Friday, 11 August 2017

Outside Beech Road Police Station ........ revealing a little of the life of PC Frederick George Ross

This is Police Constable Frederick George Ross standing with his colleagues outside the police station on Beech Road.

Now I can’t be exactly sure when the picture was taken but one source has suggested 1925.*

And that would have made PC Ross forty-seven years old.

He had joined the city force in 1904 and by  1910 was living on Priory Avenue before moving to Whalley Avenue.

Of the named officers he is the one we know most about and that is as much a bit of luck as it is research.

After all if he had not been recognised and his name added to the picture we would not have been able to discover his story.

But with a name a search of the police employment records and the census returns not only located him but provided me with the name of his wife and daughter and his own place of birth.

PC Ross had married Rebecca Jane Lawson in 1909 in Bolton and their daughter Nora was born the following year.

Like all such stories the detail is even more fascinating for while Nora had been born in Bolton she was registered at the Chorlton office and baptised at St Clements in the May of 1910 which is how we know the family were living at Priory Avenue.

Almost a year later they were on Whalley Avenue and a search of the directories will reveal when they moved from that address.

But that is not quite the end of the story because in the course of doing the research I came across a relative who had posted a series of pictures, one of Frederick and Rebecca and two showing PC Ross during police inspections one of which is dated to 1921.

And according to this source Mrs Ross was in Ireland by 1925 where she died in 1949 followed by her husband fifteen years later.

In time there will be more but for now that is all but it is a lesson in how it is possible to discover a family story.

Nor is that all, because looking at the police records what is interesting is the number of officers who were born in Ireland and Scotland, a trend which goes back beyond 1904 when Chorlton voted to join the city.

Before that date we had been policed by the Lancashire Constabulary who were responsible for building the station in 1885.

Just six years later the officer in charge was a Sergeant Milne from Ireland assisted by two PCs from Scotland and a decade on with  Sergeant Milne there were officers from Ireland and Gloucestershire as well as Lancashire.

Picture; PC Ross, 1875-1963 from Police officers outside Beech Road Police Station circa 1925 from the Lloyd Collection

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