A Posse of Police at Wedding

Last week I wrote about the wedding of Grandad Beck’s daughter in the month of May 1925.  (Laura) May Beck had lived in several police stations with her parents, she was born in Lyme Regis where her father was a constable, the family then moved to Upwey, followed by Dorchester and Blandford before coming to Beaminster.  She must have known many of the police officers in Dorset and the local officers gave her with a guard of honour at her wedding.

The Bridport News reports that the weather was stormy and in this photograph it looks chilly and wet.  Two of the guests have umbrellas up as they assembled for this photograph outside Beaminster church. Most of the guest are wearing coats and hats, from the photograph it doesn’t look like a summer wedding.

Wedding Photo
Outside the sacred building a posse of police from the Bridport Division, formed a guard of honour, and underneath their batons the bride and bridegroom passed amid showers of confetti (Text from Bridport News)

Looking at the photograph I can count 14 baton’s so this must have been the majority of the police in the Bridport Division.  Comparing the wedding photograph with other photographs, the sergeant on the right is likely to be Sgt. Freddy Carter who was based at Lyme Regis and the policeman on the  left Sgt. George King based at Bridport.

From May’s list we can read that all the superintendent’s in the Dorset Constabulary were invited. Sup & Mrs Swain (Blandford), Sup & Mrs White (Poole), Supt. & Mrs Miller (Weymouth), Supt. & Mrs Thomas (Wimborne),  Supt & Mrs White (Poole), Supt & Mrs Lawrence (Dorchester), Supt & Mrs Lovell (Sherborne), Supt & Mrs Sprackling (Wareham).

It is likely that the police officers and their families in the Bridport Division, were invited plus other officers, known to the family.  May’s list is not complete, either it never was or some pages have gone missing over the years but these are the police officers mentioned.  Sergt & Mrs Symes (Beaminster), Mr & Mrs Diment (PC at Beaminster) Sergt. Mrs & the Misses Richardson (Weymouth), PC & Mrs Carter (Bridport), PC & Mrs Bailey (Netherbury). Mr, Mrs & Miss Sprackling, Ernest Sprackling retired from the police in 1924, the family were living in Poole.

The Bridport News mentions Mr A Barrett the Deputy Chief Constable attended the wedding and Major Peel Yates, the Chief Constable sent a congratulatory message.  Among the many presents was a beautiful timepiece presented from the sergeants and constables in the Bridport Division, an oak tray from the constables and wives in the Beaminster section.

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References Quotes in Italics:
Bridport News 1925 May 8 p8  Sub headline was “A Posse of Police at Wedding”

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