World War Two

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.

The book Bobbies on the Beat 1856-2006: 150 years of the Dorset Police by Melvin Hann, states that “A special branch was formed with officers in each division, trained to deal with Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists and other subversive elements.” It is possible that Beck was in charge but nothing is reported in the Newspapers. Also from Bobbies on the Beat, “The Chief Constable issued a directive that no German or Austrian male between the ages of 16 and 60 would be allowed to enter the county without his permission and any such aliens found in the county would be interned.”

As the Newspapers reports were aimed to keep moral up and report positive news about the war effort, I will need to find other sources of information.  I hope to return to this subject if and when I find out more.

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