Constable Davie Kerr in ceremonial
uniform at Government House

We have finally settled “The Davie Kerr Challenge” over the photo of 68 Traffic personnel recently featured in our “Who, Where, When” column.   We asked Davie to name as many personnel as possible and challenged the rest of our readers to see if they could collectively name as many or more than Davie. 

Traffic Personnel and Senior Officers - circa late 1979


It turned out that just one person, Charlie Mooney, a fellow Scotsman, made a strong challenge and he came up with 67 names from the list of 68, while Davie also came up with 67 names.  Charlie couldn’t recall the last name of Esther Smith so technically it seemed Davie was the winner, although the final arbiter (myself) decided that it was too close to call it anything but a tie.  CLICK HERE to view close-ups of the above photo in our "Who Where When" column.

The man in the middle!
Is it Eddie Spencer or Colin Griffiths?

However, Davie then pointed out that he and Charlie had different names for one of the guys in the photo, with Charlie naming him as Eddie Spencer, and Davie named him as Colin Griffiths.  To be fair Davie suggested that we ask our members to judge for themselves. Is it Eddie or is it Colin?

Eddie Spencer  

   Colin Griffiths


Bearing in mind we’re all getting older and memories are fast fading, we had a variety of answers on our ExPo Facebook page with some voting for Eddie, some for Colin and a couple voting for others! There is no doubt that Eddie and Colin could appear quite similar, but Dave O’Meara strongly argued the case for it being Eddie Spencer because he recalled that after graduation from Training School in 1975, Colin headed to Eastern Division, whereas Eddie joined in 1978 and was transferred to Operations in mid-late 1979 (the year we believe the photo was taken). The guys in uniform are in winter uniform so that would fit in with the photo being taken in late 1979.

Another excellent observation came from Phil Taylor who arrived in Bermuda at the same time as Dave O’Meara and Colin Griffiths. Phil noted that Colin had a “deep dimple/hollow on his chin” which he always had difficulty shaving and which wasn’t evident in the photo.

To settle this issue once and for all, I searched out both Eddie’s and Colin’s entries in the old police register which revealed the following :-

Eddie joined in May 1978 and after Training School he was posted to Central where he remained until being transferred to Operations (Traffic) in October 1979 which is approximately when we believe the photo was taken.  He resigned in March 1988.  Eddie and his second wife, Anne, eventually settled in Glasgow. Sadly, Eddie had major health issues and we heard from daughter, Amanda, that he passed away on 25th July 2016. CLICK HERE for our report on the passing of Eddie.

Colin, on the other hand, first joined the BPS in March 1975 and worked mainly in both Central Uniform and Eastern Uniform but he did work for a while in Operations from November 1980 – June 1981, and again in April 1982.  He left the Service in September that year.  Colin’s wife, Joanna was an American, born in New York, and they married here in Bermuda in 1981. The last we’ve heard of Colin was when he attended a reunion  in York (England) in 1983.  CLICK HERE for a photo of the York Reunion.

We would be delighted to hear where he is these days and have him confirm that it is NOT him in this Traffic photo.  

However, given the preponderance of evidence and the majority opinions of our readers we’ve decided that it is indeed Eddie Spencer in the photo and that Charlie has now officially won the “Davie Kerr Challenge” -  singlehandedly!

Charlie Mooney

Many thanks to both Charlie and Davie for their interest in identifying everyone in the Traffic Photo.  

If you happen to have a photo of a group of our police officers that you think would be of interest to our readers for our “Who, Where, When” column we encourage you to send it to us in fairly high resolution if possible at



The Memory Man

I first became aware of Davie Kerr’s phenomenal memory working with him on the same Watch in Traffic, and he was our regular radio man in the Ops Room.  This was at a time when we kept records of all car owners on a spiral  system in the Ops Room, so if patrol officers asked for a  “10/37” the guys in the Ops Room could fairly quickly leaf through the system and let us know the name of the registered owner although our records were likely a few months behind the records kept at TCD. 

The Ops Room at Traffic - circa late 1970's
Davie Kerr answering the phone with Sgt Barrie Mancell
and P.C. Michael Phillips in the Ops Room
The spiral records of motor vehicle owners is on the desk to the left of Davie

It soon became apparent that Davie could remember hundreds of vehicle owners because he would instantly rattle off the names. Not only that but he could also remember if someone else had previously asked for a 10/37 on a particular car.   This occurred late one night when one of the crews  - I believe it was Night CID - asked for a 10/37 for a vehicle spotted under suspicious circumstances near one of the South Shore beaches.  Not only did Davie immediately rattle off the owner’s name; he also pointed out that the same vehicle had been seen parking under suspicious circumstances near one of the Warwick beaches about six weeks earlier. 

Armed with this information the CID guys continued to keep watch on the parked car until two men returned to it and were arrested and found to be in possession of stolen property. 

Several years ago I received an email from a “David Kerr” to the effect that he was short of cash and requested that I forward him a loan.  I was stunned because this certainly didn’t seem like the kind of request our Davie would make.

I responded to the request by emailing Davie in Scotland at the email address in my file, informing him of the request for money, and asking him if he could confirm it was the real Davie Kerr by confirming my old Force number. 

The reply was quick! First of all, Davie told me someone had hacked into his account and made similar requests for money to other friends.  Secondly, he gave me not one Force number but four of them!  (1) was my first number as a PC. (2) was my number as a Sergeant, (3) was my new number as a PC after leaving the Force for 6 months and then returning and (4) was my new Sergeants numbers when promoted again.  He might have also given me my number as an Inspector!

Just to prove it was the real Davie Kerr, he also listed my first scooter number, the numbers of my first two cars, and every telephone number I’d had since moving out of barracks.  I was convinced!

As Editor of our ExPo website for the last 11 years,  Davie has, on numerous occasions, been able to identify our former colleagues in photos when no-one else has been able to do so. Without doubt, he has an incredible memory for names and numbers.

You can read more about Davie in the two articles he has written for our “Then and Now” column.

But in conclusion I’d like to mention an incident, or rather a road accident involving Davie that has nothing to do with his  feats of memory. This has to go down as one of the most unusual road traffic accidents ever in Bermuda.

Whilst working in Traffic, Davie was given the job of taking a Cycle Squad truck to Government House to collect two mobile wooden sentry boxes, and return them to the Botanical Gardens where they were normally used as pay booths for admission to the annual Agricultural Show. He was assisted that day by two strapping young men, George Rushe and Cadet Ralph Saints! The three guys loaded the two sentry boxes, one behind the other, in the Cycle Squad truck.  There was a strong wind blowing that day, and an unusually strong gust caught the truck just as they were passing the gap where a bus stop now stands on the north side of North Shore Road at the foot of Dock Hill, and it blew one of the sentry boxes sideways straight off the truck and through the windshield of a bus travelling in the opposite direction.

I believe it was Sergeant Mike Burke who was called to attend and puzzle out whether or not this was a 10/56 between  a sentry box and a PTB bus!  To the best of our knowledgeit was a case of NFPA, but chalk one up for the books!  

One other ExPo article about Davie also enhances his reputation for getting into trouble for the most bizarre of reasons, and that is the incredible case of "The Saga of the Rubber-Soled shoes!   CLICK HERE to view it.

1st June 2023