Brutal attack on Portsmouth PC

PC66 William Barron.
PC66 William Barron.
THEN: With Michael Faithful guarding the wicket and fielders close in, here are lads enjoying cricket on the early Leigh Park estate.

NOSTALGIA: Test match special at Leigh Park

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On the night of July 20, 1947, a Portsmouth police officer was so badly beaten he spent several weeks in hospital and retired early.

It was the second time in three months the constable had been attacked on duty.

PC66 William Barron, 24, was in Fratton Road when he heard noises at the back of a tobacconist at 100, Fratton Road which belonged to Herbert John Riches. Three men attacked PC Barron and fled. The constable gave chase and caught up with his attackers at the junction of Somers Road North and Vivash Road which is where the men laid into him.

Knocking him unconscious they prised open a manhole cover and threw PC Barron into a sewer and replaced the cover. Several hours later a passing nightwatchman heard PC Barron’s cries and called the police who found a bayonet in the street. PC Barron had severe leg injuries and bruising all over his body. For his bravery he was presented to the King at Buckingham Palace and awarded The King’s Police and Fire Service Medal for gallantry.