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

Back row -  George Jackson, Jim Fullerton, Coralie Trott,  ? ,  Doug Docherty, Robert Railton, Steve Griffith, Brian Marlowe.
4th row  -  Wally Lumb, Bert Powell, Cadet Reg Butler, Malcolm Elliott, Albert Dowling, Dave King, Barry Walkes.
3rd row -  Dennis Ramsay, Clyde “Tango” Burgess, Frankie Foggo, Leon Fubler, Eric Ingemann, Mel Gibbons, Matt Lindo
2nd row -  Ben Linton, Neville Phillips, Alex Forbes, Mike Rickards,  J.T. Simmons, Dai James, Ken Shillingford
Seated -  John Joe Sheehy, Alf Morris, Hubert Simmons, Fred "Penny" Bean and Cal Christopher.


#26 H Steve Griffith 2017-03-25 16:46
Roger, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. The ID of the constable in the photo, I believe, is Malcolm Elliott.

Editors note - Many thanks Steve. Please feel free to write and let us know where you are and what you're doing these days. Hope life is treating you well.
#25 H Steve Griffith 2017-01-25 10:07
This Photo was taken in the summer of 1978 by either Ernie McCreight or Roddy Barclay. I was the Western Divisional clerk during this period and organized the taking of this photo. My time as Divisional clerk covered the period October/Novembe r 1977 thru Feb 1981. Was transferred from Central division in December 1974 to Somerset.
The constable to the left of Bob Railton is not "Ismail Daniels," and should be adjusted to read yours truly ex-PC 489 Steve Griffith. I do have a copy of the said photo.

Editors note - Delighted to hear from you Steve and many thanks for this information especially getting your name right. Would you happen to remember the person who is 4th from left on the top row? Would love to hear where you are and what you're doing these days, and perhaps have you send a recent photo to us at
#24 Mick Lumb Wally 2015-03-20 17:00
I was there for just about all of 78...Doc and I went 'up Somerset' around Feb 78 and, I believe, I ended up back in Hamilton v early '79.
99% sure this was taken in '78.

Editors note - Now we're making progress. I've checked your record Wally and you were posted to Western Division on 13th March 1978, working there until 1st August 1979 when you were posted to Central. Just to complete your dates - you were then transferred to Operations on 3rd March 1980.

This means that the latest this photo could have been taken was in July 1979 which matches George's estimate of by mid-Summer of that year. I doubt we will be able to get it any closer. Many thanks to all,
#23 Terry 2015-03-19 17:30
Not far off the mark Terry.
Late "70's" cover a lot.

My memory is not that bad for a "street detective" George.
Shalom. :-*
#22 George Rose 2015-03-18 22:22
'On July 25 of this year [1979] former Deputy Police Commissioner Mr. Alfred Morris left the Island having completed six years with the Bermuda Police......'
On October 1st 1979 'Deputy Commissioner Fred Bean.... is next in line for the top job when Mr. L.M. "Nobby" Clark steps down in 20 months time.......
Rising to his current position on two promotions in the first six months of this year, Mr. Bean, 43, has barely had time to settle into his new role, but
already has a firm grip on what he would like to see changed.'
Source: The Royal Gazette October 1st, 1979

So, this photo is probably dated mid-summer 1979 shortly before Alf Morris left the Island on 25 July 1979.

Many thanks George. That certainly narrows down the time line.
#21 Davie Kerr 2015-03-18 14:17
The only reason I'd go for '79 as opposed to '78 is that I was on Neville Phillips' watch with Howard Cutts, John Kandziorka, Ken Shillingford and Ernie McCreight. Cuttsy, John K and I aren't shown whereas Ken and Ernie are. I was transferred East on 18 Sep 78: could transfer dates of Cuttsy to Ops, Ernie to SOCO and Ken to 'B'be checked?

Editors note - Will do as soon as I get a chance Davie.
#20 Terry 2015-03-18 09:25
Well as I mentioned prior this was taken during the late 70's. I was in Admin.
Penny was "Supt. 'D'".
Alex and Dagwood came to Admin when Allan Bissell was moved. Alex worked in 'B' in finance and Mike was in charge of Firearms/Blasti ng Permits and strength stats.

It boils down to prior to 1979 which is obvious.

I left Admin in 1999/80 for Marine section.

Editors note - It sounds like there is a growing consensus that this photo was taken in 1978.
#19 Mick Lumb Wally 2015-03-18 07:45
I can confirm 1978

Editors note - Thanks Wally, Can you let us know the dates when you were working out of Somerset Police Station?
#18 George Rose 2015-03-17 21:05
So it's not a 1980 photo then based on the retirement date of Alf Morris in October 1979. Since the group are wearing summer uniform it could be dated summer - autumn of 1979.
Also, Fred Bean is wearing a single crown
rank insignia which meant in those days a 1-2 year superintendent. A crown and pip in the third year would be a senior superintendent.

Editors note - Thanks George. According to the records I have access to Fred Bean was promoted to Superintendent on 1st May 1973, and to Chief Superintendent on 1st April 1979, which confuses things if he is only wearing a single crown rank insignia.
#17 Phil Taylor 2015-03-17 08:36
It is not Coralie Trott on the back row its Juliette Powell!

Editors note - I have my doubts on that one Phil. It doesn't look like Juliette to me but will double check.

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