Arthur Beck’s Obituary in the Western Gazette states that Grandad Beck rejoined the police within a few days of the outbreak of the second world war and served for 5 years until the end of 1944. As the war started on September 1st 1939, this can’t be correct. The war ended on 2nd September 1945, a month before Grandad Beck’s 70 Birthday, I don’t know why he only served until 1944 assuming the Newspaper report had the correct dates.
My father remembers visiting Grandad Beck in his office in Dorchester. “During WW2 Grandfather was based at Dorchester, he took the train up each day. He was in charge of the department for spies and saboteurs. I remember visiting him in his office at Dorchester, he showed me a hand grenade he had confiscated off someone.” Typical of a young boy remembering the grenade! My father would have been 7 years old at the start of war. Continue reading “World War Two”
Grandad Beck died on 11 September 1947 in Poole, Dorset. From his will, dated December 1942 I encountered a few names that I hadn’t heard of, this was an opportunity to research Grandad Beck’s parents and siblings. Grandad Beck was brought up in Buckland Newton, a small village in rural West Dorset and was the middle child of five children, One older brother (Charles) who didn’t survive childhood, an older sister (Olive), a younger sister (Beatrice) and a younger brother (Ernest). Interesting to see that his sister Beatrice married a police constable and their son also joined the police, eventually becoming a Chief Constable. Grandad Beck’s younger brother joined the Metropolitan Police and later immigrated to America, I would like to find out more about Ernest and his family. Grandad Beck was the only one to remain in Dorset, near their parents. Continue reading “Parents and Siblings”
Why write about Supt. Beck, well it all started many years ago. I was in my early twenties working in the Monmouth Bar at the Bull Hotel. An elderly gentleman used to come in for half-a-pint, while waiting for his wife. We got chatting and when he learnt about my family he came out with a surprising statement. “I remember your Grandmother, lovely lady”. My Grandmother died when my father was a small boy. Then he said something even more surprising, “I used to see your Great Grandfather Supt. Beck driving his horse and trap between Beaminster and Bridport”. What? Who? I told him that I had an Auntie Jo Beck but never heard of Supt. Beck. He explained to me that Auntie Jo was in fact Supt. Beck’s second wife. “She was the families servant, after the death of your Great Grandmother, Supt. Beck married her, she was the same age as his daughter – it was the talk of the town!”
The next time Supt. Beck came to my attention was when I saw the picture taken by Dorset Constabulary for his retirement, but the idea of researching his life only came after a recent Powerstock House family reunion. My father showed us some family photos. One showed Supt. Beck at Beaminster Police station with a early car. As my father is the last of the grandchildren I decided now was a good time to find out more. This blog is a record of my journey. Continue reading “Why write about Grandad Beck?”