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Met. special duties Selby Yorkshire?

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  • Met. special duties Selby Yorkshire?

    I find I have a very strange mystery which I was hoping somebody can help to solve. Information and idea's most welcome.

    Metropolitan Police Constable William Ind was attached to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Office from 14/1/1893 to 18/4/1904. Special duties involved protecting Government departments, public companies or private individuals etc and he was assigned to be, ''Employed at War Dept. Station, Selby.''
    We know this because that information is clearly detailed on his pension records from 1904.....but he was employed to work at the War Dept, Station at Selby, in Yorkshire.
    The England Census of 1901, the records show that PC William Ind and family as residing at the White House, at Barlby, in Yorkshire. That entry includes PC William Ind [42], his wife Eliza [47] and his children Clara Elizabeth [11] and Daisy Priscilla Ind [9].
    PC William Ind's Metropolitan Police pension records dated 18/4/1904 detail his current address as being, ''1 Victoria Terrace, Barlby Road, Selby.'' It also confirms that is the address he intends to reside at on leaving the Metropolitan Police. It also confirms that his pension is to be paid into the, ''Selby Post Office.''
    Therefore we can evidence with the various records that he was on special duties at the War Dept. Station Selby from at least 1901 to 1904 and probably for a much longer period than that.
    In the England Census of 1911, we find that William Ind and his family are residing at 3 New Street, Selby, in Yorkshire. William is now employed as a, ''cycle dealer.''

    Here are some general details on PC William Ind :-
    William Ind born in Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire, on the 14/6/1858.
    Joined the Metropolitan Police 14/4/1879. PC 'A' or Whitehall divn.
    Warrant number 63496.
    Transferred 18/8/1879. PC 'H' or Whitechapel divn.
    2/2/1880. PC 'A' divn.
    27/8/1881. PC 'L' or Lambeth divn.
    30/1/1882. PC 'A' divn.
    21/8/1882. PC 'B' or Chelsea divn.
    14/1/1893. PC 'CO' or Commissioner's Office.
    Retired on pension 18/4/1904.
    Questions.... why would the Metropolitan Police pay to have a Metropolitan Police Constable employed in Selby and what could be so important or secret or valuable that it warrants this deployment from the Metropolitan Police.
    I have not read anything which would explain why this extremely unusual situation should occur.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Airfield Research Group

    I forgot to say that there was the ''Airfield Research Group,' located nearby and on the 12th of October in 1917, the first British Airship was launched from this area near Selby but that is quite a few years after PC William Ind was employed with the War Dept. Office in Selby. Therefore the two may well not be connected together.


    • #3
      Selby and District Family History Group

      I have just asked the Selby and District Family History Group if they have any information on the subject and they will get back to me after their next meeting but it seems there was a munitions factory, in Barlby which might have a connection.


      • #4
        Powder Magazine 1889

        We know there was a War Department Office in Selby 1901-1904 but almost certainly it would have existed long before these dates.
        I now know, the War Department built a Powder Magazine in 1889, at Barlby which is next to Selby.
        Where the War Department has one asset there might be others ie a gun powder factory etc.
        This information is very kindly coming from local sources in Selby.


        • #5
          Story now known


          From what I have learned, it would appear that there was a requirement for the Metropolitan Police to protect War Department establishments and the Metropolitan Police would provide the Policemen and the War Department would cover the costs of such arrangements. This financial arrangement may have continued to about 1925 before the War Department established their own staff for the protection of their premises.

          On the 14th of January in 1893, PC William Ind was posted to the Commissioner's Office at Scotland Yard and was probably transferred straight away to the War Dept. Office in Selby.

          The Powder Magazine built in 1889 by the War Department and was approximately 4 years old when PC William Ind arrived to take up his duties, guarding the magazine and compound. There were 3 cottages on the site for the Police who were guarding the complex but I do not know if PC William Ind and his family ever resided in them. I do know the site was guarded up until approximately 1970 when the site was sold off to a local farmer. I believe he is attempting to get the Powder Magazine building listed and is working with English Heritage in this respect. The Powder Magazine is a bit run down, to say the least.
          Sheila Newsome of the Selby History Club has been very extremely helpful and even gave me some pictures of the magazine and I might try and attach a photograph later.



          • #6
            photograph of powder magazine - hopefully

            Attached Files


            • #7
              powder magazine 1889

              Attached Files


              • #8
                another photo over-sized 1889 powder mag.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Hi Alan
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Now we have the full story

                    That is great Robert,
                    Now we have the full story, the Royal Scots withdraw from the duties of guarding the powder magazine in 1893 and I suspect that PC William Ind, was one of only a handful of Metropolitan Policemen that took over that duty. The story is that there were 3 cottages on site for the Policemen guarding the compound.

                    I have also seen an article from 1911 regarding the death in Barlby of, Mr John Cooper, an Indian Mutiny veteran, who retired from the army with the rank of Quarter Master-Sergeant in the Royal Artillery and who later worked for a decade as a clerk in the Powder Magazine at Barlby, near Selby. Therefore we know they had a number of other civilian staff engaged in the managing of the Powder Magazine.

                    I have also seen another article from 1912 which reported on a fire on the forecastle of the Ketch Princess of Goole which was moored in the River Ouse. The boat was chartered by the Government for conveying explosives from the Woolwich Arsenal to the Powder Magazine at Barlby.
                    many thanks,
                    Last edited by Alan Baird; June 15, 2018, 05:12 PM. Reason: spelling


                    • #11
                      Hi Alan

                      In December 1891 there were severe floods in the area and reports of some of the gunpowder being destroyed. There was a reference to a Mr Stoyle, warrant officer in charge.

                      I'm attaching what might be the three cottages you mention, from the 1891 census.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        No 1, 2 & 3 Magazine cottages

                        Hi Robert,
                        That's great information as it evidences what the local farmer/land owner said that, 'the policemen guarding the Powder Magazine lived in the three cottages on the site.'
                        When PC William Ind first arrived at the Powder Magazine complex in 1893, I believe, he would have resided in one of the cottages with his family but by the England Census of 1901 he was residing at the White House, in Barlby. Maybe the establishment of the Metropolitan Police guard had increased or maybe he just felt it would give him and his family a better quality of life being off site.
                        William Ind is difficult to find in the 1901 census as they miss-spelt his surname as being, ''Jud.''

                        There is also an ''Alfred Ernest Ind,'' [Born in Tetbury, Glouestershire, 1872] VC Boer War hero who was born only about 40 miles from William Ind [Born Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire, in 1858] and I believe the two families may be related. 'Ind' is not a common name. But unfortunately I have not found the connection between the Ind's of Wiltshire and the Ind's in Gloucestershire.
                        and many thanks for the information.