated when we first published this photo it is definitely not the BPS Gardening Club  but it sure looks like this group had been gardening!  We wanted to…

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A Green Team!

A Green Team!

  We recently received this photo of a very impressive "Green Team" from our old friend Dave Garland and we wondered how many people could identify all the players, several…

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Men from the East

Men from the East

We recently received this group photo from former P.C. Ian Kittle who has written an excellent article for our "Then and Now" column which you can view at http://expobermuda.com/index.php/tan/658-ian-kittle Ian sent…

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A Dangerous Group!

A Dangerous Group!

We recently came into possession of this photo and immediately realized this is one 'dangerous' looking group of men by any definition! We asked if you could assist us in…

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Oldie but goldie  group

Oldie but goldie group

    We just received this photo of a group of oldies but goldies in red and white shirts and we wonder if you can help us to identify who…

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Fuzzy Photo - Fuzzy Memories!

Fuzzy Photo - Fuzzy Memories!

  We recently received this photo of a group of young men who got together on a very special day in the early  1970’s.  As you can see it’s a little…

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Smart suits and ties!

Smart suits and ties!

  We recently poached this photo of a group of smartly dressed men from Pete Giles Facebook page   -  with apologies to Pete.  We were enquiring who is in…

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Which Team is This? JIS 1980

Which Team is This? JIS 1980

  We received this photograph of a team of men and women who all worked in one of the most challenging jobs in the Bermuda Police Service and H.M. Customs,…

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Soccer Team with a Difference!

Soccer Team with a Difference!

  When posting this photograph we said there were some outstanding players on this team who should be very familiar to anyone who was following Bermuda football at that time.…

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What a Football Team!

What a Football Team!

  This was not the best quality photo we have ever published, and it may not have been the finest team the Bermuda Police has ever produced, but it was…

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Sharpshooters!

Sharpshooters!

  We received this photo in response to the photo we had just published of the Training School group being put to work by Sgt Ian Scotland.  The person who…

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Home, home on the Range!

Home, home on the Range!

We recently received a copy of this photo and wanted to know to know exactly where it was taken, when it was taken, and what on earth were these guys…

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Relaxing at St. George's Police Barracks

Relaxing at St. George's Police Barracks

  This photograph is also featured in our "Then and Now" article about former P.C. Ron Mullan who is wearing the dressing gown. (see article at http://expobermuda.com/index.php/tan/613-ron-mullan ) We know it…

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What kind of Course?

What kind of Course?

  We recently came into possession of these two photos of a Police Course believed to have been held at Prospect.  We also believe that one of them was published…

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Eleven Soldiers!

Eleven Soldiers!

  At first glance this appears to be a photograph of 11 soldiers, but if that was the case it would not be displayed on our ExPo website.  So, we…

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Well Fancy That!

Well Fancy That!

  Halloween Party at Faraway Cottages - 1966 (l - r)  Jack Rouse,  George Rose, Mike Jent, Seated -  Indian Fakir This was quite a photo and it wasn’t long…

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Football - or Soccer?

Football - or Soccer?

  No prize for guessing what sport these gentlemen used to play, but can you tell us the name of the team. who are all the players and officials, when…

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A Sportsman's Wedding!

A Sportsman's Wedding!

This is our second recent wedding photo being featured in "Who, When and Where".  It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out what sport most of those in attendance played…

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Most Photographed P.C.in the World!

Most Photographed P.C.in the World!

  We have just been kindly provided with these five old photographs by Richard Lee, with the assistance of Martin Buckley who scanned them for us.  As you can see,…

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Whose Wedding?

Whose Wedding?

We recently came into possession of this wedding photograph of a very well known police officer and his Bermudian bride.   We were aware of the names of several of…

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Chu Chu!

Chu Chu!

  How's this for a photo of photographers!   It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to fugure out which department it is and what occasion it was, but how about…

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Historic Rugby Tour

Historic Rugby Tour

We had recently received this photograph from Kate Shaw (Byrne) following the death of her father Denis Byrne in London on 16th February 2017. (See article under Latest News at  http://expobermuda.com/index.php/latest-news/553-dennis-byrne-seriously-ill…

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Battle of the Brains

Battle of the Brains

No prizes for telling us that this is a poster for one of the annual "Battle of the Brains" quizzes held at the Police Recreation Club in 1970.  These were…

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Ties

Ties

Here's a change from our usual "Who, Where and When" challenge.   We don't mean to tie you down in knots!  All of these police-related ties have been worn by…

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Gathering in U.K.

Gathering in U.K.

We had just recently received these photos of a gathering of our colleagues held quite some time ago.   We wanted to know where and when this gathering was held,…

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El Toro Drug Search

El Toro Drug Search

We have just received this copy of a front page photo in the Royal Gazette dated 22nd March 1985, from Dave O'Meara who is the person on the right with…

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Smart Escorts

Smart Escorts

 There were no prizes for guessing which department these smart young men were working in when these photos were taken, but we asked if you could  identify them,  estimate the…

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Good Golfers!

Good Golfers!

We said there is more than one legendary character in this photo!  There was no problem identifying all four of these golfers as Custerfield "Custy" Crockwell, William "Spider" MacKenzie,  Steve…

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A Beautiful Wedding

A Beautiful Wedding

  While writing a recent article on our website I came across this beautiful wedding photo and realized that it was never  published.  It has special significance this week and…

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A Very Special Visitor

A Very Special Visitor

We had recently received this photo and wanted to know who is the visitor, when and why did he visit Bermuda, who is sitting next to him, and who is…

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A Genuine Speedster!

A Genuine Speedster!

  Shortly before this year's Cup Match this young man attended the function held by the Officers Mess to celebrate the 80th birthday of retired Commissioner Fred "Penny" Bean where…

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No computers here!

No computers here!

Here is another photo we recently received which stretched back in time further than most of us can remember.  It was certainly taken long before the arrival of computer technology!…

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Not the Police Club Bar!

Not the Police Club Bar!

Although most of our members may never have visited this establishment it was an icon for many years at one end of the Island and no doubt holds some fond…

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Of course its a course?

Of course its a course?

There were no prizes for guessing that this was a course photo taken at Prospect, but we wanted to know what kind of course it was, when was it held,…

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A Social Gathering

A Social Gathering

Our latest photo was taken at a social gathering where everyone present looks very smart, but we wanted to know what was the occasion, where and when was it held,…

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Police Pugilists!

Police Pugilists!

  We had recently come into possession of the photos below, but there were no prizes for guessing that they were taken at one of the Police Boxing tournaments. We…

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Bermuda Characters!

Bermuda Characters!

  Anyone who served in the Bermuda Police Force in the 1940's, 50's and 60's will have no doubt about the name of this well known character. Yes, we want…

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Men from the West?

Men from the West?

Yes, we knew these officers were all in Western Division when this photo was taken, but we wanted to know who they are,  when the photo was taken, what were…

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What's this all about? IT Course

What's this all about? IT Course

We thought this would be a most appropriate photo to post in this column bearing in mind the new Photo album we have just created of Basic Training Courses held…

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What do they have in common? Marine Police Officers

What do they have in common? Marine Police Officers

We knew exactly where and when and why this photograph was taken but we wondered if you can name all these men, and tell is what they all have in…

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A Batch of New Recruits

A Batch of New Recruits

There was no prize for guessing that this is a batch of new recruits, but we wanted to know who they are, along with their instructors, and when they arrived…

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Definitely Not So Old!

Definitely Not So Old!

We normally feature photos from the more distant past in this column, but for a change here is one from the modern era. We wondered how many of our ex-officers…

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Fitness Fanatics!

Fitness Fanatics!

We had recently come into possession of these photos of a special event involving this group of police officers, and asked if you could identify all nine men in the…

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Bermuda Police Boffins!

Bermuda Police Boffins!

We posted this photo after adding it to the article on the History of the Bermuda Police but did not name these officers in that article, even though they certainly…

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14 Officers

14 Officers

When we published this photo of 14 police officers we had no idea what had brought them together,  but the mystery was finally solved by our “memory man” Davie Kerr,…

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VIP and Team!

VIP and Team!

It wouldn't take long to realize that one of the men in this photo is not a Bermuda Police Officer! And we knew it would take even less time to…

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How good was this rugby team?

How good was this rugby team?

Update -  19th February 2016 We have just received a much better copy of this photograph from our old friend Patrick "Pat" McBride which you can see below the one…

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Smartly dressed but no smiles!

Smartly dressed but no smiles!

We asked if you could remember the days when we actually used to wear blazers, shirts with collars, and ties,  on special occasions.   This was clearly a special occasion…

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HMI Visit in the 1950's ??

HMI Visit in the 1950's ??

This excellent photo is taken from page 36 of our new Police history book, "One Hundred & Thirty-Five Years of Service".   We know it is correctly dated 1955 and…

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Training Course?

Training Course?

When we first published this photo we pointed out that at first glance it might appear to be a group of new recruits but there is something unusual about it,…

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Training School Photo

Training School Photo

There were no prizes for figuring out that this was a Basic Training Course held at the Police Training School.  Our thanks to everyone who assisted in name everyone as…

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Santa and his Helpers!

Santa and his Helpers!

This photo surely gave us a nostalgic glimpse of the past on many levels!  We want to know who is in it, especially the gentleman in the red and white…

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Perfect Camouflage

Perfect Camouflage

We recently come into possession of this photograph which is going to be featured shortly in a new "Then and Now" article about one of the team.  Even the person…

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Bikers Brigade

Bikers Brigade

This photo is taken directly from the new book on the History of the Bermuda Police and we published it courtesy of the editors.  This excellent book features over 100…

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Party time in CID

Party time in CID

We recently came into possession of these three photos from someone who's not sure who is in them!  The person who provided them was Christine Muspratt who received them in…

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A Large Group Gathers at City Hall

A Large Group Gathers at City Hall

This had to be the largest number of people we have ever featured in "Who, Where and When"!  It wasquite a challenge for any one person to identify everyone in…

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A Zany Cast of Characters

A Zany Cast of Characters

We first published this photo in our Who, Where and When column when all such photos were in one album, but we recently saw it on our expo facebook page,…

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A Bunch of Bruisers!

A Bunch of Bruisers!

  How about this for an exceptionally smart looking group of "bruisers" complete with blood red carnations!  Can you tell us who they are, where and when it was taken,…

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Historic Rugby Photo -  Duckett Memorial Trophy

Historic Rugby Photo - Duckett Memorial Trophy

This photograph made history for what it was used for, rather than for the match being played.  We asked if you could tell us when it was taken, which teams…

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Ship Ahoy!

Ship Ahoy!

Ship Ahoy! There were no prizes for guessing which department is featured in this photo although you might have needed an eyesight test to discern the name of the boat!…

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THE BRAVE BLUE LINE
The first of the Brave

Thomas James Powell

Researched and written
by
John Skinner, Inspector (retired)
 

The Bermuda Police Force was created on 1st October 1879. In a lecture on the History of the Bermuda Police given by retired Chief Inspector Roger Sherratt during Police Week 2014 the following paragraph is noted.

One of the earliest full-time constables was Thomas Joseph Powell who joined the Police in 1884 following a short but remarkable career in the British Army. He served with the 11th Hussars during the Crimea War where he was awarded the Crimea War medal with 3 bars (Alma, Balaclava and Sebastopol).

Undated photo of Constable Thomas James Powell 
incorrectly titled Thomas Joseph Powell (Source Wikipedia)
(colorization courtesy of Jim  Stiles)

 

When I re-read this paragraph in early 2020 the germ of the idea for the creation of The Brave Blue Line was formed, and I wanted my first article to be about Constable Powell.

My researches which helped create The Former Members Lists 1879 -1979, (see http://www.expobermuda.com/~bermyxpo/index.php/expo-lists-2) included a Sergeant Thomas Powell who according to ‘Coops List’ served from 1st January 1884 to 31st December 1906.

As a result Sergeant Thomas Joseph Powell was added to the List and recorded as having served from 1st January 1884 to 31st December 1906.

Later when I had access to the Blue Books (The Government Schedule of Taxes, Duties, Fees and All Other Sources of Revenue), a Constable T.J. Powell was added with service dates from about circa 1865 to circa 1866. The Books only named him as T.J. Powell.

The Blue Books after 1884 also recorded a T.J. Powell as a Constable in the Bermuda Police Force. I recorded this PC Powell as Thomas Joseph Powell. My researches into the very early years of Bermuda Police Force, especially the Bermuda National Library Digital Collection started mentioning Constable Thomas James Powell, who was serving in 1865.

Life for me was becoming confusing where T.J. Powell of the Bermuda Police Force was concerned.  Then Covid started and I put researches into Constable Powell on hold and instead started researching what became ‘The Brave Blue Line - Stories of Bermuda’s Policemen who served in the Military during World War One.’ 

As my researches progressed, and I became more familiar with my sources and how to search them, I occasionally came across information regarding Thomas James Powell of the Bermuda Police Force.

Thomas James Powell according to ancestry.com is believed to have been born in Athlone, Ireland on 30th November 1834, but local published accounts state that he was a native of Worcestershire, England. All accounts give his date of birth as 30th November 1834. I have yet to trace his parents.

Private 1331 Thomas Powell is listed as a member of the 11th Hussars when the Hussars took part in the famous ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ at the Battle of Balaclava on 25th October 1854. (See http://www.chargeofthelightbrigade.com/allmen/allmenP/indexallmenP.html).

The Charge of the Light Brigade By Richard Caton Woodville, Jr. (Source Wikipedia)

He also took part in the battles at Alma and Sebastopol.  Thomas Powell is reputed to have left the army because of wounds that he suffered and later he became a Bandsman in the Royal Navy.

On July 16th 1858 Thomas Powell, at the age of 24 years, was initiated into Freemasonry at Royal Sussex Lodge, No. 704 of the United Grand Lodge of England in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is also recorded that he was serving with HMS Indus.  HMS Indus was on the North American and West Indian stations, which included Bermuda.

The first public indication that Thomas Powell was in Bermuda was in the Royal Gazette of 2nd September 1884.

FIRE IN THE TOWN OF HAMILTON.

Yesterday morning at about 1.50 a fire was discovered in the upper part of the premises in the occupation of Edgar Freeman Simmons, Merchant Tailor, corner of Front and Burnaby streets of the Town of Hamilton, and over the Store of D. E. Seon, Esqr., by Acting Police Constable Thomas James Powell, who was on morning duty.

It appears that Powell at a short distance from the premises, saw the glimmer of a light similar to that of a burning candle, when he immediately ran back, and on nearing the premises saw a large amount of smoke issuing through the eaves of the building, upon which he cried out “ Fire”, the smoke meanwhile becoming denser. Constables Adams and Williams rang the Trinity alarm bell and also aroused Mr. Brown, who is in charge of the hand Fire Engine, which was quickly at the scene of the fire, rendering its usual good service. The steam fire engine soon followed, and immediately took an active part in the work of saving property. The first person answering the Policeman’s cry of fire was Mr. S. Nelmes, from the Tower, and almost immediately several other neighbours arrived.

The Tower Building on Burnaby Hill owned by Mr. Samuel Nelmes
who was the first person to answer Constable Powell's "cry of fire"
(Photo courtesy of The Bermudian magazine)

The fastenings of the doors and windows in the upper and lower parts of the building with the exception of the door on the landing at the head of the stairs leading directly into that portion of the premises occupied by Mr. Simmons, had not been disturbed, but the gate at the entrance to the passageway, which is usually secured by a chain and padlock, was found unfastened.

On entering the premises those windows which were not protected with wooden shutters were found to be covered with tweeds and other goods taken from the immediate shelves, plainly showing that the persons operating within were determined on keeping all evidence of the fire from being seen from without until it had attained large proportions, and thus more successfully to carry out their fiendish plans,

How an entrance was ever effected by the person or persons committing the deed we are at a loss to conjecture. By the appearance of the doors and surroundings it looks as though a means of egress had been obtained from within by cutting away part of the half door which supported the bolt, the lock apparently not having been tampered with: but by what means the incendiary first established himself inside the premises is food for speculation.

Mr Simmons stock and fixtures were insured for £700. Not so fortunate is Mr Seon, whom, we fear, has suffered severely, the greater portion of his valuable stock being considerably damaged and on which, we understand, there is no insurance.

The Royal Gazette does not report that anyone was apprehended for this crime, despite a £200 reward being offered, but it did report that Mr Simmons was having his stock and fixtures replaced by his insurance company.

 

On March 8th 1892 Constable Thomas James Powell joined Atlantic Phoenix Lodge No. 224, in Hamilton, Bermuda under the United Grand Lodge of England.

Excerpt from United Grand Lodge of England records (Source ancestry.com) 

A close examination of the above excerpt will reveal that Superintendent of Police George Tear joined the Lodge on the same date. 

At times the lot of a Policeman can be quite dangerous as noted in the Royal Gazette of 31st May 1892.

POLICE COURT, HAMILTON.

Worshipful M.A.M. Frith, J.P., Police Magistrate

“A woman named Margaret Miller was arrested on Saturday evening by Constable Powell for attempting to shoot Jane Hooper with a revolver. The women had some dispute about family affairs and not being able to settle their difficulties, Margaret had recourse to a borrowed revolver. According to the account of Jane Hooper, Margaret stood at arms length when she fired, but her aim was very bad. The case was brought before the police magistrate yesterday and remanded until tomorrow for further evidence.

 

Constable Powell’s lot as a policeman became a little happier the following year according to the Royal Gazette of 7thJuly:

MARRIED - At the residence of Mr. F.E. Tite in this town on the 2nd instant, by the Revd. Andrew Burrows, D.D., Thomas James Powell to Sarah Jane Armstrong, late Army Schoolmistress, 1st Leicestershire Regt. 

This union eventually produced a great grand son, Joell Cassidy, who became a member of the Bermuda Reserve Police, and whom I thank for his help in the researches for this article. 

And then on 2nd June 1902 the Royal Gazette reported on the reorganisation of the Bermuda Police Force and Constable Powell received a promotion.

The New Police Force

The Police Establishment Act, 1901, came into force on 1st inst. Under this Act the Police Force of these Islands is ordinarily to consist of an Inspector of Police, three Chief Police Constables, fifteen Police Constables and twenty-one Rural Police Constables all of whom are to be appointed by the Governor.

 

On 1st June 1902 Thomas James Powell was appointed Chief Police Constable for the Police District of Hamilton. 

The following year on 4th July 1903 the Royal Gazette reported that Thomas James Powell was to retire.

Royal Gazette Article on
Approaching Retirement of Sergt Powell 

Approaching Retirement of Sergt. Powell.

On the last day of this month Sergt. Thomas James Powell will retire from the Bermuda Police Force after 18½ years continuous service, having joined as a constable in the year 1884. This however was not Sergt. Powell's first experience of police work in as much as in 1864-5-6 he served in Bermuda as a constable but resigned to occupy the position of steward of the Royal Yacht Club.

It is an interesting feature in Sergt. Powell's varied career, that he has served the Empire in many capacities. In 1848 he joined the 11th Hussars and with that gallant regiment went through the Crimean War for which he received the Crimean Medal with three bars (Alma, Balaclava, and Sebastopol) and the Turkish and Baltic Medals. At the conclusion of hostilities he was invalided from the service and he subsequently entered the Navy as a Bandsman. His first acquaintance with Bermuda was made in 1857 when as a bandsman on H.M.S. Indus flying the flag of Sir Houton Stewart, he visited these waters. 

Three years later he severed his connection with the navy and became a Convict Warder at the Dockyard and subsequently, as already stated, he joined the Bermuda Police Force. During his lengthened sojourn in these Islands Sergt. Powell made many friends. His kindness and urbanity to those who were brought into contact with him endeared himself to all and his presence will be greatly missed at the Hamilton Police Court where, in his official capacity he was a regular attendant. Sergt. Powell is 69 years of age and is a native of Worcestershire.

On 1st August the following short notice was published.

Sergt. Powell severed his connection with the Bermuda Police Force yesterday and the vacancy caused by his retirement is filled by Sergt. Robinson of St. Georges.

 

Thomas James Powell was only able to enjoy a few years of retirement as his death was reported on 10th October 1911.

The Late T.J. Powell.

At 10 o'clock on Saturday died Thomas J. Powell. For upwards of forty years a familiar figure in Hamilton.

As a young man he entered the Army and served in the Crimean War, having been it was alleged, present in the historic charge of the Light Brigade. He afterwards joined the Royal Navy, and took his discharge at Bermuda, where he determined to make his home.

He found employment as steward of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, and subsequently started in business as a baker.

Later he joined the Police Force, from which he retired on the 30th September 1903, after having served nineteen years.

Deceased was an enthusiastic Freemason, a Past Master of Atlantic Phoenix Lodge, Past Principal of the Atlantic Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and Past Preceptor of the Bermuda Preceptory of Knights Templars. 

W. Bro. Thomas James Powell in Masonic regalia.

He was also a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters and of the Bermuda Mechanics' Beneficial Association.

The funeral took place on Sunday at 4.30 p.m. from the residence of Mr. F.E. Tite, Court Street, son-in-law of the deceased. The coffin was borne on a gun carriage, a detachment of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps under Captain C.S. Higgs, with band under Mr. F.W. Lines, and firing party under Sergeant Voisey, formed the military escort.

The cortège was composed of twenty men of the Bermuda Police under Inspector E. Belmore, and members of the Freemasons, Ancient Order of Foresters, and Bermuda Mechanics, all wearing regalia. Messrs. George Tear, George E. Winter, F. Gibson Ward. Herbert F. Wilton, Alfred Hatcher, and Charles H. Leseur bore the pall. A large number of people followed.

On the way to the Pembroke Cemetery the band played the “Dead March in Saul.”

The Funeral Service was conducted by the Venerable Archdeacon Davidson. When the service was concluded, the firing party delivered three volleys over the grave and “The Last Post" was sounded by the bugles.

Deceased was born on the 30th November 1834 and had consequently almost completed his 77th year.

 

Some forty years later Thomas James Powell was again the subject of an article in the Royal Gazette on 21st January 1951:

Bermuda And Balaclava—Medals Are Link With “Six Hundred”

Bermuda and Balaclava are separated by almost half the world, yet there is a link between the oldest Colony of the British Empire and one of the most famous battles in history.

Snug inside a cedar box, lined with velvet, lie three medals awarded to the late Sergeant Thomas James Powell, of the 11th Hussars. One is the Crimean Medal with three bars, pinned to its yellow and white ribbon - Alma, Balaclava and Sebastopol; the second is the Baltic Medal; and the third is the Turkish Medal.

Sergeant Powell, who was the grandfather of Mrs. John Cassidy of Serpentine Road, joined the Hussars in 1846. When the Crimean War broke out he was sent overseas with his regiment to engage in the long and bitter battle with the Russians. The sergeant saw action at Alma and stormed Sebastopol which was in Russian hands.

But his “finest hour" came when he was one of the six hundred who rode “into the valley of death” at the battle of Balaclava. Lord Tennyson has immortalised the magnificent but hopeless charge of the Light Brigade in his famous poem. Of the six hundred Lancers and Hussars who charged the flaming mouths of the Russian guns, only a handful returned. Sergeant Powell was one of them. He lived to tell a tale few were privileged to do. Often his grand-daughter, when she was still Charlotte Isabel Powell, heard the story of the charge from her grandfather’s lips.

‘It certainly was exciting, she exclaimed as she fondled the medals gained by the ex-sergeant. I used to have a picture of the battle of Balaclava but it was so gruesome I got my husband to take it to the Armoury when it was the headquarters of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, she continued.

The rigours of the Crimea War took their toll on Sergeant Powell. At the conclusion of hostilities he was invalided from the Army. Thomas James Powell however, had not lost his appetite for adventure. He subsequently entered the Royal Navy as bandsman. Thus he made his first acquaintance with Bermuda in 1857 when, as a bandsman on H.M.S. Indus, flying the flag of Sir Houton Stewart, he visited these waters.

Within three years he had severed his connection with the sea and settled in the Colony.

The sergeant then became convict warder at the Dockyard. During the years 1864-5-6 he served in the Bermuda Police Force but resigned to occupy the position of steward at the Royal Yacht Club. In 1884 he rejoined the Police Force as a constable and retired after 18 ½ years continuous service.

Sergeant Powell was a native of Worcestershire, England, but spent 40 of his 77 years in Bermuda. He died about 1910.

Mrs. Cassidy also has a sword which she believes her grandfather used at Balaclava. An anchor surmounted by a crown is emblazoned on the lower part of the guard.

The sword is unlikely to have been used at Balaclava as the design of an anchor surmounted by a crown is a motif often used on naval swords. As Thomas Powell was a former Convict Warder, in HM Dockyard it is likely that the sword may have issued to him there, or presented to him when he left the Dockyard service.

As for Thomas Joseph Powell, the only reference to him that I have been able to find is as a caption to a photograph. The photograph shows Constable Powell in Bermuda Police uniform wearing his Crimea medals, and as noted above, the correct caption should be Thomas James Powell. 

As a result of the research for this article Thomas James Powell now has two service entries in the 1879-1979 List.


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