A former police officer has written a book commemorating members of Staffordshire Police, including those from Burton, who were killed in the First and Second World Wars and on duty as a result of a criminal act.
David Baldwin, 71, who had previously served for Staffordshire Police, was inspired to write his book, 'Their Duty Done', after hearing the individual stories of the 55 men named on the Staffordshire Police Memorial.
In 1965, Mr Baldwin joined the police force as an 18-year-old cadet and retired as an inspector in 1997.
He had attended a ceremony dedicated to those killed in the two World Wars two years prior to his retirement, held by the then chief constable of Staffordshire Police Charles Kelly.
After hearing about their stories, David gained an interest in the subject and decided to research the matter further.
Mr Baldwin, who lives in Stafford, searched online and carried out research in local history archives like the Magic Attic in Swadlincote, which led him to be able to tell the stories of each individual officer.
William Ezra Price was killed on January 24, 1903, after he was attacked on a travellers' camp in Burton while investigating the theft of ferrets.
PC Brinley Booth challenged a man who was pushing a pushchair containing a safe through the streets of Burton in the early hours of May 29, 1946. During an altercation, PC Booth suffered a violent blow to the head which resulted in his death eight days later.
Despite the offer of a reward and the involvement of Scotland Yard, the man suspected of his murder remained on the run for 10 years, and when he was eventually apprehended and brought to trial he was acquitted.
The first Burton soldier to die in the Great War was John Bate, a married man who patrolled in Winshill prior to volunteering to serve. John died of grenade wounds at a prison camp hospital in Germany following the Battle of Transloy Ridge in 1915.
Edward Brough, another Burton officer died during the Battle of Arnhem, one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, whilst serving with the 2 Airborne Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment.
Sewell Webster, born in Marston on Dove, also died of his wounds at war on April 20, 1916.
David said: "You tend to get involved with the officers. You get to know these people personally, in a way."
When asked why he dedicated so much time to his book, David said: "It's part of the police family.
"I feel so pleased that these men are being recognised. Some of these have got no family or graves; some of them are missing.
"Some are buried in Staffordshire churches and we don't know where they are. This book is able to tell a little bit about their lives."
Mark Judson, chairman of the Staffordshire Branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, said: "David has devoted much time and energy to this project and produced a very interesting and readable book chronicling the lives of these fallen officers."
'Their Duty Done' is £12 and all profits from the sale of the book will be donated to Canine Partners, a registered animal charity. The book is available from:
- The Ancient High House, Greengate Street. Stafford 01785 619131
- Stafs Tiles, 135-6 Newport Road ST16 2EZ 01785 224400
- Stoke-on Trent City Archives, City Central Library, Bethesda Street, Hanley 01782 238420
Copies can be purchased by mail order by calling 01785 660502 or emailing email@example.com.