The Best in the West
We recently came into possession of this Divisional photo, and there were no prizes for guessing which Division it is, but we wanted to be able to identify everyone in it, and also establish the date or year it was taken.
It has clearly thrown out a few challenges, and we are still missing a positive ID on the man between Coralie Trott and Doug Docherty on the back row. I have included the names we believe to be correct in the photo caption.
As for the date, that will have to be approximate, but George Rose no doubt has it close when he estimates that it must have been taken in mid-summer 1979 for the reasons he states in the comments section below. I don’t have everyone’s records, but Mel Gibbons didn’t spend too much time out west having been transferred there as Warwick Parish PC in May 1978. Deputy Commisssioner Alf Morris left Bermuda on 25th July 1979, and Wally Lumb worked in Somerset from March 1978 – August 1979, so it has to have been taken between May 1978 and July 1979. Early summer 1979 gets my vote but will try to narrow it down next time I get chance to check the records at Police HQ.
We are indebted to Mrs Lois Simmons, the wife of Inspector Hubert Simmons, who kindly provided this copy of the photo while we were compiling an article about Hubert for our Hall of Fame (CLICK HERE for the article)
Two blow-ups of the photo appear below to assist you in identifying those present.
UPDATE - We were delighted to receive an email from former P.C. (Herwood) Steve Griffith on 25th January 2017 (see his comments below) advising that he was the Somerset Divisional Clerk at the time this photo was taken in the Summer of 1978. In fact he organized it with either Ernie McCreaight or Roddie Barclay. Steve was in the photo but had been mistakenly identifed as Ismail Daniels who had left the BPS several years before the photo was taken. Steve served from April 1974 - January 1986. We are most grateful to Steve for setting the record straight and would like to hear from him about where he is and what he's doing these days.
Western Division – circa early summer 1979