Working for you in retirement



No 47 – February 2020

Dates for your Diary

Open Meeting – Wednesday 29th April 2020 12.00 noon at Llanyravon Methodist Church NP44 8RA

GPPA France Trip 15-18 June 2020.  Contact John Metcalfe for more details.

Treasure Hunt Wed 24th June 6.30pm from Treherbert Road, Croesyceiliog.

A.G.M. Wednesday 30th September 2020 12 noon at Llanyravon Methodist Church.

Christmas Draw  – Wednesday 25th November 2020, 7.30 pm at The Olive Tree, Edlogan Way, Cwmbran, NP44 2JJ

Christmas GPPA/NARPO Meal – Sunday 29th November 2020 at Newport Golf Club,  Great Oak, Rogerstone, Newport NP10 9FX. Contact Viv Williams for bookings.

Morels Christmas Meals – Friday 4th December and Thursday 10th December, 2020. Contact Viv Williams for availability.


My dear G.P.P.A and Narpo colleagues.                                                               03/11/19

The last time I was in hospital was in early 1941 when I was admitted to Swansea General Hospital to have my tonsils and adenoids removed. That coincided with the first of three nights of concentrated bombing by the Luftwaffe which reduced much of the city centre to rubble. I remember the excitement of a six years old as the children were removed to the basement amongst the noise of exploding bombs and ack-ack fire.   I was discharged the following day and returned to the tranquillity of home in Oystermouth on the Gower. Since then I have kept relatively fit and active with regular gym sessions and a large garden to maintain.

However, early this year we, that is my wife Elaine and I, noticed that my appetite was getting smaller and smaller and I was declining my favourite foods. A visit to my wonderful G.P., a German lady, resulted in immediate admission to hospital where I spent three weeks recovering from pneumonia. Antibiotics and an impressive litre of fluid taken from my lung cavity did the trick.

Only a couple of weeks after discharge, I was again in hospital suffering from kidney problems. Another lengthy spell of treatment and then discharged. After an obvious weakening of my body and several falls, I was again back in hospital where two M.R.I. scans – very unpleasant- and other tests revealed I had cancer of the bone marrow.  Not in itself the most pernicious cancer, but the bone marrow controls many body functions and any disruption, plus chemotherapy, produces most unpleasant side effects. I was discharged to home where I now spend most of my time in bed.

Knowing that my life span would be shortened I was determined to put my affairs in order so that, upon my passing, there would be the minimum strain on my dear wife.

The following may be of interest.  Firstly we updated our wills.  We moved all our disposable income into an Easy Access account in her name. Thus, apart from a current account for the payment of pensions etc., I have no savings.

Then I arranged Power of Attorney over finances for Elaine taking advantage of a half price offer in the Benenden Health magazine. Easily and quickly done over the telephone for a fee of £150, the Office of the Legal Guardian require a further fee of £85 and it takes up to ten weeks to process!

I made sure that there is a record of all insurances and when they are due for renewal.  In both my G.P. and hospital records are signed declarations of “Do not resuscitate.”

I then set about arranging my departure. The future is very uncertain but I have several targets to strive for. Elaine’s birthday, this month; mine next month; Christmas although that will not be a celebratory occasion followed by our wedding anniversary in February. If I can live to see those it will be an achievement.

Having no religious beliefs, I have always hated the thought of a funeral service where a vicar, who had never met me, mouthed platitudes supplied to him by the family.  I have therefore prepaid for a woodlands burial at Eastham on the Wirral with views of the River Mersey and Eastham lock which is the entrance to the Mersey Ship Canal.  I must remember to pack my binoculars.

The package £3,750 omits a funeral service, flowers, limousines or post internment refreshments and drinks. One phone call and everything is taken care of.

We manage quite well now I am home. Fortunately we live in a spacious bungalow with an en-suite bathroom. With the use of my three wheeled walker, and Elaine’s help, I can make the bathroom, do the necessary and have a full strip wash. I am frightened to use the walk in shower, although it has a seat and grab handle. The thought of falling in the confined space is concerning to us both as I would need male assistance to be extracted.  Whoever invented wet wipes deserves a medal.

A few years ago we invested in a king-size bed with separate mattresses each with electric motors that raise and lower head and feet. That has proved a very good purchase.

Good friends carry out minor shopping needs, collect medicines from our local pharmacy and, thanks to the village library, pick up and return books they had chosen for me. I am an avid reader, mainly of military history and my bedside cabinet is piled with books. I recently purchased on-line a mint condition, paperback on Waterloo for 99 pence; postage free. The economics of such a transaction defeat me.  Sainsburys home shopping is a great boon. Order today and delivery tomorrow.

I have my ‘Alexa’ with a huge store of music for all tastes and of course an I-pad which keeps me in touch with distant friends and the outside world including the two daughters in California. Both have been over, Michelle twice and Paula once. Wonderful to see them and great company for their Mum.

I still have no appetite. Everything tastes of nothing and any solids cause me to gag.

I exist on Ensure high protein supplements ( on prescription) and clear soups. I have lost almost six stones in weight since my first admission to hospital and when I look in the bathroom mirror this cadaver-like image looks back at me. Opiates control the pain and I have a back-up morphine spray when it becomes excessive.  We take each day as it comes and are thankful for each one that passes without incident.

Looking back. I had a wonderful career in the Police in the military, Newport Borough, Bechuanaland Mounted Police, Regional Crime Squad and latterly the Royal Oman Police.  I worked with many outstanding officers who could be relied on to back you to the hilt. Very often we were truly a Band of Brothers.

If Laurie decides to publish this correspondence and it is a matter entirely for him, it may well appear in the January/February Newsletter. Whether I will be here to read it is beyond my control but I hope so.   To you, those colleagues who still survive and remember me, I give my grateful thanks.  To you all I wish you a long life and the very best of health.

Charles Nunn – 16th Dec 2019

Perth, Western Australia.

My Dad was Pc 91 Dennis Ruffle, who retired from Gwent Police on 30th June 1971. Prior to joining the force, Dad served in the Army from 1935 to 1946, with the Hampshire Regt, where he rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was offered the position of Warrant Officer when the war ended, but was beguiled by my dear mother’s blue eyes, so he left the army and joined the Monmouthshire force, his first posting being the picturesque and historical town of Monmouth.

Dad thoroughly enjoyed both the history and activities of this busy little country town, particularly on Friday market day. This was when the unmistakeable aroma of farm animals filled the air, along with the happy sounds of the many ruddy cheeked and amply rounded farmers, as they strolled around in their leather ‘puttees’ shrewdly inspecting the cows and bulls. After the hectic city of Dad’s birthplace, Portsmouth, the friendly and calming lifestyle of Monmouth proved a healing balm for him, following the war years. In

this regard, I recall him telling me of the times he was on night duty when the local baker would give him, fresh from the oven, a loaf of bread as he made his way home. This was in the time when the baker’s van made daily deliveries of a selection of fresh bread directly to one’s doorstep.

Following Monmouth, my Dad’s next posting was to the village of Bedwas, another mainly rural farming community. I remember the gentle green fields behind our home which I was told sat over the remains of old workings of the 19th Century coal mines. This was when there were up to four collieries in the area, but these were later closed as an outcome of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.  In Bedwas, Dad not only walked his regular beat, but also took up the additional challenge of competitive walking. This even involved him competing in the annual walking race from London to Brighton on more than one occasion.

Dad had his soft spots, and frequently after night shifts, I would find upon entering the kitchen in the morning, a new resident enjoying a saucer of bread and milk, be this a stray cat or injured hedgehog, or an injured bird that he had found in a gutter whilst on his beat.

My other memory is the happy times we spent as a family attending the annual Police sports day.  We would join the other police folk and families and looked forward to watching dad competing in his various walking races, whilst Mum and I would

giggle at our own efforts in the egg and spoon races.  In fact I still have some of the tasteful prizes which we won, in particular the cur glass bowls which are still brought out each Christmas to be filled with a traditional Welsh trifle.

Writing this also brings to mind the extremely well organised Police Christmas Parties we were fortunate to attend. As a child, these events were not to be missed, not only because of the delicious Christmas fair that was on offer, but the arrival of a much anticipated and greatly appreciated Santa Claus, along with his sleigh of presents, of course.  These parties never failed to bring a special look of delight to the faces of all who participated. Very happy times indeed!

It is true to say that Dad enjoyed the outdoor life and community activities and his final posting was to the village of Pontnewydd, when walking the beat was still the norm, as cars and mobile pagers were yet to be introduced. As a result, dad would frequently come home mid beat with his heavy blue overcoat drenched, but he would change and go straight back out in the torrential rain. I’m pleased to say I never did hear Dad complain about any of the physical demands placed on him by his job.  Hence I have no hesitation in saying that for Dad, the essence and indeed joy of police work was being out walking the beat and mingling with the community in order to fulfil the particular and often demanding needs of his profession.

As kit proved, Dad spent the last two years of his career working as a civilian in the Stores Section at Cwmbran police HQ. Then alas, dad went to his final heavenly destination in 1996.

My Mum, Gwyneth Lena RUFFLE (nee Nelder) moved to Australia to live with us in 1999 where she lived to the age of 98 years. In the enclosed photograph, she is wearing a nurses uniform, for she was the District Nurse at Pontypool hospital from 1958 to 1978. Some members may recall her blue Austin A40 which she used to visit her patients. She, like Dad, was a very respected member of the community and one who never failed to put the needs of her patients foremost.

Jayne Ann Hughes


Raising Your Concerns – the work of the Community Health Council in Wales

The NHS in Wales aims to provide the very best care and treatment via your General Practitioner (GP), Hospital, Dentist, Pharmacist, or Optician. But what happens when something goes wrong, or does not go as well as expected?

When that happens, you should raise your concerns there and then with the staff involved in your care or treatment, so that they can look at what may have gone wrong and try to make it better. In Wales, this is known as ‘Putting Things Right’.

However, we sometimes feel quite vulnerable, unsure and nervous when dealing with the NHS and there is sometimes a reluctance to ‘complain’. Few people are aware of the ‘Standards of Service and Care’ that should be provided, therefore, if you prefer, you can ask your health board to do look at your concerns for you.

Each health board or trust has their own ‘concerns team’ who should:

  1. Listen to your concerns to try to resolve them as quickly as possible.
  2. Look into your concerns and speak to the staff involved in your case, or treatment.
  3. Put you in contact with the right person to help you.
  4. Let you know what they have found and what they are going to do about it.

It is best to talk to someone as soon as possible, but you can take up to 12 months to do so. If a longer time has passed and there are good reasons for the delay, the ‘concerns team’, or practice, may still be able to deal with your issue(s).

You don’t have to raise the concerns yourself. If you prefer, a friend, carer, or relative may represent you, but you will need to give them written permission to do this.

Now, if the prospect of dealing with the NHS is daunting for you, you can get help and support. The Community Health Council’s advocacy service is independent and it provides both free and confidential support.

You can find your local Community Health Council by contacting: 01633 838516 or: The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales; Telephone No: 02920 235558 or by visiting:  or                    [email protected]

The Local CHC are currently seeking volunteers to join and are looking particularly for Advocates, statement takers and those with computer skills, which would suit a retired police officer. Anyone interested please contact (Former DC) Brian Williams at: [email protected]


Gwyneth Lena RUFFLE, widow of Pc 31 Dennis Ruffle, passed away aged 98 years on 24th October 2019. Her funeral was held in Perth, Western Australia.

Retired Chief Superintendent Frederick WYER passed away on 16th November, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Stephanie and daughters Jayne & Julie. Prior to his police career, Fred did military service in Hong Kong. Following his retirement, he set up hospices in Africa and elsewhere in the world. His funeral was on Thursday 12th December at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable Ron BENSTEAD has passed away in Carlisle, Cumbria. He will be remembered most for his time as a dog handler. We have no details of his funeral.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Charles NUNN passed away after a long illness on 16th December 2019. He is survived by his wife Elaine and daughters Michelle & Paula.  He was buried in a woodland setting at Eastham, Wirrall, Cheshire.

Retired Detective Chief Inspector Michael JOHNSON passed away on 18th December 2019. He is survived by his wife, Diane and sons    His funeral was on Friday 10th January 2020 at Gwent Crematorium. A former miner, Mike joined the force and served in many stations around Gwent and also with the Regional Crime Squad. He was renowned for his talents as a Rugby player, and was a stalwart of the GPPA, being our treasurer for many years.

Retired Police Constable 187 Ricky Lee JONES passed away on 5th January 2020. He is survived by his wife Michelle, and daughters Ella, Dora & Niamh.  Ricky joined the Kent Constabulary, and then transferred to Gwent Police where he served at several stations but most of his service was on Traffic. Ricky retired from the force in 2017, on ill health, having been injured on duty. His funeral was on Thursday, 6th February, 2020, at St Cadocs Church, Trevethin.

Retired Police Sergeant David Kenneth ROGERS passed away on 13th January 2020. A widower, Ken is survived bu his nephews and nieces. His funeral was on Friday 7th    February 2020 at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Sergeant Terence Gareth ‘Reg’ REES passed away on 18th January 2020. His funeral was on Thursday 6th February 2020 at the Church of the Resurrection, Grand Avenue, Cardiff, followed by cremation at Wenault Chapel, Thornhill Crematorium.


Lexophile describes those that have a love for play with words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish,” or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless.”

No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
When chemists die, they barium.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
I changed my iPad’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.
I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Police were summoned to a day-care centre where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

Caroline Spenceley


Following the success of our 2018 Treasure Hunt, Malcolm and June are again getting their clues together for this summer’s Treasure Hunt. It will take place on Wednesday 24th June 2020. Meet at Trteherbert Road, Croesycieliog (next to Gwent Crematorium) at 6.30 p.m.

Could you please contact Malcolm and June on [email protected] or 01495 227104 to book in. There is no charge but we need numbers, so that we can let the pub that we finish at, know the numbers attending.


To save the expenses of postage and printing, please ensure that we have your current email address.   Every year around 40-50 members change their Internet Service Provider and frequently take a few months to realise that they are no longer getting circulations.  If you have not had an email for a month, drop me an email and I will check my system. Current email is being sent via an app called MailChimp.  This is not a scam or a bogus email, but enables us to send out 800 emails in a single posting.                      Thank you.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers

PRESIDENT –  PAM KELLY,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ. Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


1-2 Drybridge Terrace, Monmouth NP25 5AF. Tel 07730 426886.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot, Mon NP26 4HS. Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


13, The Pastures, Llanyravon, Cwmbran, Torfaen NP44 8SR. Tel 07977 108478

eMail – [email protected]


14 Bethesda Rise, Rogerstone, Newport NP10 9SY

eMail – [email protected]

No 46 – October 2019


Dates for your Diary

November 27th – Annual Draw Night – The Olive Tree, Edlogan Way, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran.   Starts 7pm with Gwent Police Headquarters Singers.  7.30 pm Hot Buffet, 8.15 pm Christmas Draw.

Annual Luncheon – Joint GPPA/NARPO meal at Ponthir Village Hall Sunday 1st December 2019

Bath Christmas Market & Longleat Festival of Light  4th December 2019 (contact John Metcalfe for details)


In with your magazine you will find an envelope containing draw tickets for 27th November. Please ensure you send your counterfoils and ticket money back promptly and please don’t forget to affix a stamp to the envelope provided. As the old saying goes, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!”


We now have 781 members on email. However, I suspect there are many more members on email, so if you haven’t received an email from me in the past month, you may have changed your email address or there may be some other problem, e.g. mail going into your junk mail folder instead of your inbox.  To ensure you get notifications promptly, if the above applies, please just send me an email (address on back page) Thank you.                                                                                      The Editor



I have just bought a police spec 1966 BSA Thunderbolt. The
first owners were Monmouthshire and then Gwent Constabularies. I attach
photos of the bike KAX 303D, although now 53 years later it has been

I am going to do a bit of refurbishment on it and I wondered if there were any photos of the BSA fleet at that time and ifany of our ex traffic members remember the BSA’s in general or this onein particular.

I would be glad of any info on the bike or photos as I am going to trace it’s history from new with a photographic record of any work done. This bike would have been in service when we joined and I can remember one motorcyclist on a BSA, with the nickname “Sludgegulper”.

If anyone can help with my project it would be great.

Bob Williams ex 627

[email protected]



Retired Chief Superintendent Michael FROST passed away, aged 78 years on 25th July 2019.  His funeral was at Cheltenham Crematorium, on Monday 12th August, 2019. He is survived by his wife Enid, daughters Alison and Susan and six grand-daughters.

Retired Police Constable 472 Brian James CROSS passed away, aged 70 years, on Friday, 9th August, 2019.  He had been unwell for a period of about 2 years. Brian joined Gwent Police in October, 1967, and served at Abertillery, Blackwood and Newbridge, retiring on ill health in 1992, after 25 years service.    His funeral was on Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 at St Sannans Church, Bedwellty, followed by interment at Bedwellty Cemetery. Brian is survived by his widow Jennifer, sons Andrew and Johnathan, and 6 grandchildren.

Retired Chief Constable Simon PRINCE, QPM has passed away after a long illness. Simon was a former Gwent Police Officer, rising to the rank of ACC, who then went on to become Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police. His funeral was on Tuesday 10th September 2019 at St. Teilo’s Church, Llantilio Crossenny, Monmouthshire. He leaves a widow Heidi


“The Awesome Lives of Tommy Twicer”

A blast from your past here! I’m writing to you to give you the heads-up on the up and coming publication of a new best seller,  “The Awesome Lives of Tommy Twicer –  Part 1”.  This is the first part of a story I have written, to be published on the 29th November by Austin Macauley Publishers, so I am now officially an author and will be joining the list of Gwent Pensioners who have had stories to tell and put pen to paper after retirement to write a book.  As Bryan Wilson’s wife, Deb told me, “Everyone has a book in them,” and I just happen to have loads.

The Awesome Lives of Tommy Twicer evolved out of a children’s story I made up for my grand-daughter Teigan, about a Giraffe named Taff. He is a Welsh giraffe and his brother, Brion the Lion, (originally to have been Bryan the lion named after Wilse Bryan). The pair of them live in a secret magical village named Abercwmzoo which is situated deep in the heart of the Sirhowy Valley.

When Deb heard it she told me that I should have it published as a set of children’s stories, and I set about creating stories about Taff and Brion and thought of using the title ‘Tales from Abercwmzoo’.  I tried to find an illustrator or cartoonist to help create the characters and a Welsh publisher to publish the story.  This was back in 2011 when I finished on Jasmine and like Jasmine, I just kept hitting brick walls.

Maybe I am not Welsh enough or maybe I just didn’t pitch it right. I don’t know but I felt they were no help so I changed tack. I would go down the route of self-publication and sought help from Business Wales and attended a seminar in Parc Penallta which I did not find helpful as they plugged business loans at a higher rate than you could get on the High Street and thought it could be costly though the potential yield if the book was a success would be greater than going through a publisher.

I decided to try another route and saw that Austin Macauley were looking for new authors to publish. I checked them out as they had adverse comments on the internet from some literary writers, as they were new and considered vanity publishers. I paid a contribution and signed a contract which covered just Part 1 and after what has been a long process the book is about to be published and Austin Macauley are established with offices in America and Australia and have published a great deal of new authors and books.

Well I persevered and sent a draft of my book to Austin Macaulay Publishers but changed the title from my original choice – ‘Saving Abercwmzoo’  to the ‘Awesome Lives of Tommy Twicer’ and they loved it, sending me a lovely comment in their acceptance of the book, which said “It has the potential to be outstanding in it’s genre.” They are considered by the mainstream publishers to be ‘vanity publishers’ and I did have to pay a fee to have the book published, but it did give me a big head for a while.

I could write telling you the story for hours as anyone who has read an Intelligence Log or one of my long statements could tell you. They are long and detailed.

The book is set during the First World War and tell the story of how Taff and Brion come to be born on Mumbles Beach, Swansea in 1917 following the Russian Revolution.  They are the offspring of animals brought to Wales by a young Polish boy, Tomas Tomaschevshy from Tuchola in Poland, where my father was born and lived before the Second World War.

As Bryan and Deb Wilson can attest, it is a cracking story about Tomas’ escape from Russia following the Russian Revolution; full of history relating to Russia, the Tsar, Rasputin, Lenin and Stalin, Captain Smirnoff the vodka pirate,  Bruce the boxing kangaroo and Newport’s own Johnny Basham the boxer.

I am glad that I wrote so much (when I start I just don’t want to finish) and that it is just Part 1, as if it is well received, I may not have to pay a fee to publish Part 2, which is about Tomas’ life in Oakdale, Wales; his enforced change of name to Thomas Thomas   (hence ‘Tommy Twicer’) and his later escape to the sanctuary of Abercwmzoo in 1920, having been rumbled by the Cheka and the K.K.K

If you search the internet, you may see a website called Saving Abercwmzoo (not Abercwmboi) which my son, Mark set up for me on Go Daddy which was to promote my original attempt to sell the book under that title.  It was useless giving it to me as I am not computer literate and do not even know how to use it. If people did respond to it, I apologise that I did not reply, as I couldn’t get it to work.  However, now I know that the book is being published, albeit under a different title, I hope to renew the site and get it running properly, or it may be on Facebook, which my wife uses.

I hope this has caught your imagination and hopefully you may decide to buy the book, even if it is just out of curiosity, to see if I can in fact write.  It may also merit a question to other ex-Gwent Pensioners to see if they have written books or to find out what further careers they have pursued.

It is not a children’s book.  It started out that way, but evolved into a story for teenagers and adults; full of accurate historical fact intermingled with fantasy. It revolves around the Eastern Front during the First World War; the Russian Royal family; Rasputin and the Russian Revolution; full of espionage, intrigue, a true love story with a host of animals included. A true encyclopedia of suspense and knowledge which hopefully has something for every taste. I hope to subsequently launch a series of children’s books entitled ‘Tales from Abercwmzoo’.

Steve Juhlke


Who can name these from Central CID 1979?

Whats your story? 

As Steve Juhlke has said, everyone has a book in them.  Maybe you don’t feel you could write a whole book, but I’m sure you all have some great stories to tell, which should not disappear into the depths of time.

Drop me a line, give me a ring or email me with your story. You can change any of the names to protect the innocent or guilty if you wish, and remember, they don’t have to be solely police related. Court-rooms are often great sources of humour.

Even photographs can prove amusing. The below photo was taken many years ago in Newport.  Who can provide the best caption?



The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers

PRESIDENT – PAM KELLY,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ. Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]



1-2 Drybridge Terrace, Monmouth NP25 5AF. Tel 07730 426886.

eMail [email protected]



Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot, Mon NP26 4HS. Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]



13, The Pastures, Llanyravon, Cwmbran, Torfaen NP44 8SR. Tel 07977 108478

eMail – [email protected]


No.  45 – JULY 2019

JULY 2019

Dates for your Diary

September 25th – AGM – Llanyravon Methodist Church Hall  12 noon

Sunday 1st December  – Joint GPPA/NARPO Christmas Luncheon – Ponthir Village Hall

November 27th – Annual Draw Night – TBA  – probably Olive Tree.


On Friday 10th May, a group of GPPA members set out on a 75th Anniversary trip to the Beaches of Normandy.  After boarding our coach at Newport Sainsbury’s, we travelled to the Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson, Portsmouth, where we had chance to explore this imposing Victorian fort, where many exhibits include part of Saddam Hussein’s proposed supergun.

Following this, we boarded the Cruise ferry, Normandy, en route to Caen.  Some of our group enjoyed a movie on the outward crossing.  We eventually arrived at Caen and headed for the Hotel Ibis, Caen.

On the Saturday morning, after a buffet breakfast, we boarded the coach bound for Bayeux. No, not by there…Bayeux.    We visited the Bayeux tapestry and then walked around the picturesque town where we visited the Cathedral before finding a lovely open air café.

Cafe at Bayeux

We then visited the Bayeaux military cemetery, where we had time for a reflective wander.

It was then back on the coach, for a visit to the German gun emplacements at Langues Sur Mer, where the huge guns still lie as rusting memorials.

German Gun Emplacement

We then travelled to Arromanches, where we enjoyed views of the remnants of the floating Mulberry harbour. We lunched in this lovely town which has an impressive museum to commemorate the landings.

Leaving Arromanches, we continued to the Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. We visited the Memorial to the South Wales Borderers (Asnelles) where a wreath was laid by Dennis Pitman.

Dennis Pitman lays a wreath at South Wales Borderers Monument.

South Wales Borderers Monument

and then to the 45th Commando Memorial at Sword beach, followed by a visit to the ‘Montgomery’ Memorial.

At Ouistreham, posters of surviving heroes were mounted on all the lamp-posts. We found the poster of our member, (retired Sgt Dave Edwards, of Abergavenny), and broke out the bubbly to drink a toast to him.

Poster in honour of retired Sgt Dave Edwards (Abergavenny)

All our members on the coach trip drink a Toast to Dave Edwards

We visited Ranville cemetery, where the Glider pilots and Paratroopers, who lost their lives in the landings, are buried, followed by a visit to Pegasus Bridge.

Pegasus Bridge

Here we visited Café Gondree, the first place to be liberated after the initial landings, where we met Arlette Gondree, who was a young girl when the Allies landed in 1944. Arlette recounted her memories of the initial landings by Allied forces. Although Arlette is nearly 80 years of age, she has quite a ‘presence’ and we were all charmed by her.

Arlette Gondree with Petra & John

After exploring the Bridge and the nearly glider landing sites, we returned to Caen for an evening meal in some of the many restaurants. On Sunday 12th May, we had several hours to explore the lovely city of Caen and the street market on the quayside. Some took the opportunity to visit the Normandy Museum and Chateau built by William the Conqueror.   After lunch, we drove into the countryside for a scenic tour of Normandy, visiting a Calvados Distillery at Pont L’eveque, where we watched how Calvados is made and enjoyed a tasting.

We then visited the port of Honfleur, with its picturesque inner harbour and timber framed buildings.

We visited St Catherine’s Church, with its impressive roof, shaped like an upturned boat, and explored the harbour, shops and restaurants.   After a scenic drive back to Caen, visiting Trouville and Deauville en route, we returned to Caen, for evening dinner at the Ibis Hotel.

On Monday 13th May, we left Caen for Cherbourg, commencing with a short visit to the German Cemetery at La Cambe.  This contrasted starkly with the Allied cemeteries, with small black concrete memorials in a large expanse of lawn, but was quietly dignified in its way.

German Cemetery

We then travelled to the American Cemetery at Omaha beach, but were confined to the paved walkways, as high security preparations were in place for the impending visit of the US President.

American Cemetery – Omaha Beach

Leaving Omaha Beach, we visited St Mere Eglise, where Allied Paratroopers landed in error. Here, we saw the effigy of John Steele hanging from the church roof (he survived.)

Also at the church are two impressive D-Day memorial windows, in memory of the 400 men who were killed. We visited the adjacent museum with its impressive glider displays.   Then it was back on the coach for Cherbourg, where we caught the fast hydrofoil ferry to Portsmouth.  In all, it was a very interesting and enjoyable trip and our thanks go to John Metcalfe for organising it, and John Giblin,  for an informative commentary.

Not Your Usual Holiday

The Welsh Hawking club was founded in the early nineteen sixties, largely by members of the Newport Wildfowlers. Contrary to popular opinion the club aren’t itinerant pedlars of cheap merchandise, but practitioners of the ancient sport of falconry. Meetings were held at the Potters pub, Newport. Later, after the Potters ceased to be an option, the club moved to Newport Constitutional Club.

The Club President was Lorant de Bastyai who had been Curator of the natural history section of  Budapest museum. During the Hungarian uprising in 1956, according to a contemporary account he, ‘bent an iron bar over a Commissar’s head and escaped at the dead of night with a falcon secreted under his coat’. Hiding out at the border, he frantically tried to keep the bird from making a noise’.  For a time he had worked for Peter Scott at Slimbridge, and later was employed at Newport museum. This was when I was privileged to get to know him.

Lorant was banned from Woolworth’s store in Newport. This came about because of his habit of wandering around the town with a hawk on his wrist. Now there are certain physical differences between hawks and falcons, one of which is their toilet habits. Falcons relieve themselves by dropping their waste product just behind them, called muting in falconry terms. Hawks on the other hand, forcibly excrete at an angle, almost horizontally even. This is known as slicing. One day, Lorant was in Woolworths talking to someone, when his bird ‘sliced’ all over the pick ‘n mix counter. This resulted in his immediate expulsion from the store, with instructions never to return (only not quite so polite!). I seem to remember that we got banned from the Potters too, and that was because of another Laurant/hawk based incident!

An advantage of club membership was the opportunity to visit places not normally available to the public. One such was a visit to an international falconry meeting in Austria in 1963. We were guests of Duke Franz Khevenhuller, owner of Hochosterwitz Castle in Carinthia, which at that time was primarily a family residence. Two car loads of Welsh Hawking club members travelled to Austria for the event, waved off by Ken Mac; the Club Chairman. We were in a Humber Super Snipe driven by Les the Treasurer. Les was a superb driver, whose prime concern was the comfort of his passengers (which probably explained why I was compared to a tawny owl, dozing off with one eye half open, at every opportunity).  Others making the trip included Laurie the club’s first Hon.  Secretary and his wife, Laurie’s drinking mate and Committee member Doug, a young farmer’s son called Martin P., Laurant, John B. and a Ken B, who to be honest got on everyone’s nerves, especially John’s. In fact, one late evening in Austria after a particularly bad moaning session, he was almost unceremoniously dumped on the side of a mountain road, potentially leaving him to walk several miles to our lodgings. The driver relented however and he was allowed to remain in the car on the strict understanding that he just sat there, and kept quiet.

Part and parcel of club membership was the partaking of snuff.  It was thought that smoking a cigarette, or pipe, would have been detrimental to the well-being of the hawk on the wrist, and snuff, therefore, was considered a practical and socially desirable alternative. Les, who had worked previously in London, took us by some circuitous route to a backstreet tobacconist who made up a special mixture for the actor James Robertson Justice. Mr Robertson Justice was honorary falconer to Prince Philip, and a world renowned expert on the sport. Les bought several ounces of his precious snuff.

On the way to the ferry, we were travelling along a carriageway at one hundred miles an hour (perfectly legal in 1963) when we were overtaken by a police Austin A35 van, which left us standing. What was under that bonnet I don’t know, but certainly wasn’t made in Longbridge!

It took us over two days to reach our destination, stopping for one night in Frankfurt, and enjoyed a break in the journey by visiting Frankfurt Zoo in the afternoon. Our hotel rooms were situated on the second floor, the landing below had a large sofa in the middle. Les, who was on the short side, but whose waistline more than compensated, took a running jump and landed head first on the sofa, disappearing in a cloud of dust. He emerged looking like Howard Carter after a particularly messy archaeological dig, and then expected us to wait for him whilst he bathed and changed.

Les seemed to have a talent for experiencing the unusual. Whilst we were in Austria he was taken short and had to use the nearest facilities, which happened to be an outside ‘three seater’ lavatory. He was shocked to the core when a large hausfrau entered, plonked  herself down beside him, lit a pipe, and proceeded to read her newspaper.  Les was most careful where he went after that!

The opening of the falconry meeting was marked by a solemn ceremony involving the use of tunes played on various types of hunting horns including the flugelhorn. I was somewhat put out by what I thought was the sound of someone singing slightly out of tune, behind me. Turning round, I saw the ‘music’ was coming from a dog, a Munsterlander I think. We’ve had dogs that would howl at the introduction of TV programs like Emmerdale, but never one that had a whole repertoire of tunes at its disposal!

We were treated to a substantial meal, and an evening of traditional entertainment including a Bavarian oompah band. Les insisted on going on stage mid performance, distributing snuff to all and sundry, resulting in a total collapse of the performers in fits of sneezing.

One certain way of causing discord within a group of German falconers from different parts of the country, is to ask them the correct pronunciation of Adler, the German for eagle. Add in an Austrian or two, and you have a perfect example of ‘wind ’em up and let them go’!

Meeting the Iocal people, we were struck by their apparent lack of understanding regarding things outside their immediate sphere. Most had never been more than a few miles from where they were born, and other countries seemed totally alien to them. Indeed, some we spoke to were of the opinion that people in Wales lived in caves! On the other hand, they may have just have been taking the Mickey!

A young Austrian lad by the name of Franz Dorsh tagged onto me, treating me as a sort of honorary older brother. He was at the meeting with his father who was a doctor, and a keen falconer. They were from Vienna and Franz was a member of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Franz asked Les if his up-market Humber was an Austin, which didn’t go down particularly well. We corresponded for a time afterwards, and then lost touch. He always asked after Les in his letters, referring to him as the, “Jester in your group”.

The German falconers in particular, appeared to be quite arrogant, marching straight across growing crops tended by the locals without consideration for either people or plants. The local system of cultivation seemed to be similar to the medieval strip culture, with rows of potatoes, peas, and brassicas interspersed with maize. The maize provided cover for pheasants and roe deer, whilst the other crops often held hares.

There were several falconers, mainly Germans, flying eagles. They sometimes carried these larger birds on a wooden cross, rather than on the wrist, with the birds perched on the tee piece, and the base resting in a leather ‘frog’, identical to the type used for supporting flags whilst marching. One morning whilst we were standing in a line, a hare was flushed and a goshawk was released after it. A second or two after, a golden eagle broke the rules by taking off in pursuit as well, easily overtaking the goshawk. I was struck by the sheer speed at which the larger bird travelled, compared to the slow beat of its wings. A similar happening occurred the following year in Germany, I’m told.  Only in that incident a goshawk was killed by the eagle, almost sparking an international incident!

We were amazed to see dozens of Colorado beetles on the potatoes. None of us had actually seen one before, other than in photographs. Some bright spark suggested taking a matchbox full back home to sell to the Ministry of Agriculture, who at that time were offering a reward for any of these pests found in Britain. Thankfully common sense prevailed; perhaps thoughts of a lengthy jail sentence had something to do with it?

The top brass at the meeting, including members of the prestigious British Falconers Club, were accommodated in the castle, whilst the rest of us were billeted a few miles away in what originally had been the Duke’s ancestors’ private-army headquarters. Throughout the years the building had several roles including a monastery, convent, and latterly part of it was a hotel, run largely by the nuns. It was rather disconcerting to have our late evening revels interrupted by one of the sisters ‘calling time’!

During our stay, Alan Whicker the television journalist happened to be in Austria, filming. He got to hear of our visit and descended on us one evening, with his entire crew. Unfortunately it was my turn to buy a round, not that I minded, but the tightwad never did put his hand in his pocket to reciprocate afterwards.

The Duke employed a professional falconer, whose home was located at the bottom of the footpath leading up the hill to the castle. This tiny dwelling resembled something described by the Brothers Grimm, only not so cosy.

One highlight of the visit, (other than going into the falconer’s cottage and examining a spare pair of leather breeches fortified by years of grease and blood, literally standing to attention on their own in the corner), was waiting on the plain below the castle and watching a Japanese falconer fly his pair of Imperial Eagles from the castle roof some 600 feet above us. Less impressive was the banquet provided at the castle towards the end of our visit. The main course included dumplings, which Les suggested had been nicked from the display of cannonballs on the castle ramparts! We were then all presented, individually by the Duke, with a copy of a woodcut by the artist Ruir Sadoc, a leather leash or a pair of jesses (straps attached to a hawk’s legs), and a falcon’s hood. Plus we were made honorary members of the Austrian Falconers Association.

At the end of each day the bag was laid out in a row, and a tune specific to that species of game, was played as the ‘officer in charge’ moved down the line accompanied by the proud falconers. On one occasion Laurant was mortified when they got to the end of the line, and to his contribution towards the bag, a small shrew type rodent, which he had desperately tried to conceal, but failed!

At that time there were no known goshawks in the wild in Britain. Breeding in captivity was considered next to impossible, so the only practical method of securing birds to train was to obtain youngsters from the nest.  Negotiations were made to obtain two suitable goshawks for us the take home. I think they cost £2 or £3 each. We then made a frantic last minute search for suitable cardboard boxes in which to transport them, going from door to door in the nearby village calling out “Karton schachtel, bitte”.

Our journey home, for which we allowed three days, included stopping overnight in Munich, and then Brussels. We did have a bit of a problem with accommodation in Munich. It was the tail end of the beer festival and hotel vacancies were scarce. Eventually we did get some luck, managing to find rooms at a dingy hotel. The only downside was that it was next door to an extremely noisy all-night strip club. Needless to say, Les gate-crashed the establishment, only to be immediately ejected like a cork from a bottle.

Brussels caused us a bit of a problem in that the hawks had to be fed fresh meat. Our original supply had been exhausted so we spent ages looking for a butchers’ shop that stocked raw as well as processed meat. Contrary to popular opinion, raptors don’t care for chips with mayonnaise, smoked sausage, or fancy Belgian chocolate!

We cleared customs without any problem whatsoever, the customs officer asked what was in the box, but other than expressing a mild interest, let us go. The other car however, was questioned at length about the contents of their box, and then insisted that they opened the container. Of course, the inevitable happened, the goshawk, probably the avian equivalent of a stroppy teenager, proceeded to defecate all over the unfortunate customs officer’s uniform and face!

The first thing we did on reaching land at the end of the ferry journey was to stop at the first English greasy spoon we came to, and consume large quantities of egg, bacon, and black pudding. Lorant (the Hungarian) was especially glad of the change in diet. Whilst in Austria he had suffered from a severely upset stomach, and was heard to state it was the fault of “this bloody foreign food”!

I had, originally, intended to try to get a hawk of my own. This aspiration however became increasingly unrealistic due to my situation as a single police officer in digs. Although my landlord, who was a butcher, wouldn’t have minded, I was ever mindful of the possibility of being transferred somewhere less favourable at fairly short notice.

These days, Hochosterwitz castle is open to the public for part of the year. It contains a spectacular collection of armour, including an 8ft suit worn by Burghauptmann Schenk, who by all accounts topped 7ft 5in at the tender age of 16. There is a souvenir shop at the bottom of the hill where the falconer’s dwelling stood. I hope they’re not selling Chinese knockoff copies of his leather breeches!

Pete W-G



Retired Police Constable Charles DAWSON passed away in February 2019 aged 59 years. Charles retired in September 1992 after serving    He is survived by his widow, Carole. His funeral was at Christchurch Cemetery on 7th February 2019.

Retired Police Constable 198 Robert ‘Bob’ MORGAN passed away aged 76 years on 23rd February 2019.  He is survived by his widow, Anne; sons David & Simon and grand-children. He joined Monmouthshire Constabulary in 1962 and retired in 1992, having spent the majority of his service on the traffic department, and latterly as a Force Driving Instructor. His funeral was on Tuesday 19th March 2019 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable 30 Leonard ‘Len’ SIMS passed away on 3rd March 2019 aged 70 years. He is survived by his widow, Gillian, sons Jamie & Wayne, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He served at several stations in Gwent, including Blackwood, Risca and Newbridge, retiring in September 1998. He was a formidable rugby player, playing for Newbridge RFC and Gwent Police.  His funeral was on Thursday 21st March 2019 at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff.

Former Police Sergeant Michael JONES-MATHIAS passed away on 24th March 2019 aged 55 years. Prior to joining the Police, Mike served with the Royal Engineers leaving in the rank of Major,  to join the Gwent Force in 1994, where he served at Maindee, Bargoed, and finally Risca, in the rank of Detective Sergeant, before leaving the service in 2003 to take up employment as Operations Director for Securiforce International in Iraq 2003-07. His funeral was on 9th April 2019 at St. Mary’s Church, Marshfield followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium.

Retired Police Constable 686 Nicola EVANS (KING) passed away on 25th March 2019, following a tragic fall at her home. Nicola first joined Gwent as Support Staff, before becoming a PCSO and finally a regular Police Constable. Her funeral was at St Hilda’s Church, Griffithstown on 16th April 2019 followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Sergeant 517 Bernard SCRIVENS passed away aged 71 years on 1st April 2019. Bernie had been suffering with illness for some time. Bernie joined Gwent Police in 1969, and after serving at several stations in the county, retired in 2001, after 32 years service. Bernie was a former rugby player with Pontypool RFC, and whilst in service was an active member of Gwent Police RFC. His funeral was on Tuesday 16th April, 2019 at Merchant’s Hill Baptist Church, Pontnewynydd, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran.

Retired Police Sergeant 6 Keith EDWARDS passed away peacefully in his sleep on 3rd May 2019. Keith joined the Monmouthshire County force in 1949, and served in several stations in the old ‘C’ Division before retiring in 1980 from Gwent Police, after 31 years service. His funeral was on Thursday 30th May 2019 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Sergeant Ernest John GODFREY passed away, aged 91 years, on 14th May 2019. He joined Monmouthshire Constabulary in 1950, through amalgamation and retired from Gwent Police in 1975 after 25 years service, finishing in the rank of Detective Sergeant. His funeral was on Monday, 3rd June, 2019 at All Saints Catholic Church, Ebbw Vale followed by burial at Ebbw Vale cemetery.

Council Parking Enforcement.

Ahead of the new joint in-house civil parking and environmental enforcement team coming into action on Monday 1st July, some of the borough’s parking restriction signs and road markings are being refreshed or renewed where required. Old road markings are being repainted where required, and any old and damaged parking restriction signs are being cleaned or replaced.

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, said: “In preparation for Monday 1st July when the council will have the power to issue Penalty Change Notices (PCN’s) relating to highway parking restrictions (such as prohibition of waiting at any time, or limited waiting), our contractors are busy refreshing old road markings and parking restriction signs.

“We will be employing staff who will have dual enforcement powers. The team will issues fines/PCNs for offences such as littering or parking illegally on double yellow lines. We will have no income targets and enforcement officers won’t be on commission. We don’t want to issue tickets.”

The new power in relation to parking enforcement, also known as Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) comes into action after Gwent Police wrote to five local authorities (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen) informing them that they will be withdrawing their officers and staff from activities that involve enforcing parking restrictions.

Caerphilly CBC are already issuing tickets. Be aware!


William Bernard O’Brien was born on 3rd May 1895 to John and Johanna O’Brien who lived at 45 St Mary’s Street, Newport. Will joined the Monmouthshire Constabulary on 25th August 1914 and was initially stationed in Abergavenny and later Abersychan. The Police Station at Abersychan was only a short distance from the Little Crown Inn, where the landlord had a pretty daughter named Rose Curtis. Will and Rose were soon ‘walking out’ together.

When the First World War slipped into its second year, Will decided to enlist in the Grenadier Guards. He worked his last shift at Abersychan on Sunday 21st November 1915, later getting ‘seriously drunk’ before taking the train from Abergavenny to London and Chelsea Barracks. We have this information as he wrote to Rose regularly telling her of his training, postings, events in the army and then on active service in France and Belgium. These letters were found in 1980 by Joan Nash the daughter-in-law of Rose, neatly tied together in Rose’s bedroom drawer after her death. Rose had later married Will’s good friend, Jack Nash.

In his letters to Rose, Will had told her that he had found Policing in Abersychan very hard and was enjoying the change from police uniform to a Guardsman no 24766. However, his letters soon started to reflect the ‘physical and emotional’ journey of a young inexperienced army recruit. By the beginning of 1916, Will was writing to Rose about ‘missing their walks’ and time together and as the training became more intense, his letters reflected a yearning for her and feeling miserable and wondering whether he should contemplate taking ‘French leave’ to see her.

On 14th August 1916, Will is sent on active service arriving at Le Havre in France. Will warns Rose that Army censorship is in force so his letters would be censored. Rose had holidayed at Weston Super Mare and Will wrote that he wished he was with her on the beach. By the 27th August 1916 Will’s battalion move up to the Front and was now getting ‘use to the row’ of the big guns in action. A month later he was referring to ‘it’s a terrible sight (in the trenches), one you can never forget’.

On 8th November, Will returns to Newport on compassionate grounds as his father has died and his mother is very ill. The fact that he couldn’t make it to Abersychan to see Rose created tensions between them which is reflected in their correspondence. He returns to Flanders without seeing Rose and receives a very ‘terse’ letter from her. He tries to explain his actions and eventually they make up their differences and the correspondence continues up to 27th July 1917 in the form of a Field Service Postcard, telling Rose ‘he was quite well’ and a final postcard on 3rd August 1917.

Sadly, his service records show he was killed in action between 3-4th August 1917, during the opening attack of the Third Battle of Ypres on the Ypres-Menin Road. A shell hit his trench, killing him instantly. There was no body and so his name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial.

Will’s obituary in the Argus refers to his ‘gallant conduct’ before his death but that was of little consolation to Will’s mother who was distraught when she hears the news and it was left to Will’s friend Jack to break the news to Rose. Jack and Rose eventually marry, however Rose kept Will’s letters for over 60 years, to be found by her daughter-in-law Joan Nash after her death.

Postscript: I recently met Joan and told her that I would tell Will’s story in our Newsletter. The letters are now lodged at the Gwent Archives in Ebbw Vale. If anyone is interested, the Archivist, Tony Hopkins has produced a booklet of the letters. Telephone 01495 353363.

Story by Mike Tanner

The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers



14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ. Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


1-2 Drybridge Terrace, Monmouth NP25 5AF. Tel 07730 426886.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot, Mon NP26 4HS. Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


13, The Pastures, Llanyravon, Cwmbran, Torfaen NP44 8SR. Tel 07977 108478

eMail – [email protected]


No. 44 – FEBRUARY 2019



Dates for your Diary

Dance & Hog Roast 29th March 2019 with “Under the Covers” Tickets £5 per head available from Stella Coburn.  Venue Llanyravon Social Club.

Spring GPPA Meeting – 24th April 2019 12 noon – 3pm at Woodland Road Social Centre.

France Trip – 10-13 May 2019 inclusive. Contact John Metcalfe for details.

Highclere Castle – 24th July 2019 –  £45 per person. Tickets from John Metcalfe.

Morels Meals – These are ongoing. Contact John Metcalfe for availability.


As an old colleague once said, “Let’s stop talking and communicate”. Of our 1500+ members, a great many are on the Internet, but I only have around 750 emails. We could save more money and ensure that messages get through, if everyone would email me with their current email address. If you have had emails recently, then I have it. If it’s been more than a month, then something is wrong. Either you have changed your email or ISP, or maybe the emails are going to your junk folder.   All it takes is a single email to me and I can check that you stay ‘connected’.


The increasing numbers of murder enquiries and major incidents are administered by means of the HOLMES computer system. HOLMES was introduced in 1985 and, because of its many deficiencies, HOLMES 2 in 2000.  Enquiries also rely heavily on CCTV coverage of the streets; the Police National Computer; Automatic Number Plate Recognition; cell phones; instant photography transferred via the internet; rapid fingerprint identification and, of course the marvels of D.N.A.

When I was a Detective in the 1960s and 1970s we had none of these now accepted means of investigation. CRO enquiries were made by telephone to New Scotland Yard  via the old “Whitehall 1212” or, more locally, to the Welsh Record Office in Cardiff. Fingerprints were sent by post to the Yard and searched manually which could take several days.

Provincial Forces, who then had little experience of murder investigation, could call on the services of Scotland Yard when a murder was not quickly detected. The Yard operated a “Wheel” where the names of experienced Detective Superintendents were recorded. As one went off to the provinces, the wheel turned and the next in line came to the top and was on call.

The Senior Detective was always accompanied by a First Class Detective Sergeant, then a Metropolitan Police rank, who was tasked with setting up the Murder Administration room. Colleagues will know that the huge amount of information flooding into an investigation has to be recorded and correctly indexed in order to support the Senior Investigating Officer.

As statements were taken by the outside team they were typed up by a team of typists drafted in from police offices and passed to a Statement Reader, an experienced officer. He underscored any information he thought vital and this was recorded on a library of index cards by another team who also gave each statement a serial number. It was essential that information was recorded in various ways.

For example a yellow Ford car, seen in High Street would be recorded under “vehicles” ; “colour”; “make” and “location” together with the relevant statement number, so, if the S.I.O. asked, “How many people mention that car?” the answer was on the index cards and easily retrievable.

Actions ordered by the S.I.O. were recorded in the “Action Book” together with the names of the officer(s) tasked to carry them out. It was the duty of the Murder Admin. Sergeant to keep those actions under review and chase up any which appeared to be delayed. There were other records kept all contributing to the smooth running of the enquiry and, hopefully, a final conviction.

In the mid 1960s, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police informed Chief Constables that, because of  increasing pressure in his own Force, Scotland Yard would no longer supply officers to carry out enquiries in the provinces. He agreed to set up courses to train officers in the administration of a Murder Room. It was suggested in Wales that Regional Crime Squad officers should be so trained.

In the early part of 1966, together with Detective Sergeant Morlais Davies of South Wales, I spent four weeks in Scotland Yard being trained on the “System”. We were accommodated in Sir John Nott-Bowers section house which was then one of a number of accommodation blocks throughout London for single officers. All now sold off and probably luxury flats.

For two weeks, together with R.C.S. officers from other regions, we were trained in the System and then attached to ongoing murder investigations in London. Morlais and myself were immersed in a major gangland murder by shooting in East London and actively involved in the Murder Room.

Upon our return to Wales we each filled two large suitcases with exercise books, record cards, coloured pencils, biro pens, labels and all the other equipment necessary to get a Murder Room set up and running.

The Commissioner relented and, for a further twelve months, continued to send Detective Superintendents to the provinces when requested and to have under them the recently trained officers. I was fortunate enough to work under three top Yard investigators, Murray Walters on a murder in Llanelly; Dave Dilley on the murder of a young child on the Gurnos Estate in Merthyr and, most memorable, Tommy Butler  known as the “Grey Fox”, who had successfully investigated the Great Train Robbery a few years previously, on a murder in Llanidloes, Mid Wales.

Mr. Butler was a taciturn man. A bachelor, non smoker and modest drinker he never seemed to leave the Murder Room and his work rate, and demands, were phenomenal. Sadly he died of cancer a few years later.

All three murders were successfully resolved and, by tradition, the S.I.O. hosted a party for those involved in the enquiry.

The System was very versatile and I set it up in Bethania Chapel in Aberfan in October 1966 to deal with the considerable amount of necessary recording and information which came in to the mortuary when, together with other R.C.S. officers, we spent 15 days identifying the 116 children and 28 adults killed by the collapsed coal tip. 158 bodies and body parts were carefully detailed together with statements from parents and others for later submission to the Coroner.

At the subsequent Aberfan Tribunal, chaired by Lord Justice Edmund Davies, I gave evidence as to our record keeping which received a very complimentary comment from his Lordship. I believe the records are now in the archives of the former Glamorgan Council.

To modern Detectives our System will seem very primitive; manpower and time-consuming. It was all we had and, most importantly, it worked.

Charles Nunn

An Information

 Several years ago, I was handed some items that had been recovered from a skip, somewhere in the County. Amongst these, was what at first glance appeared to be some form of certificate, framed and strung for hanging.

The paper on the rear was brown and starting to disintegrate with age.

The contents hark back to an early era of the history of Newport Borough police. The document takes the form of an information – an accusation made in writing to a court of competent jurisdiction, charging a person or persons with a specific violation of some law – and reads as follows:-

In the County Borough of Newport, Mon.

To  William Henry Robinson Esq., Chief Constable for the above Division, to Eric Rowthorne Esq, Philip Godwin Esq, Reginald Bevis Esq, William Everson Esq, and Thomas Price Esq, five of His Majesty’s Officers of the Law for the above Division, and the William John Evans Esq, Clerk of the Green of the above Division sitting at The Tredegar Arms, Bassaleg in the County of Monmouth

Whereas  an Information wherein Philip Godwin, warrant officer for the said Division was informant and His Majesty’s Coroner for the Newport District of Monmouthshire was Defendant, was tried and determined at the Tredegar Arms, Bassaleg aforesaid on Friday 30th day of June, 1933

Now  we the undersigned, for and on behalf of the said Coroner, (Ernest Charles Jones Esq.) who is dissatisfied and aggrieved by your determination upon the said trial, as being erroneous, flukey, entirely unwarranted and absolutely unjustifiable, hereby pursuant to the provisions of every act, (legal or illegal) enabling him apply to you for a retrial of the said matter and further that the said retrial should happen and take place and be determined on Friday the 21st day of July 1933 at the Rink of the said Tredegar Arms, Bassaleg.

Dated  this 4th day of July, 1933

                                                 Rogers, Hando, Bailey & Co,

23, Skinner Street, Newport

                                  Aiders and abetters for the said Ernest Charles-Jones.

In short, this is a request for a rematch of a game of bowls, between Newport Borough Police, HM Coroner and local Solicitors and Court Officials.

This ‘artefact’ is now some 85 years old.  I wonder if any of our senior members can shed any more light upon it?

I cannot be sure, but this photograph has also come to light which may possibly show the bowlers.

Whats your Story?

It is said that everyone has a story inside them.  In the case of police officers and especially retired officers, there is usually a book…. At least!   I recently discovered a small book written by my own mother, that I had no idea that she had written – 90 pages of her “Recollections of a Lifetime”

If you have a tale to tell, whether humorous, sad, just or unjust, please consider sending them to me. You can change the names to protect the innocent (or guilty) but a good story needs telling. Something to look back upon over the years to come. Maybe an interesting or unusual case that others might like to read about. You may even remain anonymous.

Have you had an interesting experience or an amazing retirement job? Drop me a line, – an email – or a photograph with a short note, and I will try to find a space for your story.


Retired Police Constable 669 Cyril WATERS passed away aged 91 years on Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport. Cy joined the Newport Borough Police in 1951, and then served in the Gwent Police after amalgamation. He retired after 30years in 1981 and then served as a civilian employee for a further 10years. He is survived by his daughter Sue and son Stuart, and 4 grandchildren and a great grandchild. His funeral was on Thursday, 1st November, 2018 at St. Cadocs Church, Caerleon followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Constable 573 Anton Philip POELKE (Tony) passed away aged 70 years, on 23rd October, 2018.  A former member of the Parachute Regiment, Tony joined Gwent Police in 1969 and retired in 1994. He was stationed at Ebbw Vale and Risca. Tony is survived by three children Kate, Andrew, and Joanne and grandchildren. His funeral was on Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, at 11am at Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran.

Retired Police Constable 643 Peter Hugh William ROBERTS passed away in hospital on Tuesday, 6th November, 2018 at the age of 85 years.  Pete joined the Glamorgan Police in 1956 transferring to Newport Borough Police in 1966, and then with Gwent Police, serving in uniform and Scenes of Crime at Newport and HQ Croesyceiliog, retiring in 1985.  Pete is survived by his three children, Huw, Dianne and Susan, 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  His funeral was on Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 at St Annes Catholic Church, Malpas, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable Norman CROCKETT passed away on Saturday, 10th November, 2018 at Nevill Hall Hospital. Born in 1931 at Abercarn, he served in the army between 1949 and 1952, being stationed in Egypt.  On leaving the army he went to work in Abercarn Tin works before joining Monmouthshire Constabulary in May 1953.  He served in Abergavenny, Abertillery and was the RO in Aberbeeg.  He was stationed in Abertillery during the 1960 Six Bells mining disaster, retiring in September 1983.  On retirement Norman together with his wife,  Anthea, have been active members of both NARPO and GPPA, serving on the GPPA Committee for many years.  Norman is survived by his wife Anthea and children Alison and Martin. His funeral was on Tuesday 20th November 2018 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Sergeant  Christopher BELCHER passed away, aged 73 years on 30th November, 2018. Chris is survived by his widow Eileen and son Ian.  Chris joined South Wales Police in 1968 and transferred to Gwent Police when Caerphilly Division came under the wing of Gwent Police in l996. Chris retired in 1999 after serving in uniform and CID at various stations. He then served as a civilian employee for Gwent Police before retiring. His funeral was on Tuesday, 18th December, 2018 at Merchants Hill Baptist Chapel, Pontnewynydd, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Constable 23 Anthony Leonard KING (Tony) passed away, aged 77 years, at home on Saturday, 15th December, 2018. Tony joined Monmouthshire Police in 1965, and with Gwent Police after amalgamation, serving in various stations in “B” Division and Traffic Department at HQ Croesyceiliog. Tony retired in 1995. Heis survived by his widow Lorraine, three daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His funeral was on Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Sergeant Gary WELLS passed away aged 78 years, on 19th December, 2018, at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny. Gary joined the Metropolitan Police in the early 1960s transferring to the Monmouthshire Police and serving with the Gwent Police, retiring in 1998.  Gary is survived by his widow Sheila, children Deri and Claire and three Grandchildren. His funeral was on Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, at Llandewi Rhydderch Church, nr Abergavenny followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Constable 298 Paul EDMUNDS  passed away aged 65 years, on 30th December, 2018, after a long illness. Paul joined the Gwent Police in 1979, and served at several stations, the longest being Newport Central, retiring in 2008. Paul is survived by his widow Sharon and two daughters and two grandchildren. His funeral was on Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 at St Mary’s Church, Malpas followed by cremation at the Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Constable 856 Thomas Hugh JONES (Tom) passed away at home, aged 58 years, on Friday, 4th January, 2019. Tom had been unwell for several years. Tom joined the Gloucester Police in the 1980s, transferring to the Gwent Police a few years later. He was stationed in various places before settling in the Traffic Dept at Police HQ, Croesyceiliog, retiring in 2012. Tom Is survived by his widow Susan Jones and step children Rachel and Elizabeth. His funeral was on Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Inspector Donald ROSSITER passed away on 11th February 2019. Following his retirement in 1982, Don became a Priest of the Church in Wales. His funeral was at St Peter’s Church, Llanwenarth Citra on Monday 25th February 2019.

Retired Police Constable Brian SPENDLOVE (Ben) passed away on 12th February 2019 aged 83 years. Ben retired in May 1985, His funeral will be at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog at 10.30am on Thursday 7th March 2019. He is survived by his son Mark and daughter Kim and grandchildren.


“Uxbridge English Dictionary”

For fans of Radio 4’s “I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue”, here are some humorous alternative definitions of everyday words:

Extractor fan – Disillusioned farmer

Counterfeit – What to do before buying your wife a pair of shoes

Sheep – a French boat

Interred – Irish Bronze Medal winner

Rusk – world domination game for babies

Tandem – James Bond’s boss after holiday in sun

Caucasian – Indian Wine stopper

Octagon – The First of November

Ass – What cockneys shout when they win at Bingo

Polynesia – memory loss in parrots

Mystical – Sister of Mr Tickle

Doldrums – percussion for the unemployed

Titillate – forget to feed the baby

Curled – What makes a Geordie sneeze

Warsaw – Geordie hand tool

Hairbrush – Basil’s German cousin

Specimen – Italian astronaut

Juggling – a Young Jug

Befuddle – a tight group of cattle

Dictaphone – someone you really don’t like calling

Economist – cheap fog

Juniper – Did you bite that woman?

Falsetto – fake ice cream

Barbecue – a long line of plastic dolls

Lambasted – baby sheep born to unmarried parents

Allocate: Greeting for example, to Ms Winslet.

Bratwurst: The very naughtiest of children.

Depend: Opposite the shallow end.

Dialogue: An awful piece of wood.

Dreadlocks: Fear of canal holidays

Farthing: Something a long way off.


 The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers



14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


1-2 Drybridge Terrace, Monmouth NP25 5AF.

Tel 07730 426886.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


13, The Pastures, Llanyravon, Cwmbran,

Torfaen NP44 8SR

Tel 07977 108478

eMail – [email protected]


No. 43 – OCTOBER 2018

Dates for your Diary

Quiz Night & Hog Roast 26th October 2018 at Llanyravon Social Club. Contact Stella Coburn for tickets.

London Theatre Trip 16-18 November – Contact Viv Williams

Christmas Draw – Wed 28th November 2018, now Pilkingtons Social Club.

GPPA/NARPO Christmas Meal Ponthir Village Hall December 2nd 2018

Morels Christmas Meals – 6th and 11th December – Contact John Metcalfe.


In with this newsletter, you should find a book of draw tickets. Please support us as this is our main source of funding for the organization. Don’t tuck them behind the clock and forget them. Return the counterfoils with £5 as soon as possible to get your chance at winning a prize. You have to be in it to win it!


On Monday 3rd September, John Metcalfe, Malcolm Davies and Peter Fouweather visited former Inspector Robert (Bob) Boyd at his home at Brixham, Devon. This is now the sixth year in a row where we have visited Robert and thanks to the well known episode from ‘Only Fools and Horses’, the annual trip has become known as the ‘Jolly Boys Outing’. The trip starts with a ‘fat boys breakfast’ at a local cafe, before departing for Brixham, usually via Dartmouth, or Torquay. After meeting up with Robert, we make our way to the ‘Berry Head Hotel’ for a pint and fish and chips, set against panoramic views over Torbay.

Jolly Boys Outing

The next couple of hours is spent in recounting ‘war stories’, interspersed with the telling of dreadful jokes and a fair degree of ‘micky taking’.

Those of you who remember Robert will know that he served at a number of locations in the Gwent Police area, including CID at A Division, Newport and latterly as an Inspector at Pontypool. Robert left the force in 1998, following a diving accident, which left him disabled and he moved to Brixham with his wife Rose and family in 2000. They now live in a lovely apartment overlooking Brixham Harbour. 

Bob Boyd

Robert is now 70 years of age but as the photograph shows, he hasn’t lost any of his looks. He keeps himself very active and is a member of a sailing club for disabled persons at Dartmouth, where he regularly goes sailing.

For a number of years Robert has competed in the Dartmouth Regatta and in other competitions, enjoying a fair level of success. Despite his disablity, his competitive spirit, sense of humour and cheerfulness remain intact – which is an inspiration to us all. Long may the visits take place.


How many of you are aware that one of our members is a Normandy veteran helped to liberate a French village from the Nazis 74 years ago.

David Edwards, 93 years young, of Abergavenny, battled to help free the Nazi-occupied village of Mondrainville just weeks after D-Day in 1944.

Mr Edwards, who was an infantry soldier with the 2nd Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment 53rd (Welsh Infantry Division) fought with the late Tom Griffiths, of Abergavenny, in the Second World War. Mr Edwards was involved in the battle for Caen, when his regiment was ordered to take over

front-line positions from a battalion of the 15th Scottish Infantry Division in Mondrainville, where his regiment stayed for two weeks, defending it and helping to liberate it from the Nazis. The soldiers moved by night to defend the village.

Mr Edwards, who was shot in the leg near Mondrainville, said conditions were both dangerous and difficult. While there he came across an unoccupied damaged farmhouse which the Germans had already been in, and found a black and white photograph of the house in the rubble by the doorway, which he put in his pocket as a souvenir.

David Edwards

After the war, David, who had previously been a Police Cadet in Abergavenny HQ, returned to his home town and joined the Police Force, being stationed at Abertillery, then later at Mardy where he was outstation officer and later a dog-handler.

They had to train their own dogs to search for bodies by obtaining rotten meat and burying it at various depths in the ground. The success of this training led to them being deployed in Carmarthenshire, where a Polish couple had murdered a local farmer and buried the body, in order to take over the farm.

David transferred to the Traffic Department and was later promoted to Sergeant and spent the rest of his service in the department, retiring in 1977.

In 1986, he returned to Normandy with other veterans and decided to try to find the house in the picture.

They returned to the area around Mondrainville and recognised the landscape of an area where they had been ‘dug-in’. They parked their car and walked up a lane and came to a clearing where a group of people were sat outside around a table. Once it was known why they were searching in the area, they were invited to join the group. David’s friend, Tom Griffiths, was fluent in French, having married a French lady after the war.

During the conversations, David produced the photograph which was passed across the table to an elderly lady, who immediately pointed to it and to herself and it transpired that the house in the photo had been her home.

A phone call was made to her son, the now mayor of Mondrainville, Jean-Louis Le Goff, leading to close links being forged with the village and led to a school being named after them and a road after their colleague, Cpl Edward Chapman, VC, of New Inn.

Mr Edwards said: “Monsieur Le Goff said that they were building a new school and would like to name it L’Ecole Edwards- Griffiths to honour our efforts and the efforts of those who fought for the freedom of the village.”

David Edwards with Headmistress

Headmistress Caroline De Pechy (pictured above with David) said: “They are the heroes of the village. It is very important for the children to learn about what happened and what they, and what they, and many others, did for the people of Mondrainville.”

Mr Edwards said it was an honour to be at the official naming ceremony with Mr Griffiths in 2004.

Some time later, David was to be awarded the French Legion of Honour medal, which he displays proudly at his home.

He said: “We were just two ordinary infantrymen but it was an absolute honour and a privilege. I like to think we share this honour with all the men

of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Monmouthshire Regiment who fought at Mondrainville in June and July 1944, and in particular memory of those many who died for the freedom we share.”

Forty-four pupils from L’Ecole Edwards-Griffiths met Mr Edwards at Llanyrafon Manor in May 2013 as part of their visit to the UK.

Mr & Mrs Dave Edwards

They have had several bus-loads of pupils and teachers visit them at their Abergavenny home and are hoping to revisit the area in 2019.


Retired Police Sergeant 495 Arthur John ROPER, aged 69 years, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, 24th July. 2018. He had been ill for some time. He retired as a PS in 1998 after 30 years service.He served at various Stations in the County and also worked as a CDO at Ystrad Mynach,retiring after 15 years. Arthur is survived by his wife Teresa,his daughter and two sons.His funeral was on Tuesday,14th August, 2018, at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff. 

Retired Police Chief Inspector Ken PRITCHARD passed away on 31st July 2018 at Monnow Vale Hospital. He served from 1947 to 1982 in Abergavenny, Blackwood, Brynmawr and Croesyceiliog Headquarters.

His funeral was on Thursday 16th. August 2018 at St. Mary’s church, Abergavenny followed by by family burial at Llanfoist. 

Retired Police Inspector Kenneth Henry Charles CAREY, aged 78yrs, passed away on Monday, 10th September, 2018. Ken is survived by his widow Veronica, sons Sean and Simon and four grandchildren. He joined Newport Borough Police in 1966, then served with Gwent Police on amalgamation. He served in Newport, HQ Croesyceiliog and Chepstow. He retired from the force in 1996 after 30yrs service. His funeral was on Monday 8th October,2018 at Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran. 

Retired Police Constable Gerald James ENGLISH,aged 71yrs passed away at home on Sunday 16th Sept,2018.  Gerry joined West Mercia Police in 1968,and transferred to Gwent in 1973, where he served in several stations before retiring in 1997. He is survived by his widow Winifred ,two sons Mark and James and grand children. His funeral was a private family one but there will be a memorial service on 18th October,2018 at Zion Church, Llanhilleth at 6pm

Retired Detective Sergeant Paul PREECE passed away suddenly on Friday 21st September, 2018. He leaves a wife Andrea, son Tom and daughter Katie.   He retired on 31st October 2017. His funeral was on Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at St David’s Church, Fleur de Lys, followed by cremation at Glyn Taf Crematorium, Pontypridd.

Retired Police Constable 1280 Katherine Anne PARKER, aged 49  years, passed away on 30th September 2018 in Cheltenham. Katherine had been unwell for some time. Katherine joined the Gwent Police in 1990 serving at various stations in the county, retiring from the force in 2015 on ill health. Katherine is survived by three sons Sam,Harry and Keiran. The funeral will take place on Thursday 25th  October,2018, at 12 noon at Cheltenham Crematorium.


August winners Matthew Briggs (1st prize £200)

Neil Cooper (2nd prize £100)

Tomos Oates (3rd prize £50)

 September winners –  Mr Crockett (retired) (1st prize £1000)

Emma Smith (2nd prize – £100)

Alison Williams (3rd Prize £50)


.and after a recent visit to Abertillery, life isn’t without its ittle complications…..

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The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent

the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers



14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

e-mail – [email protected]


20, Llandegveth Close, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran. NP44 2PE

Tel: 01633 547856

e-mail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

New Tel: 07730 426886.

NEW e-mail – [email protected]


125 Castle Lea, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

e-mail [email protected]


13 The Pastures Llanyravon, Cwmbran NP44 8SR

Tel –

e-mail [email protected]

  • No. 42 – JULY 2018

Dates for your Diary

Summer Meal at The Hall, Gwehelog. 23 August. A few spaces available

Annual General Meeting – Woodland Road Social Centre, Croesyceiliog Wed 26 September 2018 at 2pm.

Quiz Night & Hog Roast 26 October 2018 at Llanyravon Social Club. Contact Stella Coburn for tickets.

London Theatre Trip 16-18 November – Contact Viv Williams

Christmas Draw – Wed 28 November 2018 at Llanyravon Social Club

GPPA/NARPO Christmas Meal Ponthir Village Hall December 2 2018

Morels Christmas Meals – 6 and 11 December – further details to be circulated by John Metcalfe.

Trip to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI

Welsh Dragon at Mametz Wood.

It was a cool 6a.m. on Friday 1st June, when the coach departed from Sainsbury’s Car Park bound for Dover. 52 passengers and their luggage and passports en route to Calais. No more will be said of a certain ‘very cool’ member who thought he had left his passport behind, upon arrival at Dover, but plans to smuggle him over in the luggage compartment were shelved when the offending document was found. This ‘broke the ice’ (excuse the pun,) and the banter between certain individuals at the back of the coach and our guide, John Giblin brought smiles to everyones’ faces.

The ferry crossing was calm and upon arrival, we went first to the Ferme Olivier Cemetery – where 39 members of the Monmouthshire Regiment are buried, having been killed by a stray German shell as they were leaving the trenches for rest and relaxation on 29th December 1915. We laid a small wreath here. We then left the cemetery for Ypres, arriving early and separated to enjoy the local restaurants and hostelries and to be amazed by the beautiful buildings. At 8pm we attended the Ceremony of The Last Post at the Menin Gate, where Beryl Puddy & Malcolm Fairie laid a large wreath. We were fortunate to be next to the excellent Vivat! Choir from Birmingham, who sang “In Flanders Fields” and “Abide with me” – a very emotional service. We then rejoined the coach for the journey to the 4* Novotel at Lille Aeroport.

At 09.30 on the Saturday morning, following a good breakfast, we departed for an extended visit of the Battlefields of The Somme, visiting the Devonshire CWGC, which is situated on the trench line. Visitors are met by a gravestone bearing the inscription “The Devonshires held this trench. The Devonshires hold it still.”

Devonshires trench

Here, John Metcalfe read a poem entitled ‘Before Action’ by Captain William Noel Hodgson MC, who is buried at the cemetery. In the final weeks leading up to the Battle of the Somme, Hodgson wrote the poem most often associated with his name and soldiers expectation of death. His battalion was to advance across the downward slope of a hill, in full view of German trenches on three sides. They knew how slender their chances of survival were. On 1 July 1916, two days after the publication of ‘Before Action’, Noel Hodgson was killed in the opening minutes of the advance, as he had expected. Over half the battalion and all but one of the officers who fought that day became casualties with him. In all, 30.000 soldiers were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

We continued to the Red Dragon Memorial at Mametz Wood, where Geraint Evans spoke about a member of his family’s involvement in the action, read a poem written by his son and laid a small wreath.

We continued, past Flat Iron Copse and Delville Wood, known as ‘Devil’s Wood’ to the Lochnagar Crater, where a huge mine had been exploded beneath the German lines. We walked around the crater, stunned by the immense size and the unimaginable hell of the battle. We continued to the Ulster Tower, where we took light refreshments. After our lunch, we made a slight detour from our route and visited a small cemetery at Aveluy, where Peter Davies had traced the grave of a member of his family, Private E. Davies of the South Wales Borderers. Peter was able to lay a cross and it was an emotional time for us all.

Peter Davies with ancestor’s grave.

We then visited the Thiepval Memorial and Visitors Centre and the Newfoundland Memorial Park – Beaumont Hammel with its ‘Caribou’ memorial, information centre and original trench system.

Caribou Memorial.

At 5pm we arrived at Arras, a frontline city rebuilt after the devastation of the Great War. We enjoyed the attractive arcaded squares and by chance came across a collection of around a dozen supercars, having an owners meeting in one of the hotels. After an evening meal and time to explore the town centre, we returned to the coach and our hotel.

On Sunday morning, after another good breakfast, our coach departed for Vimy Ridge Canadian Memorial Park, a magnificent stone edifice which dominated the skyline

We then went to the Wellington Tunnels, where we were taken down in three groups to experience the cold tunnels carved under the town. We visited Arras, the CWGC and the Memorial to the Missing. After lunch at Arras, we visited the Battle of Arras ‘Killing Fields’ with its vast French, German and British Cemeteries near Notre Dame Loret and the Circle of Remembrance.

During the day, some members had been hard at work on their smartphones and were able to trace the grave of the Great Grandfather of Beryl Puddy to a cemetery quite close to our route. Yet again we were able to detour and visit the grave – Sgt Thomas Benjamin Edwards of the South Wales Borderers, who enlisted in Cwm, Ebbw Vale, was killed 13 days before the end of the war, leaving a wife and 5 daughters.

These intensely personal moments were very moving and most present confirmed that it had ‘made their trip more real’ and brought home the personal tragedy of war. At 6pm, we returned to our hotel, before rejoining the coach to visit Lille, where we again had the opportunity to explore and obtain refreshments, before returning to the hotel later that eveing.

At around 9am on Monday, after breakfast, we vacated our rooms and rejoined the coach. We travelled along the route of the ‘Front Line’ from Armentiers to Ypres visiting Ploegstreet Memorial, the location of the ‘Christmas Truce’ and on to Messines Ridge where we spent time in Messines village visiting the small museum.

Xmas Truce Statue.

We then travelled to Tyne Cot CWGC and then to Essex Farm CWGC passing the Brooding Canadian Memorial – site of the first gas attack, and to the Welsh Memorial at Langemarck. Here several members placed crosses and wreaths and an impromptu rendition of ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ left everyone with leaking eyes.

Welsh Monument

We continued via Artillery Wood to Essex Farm, location of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s Dressing Station, where he wrote the famous poem – ‘In Flanders Fields’. We had a quiet moment whilst Geraint Evans recited the poem to a circle of bowed heads.

We then returned to Ypres with free time to obtain lunch and visit the Flanders Fields Museum and St Georges Memorial Chapel, with its memorial window to the Monmouthshire Regiment. At 3pm we rejoined the coach for the journey to Calais and back to Newport.

Our grateful thanks go to John Metcalfe for organising the whole trip; our ‘guide’ John Giblin for his research and excellent informed dialogue along the way; to Grev Phillips for generously allowing us access to his professional photographs and to all for the good humour and ‘banter’ when things looked like getting a little too serious.

Flanders Poppies.



“Operation Cricket” was the code name given to the huge security operation  surrounding the Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle on 1st. July 1969

The 1960s were turbulent times in North Wales which led to the rise of Welsh extremism and involving acts of  serious violence and the destruction of property.

The cause was the seemingly remorseless destruction of Welsh culture and language, the selling of many Welsh properties for use as holiday homes and the flooding of  valleys to provide water to English cities.

An organisation Muddiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Movement for the Defence of Wales) was formed and quickly commenced the burning of holiday homes and the bombing of  pylons and installations which, it was thought, benefited England.

In 1966 a huge explosion at the Clywedog dam, which was under construction to supply water to the Midlands, resulted in delays of several months to the work.

The more public face of Welsh nationalism was that of the Free Wales Army, a cowboy outfit led by Cayo Evans a horse dealer from Lampeter. He and his followers dressed in camouflage uniforms and had as their beret cap badge the Snowdon Eagle.

They persuaded BBC Panorama that they were the equivalent of the Welsh IRA and were featured parading  and posturing with balaclava masks shotguns and air rifles. In reality their most heinous crime recorded was that of a mass urination into the completed Clywedog reservoir. Cayo Evans did later serve a 15 months sentence for firearms offences.

It was against this background that the Investiture was announced with the very real threat that it could be disrupted by explosions or, not too fanciful, attempts at assassination of members of the Royal Family.

A huge security operation was mounted involving nearly every Regional Crime Squad officer throughout England and Wales, Special Branch and the Security Services. Special Branch identified a large number of persons who had come to their attention as possible terrorists and it was planned to put them under 24 hours surveillance for a week prior to the ceremony and on the day.

Together with Royce Gardener, I was a Detective Sergeant on No:8 (Welsh) Regional Crime Squad and we were both sent to North Wales with our Squad vehicles. For some reason our Squad members were split up and attached to units from England. As none of us spoke Welsh a somewhat pointless exercise.

Royce drew the long straw and was sent to Anglesey to provide extra security for Princess Margaret who was staying on the island in a stately home. I joined a team of Lancashire Crime Squad officers and, as we had few if any women on the Squads, were supplemented by Lancs. County W.P.Cs. some of us men accommodated in a pub in Penmaenmawr and the W.P.C.s in the  Aber Falls Hotel

Our “target” was a young Aberystwyth University student who was a most innocuous young man and we never established why he was considered a security threat. The son of a vicar, he lived in a small village outside Bangor and was working during the vacation on a building site in that town. It soon became obvious that to try and conduct round the clock discreet surveillance in his village was impossible

I and a Lancs. County D/Insp. later to become an H.M.I., took a bold decision to visit him and his father at home and explain why we were there.

After some initial concern, and anger on his father`s part, we came to a very amicable arrangement. The early shift picked him up and took him to work which saved him a bus journey. During the day we bunged the groundsman at Bangor Cricket Club a few quid and had the use of deck chairs and kitchen facilities in the pavilion. It was a glorious summer.

At lunchtime our “target” walked across from the site and we ate lunch together frequently with excellent cakes provided by his mother. He was taken home at the end of the working day.

The late shift decided on a couple of occasions that they needed to be pro-active and took the “target” out for a few beers at H.M.s expense. The only time his father expressed any dismay was when he was taken home one night the worse for drink.

We had his word that his son would not leave the house at night and that he would not be in Caernarfon on 1st Ju

So far, so good and everyone was very happy until the early hours of the 1st. July. A knock at my bedroom door was the landlord, an ex. C.S.M. of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, telling me that he had taken a phone call on the pub line asking me to contact the Operations Room immediately. No mobile phones or personal radios in those days.

I was told that we were the nearest Squad to Abergele where there had been an explosion in a council office and were asked to get there as quickly as possible. The scene, where a couple of uniform officers were already in attendance, was very unpleasant.

George Taylor and Alwyn Jones, two local men and members of MAC, had attempted to plant an explosive device in the foyer of the council office. It had detonated prematurely and their body parts were liberaly distributed around the foyer.

There was little we could do other than protect the scene and await the arrival of forensics and Special Branch. We returned to our billet several hours later and I recall declining the Welsh breakfast on offer.

There was one other tragedy that day. A young boy from Birmingham, visiting his grandmother in Caernarfon, jumped off a wall into some undergrowth. He detonated an abandoned explosive device and had to have a leg amputated.

In the event the Investiture passed off without incident.

In April 1971 John Bernard Jenkins, a Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, pleaded Guilty to causing 8 explosions and was sentenced to a somewhat lenient 10 years imprisonment; this was before the days of only serving half the sentence.

As far as I am aware he was never a “target” and only came to police attention as the result of information given by a relative

Many years later I was on a cruise and met a retired North Wales policeman. He was a cousin of Jenkins who had now been released from prison. Whether he was the informant I know not.

After we had returned to normal duties, we in Wales decided to strike a tie to mark the unique operation. Liaising with a tie manufacturer in Macclesfield,  around 150 ties were produced and distributed to R.C.S. and Special Branch who had been involved at a cost of £1.50 each.

The tie was Royal Blue with a cricket (grasshopper) surmounted by the Prince of Wales feathers; the motifs in gold. I still have mine although admit I rarely wear one.

Charles Nunn



Retired Police Inspector Ralph CLARKE (Usk) passed away on 10th February 2018. His funeral was family only at Usk Natural Burial Ground on Friday 9th March at 2pm.

Retired Police Sergeant Stanley Smith passed away peacefully on February 26th, 2018 aged 97 years at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.  He is survived by his daughter, Katherine.  Stan joined the West Riding Constabulary in Yorkshire before transferring to the Monmouthshire Constabulary in the late 1950’s serving in Ebbw Vale and New Tredegar. In the late 1960’s he transferred to  Blackwood Police Station working there until his retirement. Stan’s funeral was on March 23rd, 2018 at Emstrey Crematorium, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Retired PS Ken Matthews passed away in March 2018. Ken was 91 years of age, having joined Monmouthshire Constabulary in 1948 retiring in 1978. His funeral was on Tuesday 3rd April at Langstone Vale Crematorium Magor Road Langstone.

Retired Police Sergeant  Simon Barry CLARK passed away on Thursday 29th March, 2018, aged 51 years after a long illness After service in the armed forces, Simon joined Sussex Police serving for 10 years before transferring to Gwent , where he served at several stations and was promoted to Sergeant. He was forced to retire on ill health in 2013, after serving a total of 27 years. Simon is survived by his widow, Julie and sons Tom and Ben. His funeral was on Wednesday,18th April, 2018 at Langstone Vale Crematorium, Nr Newport

Retired Police Constable 63 Derek PRICE (Brynmawr) has passed away in March 2018. His funeral was on Thursday 19th April 2018 at Libanus Chapel, Brynmawr.  

Retired Dc 266 Tony MORGAN (Llanhilleth) passed away on 5th April 2018. His funeral was on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at Zion Miners’ Chapel, Llanhilleth followed by burial at Christchurch, Aberbeeg at 3pm. 

Retired Police Constable 20 Beverley John WLLIAMS, aged 68 years, passed away on 1st July 2018  at the Royal Gwent Hospital after a long illness. ‘Bev’ joined the Gwent Police in March 1970 and retired in March 2000. He served mainly at Newport. Bev leaves a widow Jennifer and two children Stuart and Emma and grandchildren. His funeral was at the Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran, on Friday 13th July,2018.

Honorary member Mrs Olive PITMAN has passed away aged 94 years.  Olive will be remembered as a former matron at Newport Central (Civic Centre) and Steward of the Newport Police Club.  Olive’s funeral will be at 2pm on Tuesday 24th July 2018 at St Thomas’s Church, Maesglas, Newport followed at 3.30pm by cremation at Gwent Crematorium


General Data Protection Regulations and GPPA

The Gwent Police Pensioners Association exists to promote measures for the welfare of members or dependents and give support in time of need. To raise funds to carry out the objects above, and by exercising prudent policies and sound administrations, ensure the financial well-being of the Association, for the benefit of present and future members.

We hold limited information on members, namely Pension Number, name, address and where possible email address and contact phone number.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out the way we process your personal information. It deals with how we collect information, what we do with it, how we protect it and what controls or rights you have. By visiting or continuing as a member or becoming a member or supporter of the Gwent Police pensioners Association (GPPA) you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

Your Privacy – our promise.

We are committed to protecting the privacy of our members and supporters and will treat all information you give us with care.

We promise to:

Tell you why we collect personal information, how we do this and what we use it for.

Only collect the information we need to deliver the service to you.

Never sell your personal information or let other organisations use it for marketing.

Keep the personal information up to date and ensure it is safe and secure.

Require any suppliers or partners who work with us to have privacy policies.

How we use the information and why we need it.

We use the personal information to provide the services and to meet our contractual commitments to you. In addition, this may include:

Processing – this will include using the information to fulfil any request made by you to receive one of our services, receive our newsletter, receive an email notification of deaths of members and forthcoming events, become a member or renewing membership.

Marketing – in addition to processing we will use your personal information to provide you with information about events or services you have requested or would reasonably expect to receive from us. You will be able to change your mind at any time and we will keep your preferences up to date.

Any personal information you give to us when you contact a committee member and any personal information you give to any of our Welfare Officers will be treated in the strictest confidence and no personal details will be passed to anyone else without your expressed permission.

No 41 – FEBRUARY 2018


Dates for your Diary

Friday 20th April 2018 – Charity Dance in support of “Mind” and “19” at Whiteheads Club, Rogerstone.

Wednesday 25th April 2018 – Open GPPA Meeting and coffee morning *venue*

Friday 18th May 2018 – GPPA Dance/Hog Roastat Llanyravon Social Club. Dancing to “Under the Covers”. Tickets £5 a head from Stella.

Friday 1st June 2018 – 4th June – French battlefields trip. (Fully booked)

Who would have thought…

A snippet of interest from one of our members – In 1967, PINK FLOYD appeared at the Gwent Constabulary (‘A’ Division) Spring Holiday Barn Dance, held at The Barn, Grosmont Wood Farm in Cross Ash, Wales. I wonder if any of our members can remember it?

Tony KING can remember doing the poster for this – they were actually billed as “The Pink Floyd” and had a local group “Volume IV” (of Newport) supporting them. The event was on 25th May 1967 and was a Spring bank Holiday barn dance. Barrie Richards informs me that this was his uncle’s farm at Grosmont.

Another member can remember a young TOM JONES arriving for a performance in Abergavenny, and being allowed to change his clothing in the police station before the show.

John GODFREY states that the venue was actually Ebbw Vale. “He gave a concert in Ebbw Vale – I believe it was in the late 60s. The concert was given by
Ebbw Vale UDC to signify the termination of that authority and the formation of the Blaenau Gwent CBC. A committee was formed under the late Victor
The late C/Supt Ken Jenkins instructed me to represent the Police. It was arranged Tom would travel from London with his manager, Gordon Mills in his Roller. They would park in the first lay-by outside Ebbw Vale. The late Ray Brooks (Ps 42) was delegated to bring it to the back of Ebbw Vale Police Station. I would pick Tom and his manager in the CID Ford Escort. I brought Tom to the CID office and he changed into his concert gear. I then drove him to the venue the Astoria Cinema (now Wetherspoons)
I had arranged for my wife and daughter to attend the concert to sit next to Tom’s parents and his sister. It was  great concert and after I returned Tom to my office, I had arranged for my wife and daughter to come to the station. Tom stripped to his minuscule tiger briefs. He was sweating profusely at this time. I told Tom my wife was outside and could he see her? “Certainly boy” Tom said. I had forgotten he was practically naked. My wife and daughter came in. He gave them both a kiss and a big hug; they had a bit of conversation with him and I showed them out. Tom then asked for a glass of water. I went out and ordinary glasses had not reached Ebbw Vale by this time, but quick as a flash I went to an old cupboard where “after-time” exhibits were kept but had never been produced as evidence. I took one, ripped the sticker label of the top. It had the usual 5 inches of green fungus growing on top. A quick rinse then filled to the top with water and returned and gave it to Tom. He drank it all with one gulp and said “that’s the best water I’ve tasted!”
He dressed into his formal gear and I drove him to Ebbw Vale Council Offices to a Civic Reception. Later as he was leaving with his group, he shook my hand and said it was the best police reception he had met and that if ever I wanted him to, he would do a gig for me (I do not think I could afford him and how good is his memory?)


In 1974 I was the Detective Chief Inspector in Newport. I received a phone call at home from D/Sgt. Cyril Coy reporting that a four years old, Downs Syndrome girl, was missing from a house in the Llanwern area.

Uniform officers had searched the house for the child who has not been seen for several hours. I asked Cyril to go to the house and tear it apart, looking in every conceivable place, even if it was thought impossible that a child could be there.

A half hour or so later, he rang me back to tell me that he had found the little girl`s body tucked away at the back of an under stairs cupboard and covered by clothing. The mother then admitted that, being unable to cope with her child, she had smothered her and concealed the body where it was found. What caused me to request such a thorough search? A sad and salutary lesson from a decade previously.

In 1962 I was a very junior Detective Constable on duty one summer Sunday afternoon working with an experienced Detective Sergeant, Jock Knox. We were called to a good class home in the Allt-yr-yn area where a six years old boy, John Plant, was missing. He was the only child and his father was shortly leaving for Nigeria to take up a position in banking. John and his mother were remaining at home. A farewell party with friends was being held in the house and John had gone outside to play on his bike and then disappeared. His bicycle was outside the house. We asked if the house had been searched and was told that it had been.

There was a detached garage a short distance away and we were assured that had been searched as well by the parents and guests. They had not found young John. Sadly we took them at their word.

For the next six weeks a much publicised and organised search was made to trace the little boy. Uniform officers were tasked to search the house and garage on the following Monday without result. The Borough had no police dogs, so they were brought in from Monmouthshire County to search the open fields and wooded areas around the house.

Frogmen searched the nearby Monmouthsire to Brecon Canal;  again without result. The search and accompanying photographs went nationwide and sightings were allegedly seen in many parts of the country. All of course had to be followed up.

Nothing was found of the child until exactly six weeks to the day of his disappearance, I had a phone call asking me to report to C.I.D. in the Civic Centre as soon as possible. I was told that John had been found!

I reported as instructed to find a very sombre C.I.D. office. Earlier that day John`s father, who had delayed his overseas trip, had gone into the garage to put some books away in a small trunk with a self closing lock. There he had found the decomposing body of his son. Inside the wooden lid of the trunk could be seen scrape marks where the poor lad had tried to open the lid. The trunk was brought to the Civic Centre and stored in the C.I.D. exhibit room for many weeks. The smell pervaded the corridor.

The inquest was rightly highly critical of the failures of Newport Borough Police although a pathologist thought that the boy was likely to have asphyxiated before the alarm was raised. Two uniform officers who had searched the house and garage on the Monday were disciplined and reprimanded. I always thought that, if anyone was to blame, it was myself and my Detective Sergeant for not making a thorough search ourselves.

There was always considerable speculation amongst the C.I.D. as to how, why and when the boy had gone into the trunk and allowed the lid to close upon him. I would not wish to take that speculation further after  50 years have elapsed. That awful event was possibly the most traumatic of my career together with the fifteen days I spent in Bethania Chapel in Aberfan as one  of a Regional Crime Squad team charged with identifying the 116 children and 28 adults killed in the October 1966 disaster.

Charles Nunn


Retired Police Sergeant David NORMAN (Blaenavon) passed away on 17th October 2017, aged 88 years. DAVID joined the Newport Borough Police in 1952 and
retired from the Gwent Police in 1988, serving at various stations during his service. David is survived by his widow Barbara, and his son Philip Norman 
(retired PS 137) His funeral was at Gwent Crematorium on Tuesday, 7th  November, 2017.

Former Police Constable 762 Glenville JONES (Sebastopol) passed away on 6th November 2017 after a long illness. Glen was a Pc on the motorcycle section 
and left the force in 1985 whilst serving as a member of the force Support Group. After leaving the force, Glenn worked for the then Cwmbran Development 
Corporation and latterly Torfaen Council. He is survived by his wife Jen, with two sons Gerraint & Steffan and a daughter, Bethan.  
His funeral was at Gwent Crematorium on Thursday 23rd  November,2017.

Retired Police Constable Robert J PROSSER (Bedwas) passed away on 9th November 2017 after a long illness. Robert joined South Wales Police in 1972 where 
he served for 20 years.  Robert transferred over to Gwent Police during the Rhymney Valley transition. He served on traffic and then in the Rhymney Valley 
before retiring in 1997. Unfortunately after retiring he suffered with Parkinson’s disease. Robert is survived by his wife Angela and daughter Emma. 
Robert’s  funeral was on Thursday, 23rd November 2017, with a service at St Thomas Church, Trethomas followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff. 

Retired Police Sergeant  Gordon STEPHENSON (Newbridge) passed away quietly in his sleep at home in Brixham on 6th December 2017, aged 85 years and 
1 day.   Gordon was a widower. He served from 1953 to 1980. His funeral was at Stockmans’ Chapel of Rest, Brixham, Devon on Tuesday 19th December 2017.

Retired Detective Inspector Dean WHITE passed away on 12th December 2017, aged 53 years, after a long illness. Dean retired in July 2016 and is
survived by his daughter Ella-Jay. His funeral was on Thursday 4th January 2018 at St Martin’s Church, Caerphilly followed by interment at
Thornhill Cemetery, Cardiff.

Retired Detective Constable Ian J WEBB passed away suddenly on 13th ecember 2017. He is survived by his wife, Karen and daughter Verity and granddaughter,
Heidi. His funeral was on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable John Denis SPRAGG, BEM passed away suddenly on Monday 18th December 2017, aged 69 years. He is survived by his wife, Doreen. 
John joined Newport Borough Police and was the last serving member of that force, retiring from Gwent. His funeral was on Wednesday 10th January 2018 
at St Johns Church, Maindee followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired police officer  Llewelyn "Llew” Phillips BARRETT  passed away on Christmas Day.  He was cremated a few days later at a family service. Llew joined 
Monmouthshire Constabulary in the 1950s and served at a number of stations including High Cross and completed 30 years service. Llew was one of our
 oldest members at 93 years of age.

Retired Police Sergeant  Graham James PALMER of Saundersfoot, has passed away on 20th January 2018, aged 84 years. His funeral took place on Thursday 
8th February 2018 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth. 

Retired Force Control Room Operator Christine CREIGHTON passed away on on 22nd January 2018.  Her funeral was at St Mary's Church, Abergavenny on 
Friday 2nd February 2018, followed by interment at Llanfoist Cemetery. 



I have recently been loaned a copy of a bound book of Police Instructions dated 1923. It was issued on numerous dates to new 
officers, the last being on the 4th August 1955. The Instruction Book was still referred to as the “New instruction Book” some 
30 plus years later. It is similar to the old Gwent Standing Orders, although those were loose-leaf and updated each year.

I have found a few interesting snippets, which show how things have changed…


I can’t see Sergeants being encouraged to suppress complaints these days!

 Another section dealt with “Electricity Leakages”

The officer to whom it was issued, obviously kept his nose clean, as he rose to the exalted position of Her Majesty’s 
Chief Inspector of Constabularies, some years before the present incumbent. 


No 40 OCTOBER 2017

Dates for your Diary

Annual Luncheon – Sunday 29th October 2017 at Ponthir Village Hall 12 noon.

London Trip – 17-19th November 2017. Following the last successful trip in May, this trip is adults only and designed for couples, staying at the Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum, including trip and tickets to see ‘The Motown Story’, Christmas shopping at your own pace on Saturday and a visit to Camden Market on the Sunday. Tickets £220 per head based on two sharing a room. For more details contact Viv Williams on [email protected]

Christmas Draw Wednesday 29th November 2017 at Llanyravon Social Club. A Hog Roast is planned together with carol singing with the Newport Philharmonic Choir

Morels Christmas Meals – Tuesday 12th December 2017 (fully booked) and 19th December 2017 (a few places available) Contact John Metcalfe for availability.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM was held at Llanyravon Social Club on Friday 29th September 2017. Some 44 members were present. The Officers and Committee were re-elected unopposed. The reports show that the Association is thriving and is financially secure for another year.

It was decided that next year’s Annual Outing will be to a Stately Home, instead of the historic seaside trip. More details to follow in due course.


The family of retired DC 270 Ian David Lewis would like to say a big thank you for the donations received from the police pensioners and for the many police officers that attended Ian’s funeral. It was very much appreciated. The total amount of donations for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, received in memory of Ian came to a total of £562.05. This money will be used to improve the lives of people with MND and hopefully one day will help find a cure for this cruel disease.

Who would have thought…

A snippet of interest from one of our members – In 1967, PINK FLOYD appeared at the Gwent Constabulary (‘A’ Division) Spring Holiday Barn Dance, held at The Barn, Grosmont Wood Farm in Cross Ash, Wales. I wonder if any of our members can remember it?

Another member can remember a young TOM JONES arriving for a performance in Abergavenny, and being allowed to change his clothing in Abergavenny Police station before the show.

Yet another recalls giving an unofficial ‘blue light’ Police escort to ELTON JOHN from Newport Centre to the Celtic Manor after his concert there.


On Friday 15th May 2015, I walked out of Blackwood police station after my last working day as a police officer. Thirty years done and dusted and a lot of conflicting emotions about what was next on the horizon.

Being a police officer is the sort of job that really is like no other. A phrase that’s used over and over again but it’s so true. To move from such a close knit and supportive group of colleagues, sharing all sorts of laughs while experiencing what is sometimes the worst of human nature, to wondering, “well what am I going to do now” … its quite a shock to the system.

The initial plan was take a few months out, enjoy the rugby world cup and then start job hunting. Phase one went well and working as part of the RWC 2015 spectator services team was great fun. Phase two meant getting stuck into CV preparation and trawling the opportunities available to retired detectives.

The National Crime Agency seemed to be a natural way to go, utilising the skills I had built up in the last ten years of my service in the ONYX team and in PPU and an application was duly submitted. The process was smooth and after an interview and vetting I was informed I had passed the selection process and would be informed of my posting in due course. Two months and a financial restructuring later, I was informed that I had been placed on a reserve list for a 12-month period. Back to square one in a lot of respects.

Then out of the blue I was sent a link to a job opportunity on the civil service website. UK Border force was looking to take on staff to work within the Maritime Protection Squadron as part of the UK’s sea border protection and anti-smuggling service. My first thoughts were… “ Ha, ha! I’m 50 years old! Running around jumping on and off boats is a young man’s game”, but a quick phone call allayed those concerns and I found myself knocking out another application form and CV.

It turned out there were 500 applications for 45 posts. I passed the initial sift and went to Portsmouth for interview and was lucky enough to get a formal offer. I accepted and once again found myself in a law enforcement job, but this time with a slightly larger patch to cover, quite a contrast from my days as the Llanover RO, running around leafy lanes in a Gwent Police mini.

The Border Force maritime protection squadron is responsible for maintaining the UK’s sea security. Its duties include the monitoring of vessels of any size moving in and out of UK waters with a view to detecting organised crime in the form of drugs, firearms, and people smuggling. There are five “Cutters” with a maximum crew of 16 operating around the UK coast, plus another 6 coastal patrol vessels, each with a crew of 5.

The UK government also has a commitment to European partners to provide staff and vessels to assist with the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. Last autumn we had one Cutter and staff operating on a contracted vessel in the Med, this year we have two cutters operating in a purely Search and Rescue role in partnership with the Italian and Greek authorities.

My posting in September 2016 was to HMC Valiant, a 42-metre-long coastal cutter which at the time was allocated the south-east corner of the UK as its patrol area, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, between the Channel and the North Sea. Day two on board found me helming the vessel under very watchful eyes from Gravesend, up the Thames and out into the English Channel, helming and watch keeping being the major roles on board for new deck crew.

Valiant has since become my permanent posting, though I have also spent time on HMC Searcher and HMC Protector assisting with crewing issues. Lack of staff to fulfil roles …sound familiar?


Training consists of an “on the job” six month probationary period working on board, getting familiar with managing and maintaining the ship so that it’s fit for sea, learning how to work the mooring lines for port arrival and putting to sea, firefighting on board, cooking and cleaning, (crew members each take a turn as chef for the day cooking lunch and dinner), and most importantly working as part of a close knit team. Space on board is at a premium and with the exception of the commander and chief engineer everyone else shares a small two bed cabin. Working hours are two weeks on board, and two weeks off, with some down time between daily patrols so you can get ashore and away from the ship for a short time.

I have now passed my initial probationary period and been confirmed in post. I am working towards my qualification as a designated customs officer, also Rhib driver, OST trainer, firearms make safe officer and hopefully first aid first responder in the near future. Everyone on board is expected to be able to carry out a number of roles.

Over the New Year our crew took Valiant from Plymouth out to the Mediterranean for a long-term search and rescue deployment. I have worked the New Year period many times in the past, but always been home at the end of the shift. This time it was away from 28th December till 10th January, sailing the ship across The Bay of Biscay to Portugal, onwards to Gibraltar, Sardinia and ending in Sicily ready for our opposite crew to finish the job of getting the boat to Samos on the border between Greece and Turkey and the area which had seen some of the heaviest migrant crossings in the previous two years.

As things are at the present, we will be continuing with search and rescue operations for the foreseeable future. People traffickers in North Africa and Turkey continue to extort large sums of money from desperate people and send them out to sea in woefully inadequate craft with very basic instructions on where to try and aim for.

In our short time in the area, we have been involved in a number of rescues. Thankfully they have not involved body recovery, although colleagues have had that grim task on other occasions. Our role is also to try and identify traffickers, and sign post individuals making the crossing with more sinister motivations. Almost everyone we have picked up has no form of identification and passports are few and far between. We are there to get them out of the water and onto land, the local authorities deal with the rest.

At some point our crew will swap out with a UK crew and it will be back to doing the normal “day job”, but for the time being, I am making the most of the opportunity to get as much experience as possible. So, two years on from putting a 30-year career behind me, I find myself on a massive learning curve, working in an environment I would never have imagined and in a part of the world I had only ever thought of as a holiday destination. Sea-sickness tablets are my new best friends and having suffered one bad bout of motion sickness, I’m determined not to let it happen again.

To all those recently retired and going through the same mixed bag of emotions, have a look around. You never know where the next adventure will come from and this surely beats sitting behind a desk and running in and out of custody units while trying to meet file and court deadlines.

Ex Dc 500 Steve Ballinger


One of our members has sent me the above photograph. Who can name these happy individuals?? Answers to the Secretary for a small prize.


Retired Police Constable 268 Richard Allan WALKER passed away on 1st August 2017, aged 61. He is survived by his ex-wife, Sue and son Jonathan. Richard joined Gwent Police Cadets in 1972 and progressed to the Gwent Force in 1974. He retired in 2004. His funeral was on Monday 14th August 2017 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Detective Chief Inspector Lyndon WEBB passed away on the 4th August 2017 aged 88 years. He was a widower. His funeral was on Thursday 17th August 2017 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable 292 Mervyn VAUGHAN (Chepstow) passed away on 7th September 2017 aged 93 years.  Mervyn was a SOCO in the late 1970’s.  He retired 30/9/1979. His widow Phyllis VAUGHAN also passed away on 12th September, 2017 aged 90 years. Their joint funeral was on Wednesday 27th September 2017 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable 586 Graham SHORT has passed away. Graham joined the police in 1958 and worked over 20 years in Maindee. He spent some time at Police HQ before finishing his service at Newport Central (Civic Centre) in 1987.  His funeral was on Thursday 28th September 2017 at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Inspecor Stanley Leonard KING passed away aged 96 years, on 18th September 2017. Len is survived by his widow, Joy. He joined the Monmouthshire Force in 1946 after active service in WWII and retired from Gwent Police in 1980. He was also father to Pcs Tony and Ken King. His funeral was at Gwent Crematorium on Thursday 5th October 2017.

Serving Police Constable 359 Stephen JENKINS passed away on duty at Pill Police Station on Friday 6th October 2017. He is survived by his children

Ffion and Ellis. His funeral will be on Friday 20th October 2017 at 2pm at Woodfield Park Funeral Home, Oakdale and 4pm at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily

represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


39 – JULY 2017

Dates for your Diary

Annual General Meeting – ** Friday ** 29th September at 7pm Llanyravon Social Club. (Date amended at Extraordinary Committee Meeting)

Dance & Hog Roast Friday 29th September 2017 at Llanyravon Social Club, at 8 pm. Hog Roast by “The Full Hog” and dancing to “Under the Covers”. This was requested after the success of the last event in April, where 105 attended. Tickets £5 each from Stella Coburn. Email – [email protected]

Morels Meal – Thursday October 12th 2017 (Now fully booked)

Annual Luncheon – Sunday 29th October 2017 at Ponthir Village Hall 12 noon.

London Trip – 17-19th November 2017. Following the last successful trip in May, this trip is adults only and designed for couples, staying at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, including trip and tickets to see ‘The Motown Story’,Cristmas shopping at your own pace on Saturday and a visit to Camden Market on the Sunday. Tickets £220 per head based on two sharing a room. For more details contact Viv Williams on [email protected] A £25 non refundable deposit will be required in July. First come first served.

Christmas Draw Wednesday 29th November 2017 at venue to be arranged.

A Hog Roast is planned together with carol singing with the Newport Philharmonic Choir

Morels Christmas Meals – Tuesday 12th December 2017 (fully booked) and 19th December 2017 (a few places available) Contact John Metcalfe for availability.


The appeal for members’ email addresses in the last newsletter yielded around 50 new email addresses. If you are getting this newsletter by Royal Mail, and have an email address, you are urged to send me an email and I can add you to our list.

(Any former Freeserve or Orange email users, where the service has now ceased, please ensure I am updated with your new email)

Each new email address saves around £5 per year! We now send email newsletters and notices to around 700 members. There are at least another 600 members, many of whom have email access.

For some functions at short notice, we are now advertising them on Facebook within the closed group TEA STOP. This is only accessible to retired Gwent officers. If you wish to have access, contact the Secretary who can arrange.


Dubai Police unveil new driverless police car.

Expected to hit the roads by the end of the year, these robotic vehicles wlll be equipped with biometric software which can scan for wanted criminals and suspicious activity. They come complete with a drone which can be launched remotely from the rear of the vehicle and be monitored by Dubai Police Command room. The future is here – remember those cardboard cut-out officers displayed on the High Streets of Gwent??

GPPA/NARPO London Theatre Trip

Friday 12th May to Sunday 14 May 2017

Day 1 – Members of GPPA/NARPO gathered at Sainsbury’s car park Newport (free parking generously provided by the manager, Mr Jenkins), to await the arrival of our coach to London.

Due at 1030am, there was a slight delay as the coach, whilst collecting other members of the party at Blackwood Police had lost an argument with a concrete post which had resulted in some damage to the paintwork – and an accident report by the driver to the management of Peakes Coaches.

Our new luxury coach eventually arrived just a little late, driven by Karl who, although we did not realise it at the time , was later to provide us with some entertainment. We boarded and were soon on our way to pick up the final members of the group at Magor services, bringing our numbers up to 38.

Whilst on the coach, our organisers Chris Parry and Viv Williams provided us with our tickets for the show ‘Beautiful – The Carol King Musical‘, and a very comprehensive itinerary for the weekend! We then made our way , with no further delays, to our base for the weekend, The Holiday Inn , Kensington.

Check in went smoothly and my wife, Bernadette and I found our room to be comfortable and spotlessly clean, as was the rest of the hotel. The hotel was to prove to an excellent base, being close to the tube station and numerous pubs and restaurants on the Gloucester Road.

As per itinerary, the party met at the coach at 5pm. (everyone on time, as was to be the case the whole weekend. Well done everyone!), for the ‘short’ journey to the Aldwych Theatre , the venue for the show .

Our driver Karl, set off confidently enough, on the 4 mile journey, but then seemed to lose the plot and took us on an unscheduled sightseeing tour of London, crossing the river Thames twice before finally arriving at the theatre, one hour later. To be fair, he took the ribald remarks in good spirit!

With the show due to start at 7.30pm, there was time for pre-show meal and refreshments, before taking our seats – the best seats in the house , front stalls,

and settled down for what was to prove a fantastic show, great music and singing, a great storyline and all round great entertainment. It was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in the party as far as I am aware , that seemed to be the consensus as we regained our seats on the coach for the ‘short ‘ journey back to the hotel. However our driver Karl again had other ideas; in fact it seems he had no idea at all, as after 30 minutes driving , and passing through Trafalgar Square twice, we were back outside the Aldwych theatre. Karl, our driver, had by this time, I think, lost the will to live, appearing to have no idea which way to go.

All seemed lost when over the hill came the Gwent cavalry in the not insubstantial shape of Ian ‘sat nav’ Barnard , (Traffic) (Shamrock Coaches)(retired) , who unerringly and very politely guided Karl, our driver, back to the hotel , arriving a little over an hour after leaving the theatre! Karl, our driver, once again to the ribald comments like a man!

Having had enough for one day, Bernadette and I retired to our room, others I’m sure frequented the bar, as I noted a few bleary eyes in the morning. All in all an eventful and enjoyable (mostly) day.

Day 2 – A day free to enjoy the sights and delights of the Capital. After an excellent buffet style, ‘all you can eat’ breakfast, and I understand certain members of the party took ‘all you can eat’ quite literally and did their best to eat everything on display. The name ‘Grev Phillips’ was whispered to me in awe, but as I did not witness the act, I regard the comment as hearsay and therefore inadmissible! Bernadette and I made our way to Kew Gardens where we spent a very enjoyable day. Various other activities were savoured by the group; some visited the zoo; went on boat rides on the river; Covent Garden was popular, and Jean and Chris Parry did their best to clear the shelves at Harrods.

In the evening Bern and I had a good meal at the Hereford Arms on Gloucester Road, then joined the others at the Stanhope pub where we spent a pleasant hour, before retiring. Oh! and it’s hats off to Charlotte and Chris Hocking Brown, who dined at the Dorchester no less! Very classy! Chris knows how to spoil a girl!

Day 3 – Last day and after another good breakfast, we checked out and joined the coach at 1030am for the short drive to Windsor where we were to spend a few hours doing our own thing.

Karl, our driver, was on top form, having had a days rest, and managed to find Windsor without any diversions. After a very pleasant few hours we all met back at the coach at 2.30pm for the uneventful journey back to Wales – the end of a very enjoyable weekend.

Many thanks must go to Chris and Viv who organised the trip. Well done both!

The next trip in November is already being planned, book early to avoid disappointment! I’m sure it will be very popular.

Finally a quiz question ! ‘What was the name of our driver?

Karl did you say?


Everyone should know that in Wales all bus and coach drivers are called ‘Drive’!

Look forward to seeing you all on the next trip, if not before.

Terry John.


The Next Trip – 17-19th November 2017

Gwent Police Pensioners Association and NARPO are planning another weekend in London, following the success of the trip in May.  Following the very positive comments we are sticking to the same Coach Company, Peakes and the same hotel, the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum.  The trip is being organised again by Chris Parry and Viv Williams.

The trip is Adults Only (Over 18), and is designed for couples, one of whom should be a member of either GPPA or NARPO.  There are a small number of Single Rooms available but unfortunately they are quite expensive.

The weekend is planned for 17th November 2017, when the Christmas lights will be on in Oxford Street and Regent Street, which is a real bonus.  On the Sunday we are planning visit Camden Market, which is said to be a lovely experience. 

The cost of the Weekend, including tickets to the ‘Motown Story’ is £220 per

person based on two sharing or Single Rooms at £350 per person.  These prices include subsidies from both GPPA and NARPO.

At this time we are planning to take one coach with 50 people. Should we get a larger response we will look at this again, dependent on Hotel accommodation being available.  Places will be allocated on a First-Come-First-Served basis and we will be asking for a £25 per head Non Returnable Deposit in early July.

The proposed itinerary is below:

Friday 17th November 2017

10.00am , Pick up from Blackwood.

10.30am Pick up Newport.

10.50am Pick up Magor Services and travel in a Luxury Coach to London.

Lunchtime, arrive at Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, Accommodation will be in Double or Twin Rooms, Bed and Breakfast for two nights.

5.00pm approx. Coach will take the party from the Hotel to the  West End, where we will see the Musical ‘The Motown Story’.

After the show the Coach will pick up those who want to go back to the hotel, the rest can dance the night away in the West End and make their own way back to the Hotel.

Saturday 18th November 2017

English Breakfast then explore London at your own pace. The coach is not available for us to use.

Sunday 19th November 2017

English Breakfast, pack and book out of hotel.

10.30am Coach will leave Hotel and at 11.00am, we will arrive at Camden Market, North London, where we will have a few hours to explore some of the sights and attractions.

2.30pm Coach will leave Camden and head back to Wales for about 5.30pm.

In the first instance we are asking for ‘Expressions of Interest’, if you are interested please Email Viv Williams at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Places will be allocated on a first come basis, should we be oversubscribed we will look at the options available to us.


Retired Police Constable 694 Herschele ‘Graham’ GARD has passed away on 26th March 2017.  Graham joined Newport Borough Police retiring in 1976.  Graham is survived by his wife Coral, son Simon and daughter Sue. His funeral was on Monday 10th April 2017 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Sergeant 56 Philip SPOKES passed away on 31st March 2017 after a short illness. He is survived by his wife, Vanda and son, Michael and daughter Sammi. His funeral was at Gwent Crematorium on Thursday 26th April 2017.

Retired Police Constable 69 Ron BAILEY passed away peacefully at home on 28th May 2017, aged 65 years. He is survived by his wife, Anne. His funeral was at Langstone Methodist Chapel on Monday 12th June 2017 followed by interment at Usk Natural Burial site.

Retired Police Constable Edward Handel ‘Andy’ POWELL passed away on 9th June 2017 aged 86 years. Andy is survived by his wife, Joyce and daughter Miriam and her family. His funeral was on 3rd July 2017 at Langstone Methodist Chapel, followed by cremation at Gwent Cremtorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Inspector 435 Michael John BLIZZARD passed away on Monday 12th June 2017 aged 71 years. He is survived by his wife Elaine, children Martin & Kate, grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His funeral was on Monday 3rd July 2017 at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff.

Retired Detective Constable Ian LEWIS passed away on 23rd June 2017 after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Denise and daughters Sharon and Andrea. His funeral will take place on Tuesday 18th July at 10.45am at St Mary’s Church, Abergavenny, followed by family only committal service at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Police Sergeant 358 Kenneth Raymond TIMMS passed away on 2nd July 2017 at the Royal Gwent Hospital. His funeral was oThursday 20th July 2017, at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceilliog.


No 38. MARCH 2017

Dates for your Diary

Dance & Hog Roast Friday 28th April 2017 at Croesyceiliog Cricket Club, 7.30 pm. To celebrate 70 years of Gwent Police Pensioners Association. Dancing to “Under the Covers”.

London Trip – 12-14th May 2017


This year sees the 50th Anniversary of the forming of Gwent Police, where Newport Borough and Monmouthshire Constabularies were amalgamated. Gwent are hoping to publish something for the Anniversary on 1st April and are asking for any humorous stories which are appropriate for publication. Please forward anything suitable to [email protected] or by mail, c/o Newport Central Police Station.


The appeal for members email addresses in the last newsletter yielded around 50 new email addresses. If you are getting the newsletter by Royal Mail and have an email address, you are all urged to send me an email and I can add you to our list.

Each new email saves around £5 per year! We now send email newsletters and notices to around 650 members. There are at least another 800 members, many of whom have email access.


Recently retired Pc Debbie DUGGAN (Newport) has embarked upon an unusual new career.

Retirement has meant a new career that brings comfort and pleasure to many people at special times of their lives. My diverse and front-line experience with the Gwent force made re-training as a Civil Celebrant Minister a natural step that gives me the honour of helping people through life’s special events.

What is a Civil Celebrant Minister? The purpose of the role is to provide full support for people who wish to mark a life event with a ceremony that draws on a wide variety of personal choice to create a unique experience. Highlights of my ceremonies include;

Naming ceremonies. A great alternative to a christening and offer parents more choice to create a unique and personal experience.

Wedding Blessing. These include a wide variety of choice to celebrate this event. I embrace diversity and fully support people with unique requirements, no matter what their ethnic, disability or sexual orientation.

Funerals. My approach is light touch and sensitive throughout, including where appropriate, hospital visits (where living funeral preparation is needed), family visits, dealing with the bereaved and delivering bespoke eulogy.

All the above are supported with music, poems and other media as required and carefully co-ordinated with other parts of official processes as needed.

As a retired officer I fully appreciate the pride, dedication and service commitment shown by my colleagues. I am ready to help with sensitivity, empathy and compassion for a body of professionals close to my heart.

My celebrant services are mobile based, but my home also hosts a fully functional and beauty spa & B&B accommodation. Details can be at found online at River Mansion Celebrations and River Mansion Spa and GPPA members can try us with a special discount.

For Gwent Police, just use GWENT15 in the accommodation booking system for an automatic 15% discount. I am pleased to offer other forces (and armed forces) a discount of 10% just use POLICE10. To use the codes, click on “Book Cottage” and enter it in the “Promo Code” box when you’ve selected your preferred date.

On-line advance Spa treatment booking is coming soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to add treatments to a stay, call us and quote your code for your discount to be applied. The discount codes are good for ceremonies too, just call 01559 362938 to discuss your requirements. The B&B is Adults only due to facilities and garden going down to the river. Also we cater more for short one-night stays as well as weekly though it is B&B. Included in the B&B/Spa prices is the hot tub, sauna and steam room. Therapy is extra.”

River Mansion Celebrations is based at Llys Arfon, Pentrecwrt, Llandysul, Carmarthen, SA44 5AT – Tel Mobile: 07496 442296 or Office: 01559 362938 or email

[email protected]

Debbie Duggan-Civil Celebrant


Having retired in March 2012, by May 2013 I was working full time again and travelling regularly to London. On the tube or on any suitable flat surface in fact, there were posters for ‘The Race of Your Life’ showing a variety of people of all ages who were taking part in the 2013/14 Clipper Round the World sailing race, starting in August.

From a harmless browse one quiet evening at home and with my imagination caught by the headline ‘no experience required’, I sent for the information pack and was hooked. I had an interview a few weeks later and signed up for two legs of the 2015/16 race.

The race involves 12 identical, 70 foot racing yachts with crew numbers varying between 16 and 23 on each boat and who vary in age, background and sailing ability.

The whole race takes 11 months and is split into 8 legs – I decided on the final two: Leg 7 – Seattle to New York starting in April 2016 followed by Leg 8 – New York back to Katherine’s Dock arriving on 30th July 2016. I was attracted to Leg 7 in particular as it included a full transit of the Panama Canal.

After signing up in 2013 and once it had really sunk in that a seasick prone, non sailor was going to take up this challenge, I began to apply myself to preparing for it. During 2014, I undertook the four separate weeks of compulsory training from the Clipper marina in Gosport. My first week really brought home to me what a demanding physical and mental (Race Prep in London pre start – Aug 2015) challenge this was going to be – it was like steping on to another planet with an alien language and most certainly an alien environment. The training weeks became progressively harder and included sea survival training and, for the fourth and final week, staying out at sea for the whole week, racing other yachts and by then, having been allocated a specific yacht, getting to know the skipper and some of my fellow crew on the ‘Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ boat.

To further prepare, I worked with a personal trainer twice a week and undertook some non Clipper sailing training by getting my Day Skipper qualification.

I took four months unpaid leave from my job and in late April 2016, flew off to Seattle to join the race. Having decided to make this as full an experience as possible, I arrived there ten days before we sailed, which gave me time to meet up with crew on my own boat and with friends on other boats whom I’d met during training; do some sight seeing; take part in some organised Clipper events in Seattle; help prepare the boat for sailing and before we sailed, have my last sleep in a proper bed and a final shower and hair wash.

What???” I hear you cry. Yes, while at sea it’s hot bunking; no showers; no hair washing unless you’re happy with a bucket of sea water; toilets that have to be hand pumped before and after with no seat (too dangerous), no standing even for the men (too dangerous) and a need for enhanced awareness of the movement of the boat (if not properly anticipated – too messy!!!). Having said all of that, hygiene considerations were paramount. Anti bacterial spray was ever present, for hand washing (sea water first though) and for the daily wiping of every surface a hand or body part might touch throughout the boat. It’s not the place to allow germs to spread.

(Picture – Crew Briefing Pacific Ocean)

We set off from Seattle in bad weather. I soon discovered that seasickness does pass and I took my place in Port Watch. There were two watches and each watch had one of the ‘round the worlders’ as a watch leader. We worked for four hours on/four hours off through the night and six hours on/six hours off through the day. The skipper, the only paid professional on board, slept as and when he could. As we sailed south through the Pacific, the weather became calmer and steadily hotter and hotter.

(Picture – Sail trimming – Pacific Ocean)

After four weeks we reached Panama where there was to be a three night stopover before proceeding through the canal and into the Caribbean for the northward race up to New York. The boats would then have a ten day stopover in New York before heading across the Atlantic to Londonderry and then to race finish in London.

Picture – Transiting the Panama Canal)

(Picture – Christine Adams at the Finish – London July 2016)

(Picture – Start of Panama Canal during a thunderstorm)

My adventure came to an early end at Panama however as, en route there, while getting ready for a night watch, even though I applied ‘one hand for you, one hand for the boat’ (aka the mariners’ mantra), a damp galley floor and a sudden heeling over of the boat resulted in a fall causing injury to my right ankle and knee. My ankle swelling

reduced after a few days but my knee refused to bend fully. At Panama, following x-rays, it was diagnosed as a sprain and inflammation and I had to stop racing. The negatives – I hadn’t completed my planned two legs and would miss sailing in to New York and up the Thames to race finish. The positives – In one month I had sailed 5,000 miles in demanding conditions (temperatures up to almost 50 degrees Centigrade); experienced close quarter living with 22 others; taken my turns at ‘mother watch’ cooking and cleaning with someone from the opposite watch for 24 hour periods (cooking porridge for two hungry watches at an angle of 45 degrees isn’t easy!); and, most importantly, realized that, at 62, you don’t bounce so well and the risk of further injury meant that common sense had to prevail and I accepted the insurance company’s arrangement of a business class flight home with good grace. Sadly, in this race, the tenth, there had been two fatalities, the first ever for Clipper, a further reminder of the inherent dangers.

There is so much more I could say and describe about the whole experience of ocean sailing such as sunrises, sunsets, dolphins, squalls, crew – I’d just like to add that Clipper allowed me to complete the canal transit on my boat before they raced on which was fantastic; I rejoined the crew on stopovers in New York and Londonderry and, as a member of the team made up of ‘round the worlders’ and ‘leggers’ like me, took part in the race finish celebrations in London (the GB&NI boat came overall third in the race).

I also reflected that leaving the boat when I did was not a bad thing as, on returning home, I discovered that the sprain was actually a fracture – no wonder it stung a bit!! What an experience and I don’t regret a moment of it – the preparation, the race, the cost, new places, new experiences, new friends – wonderful.

(Picture – The Great Britain & Northern Ireland Boat – aerial photo)


Retired Police Inspector Kendrew “Shon” Alban DAVIES passed away at Nevill Hall Hospital on 27th November 2016. His funeral was on Tuesday 15th December 2016 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Detective Constable Peter TIDMARSH passed away at the Royal Gwent Hospital on Friday 23rd December 2016. He is survived by his wife, Heather. His funeral was on Monday 9th January 2017 at St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Caldicot.

Retired Police Constable Iwan Alun PARRY passed away on 24th December 2016 aged 88 years. A widower, he is survived by his son, Robert. Following National Service, he joined Newport Borough Police in 1949, serving in Pill, and in the Traffic Department. He also became a Firearms instructor, a post he held until retirement in September 1976, and won many National shooting competitions. Following retirement, he opened a gun shop in Usk and enjoyed showing his classic car in many shows. His funeral was on 20th February 2017 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Sergeant Charles Graham DAVIES passed away on Friday 13th January 2017 at the Heath Hospital, Cardiff. Charles is survived by his wife, Babette. Charles retired in 1977 at Crime Prevention Sergeant at Newport (Civic Centre) Police Station. He celebrated his 90th birthday last year. His funeral was on Monday 13th February 2017 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceliog.

Former Police Constable 29 Helen MASON nee Horseman passed away on 20th January 2017 following a long illness. She is survived by her husband, Andrew Mason (Retired Pc 363) Her funeral was on Wednesday 8th February 2017 at St Mary’s Church, Monmouth followed by cremation at the Forest of Dean Crematorium.

Serving Police Constable 1115 Mark DICKS passed away suddenly on 29th January 2017 aged 53. He is survived by his wife, Claire, his daughter Jemma and his son Christian.  He had less than a year to serve to retirement. Originally from Rassau, Ebbw Vale, Mark moved to Merthyr when he first met Claire.  Joining South Wales police  first, Mark moved to Gwent Police in 1996, spening most of his time policing Blackwood and Tredegar in the Roads Policing Unit before becoming a Police Driving Instructor based at Cwmbran. His funeral was on Friday 17th February 2017 at Llwyd Coed Crematorium, Aberdare. 

Retired Police Sergeant 220 Michael BERGSTROM passed away on Friday 17th February 2017 at Panteg Hospital. Mike is survived by his wife, Heather and three children, Amy, Nichola & Abigail. His funeral will be at St Hilda’s Church, Griffithstown at 12 noon on Thursday 16th March 2017 followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog at 1pm.



One of our members, Mike GUNTER, an avid collector of Police Memorabilia, is trying to trace the family of the late Superintendent Reginald James POWELL, who passed away in 1978.
Mike is in negotiations to purchase Supt Powell’s 3 medals, together with a certificate regarding the issue of his Defence Medal, which is stamped by Monmouthshire Constabulary.
Enquiries so far reveal that after the retirement of Chief Supt Harry MOORE in around 1952, Supt Reg Powell became the Superintendent at Abertillery (D Division) where he remained until retirement in 1959.
Previously, Reg was stationed at Monmouth and Abergavenny, and may once have been an out-station officer in a village near Abergavenny, possibly Grosmont.
Any information would be gratefully received.


No 38 – November 2016

Dates for your Diary

The Annual Draw Night will be held at Croesyceiliog Cricket Club at 7.30pm on Wedesday 30th Nivember 2016. There will be a buffet and again we will be entertained by the Newport Philharmonic Choir singing Christmas Carols.


This newsletter, as always at this time of year, contains a book of draw tickets. This is the main method of fundraising for the Association and it is the reason why the autumn newsletter is not emailed, so please don’t pop them behind the clock on the mantelpiece where they will be forgotten. Pop a £5 note or cheque and the counterfoils into the envelope provided and help support our organisation for another year.  If you don’t wish to partake, PLEASE do not return the unsold tickets. Every year we have to pay unpaid postage on unsold tickets which places an even greater strain on our resources. Many thanks and good luck in the draw.


If you have email and have not had recent circulations from me, please ensure I have your latest email address by sending a quick email to me on [email protected].  I can then update and hopefully increase the 600 email addresses and further reduce the postage burden. Many thanks from the Committee.


As discussed at the AGM, wed have been making enquiries to run a trip to London next spring. We need a minimum of 40 persons and at the moment a maximum of 50 places.  The proposed itinerary is as follows. (This will be subject to change)

9.30a.m. Friday 12th may 2017 – Pick up from Blackwood 10 a.m. Pick up at Newport   10.20a.m. Pick up at Magor Services and travel in a Peakes’ Luxury Coach to London.

Lunchtime: Arrive at Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum where accommodation will be in twin/double rooms, Bed & breakfast for 2 nights. Afternoon to explore the area or pop into Harrods etc.

6.00p.m. approx Coach will take the party from the hotel to the Aldwych Theatre in the West End, where we will see the musical “Beautiful” which is about Carole King. After the show, the coach will pick up those who wish to go back to the hotel. The rest can dance the night away and make their own way back to the hotel.

Saturday 13th May – English breakfast then explore London at your own pace. You have the whole day free. The coach is not available for us to use.

Sunday 14th May – English breakfast, pack up and book out of the hotel. 11a.m. Coach will leave the hotel and at approximately 12 noon we will arrive at Windsor where we will have 2 hours to explore some of the sights.

At 2.00p.m. the Coach will leave Windsor and return to South wales for about 5pm.

The places are allocated on a first come first served basis and it will be for couples or pairs, one of whom must be a GPPA or NARPO member. Should be have more spaces left, we will consider opening it up the the wider ‘family’

As soon as we know we have 40 people wanting to come on the trip we will need to collect a £25 per person non-refundable deposit in order to secure the trip.

Should there be a large number of persons wanting to come, Peakes will try to get more accommodation.

The cost of the weekend, including the musical is £195 per person. This includes donations from GPPA and NARPO and is based on two persons sharing a room.

Should you wish to come on the trip, please complete the attached form and return it to Viv Williams by email.

[email protected]


Police were given a shock when they were called to reports of an assault, only to find two comedy “zombies” running late.   Officers rushed to the scene at junction 11 of the M62 after receiving a call that a woman was being assaulted by a man in a car, but when they arrived, it turned out to be two actors on their way to a film set in Runcorn, Cheshire.

The show’s director, peter McKeirnon spoke to Wish FM after a picture of the couple in their gory costumes of fake blood and colourless contact lenses went viral.

He said “They were on their way back. We were filming so long that they had to rush off and didnt have time to take off their make-up.”

A Greater Manchester spokesman  said that a panicked motorist called in 999 reporting an assault, but that when officers realised what had happened, they took no further action.


On 6th November 2016 I am heading to New York to run a marathon with other police officers from different forces. I will be representing Gwent Police and raising money for the Pc Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund.

Chief Constable Jeff Farrar and Pc Ariana Moncada-Perry

Being a Police Officer is hard. Its both emotionally and physically demanding at the best of times. The vast majority of the public love and respect us but unfortunately some don’t.

What happened to Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone are tragic examples of the disrespect felt by a small minority of human beings. Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were all over the media; the loss to the Police was unspeakable, but the media attention fizzled out. Most victims of violent crime don’t even make it to the media.

What about the children who have had their mum or dad murdered?  What support do they have?

This is where this wonderful charity comes to help, in assisting these children and the horrific circumstances that they will no doubt have to face for the rest of their lives.

The Pc Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund offers them opportunities that they would not necessarily have after the loss of a close family member; grants, courses, pre-employment skills – Any way possible that they can rebuild their futures and to learn to cope with the turmoil of the tragic consequences that they face.

Running this marathon is going to be the challenge of a life-time for me. Despite my love of running, I despise running any greater distance than 9 miles, so I anticipate the pain and torture that I am going to face not only on the day of running the marathon, but with all the hours of training I am going to put in every day.

Donating through Just Giving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with Just Giving – They will never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they will send your money directly to the charity, so it’s the most efficient way to donate, saving time and cutting costs for the charity.  My Just Giving page is: or you can text ARIA 55 £(amount) to 70070. Thanks for your generosity in advance.

Pc Ariana Moncada-Perry


Can you name everyone on his photo from 1978? A small prize awaits the first person with all the names correct.  Send details to the Secretary at the address/email on the back page.

If you have any old photographs from the history of Gwent / Monmouthshire / Newport Borough police, please contact the Secretary who would be happy to scan them and preserve them for posterity. All originals will be returned undamaged. CDs of photographs obtained to date are available.



Former Superintendent, John ‘Frank’ FITZPATRICK passed away on Monday 18th July 2016. He is survived by his wife, Brenda. His funeral was on Monday 25th July 2016 at Our lady and St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Abergavenny followed by burial at Llanelly Church Cemetery, Gilwern.

Former Pc 596 Ronald George VAUGHAN passed away on 31st August 2016.  Ron joined the Swansea Police in 1950 following his Military service 1947-49. He transferred to Newport Borough Police in 1954 where he served until 1979.  His funeral was at St. Helen’s Church, Llanellen on Friday 16th September 2016 followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Superintendent Howard WILLIAMS passed away on 26th September 2016. He is survived by his wife, Christine. His funeral was at Llanwenarth Baptist Church, Govilon on Thursday 13th October 2016, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Constable 167 Stephen ROGERS passed away peacefully in his sleep on 2nd October 2016. He leaves daughters Bethan and Cerys. His funeral was Wednesday 19th October 2016 at Nant Coch Church, Fields Park Road, Newport followed by interment at Bassaleg Cemetery.

Former Pc 408 Alan DUNNING passed away on 3rd October 2016. Alan had been ill for some time but lived long enough to see the birth of his grandchild. His funeral was on Friday 21st October 2016 at Woodfield Park Funeral Home, Penmaen, Blackwood followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Constable Kate SMITH passed away on 17th October 2016. Kate had to retire on ill health a few years ago and has battled her condition with fortitude. She is survived by her husband Jeff, a serving officer, and their children. Her funeral was on Tuesday 25th October 2016 at St James’ Church, Tredegar followed by interment at Castle Chase Burial Ground, Usk.

The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers

PRESIDENT – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ. Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]



The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH

eMail – [email protected]



Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot, Mon NP26 4HS. Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]



No 37 – July 2016

Dates for your Diary


The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 28th September 2016 at the Croesyceiliog Cricket Club.

Annual Luncheon

This year’s luncheon will be at Ponthir Village Hall on Sunday 27th November 2016.


From this month members of Gwent Police Pensioners Association will be able to access a Plutus Health Cash Plan from under £10 per month.

Members can receive cash back on dental check-ups and hygienist fees, together with optical visits including eye tests, prescription glasses, contact lenses & prescription sunglasses. Also covered on the plan is a range of complimentary therapies including physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture & many more! Other benefits include cash back on hospital day surgery & hospital overnight stays plus medical consultation fees. In addition, there is personal accident cover underwritten by Chubb. This is an excellent cost effective plan perfect to assist with positive health management.

For further information on the Plutus Health Cash Plan please contact Kay Brussalis-Davis – mob: 07817737550 Tel: 01633 844883 email: [email protected]

Plutus Health is a not-for-profit organisation authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority & the Prudential Regulation Authority – Registration No 202166

Gwent Police Pensioners Association / St Joseph’s Discount Scheme

The GPPA has negotiated the below discounts on private health care with St Joseph’s Hospital Newport. The scheme is available to all members and their spouse or partners. The scheme will commence on 1st April 2016 until 31st March 2017.

Members will require a letter from the Branch to confirm that they are members. If you contact the secretary Laurie Oliver, (address, email & phone numbers on back page) he will provide the member with a letter. This letter will be needed on an annual basis to prove continued membership.

St Joseph’s with Chrysalis Finance, subject to funding approval, can help patients spread the cost of treatment with interest free and low APR finance solutions. 

1. Urgent Care Centre

Discount on consultations (only) as follows:

Consultation with doctor (20 minutes)           £55 (self-pay price normally £65)

Consultation with doctor (10 minutes)           £30 (self-pay price normally £40)

Consultation with nurse (20 minutes)            £38 (self-pay price normally £45) 

  2. Private GP Service

Discount on consultations (only) as follows:

Consultation with GP (20 minutes)                 £55 (self-pay price normally £65)

Extended consultation with GP (40 minutes) £100 (self-pay price normally £115)

  Consultation with nurse (20 minutes)            £38 (self-pay price normally £45) 

3.      Imaging (CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Mammography, XRay)

10% discount on scans (excludes the costs of any injections)

4.      Centre for Clinical Physiotherapy

25% discount on initial physiotherapy consultations

10% discount on follow-up treatment and classes

5.      Health Assessments

Discounts as follows:

LifeCheck                                £216 (self-pay price normally £240)

LifeCheck Plus                         £440 (self-pay price normally £490)

            LifeCheck Comprehensive      £600 (self-pay price normally £675) 

Please note that consultation/surgeon charges are not able to be discounted ie consultations and the consultant fee for any treatment undertaken. 

6. Hospital Services

A 10% discount on the hospital fee element of inpatient, day case and outpatient admission self-pay prices. 

Members would need to request quotes on a case by case basis for hospital services

By way of example, this would equate to a saving of in excess of £1,000 on a Total Knee Reconstruction (total care package which includes a package of post-operative physiotherapy and hydrotherapy).

In excess of £850 saving on a Total Hip Reconstruction (total care package which includes a package of post-operative physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

In excess of £100 saving, on single eye cataract surgery.

Letter of Thanks

Bonnie View,

On behalf of myself and my two sons, Mathew and Gareth, I would like to thank everyone who attended David’s funeral. It was very much appreciated by us and also very comforting.

The donations for the Lung Foundation amounted to £716 so a very big thank you to you all.

Kindest regards to all members,

Jenifer Davies


Most Police Officers remember their first Major Enquiry or Incident whether it was a fatal road accident, a house fire resulting in death or a murder investigation.

Mine occurred in the somewhat exotic setting of the Bechuanaland Protectorate in Southern Africa – now the Republic of Botswana, then one of three British Protectorates in South Africa, the other two being Swaziland and Basutoland. The Protectorate top brass did not live in Bechuanaland. The High Commissioner, Commissioner of Police and the Financial Secretary, with their cohorts, resided in Mafeking on the site of the Baden Powell siege during the Boer War. It was granted British Enclave status by the South African government.

After two years’ service in the Military Police and three in Newport Borough, I joined the Bechuanaland Mounted Police as a sub-Inspector in 1958. After 9 months’ service in the town of Gaberones which is now the capital of the Republic, I was promoted to Patrol Inspector and posted as Station Commander to the township of Mochudi in the Kgatleng District of the Bakatla Tribe.

Many parts of Africa were then, and indeed still now, subject to the horrifying crime of “Ritual Murder.” Body parts, usually from a young male child, were used by witch doctors to prepare “muti” which could be used in many ways; to increase the fertility of cattle, to kill an unwanted wife or to poison the husband of your lover.

There were two types of witch doctors in Bechuanaland, usually but not exclusively male.  The “Ngaka” was a relatively benign doctor and prepared traditional native medicines, set broken limbs and threw bones to tell the future of a paying client. They are still an acknowledged and registered profession in South Africa.

The “Moloi”, on the other hand, was an evil doctor who cast spells, mixed poison potions and made use of “muti” to further his client`s interests. They were much feared by the native population.

The majority of the children murdered never came to the attention of the Police. The relatives were too afraid of the possible consequences and very often a family member was involved with the witch doctor in the killings. There was no system of registration of births and deaths in the Protectorate and little schooling.

Young boys from the age of 5 or 6 would be dispatched to the cattle posts, often several miles from their homes, to join with other young boys and teenagers in grazing the cattle which was the livelihood of their parents. They existed on a diet of milk and mealie meal porridge. Deaths were not uncommon either from snake bites, disease, wild animals or injuries from the cattle herding.

For several mornings I noticed a youngish native woman sitting on the verandah of my Police station. This was not uncommon as it tended to be a common gathering point for visitors to the local prison which I ran or those requiring some form of pass or certificate issued by the Police. On about the third day, I instructed my African Sergeant Major to deal with her. He came into my office with the woman who related the following story.

She was the mother of Lepotle Moeng, a little boy of about five years of age although she did not know his exact date of birth. They lived in a small village some 40 miles distance from Mochudi called Lenchwe lu Tau. (Lion Hill) Lepotle Moeng had been sent to the cattle post as was common but disappeared after a few weeks without explanation. Village gossip then claimed that he had been killed by a witch doctor named Raditladi Su with the connivance of the boy`s uncle Molefe and his body parts taken for medicine. The mother had been advised by the village elders to say nothing but, a particularly courageous woman, she had defied the elders and her own husband to walk the 40 miles to Mochudi to report the matter to the Police.

We had no C.I.D. nor forensic services but I contacted my immediate superior in Gaberones by Morse code through my wireless operator. I was told to get on with the enquiry and to keep him informed. Most helpful.

I had visions of a long, protracted investigation with probably a negative result. How wrong I was.

I went with my Sergeant Major and two Troopers by truck to Lenchwe lu Tau where we quickly traced and arrested the uncle Molefe. He admitted, after a short period of questioning, being involved in the killing and implicated the witch doctor Raditladi Su who we traced to another village nearby which was his home. He also admitted the murder and seemed to consider it no great offence.

He took us into the bush where we dug up the decaying body of the little boy who

had been eviscerated and was headless.  The head was buried some distance away

and I was told this was to prevent the ghost of the child being intact and coming back to haunt his two killers.

We took the two prisoners, the remains of the child and various substances recovered from the witch doctor back to Mochudi. We had no pathologist but an elderly Dutch Reform Church missionary doctor working in Mochudi examined the body and confirmed that it was of a young boy whose major organs had been removed. The mother identified scraps of the clothing as that worn by her son.

The two prisoners were charged with Ritual Murder which was a separate offence in the Protectorate penal code. They appeared before the local District Commissioner where they made written confessions of their guilt. The uncle Molefe had strangled the child and the witch doctor carried out the disembowelling and beheading. The parts were used for “muti” and Molefe given some to increase the fertility of his cattle and his own sexual potency

The two men were remanded in custody and appeared before the High Court in Lobatsi several months later. Two Judges covered the three High commission Territories and the High Court sat every three to four months.

Both pleaded guilty and were given the mandatory sentence of Death by Hanging.

We did not have our own hangman in Bechuanaland so one was brought up from South Africa where, under the old apartheid regime, they were fully employed.

Raditladi Su and Molefe were executed by hanging at the central prison in Gaberones.

I later made enquiries about the mother who had the courage to report the killing. She seemed to have vanished from her village, although the boy`s father was still there and her whereabouts were unknown I often wondered if she had either moved away or been killed in a revenge murder.

Charles Nunn


I occasionally read the “Voice of Botswana” (formerly the Bechuanaland Protectorate) online to keep in touch with the country where I spent three years of my police career.

The following report appeared in the edition published on 30th April 2016.

The body of a 7 years old boy was found in a shallow grave near the village of Mmamkgodi in the central Kalahari. Mogale Mochocho had been decapitated, his hands cut off and his internal organs removed.

His step mother appeared in Court charged with being an accomplice to Ritual Murder and accepting the sum of 5,000 Pula – approximately £320 – to facilitate his killing. Enquiries to trace the others involved are continuing.

Charles Nunn.


Former Wpc Doreen BUTTERWORTH passed away on 3rd March 2016 aged 90 years. She served from 1952 to 1977. Her funeral was on Friday 11th April 2016 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former Woman Police Sgt 8 Joyce TUCKWELL passed away on 7th March 2016. Her funeral was at Trinity Chapel, Abersychan on Thursday 7th April 2016 followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Inspector Henry Eric CURTIS passed away at his home on 1st April 2016.  He leaves a widow, Margaret. His funeral was on Thursday 14th April 2016 at St David’s Church, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, followed by burial at Ebbw Vale Cemetery.

Former Inspector David DAVIES, passed away on 28th April 2016. He is survived by his wife Jenifer and two sons, Gareth and Matthew. David served from 1961-1989. His funeral was at St Paul’s, Newbridge on Tuesday 24th May 2016, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former Wpc Tirion MORGAN passed away on 16th May 2016. Tirion is survived by her husband, Roger. Her funeral was on Thursday 2nd June 2016 at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Sergeant Owen PUGH passed away on 2nd June 2016 aged 92. He is survived by his wife, Millie. He joined Newport Borough Police in 1946 after service in the RAF in WWII.  Owen served in Maindee, Pill and Newport Central retiring in 1976. His funeral was on Wednesday 22nd June at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog. 

Former Police Constable 263 Douglas Terry WHITE passed away on 2nd June 2016 after a short illness.  Doug served from 1967 to 1995. He leaves a daughter Sarah and son Neil. His funeral was on Monday 27th June 2016 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog



No 36. MARCH 2016

Dates for your Diary

The next meeting of Gwent Police Pensioners’ Association will be at Croesyceiliog Cricket Club, The Highway,  Croesyceiliog (Next to Upper Cocks PH) at 7pm on Wednesday 27th April 2016.  All welcome.

This year’s annual outing is to be to Weston Super Mare on Wednesday 29th June 2016. Cost is likely to be £10 per head, but will include a full meal on the return journey. Contact Stella for further details.

Annual Luncheon

This year’s luncheon will be at Ponthir Village Hall on Sunday 27th November 2016. More details to follow nearer the date.

Other News

The Commutation Issue for those who retired between 2001 and 2006 has now been sorted and those whose payments were undervalued have now been compensated. Our thanks especially to the Scottish Fire Service Union and Mr Milne who fought this case long and hard.


Retired Inspector Robert (Bob) HITCHINGS passed away on 20th October 2015. Bob retired in 1986 having served in a variety of different stations within Gwent, most notably in Traffic and in the driving school. His funeral was held on Tuesday 27th October 2015 at the Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Constable 319 Gerald HARRINGTON has passed away. He retired from the force in 1976 and was aged 89. He worked mainly as a beat officer in the Abergavenny, Ebbw Vale and Griffithstown areas. He is survived by his wife Margaret, son Paul and daughter Angela. His funeral was on Mon 9th November at Christchurch Church, Govilon followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired Pc Geoffrey REES passed away. He transferred from South Wales to Gwent. His funeral was on 8th January 2016.

Retired Police Constable 224 Walter James “Jim” HIGGINSON passed away on 1st January 2016. Jim was 92 years of age and served at Tintern and Oakdale before retiring in 1968. He leaves a widow, Olive, 3 daughters and 1 son. His funeral was on Tuesday 26th January 2016 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Retired Police Constable 331 Philip Gary PRITCHARD passed away on 12th January 2016.  He leaves a wife, Zelda. He retired in January 1994 and will be remembered for his time on Traffic Department and also the Motorcycle Section. His funeral was on Tuesday 26th January 2016 at St Teilos Church, Mardy, Abergavenny followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Retired PC 1058 Ray THOMAS has passed away.  Ray also served with South Wales Police collar number PC 955. The funeral was on Thursday 3rd March, at St Catwgs Church, Gelligaer, followed by a service at Glyntaf Crematorium.

Eryl DURHAM, widow of the late Colin Durham has passed away. They were both active members of NARPO and GPPA.  Her funeral was on Monday February 22nd 2016 at Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran.


I retired from the police service in November 2009 after completing 30 years service. I feel very fortunate to have worked with some fantastic people and great characters both in my uniform and C.I.D. days at Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool. I wanted to take a completely different path for the remaining working years of my life and chose Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

In December 2009, I successfully applied for the post of Safeguarding Officer, essentially ensuring the safety and welfare of our Blind and Partially Sighted clients for the whole of the UK. This was very interesting and varied work during which time I also conducted training sessions for staff and volunteers to give them guidance about how to report a Safeguarding concern.

In 2012, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association had a major reorganisation and an all Wales Team was devised and I am fortunate enough to be asked to take on the role of Volunteer Coordinator for Wales. My areas of responsibility include recruiting and supporting approximately 500 volunteers to enhance the work we do with and for blind and partially sighted people across Wales.

The volunteer roles are varied, we actually have 70+ different roles altogether but basically fall into three categories, Doggie roles (Puppy Walking, Boarding and Free Running, People roles (Sighted Guiding, Driving, Helping at Events), and Fund Raising (Branch Treasurers, Secretaries, Event Organisers, Helpers).

With a purely people focus a new service that we are embarking on is the ‘My Guide’ service. People who are losing their sight or have recently lost all vision tell me that they very often take the attitude, “That’s it for me” and basically shut down. They stop going out and become withdrawn. As a consequence of this they very often lose their sense of well-being as well as their fitness. My Guide is a service where a volunteer takes that person out perhaps once or twice a week, encouraging them to continue to do some of the activities that they used to like doing, such as going to the gym, shopping or simply going for a walk.

We currently have an ex-police officer’s partnership in John Buckthought and Simon Clarke. Those who will remember Simon who was a custody sergeant in Ystrad Mynach, and who sadly lost his sight, and John, who worked alongside him for a time. John also retired now volunteers in the My Guide capacity and meets Simon on a weekly basis to take him to the local gym. This really is a great partnership in action and is a great benefit to Simon.

If after reading this you feel you would like to help Guide Dogs continue to provide help and support to people with visual impairments, then please drop me a line.

Email – [email protected] Mobile – 07785 907728



Having stuttered since early childhood, you will not be surprised to learn that public speaking featured low on my list of favourite pastimes.  A catalogue of painful experiences fuelled my belief that I could never successfully undertake that task.

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes. For so many years, it had been considered impossible.  Yet, the moment he overcame that mystical barrier, the mindset of athletes worldwide changed overnight. They now had evidence that it could be achieved. Before long, others were regularly fulfilling the same feat. Such is the power of belief.

Fast forward 45 years to April 1, 2000 when I witnessed a person (who stutters) recounting how he had won several public speaking trophies in formal competition with ‘fluent’ contestants. It was such a defining moment that the date is indelibly imprinted upon my memory. Prior to hearing his story, I was convinced that such a role lay outside my scope. My whole outlook changed.

The man that I heard speaking so enthusiastically about how he had successfully embraced public speaking effectively became MY Roger Bannister. He opened my eyes to possibilities that I could never have dared imagine. For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to entertain the thought (and hope) that I might be able to do something similar. That fortuitous encounter sowed the seeds of an empowering belief that was to subsequently change the course of my life.

Inspired by his example, I initially enlisted the aid of the McGuire Programme, an international self-help organisation that has assisted many stutterers worldwide.  Within weeks, I also joined the Association of Speakers Clubs – which has its origins in Toastmasters International. Membership afforded me frequent opportunities to speak in a variety of situations. I gained progressively in confidence and stature. Very soon, I was “walking away with the silverware” at club, area and district levels.

In 2005 and 2008, I won my way (via a country-wide knock-out competition) through to the finals of the UK public speaking championships. Although I didn’t lift the trophy on either occasion, it was a wonderful experience to represent Wales and the South West of England (as one of the last eight contestants) in such a prestigious event.

Shortly after my last appearance, I reluctantly made the decision to sever connection with the Association of Speakers Club, in order to focus upon my accumulating external public speaking commitments.

My newly-acquired oratory prowess motivated me to challenge myself in other areas. Recognising the importance of increasing public awareness about stuttering, I agreed (in 2001) to be interviewed by Roy Noble on Radio Wales. Someone from Cwmbran Probus heard the broadcast and arranged for me to be invited to speak at one of their future meetings.

I jumped at the opportunity and spoke for one hour about how stuttering had impacted upon my life.  My talk was aptly entitled “Lost for Words”.  I told the audience about the intricate ploys that I had once used to conceal my oral struggles (and shield me from embarrassment.)

I made reference to my life-long aversion of speaking on the telephone, while also revealing that I had habitually resorted to word substitution.  I explained that such a practice came with a cost. My mind was constantly in turmoil as I searched for synonyms that I perceived were easier to say.

For years, I was oblivious to the fact that avoidance had actually increased my fear, while also ensuring that I rarely used the word(s) of my choice.  As a result, my oral exchanges became laden with (what I considered to be) inferior or inappropriate vocabulary. I touched upon the psychological aspects of stuttering, explaining how repeated exposure to negative experiences may deter someone from participating in future speaking situations.   This can limit potential and achievements.

I also shared details of the disappointments, frustration and lost opportunities that blighted my police career.

You could hear a pin drop as I recounted, in graphic detail, the traumatic struggles I experienced when giving evidence in court as a fresh-faced 19 year old probationer.  At the time, I routinely avoided using half of the alphabet because of the recurring difficulties I experienced in pronouncing certain letters.

I had calculated (well in advance) that the oath comprised 23 words – NINETEEN of which I had convinced myself I could not say. As a result, the weeks leading up to the court appearance were filled with trepidation.

The audience appeared visibly moved as I re-lived that painful episode after entering the old wooden witness box at Abertillery Magistrates Court.  I recaptured the humiliating experience in verse:

A policeman in court, with a stutter

While giving the oath, caused a flutter

He said “I sssss…sssss…sssss…wwwwear”

Then gave up in despair

Not a single word more could he utter

But it was not all doom and gloom. Humour can be a very useful tool with which to convey an important message. My talk was purposely littered with amusing anecdotes. When my listeners laughed, I knew they were more likely to remember the circumstances that created the merriment, thereby strengthening their understanding of the principle(s) I was attempting to explain.

But, I didn’t just tell the audience that I once practised extensive avoidance strategies. I went one step further and shared a few stories, which vividly illustrated that trait.

No-one will ever forget that my fear of saying words (commencing with the letter “S”) heavily influenced my actions when dealing with a drunk in Abertillery.  Having first encountered the intoxicated and disorderly individual in Somerset Street, I assisted him (a short distance) to an adjoining road which had a less-challenging name.  Had I arrested him at the original location, I would have experienced considerable difficulties with my speech at the subsequent court hearing. ☺

I further illustrated the implications of avoidance by speaking about the time that I invented a false identity (Adrian Adams) when depositing items at the dry-cleaners. I chose this option because I had convinced myself that I could not say my own name. However, the ruse was cruelly exposed when, unbeknown to me, my landlady decided to collect the garments on my behalf. When she requested the clothing for “Alan Badmington”, there was, of course, no record of any such transaction. As you can imagine – I had to do a great deal of explaining. ☺

There were numerous other examples that reinforced the audience’s understanding of the desperate measures to which I resorted, in order to avoid stuttering.

In addition to recounting my lifetime struggles, I shared the exciting and challenging paths that I have trodden during recent years whilst freeing myself from the debilitating oral shackles that inhibited me for more than half a century.   I was overwhelmed by the degree of interest that my story generated.

Since that introductory talk, my speaking engagements have escalated rapidly as news filtered along the community grapevine. The need for speakers is insatiable. Without virtually any promotion, I have undertaken an extensive programme of talks in each of the last 15 years.  In the beginning, I spoke exclusively about stuttering but, as time progressed, I have found it necessary to create additional talks to accommodate the numerous follow-up requests that I receive. Over the years, I have developed a varied repertoire that embraces a wide range of other subjects.   All have one thing in common – they contain a sizeable ingredient of humour. ☺

Interestingly, after learning about how I have successfully dealt with my personal adversity, members of the audience often confide that they are inspired to confront challenges that exist within their own lives. Fear, self-doubt and avoidance are not the sole prerogative of those with communication issues.

I have travelled extensively while fulfilling speaking engagements on three different continents, including a keynote speech at the World Congress for People Who Stutter, held in Western Australia.  Whilst at the event, I was thrilled to win the individual Oratory Competition (judged by Toastmasters International) in which every continent was represented.

I have developed many friendships in the USA, having facilitated workshops (for persons who stutter and other interested parties) in California, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.  It has been particularly pleasing to address speech therapists (and students) at several universities, while also being invited to present at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Atlanta.

On one occasion, I completed the 11,000 miles round trip to San Francisco to speak at an annual luncheon. (The distance travelled contrasted starkly with the short journey that I undertook when giving my initial talk to Cwmbran Probus). ☺

Over the years, I have written numerous papers, articles and poems about stuttering and related matters.  Many have been translated into different languages and are now used around the world.

Despite the majority of audiences on this side of “The Pond” comprising persons unrelated to stuttering, my “Lost for Words” talk remains in considerable demand.  On a number of occasions, I have been asked to share my story with those with a life-limiting or terminal illness.  I find such interaction both humbling and rewarding – I never fail to be moved by the courage that they display. Meeting such individuals has caused me to view stuttering (and life, in general) in an entirely different light.

Other public speaking challenges have seen me mount a soapbox at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London; outside the White House in Washington DC; in Central Park, New York; along the famous “Strip” in Las Vegas; and in many major city centres in England and Wales.  I have also undertaken several visits to Scandinavia as a guest of the Swedish Speech Academy.

For several years, I provided an input into the Navigator Programme previously run by the Gwent Constabulary – aimed at improving the personal development of serving officers and civilian employees.  One of my responsibilities was to evaluate the individual oral presentations that were a requirement for each course participant.

Living a safe and predictable life denies us opportunities to discover just how courageous and extraordinary we are. We gain strength and confidence each time we look fear in the face.

Public speaking always figured prominently among my list of fears. Today, it has become an integral and exciting part of my life. Stepping outside my comfort zone (and treading less familiar paths) has greatly enhanced my existence. Having discovered, albeit belatedly, that the human voice is such a wondrous thing, I now use it at every possible opportunity. ☺ After years of frustration and underachievement, I am finally performing widely on life’s stage.

And, what’s more, I’m having an incredible amount of fun.  ☺

Alan Badmington


AUGUST £200 PS 788 Angela Burt – HQ
£100 Mr Strong – Retired
£50 PC 1039 Matthew Probert – JFU

SEPTEMBER £1000 PC 1100 Simon James – Blackwood
£100 Hazel Roberts – HQ
£50 Mr Sanderson – Retired

OCTOBER £200 PC 157 Delwyn Bailey – JFU
£100 Insp Carl Williams – Blackwood
£50 DC 114 Mark Davis – Pontypool

If you could save us money by having your Newsletter by eMail, please send an email to the Secretary (below) and it will be arranged. If you change Internet Service Provider, please let me know, as I get a few emails bounce back each time.

If you move house, please let me know, as well as Capita, or you may miss out. 43 of you moved last year and didn’t tell GPPA !


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers



14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail –[email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


No 35 – October 2015


Dates for your Diary

Annual Luncheon – This is now booked for Sunday 1st November 2015 and will again be held at Usk Conservative Club, following last year’s success.

Morels Luncheon

Another excellent luncheon was enjoyed by members at Morels Restaurant, Crosskeys. More visits are planned. Contact Chairman Dave Moses for bookings. For those who haven’t been, the food is prepared by catering students at Cross keys College and is very good quality for around £5 per head.

Other News

A ‘self drive’ trip to Brecon took place on 21st September. The trip included a visit to the Regimental Museum and to Brecon Cathedral, with lunch at the cathedral Tea rooms.

Commutation Issue

Many of you will by now know that a mistake was made in the calculations of police (and fire brigade) pensions between 2001 and 2006. Briefly, the life expectancy actuary tables had not been updated for a number of years and an appeal by a Scottish Fire Officer led after some 6 years to the Pensions Ombudsman directing that the Government Actuary Department had erred by virtue of this failure. Consequently, male officers who retired between the applicable dates should be entitled to an extra lump sum and some interest. Female officers, I understand had a higher pay-out at the time of their retirement as their life expectancy was deemed to be greater. Relevant officers will be contacted by Capita and it is hoped that all payments will be completed by April 2016.


Former Police Constable 905 Sarah SMITH passed away on 29th May 2015, following a long illness. Her funeral was on 15th June 2015 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former DC Sheila GRAHAM passed away on 30th June 2015 after falling at home and fracturing her hip. Sheila retired in 1987 after 25 years service. Her claim to fame was that she was the first female detective in the force. Sheila is survived by her niece Janine Edwards. Her funeral followed by burial was on 8th July 2015 at St Johns Church, Rogerstone.

Former Superintendent Spencer FOX passed away on 4th July 2015 after a short illness. He is survived by wife, Gaynor. His funeral was on 20th July 2015 at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former Police Constable 14 Alan David WILLIAMS (Ebbw Vale) passed away peacefully on 7th August 2015 at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny. Alan will be remembered by many for his time as a Dog handler. He is survived by his wife Julie. His funeral was on Thursday 20th August 2015 at St David’s Church Ebbw Vale and followed by cremation at Llwydcoed Crematorium Aberdare.

Former Detective Supt Kenneth Raymond EVANS passed away on 1st October 2015. He leaves a wife, Jacquelin, a son Paul (Retired DCI) and daughter Nicola. Ray served from 1960 to 1993. His funeral was on 20th October 2015 at Gwent Crematorium.

The Mystery of the Shield

Prior to my third retirement, I was employed as a Property Investigation Officer, based at Newport Central property stores. This was part store-man, but also entailed disposing of Found and Miscellaneous Property, which if of value, I photographed and listed on a Police Auction Site – Bumblebee Auctions. The proceeds went to the PCC for distribution to local charities.

Unclaimed found property from all over the force area was sent to my store, to be sold. One item, was an old leather suitcase full of watches and oddments of jewellery (mostly costume items) which I believe came following the conviction and imprisonment of a burglar from Abergavenny or the Heads of the Valleys area.

Whilst sorting this jewellery, a few months ago, I came across a small copper coloured shield, about an inch high. It didn’t look anything special, so was put aside for future re-examination. A few days before I retired, I was clearing out some drawers and again found the shield. I took a magnifying glass and saw that there was an engraving on the rear – Presented to Mr Ed Badmington from Tredegar Male Voice Party – March 1903.

Being Secretary of the Pensioners, I immediately recognized the name Badmington – and a check of the Voters Index revealed only ONE Badmington in Wales – our old colleague, Alan. (Some of you may know that Alan has been an extremely active public speaker during the past 15 years – fulfilling engagements on three different continents.  You will learn more about his activities in the next newsletter.)

I photographed the shield and on enlarging the photo, I identified the markings on the foot of the item as gold hallmarks – W.H.H. being the assay mark of William Hair Haseler (W H Haseler Ltd after c1910 ) of Richmond Street, Birmingham, who were noted for being makers of Box, buckle (Liberty style), button, cigarette case, dish, flatware, fob medal, hair comb, napkin ring, purse, sovereign case, sugar bowl, vesta, (match boxes) and whistles. The anchor sign shows it to be a Birmingham Assay office mark. I therefore believe this to be a Fob medal – presumably to go on a pocket watch chain. The 9 refers to 9 carat gold. The 375 also refers to 9 carat gold. I wrote to Alan and after a few emails, we met over a coffee.

It transpired that Edward Badmington was Alan’s grandfather’s twin brother, and he had lived in Tredegar. He was awarded the Fob Medal in 1903 but sadly died young in a mining accident in 1913. Alan was delighted to have the medal returned to his family but the mystery remains – where has it been for over 100 years!

I was also pleased to have returned an item of property to its owner but somehow doubt that the mystery of the shield will ever be solved.

Laurie Oliver


In the last G.P.P.A. Newsletter I commented on life on the Beat when I joined in 1955 and the years thereafter until I joined the Bechuanaland Mounted Police in 1959.

There was no paid overtime and hours worked over the normal shift were credited as “Time on the card” and a record kept by the Station Sergeant on your relief.

This would be claimed back at the discretion of the Patrol Sergeant and often consisted of merely going off duty at 4.00 a.m. from a night shift.

A popular request was to take time owing and avoid the dreaded “double back” from the Saturday night shift to the Sunday afternoon shift. Of course not all the men making the request could be accommodated and it was quite common for the unlucky ones to have only a few hours sleep before being roused from their beds to parade for Sunday afternoon duty.

In 1962, after a six months trial as Aide to C.I.D., when I worked long hours, without a Detective Duty Allowance, to consolidate my position in the Department, I was appointed Detective Constable and was so informed by the D/C/Insp. Val Shortridge. He also pointed out that I had over 400 hours unpaid overtime recorded on my card and what did I wish to be done with this? I took the hint. Took the card from him, ripped it up and deposited it in his waste basket.

There was a ritual in the Borough that each shift started some 30 minutes before the actual time. For example for the 6.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. early turn, we were required to be in the Parade room by 5.30 a.m for notices etc and then paraded for inspection at 5.45 a.m. before marching from the Civic Centre and down Bridge Street to our allocated Beats.

The Night Shift could not go off duty until we had relieved them on their Beats although, in reality, once they knew we were on our way they went home.

On the Inspection Parade we “produced appointments” for the Duty Inspector; that is showing that we carried our handcuffs and truncheons. The handcuffs were ancient screw key Hiatts and I never, ever, used mine other than on one occasion as a primitive knuckle duster; the truncheon a hard wood baton with a leather thong that slipped into a special pocket in the trousers.

One Inspector had a fetish that the leather thong should not be shown outside the trouser leg because, “The public did not like it.”

How different from the Taser, pepper spray, quick-cuffs and extending baton carried as routine by the street bobby of today to say nothing of the firearms officers.

On Parade we were also rebuked if our boots needed polishing, our trousers pressed or our hair required cutting. Again how different from the dress and deportment of today.

In the days before fixed penalties and cautions, almost every case went to prosecution and we were regular attendees at the Magistrates` Court. Apart from Annual Leave, no consideration was given to an Officer`s shift and it was considered normal to finish a night shift, cycle home, breakfast, shave, put on a clean uniform and cycle back to Court for The only concession was that the Court clerk would ask the Magistrates if they would hear first the cases of those policemen off nights which was always granted. However, if there was a defended trial, it would not be unusual for your case to continue into the afternoon.

Then the Duty Inspector would make the decision  if that constituted a full shift and thus you need not parade for Night Duty or, if that shift was light handed, make the decision that you would report for nights after a minimum of sleep and the time you accrued in Court went on your Card.

We were also able to claim bus fare for court attendances which were usually accumulated and paid quarterly as a small, but welcome, amount.

I played rugby for the Borough and often went off nights, collected my kit and joined a coach for an away match. We usually returned to Newport in the very late evening when I changed into uniform and re-joined my shift having had no sleep for almost 48 hours!

As an aside, allowing a chimney to catch fire was an offence under the Town Police Clauses Act and quite a common occurrence in the days of coal fuel and open fireplaces. The Beat Bobby would attend along with the Fire Brigade and the householder reported for summons. If they claimed the chimney had been recently swept the chimney sweep would also be interviewed and a statement taken. Invariably the result was a written warning from the Chief Constable.

All the Beats were numbered. My preference was always a lengthy Beat outside the town centre, where you could stretch your legs and, if lucky, have a tea spot. A favourite was Stow Hill and Risca Road where the Porters` Lodge at St. Woolos Hospital was a good brew up point.

As was the Casualty Department at the Royal Gwent Hospital who were pleased to see the Beat Bobby and probably, the reason why so many nurses married into The Job. The Borough Ambulance station in Dock Street was another good tea spot where one of the male night operators had a large knitting machine where he passed the time producing the most intricate knitted garments.

Any Beat with a bakery was a gem. Always good for a mug of tea and a fresh baked roll or doughnut in the early hours.

For some reason the senior constable on the shift always drew 12 Beat which was a short stretch of High Street from the Westgate Square to the Station Approach.

After the drunks had gone home – 10.30p.m. closing in those days- the stretch was depressingly boring. There was a brewery in Cambrian Road, Lloyd and Yorath. 

Not long after joining the I had been posted to 9 Beat which covered Bridge Street and the brewery. In the early hours of a Winter morning I was flashed by the torch of the senior man on 12 Beat- we had our own torch and whistle signal in the Borough; a long flash or whistle followed by two shorts. The Morse Code for letter “D”- He told me that the Inspector and Sergeant were safely ensconced in the station and invited me to join him in the brewery.

The night watchman led us in to the sampling room where he drew off two pint mugs of beer. I had never been nor still am, a beer drinker particularly on a cold morning and after a few sips, put down my pint.

The other Officer took his down in a couple of gulps, looked at me in wonderment obviously thinking, “What sort of Bobby are they recruiting these days?” and never invited me to join him again.

Many of the things I have written about will seem as strange to the modern police officer as were the workings of the Bow Street Runners to my generation but they are as clear to me as if I had walked the Beat  yesterday.

Charles Nunn

Response to Correspondence

Having read the June NEWSLETTER, I too reflect on my Police Service in the 50’s, much on the same lines as my friend and colleague Charles Nunn. My contribution to the police service commenced during the war time when most officers had been called up for Military Service and the Monmouthshire County Constabulary, as others, was depleted.

I lived in Abergavenny and joined the Police Auxiliary Service, which had been formed at the local Police Station. I was then about 14 years old and, with others, I delivered messages to residents which had been received concerning their loved ones. Don’t forget there were no mobile phones and very few homes even had phones owing to the cost.

The Officer in charge of us was Special Sergeant Warren and the Senior Officer was Superintendent Alec Briggs. We wore a special type of uniform, something like the Army Cadet force only Police Blue. My next connection was when I was accepted as a Boy Clerk, consisting of office duties in the Admin Headquarters Abergavenny Office and run by Inspector Ralph Collins, as well as myself there were Joe Reardon, Russell Taylor and Don Wilding.

It was there I met the woman who was to be my wife, Josie Durham we married in 1951 and we had 60 years together. She was one of the seven Woman Civilian Clerks at Police Headquarters and worked in the CID office.

I served with the military police in Northern Ireland 1947 – 1949 and on returning, after discharge, I tried to get appointments with Newport Borough Police and Monmouthshire County Constabulary. There were no vacancies but I did get accepted with Swansea Borough Police. After 5 years there I finally got an appointment with Newport Borough Police.

The Force consisted of about 120 Officers at that time and the Chief Constable was Frank Smead, a truly sound and helpful man who had worked his way up through the ranks from a beat man, and who hailed from Kent. At times you would meet with him on the beat and he would walk with you, pointing out various things such as small motoring offences. One of his main concerns was lack of taxis on the main Railway Station car park. He would ask for a report to be on his desk before I finished duty that day.

The first job that I was put on, was to spend the night at the premises of Gus Roberts in Lower Dock Street, Gus had been murdered that day by two local villains who were later apprehended. He was quite a character and sold newspapers from his shop, which was full of unsold newspapers. The body was left over night to be moved the next day, no SOCO at that time.

I worked the Town Beat, mostly High Street and Commercial Street, later joining Sergeant Jack Kelly’s team – point duty at the Old Green. All traffic then passed through this main thoroughfare, for the South West one way and London the other way, no M4 motorway in those days. I do recalled being asked directions to London by Richard Burton, the film actor. He was driving a large cream Open Tourer.

Night duty in the High Street area on a Saturday was quite busy especially when they were turned out of the pubs. Plenty of ‘fisticuffs’ but no weapons or guns. I usually had the Night Sergeant with me, Sergeant Les Harvey. The next thing most of the pub crawlers would make for was the night bus home, not many taxis about in those days, if they missed the last bus they would have to walk to their homes. The clubs came later and the atmosphere changed, trouble then started around 2am for the night man.

One notable character about town at that time, was a homeless person called Humphrey Starks, who slept in a cardboard box under the Kingsway as did many others. Humphrey was always dressed in an old army greatcoat and was always unkempt and many times in need of a bath. At times I would find him standing outside a ladies gown shop talking to the models usually a little drunk from the drink he had managed to scrounge from some of his mates in the pubs. He was little trouble and I would take him to his place of kip. They do say he was in the navy during the war and returned home but failed to settle down. He had a wife called Annie who was of the same vein, no fixed abode, but they never lived together.

I usually checked, when on night duty, to see who was under the Kingsway and that Humphrey was safely in his box. One morning, about 3 am, it was snowing heavily and I came across the man himself fast asleep on the ground covered in snow, he had just failed to make his refuge. He was a pretty tough type of character who managed to beg for food from the local shops and markets. He was well known in the town and caused little trouble except when he was very drunk. At times he was arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour and was usually pleased to have a night in the cells in the warm. At that time we had a Magistrate’s Clerk named John Rowlands who was known to have kept a list of ‘Stated Cases’ and he would give the Police Officers and Solicitors a rough ride if he did not like them.

I remember one morning Humphrey appeared in Court for being drunk and disorderly, he was in a dishevelled condition as usual. The Clerk read out the offence and asked with his kind of humour ‘ What is your address Mr Stark?’ to which Humphrey stopped and thought for a while and replied ‘ You can put me down as a Milestone Inspector’ This was not too far from the truth because at times he would be missing from the town centre for a month or more and on return would state that he had been to Ireland on his holidays. I know of one officer who hailed from North Wales and had seen him hitching a lift near Holyhead. I will never know how he managed to get on board the boat.

The Teddy-boy era was a short lived happening but caused quite a bit if trouble; youths would congregate in High Street in their gear and obstruct the pavement and cause a nuisance to pedestrians. They had warnings but most of them were taken before the court for the offence and given a nominal fine, but they would be back next day, it was nice to see the end of it. I do know that a lot of them turned out to be useful citizens and held down good jobs.

After Beat work I was seconded to CID and spent 17 years working on outside jobs, I do recall a few incidents that I worked on including:

A missing 9 year old boy, from the Barracks area of town, he went missing during a farewell party that his parents were hosting at their flat, before they intended emigrating. A few months went by before his body was found in a self-locking box inside the garage belonging to the flat (to me this matter was never really solved but this is a long story.).

Newport bomb – during that time the IRA were very active. One evening, a bomb was deposited in the long dark doorway of the Gor-Ray skirt shop in Commercial Street. It went off, thankfully not causing any casualties but a lot of damage. Lots of enquiries were made without luck but it was mentioned that the person had got the wrong town.

The death of a sailor in a fire on board a ship in Newport dry dock (suspect circumstances). Murders were few and far between in those days, not like today. When one occurred, an Incident Room would be set up using the Card System, a long and laborious job but it had results and most were solved. I worked in the Incident Room when the late Jack Harries was the Detective Superintendent in charge of most of the cases and one would work on the job until we got a result, Jack was a friendly man and worked alongside his men on many enquiries.

During the IRA troubles, I was drafted into Special Branch and worked with a very good friend of mine Trevor Mills. We spent many hours tracking, watching and making enquiries in the Gwent Police and outside areas. We are still in touch today, daily by phone, we speak of the old job and sport mostly. Liaison was made between us and New Scotland Yard when there was activity in the area.

The police officers when I started were well turned out, and ‘watch out’ if you were found with a button undone on your tunic or the strap of your helmet was not in position We mostly rode into work on pedal cycles and yes, Charles Nunn, I remember your fine machine. I bought it off you and treasured it with pride until I eventually sold it to a nice family in Newport who wanted it for their son.

I finished my police career in 1979 I then worked as a Private Investigator for Solicitors throughout the country and was a member of The British Association of Private Investigators.

The officers who I served with in 1950 – 1960 were a good bunch of chaps and would help each other but more importantly the public at that time had respect for Police Officers! Anyway, mustn’t ramble on, hope it makes good reading. Ron Vaughan



1st Prize £200 – DC 166 James Ridley (FIB Hq)

2nd Prize £100 – Mr Graham Jones (Retired)

3rd Prize £50 – Ms Heather Fisher (PSD Mamhilad)


1st Prize £200 – Mr Dennis Curtin (Retired)

2nd Prize £100 – PS 1065 Sam Atkinson (Newport)

3rd Prize £50 – PC 1024 Jeff Harris (Newport)


1st Prize £200 – Helen Thatcher (Headquarters)

2nd Prize £100 – PS 998 Maria Henry (Ystrad Mynach)

3rd Prize £50 – DS 1206 Samatha Elliott (Mamhilad)


I am working on a voluntary basis for the above, long established charity that assists people of 65 years and older who are isolated due to circumstance or on their own because they have no contact with family or friends. This assistance is through advice from a London based advice centre on all matters related to older members of society and by establishing regular contact through a volunteer visitor who aims to befriend and enrich the older person life through visits which may span a period of years.

The volunteer visitors conduct visits from once a week to once a month when contact is established and generally this role is best suited to people who have some experience of life themselves. My role is to coordinate the visits and find people who want to be volunteer visitors. I am aware that our colleagues who are retired in Gwent would be well suited to this role and would also gain from being involved with the charity. There is a requirement that disclosure and barring checks are conducted and I would facilitate this process.

Would it be possible to add this information to the GPPA newsletter you publish please? I am available to discuss this further on the number below. I can honestly say I am enjoying every day of my retirement and hope to do so for some time yet.

Geraint Evans

Advice from an 80 year old man…………

1. Have a firm handshake.
2. Look people in the eye.
3. Sing in the shower.
4. Own a great stereo system.
5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
6. Keep secrets.
7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.
8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
10. Whistle.
11. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
14. Lend only those books you never care to see again.
15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
16. When playing games with children, let them win.
17. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
18. Be romantic.
19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
22. Be a good loser.
23. Be a good winner.
24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
27. Keep it simple.
28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
36. Begin each day with some of your favourite music.
37. Once in a while, take the scenic route.
38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
44. Become someone’s hero.
45. Marry only for love.
46. Count your blessings.
47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
48. Wave at the children on a school bus.
49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
50. Don’t expect life to be fair.


No 34: JUNE 2015

Dates for your Diary

Coach Trip — this has been booked for Wed 24th June and will again visit the Gower and Swansea with an evening meal at Porthcawl. Stella will be taking bookings in early May.

Hog Roast — Hog roast & social evening to be held at Usk Conservative Club on Friday August. Contact Dave Moses re tickets.

Annual Luncheon — This is provisionally booked for Sunday 25th October 2015 and will again be held at Usk Conservative Club, following last year’s success.

Morels Luncheon

Another excellent luncheon was enjoyed by members at Morels Restaurant, Crosskeys. More visits are planned. Contact Chairman Dave Moses for bookings. For those who haven’t been, the food is prepared by catering students at Cross keys College and is very good quality for around €5 per head.

A ‘self-drive’ trip to Brecon is planned. No dates yet, but it is hoped to take in a visit to the Regimental Museum and to Brecon Cathedral, probably with lunch at the cathedral Tea rooms. No date has yet been set.

Other news

The Pension Ombudsman has made his decision regarding the alleged errors in the actuary tables from which Police & Fire service commutation payments were made between 1998 and 2006. His decision should be published before the end of May.! Should any further action be required, you will be informed.


Former Detective Chief Inspector Alan WATKINS passed away, on Sunday 15th February 2015 whilst on a trip to Scotland. He is survived by his wife Lynda, also a retired Det. Chief Insp. His funeral was on 9th March 2015 at St. David’s Church, Fleur-de-Lis followed by cremation at the Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former Detective Sergeant 567 Gareth EVANS passed away on 7th March 2015. Gareth retired in 1995. He is survived by his wife Eileen and sons, Stephen and Michael. His funeral was on Saturday the 21st March at Thornhill Crematorium — Briwnant Chapel.

Former Chief Inspector Vincent MUDFORD passed away at St Woolos Hospital Newport on Wednesday 11th March 2015. His funeral was on 13th April 2015 at St Mary’s Church, Malpas, Newport followed by cremation at the Gwent Crematorium.

Former Detective Constable John PINK passed away on Tuesday 24th March 2015. The funeral was on Friday 17th April 2015, at Gwent Crematorium.

Mrs Marjorie GODFREY, wife of John Godfrey, passed away on 1st May 2015. Her funeral was at the Catholic Church, Ebbw vale on Friday 15th May 2015 followed by Interment at Ebbw vale Cemetery.


Not something that I had really ever thought about, it was simply one of those words that you hear. A distant concept, abstract, and something that had very little impact on me and how I lived my life. I’d seen a few films, the usual thing you know, ‘Shindlers List’, ‘The Pianist’ and a couple of documentaries even. It’s hard to connect though to the scale of the killing, the magnitude of the persecution and the impact of the legacy.

Quite simply, there was no connection between my life and the lives of the people who were the victims of the Holocaust. Then I met Janina.

Janina Fishler was 11 years old when,alongside her brother Joseph, she jumped down through a manhole cover to escape the final liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. And now, seventy-two years later, our lives converged as I listened to her tell her incredible and haunting story at a conference in Birmingham. I’m not sure that she knew as she told her story that the impact it would have on me would resonate to such an extent that I would never be able to let her memory go.

The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 is ‘keeping the memory alive’. To learn lessons from the past so that we can create a safer and better future; to learn from survivors whilst they are still with us and to consider our responsibilities for using and transmitting those memories. It asks us to challenge the relationship between history and the present, and to use the memories and stories from survivors to forge change Within ourselves and our communities.

The first time I met Janina, was at a police trainers’ conference where the theme was hate crime. It’s rare that cops have nothing to say, but on this occasion the only noise was that of complete and utter silence as we listened, captivated by her story.

Janina is a beautiful and effortlessly elegant woman. When she speaks you are captured by her humility and poise in the face of unbearable memories. There is little about her to suggest the horrors that she bore witness to. She spoke for about two hours with astonishing lyrical ease, relaying the depravity and desperation of her life during the holocaust. She was 11 years old when her entire family was ‘relocated’ from their three story town house on the outskirts of Krakow, into the ghetto and one room which was shared with four other families. She described the panic, the subtle clues at every turn given to them by the Nazis of the fate that would befall them, the hunger, the fear, the destitution, and the silence when people disappeared from the ghetto with the realisation that they would never be seen again.

She spoke without pausing and I knew that every other person in the room must be going through the same experience, which was the desire to reach out to Janina, and the wish that they could have done something. Then her voice slowed and broke very slightly as she described the moment when the Nazis ordered her little brother, mother, father and grandparents to form one straight line outside their accommodation. She remembered vividly and recalled painfully, the uniforms worn by the Nazis. The pearl white gloves, perfect silver buttons and glistening black boots. She hid under,the floor as her family were very neatly put in line. She never saw any of them again.

When she stopped talking, the holocaust was no longer something that was removed and distant. It had lodged itself right in the centre of my life in the form of a relationship with a survivor.

After that initial experience, our friendship developed and Janina offered me the opportunity to travel with her to Krakow. She returns every year to lay flowers in the memorial square and on one of these trips I accompanied her.

Janina took me on a journey to what was the ghetto, located in the industrial north part of Krakow, a place which holds so many unbearable memories for her. She showed me the one room accommodation where she last saw her family; the road along which they were led away; the small remaining section of the ghetto wall with its crenulated structure — the Nazis built the wall this way as it resembled a Jewish grave stone, to act as a clue to those within the ghetto of what lay ahead; she showed me the point where her older brother Joseph was put on a deportation train heading to Auschwitz and I listened to the story of how he jumped out of the train window and made his way back across occupied Krakow to the ghetto, so that he could look after his little sister.

She described how on the 13th March 1943, the Nazis conducted the final liquidation of the ghetto. “Liquidation’ was the name used by the Nazis to describe the process of shrinking the ghetto, always beginning very early in the morning with completely random selection of victims who would board trains to the east. She came out onto the street with her brother and both were sucked into the panic-stricken human tide, the shooting into the crowd had begun and for Janina and Joseph the options were to die on that street, or a deportation train to death camps in the east.

As Janine told me this part of her story, she suddenly stopped walking and pointed to a man-hole cover, the very man-hole cover which was to provide safety and ultimately survival. Janina and her brother escaped the final liquidation by jumping down into the sewer where they survived for weeks before escaping Krakow and heading for the relative safety of Switzerland. They walked across the Alps alone and were eventually rescued and given refuge in England.

To stand at that man-hole cover with Janina and listen to her story is an experience that will stay with me forever. Not just to listen to it, but to be consumed by it. To share this visceral journey with a woman who has seen as her duty for so many years to pass on this warning from history. That moment had forged change deep within me. I returned to Krakow with Janina few more times but at 90 she no longer makes the journey. So instead I peak to her by telephone and, whenever I do, she always reminds me that he is, in her words ‘just a silly old woman’.

Janina went on to write a book about her story ‘Have you seen my little sister’; she became a teacher and married and has two children. She rarely talks about her experiences now and never to her children; she says that her pain must end with her.

The gift of my friendship with Janina brings great responsibility: the duty to carry her legacy and connect with her memory so that it cannot be diminished with the passing of time. Having a personal connection with a holocaust survivor is undoubtedly one of the greatest privileges of my life.

It’s easy to get lost in history, in the scale of the killing, and the search for meaning in the present. That’s why people like Janina are so important. Her story moves us to be aware of the language of hatred, the mechanisms of dehumanisation, and to do something. The hope lies with us.

PC Jo Melen


“The Cwmbran station in the early 1980s was literally split down the middle in rugby terms, with half of the officers supporting Newport and the other half supporting Pontypool. Luckily, both my shift Sgt and the Inspector, Roger Tuck, were Pontypool supporters.

The banter in the station was ‘in your face’ and it could be provocative; it became a part Of your motivation, knowing that walking into the station after the game with a victory would make life so much easier.

Roger Tuck lives in New Inn and has now retired from the force. He was at the core of a large segment of Pontypool supporters who used to meet at the Rising Sun in New Inn. In his retirement, he has become a landscape painter, drawing attention to many areas of natural beauty in and around Pontypool.

Roger would adopt typically canny Pontypool-type practices to bring felons to justice. To give one example, I recall an occasion when we caught a bloke who we all knew had been responsible for a series of burglaries in Cwmbran. The problem was that there was little apart from circumstantial evidence available. We needed a confession before we were obliged to take him off the hook and throw him back in the water. CID had interviewed him and there was no positive result. Time was running out and he would soon have to be bailed and released

Roger got wind of this and knocked heads with me. It turned out that he had come out with a cunning plan. Our ‘silent’ burglar was locked in cell 3. He was well able to hear what was going on in the long corridor which ran alongside the eight cells at Cwmbran station. There was a ‘peek’ hatch that was not big enough to put your head through and see out — so I grabbed hold of Roger in the charge room and he started shouting and bawling, making all kinds of noise and protestation. He then started slapping the walls of the corridor, shouting “No Stop …. Nooo.. argh… let me go . Ugh you b****ds! This is police brutality!” He grabbed hold of the door to Cell 2 and slammed it back and forth a couple of times before collapsing on the floor still moaning and groaning.

“Let that be a lesson!” I shouted harshly, slamming a door shut. I stood patiently at the end of the corridor and listened to the bravura performance that was to follow.

Roger continued to moan to the extent that the man in cell 3 became concerned.

“You all right mate? What have they done to you?” His face was pressed up flat against the peek hatch.

“Orgh, argh Then came a quiet gasping; “My ribs… I think theyre broken… Argh”

“The b***ds”

“Yes, the b***ds!” Roger repeated, hammering the final nail in the coffin of the unsuspecting inmate of Cell 3. Confident that he had established the necessary rapport, Roger then asked quietly “What are you in for “I’ve done over a load of houses in Thornhill, but they haven’t got anything on me. The stash is in a lock-up and they’ve got f* ** all out of me in interview”

Roger straightened up and walked to the door of cell 3 where he introduced himself “Hello, I’m Roger Tuck, Chief inspector” He calmly introduced the custody sergeant who had just recorded the previous conversation. The bloke was so stunned, he ‘sang like a canary’, his confession to some 20 offences flooded out of him and soon after, a garage full of stolen property was recovered.

Ex Ps Alun Carter

[An extract from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — The rise and fall of Pontypool RFC’ by Nick Bishop & Alun Carter]


I have just finished reading a book about the Liverpool City Police in the 1920s and 1930s. It was obvious that my service in the Newport Borough Police in the 1950s was more akin to those days than today’s world of policing.

It only struck me recently that I joined The Borough 61 years ago aged nineteen, and that probably the majority of those I served with are no longer alive, so no wonder I felt a greater affinity with the Bobbies who served in the 1920s/30s although they had a harsher discipline regime.

I had heard of the General Police Strike of 1919, mainly in the Mets., but was not aware, until I read the book, that in 1920 almost the whole of the Liverpool City Police went on strike. Their cause was very low pay- less than that of a farm worker- excessively harsh discipline, corruption in the higher ranks and gross favouritism when it came to promotions. The criminal classes, as Scousers do, took full advantage of the situation and a naval vessel was positioned in the River Mersey possibly with a view to shelling parts of the city if rioting became severe. Troops were also brought in to control the streets. When the strike petered out over 1,000 constables were dismissed.

In 1955 we had only one Rest Day a week and it was several years before a fourth day, known as an Additional Rest Day, was granted. If we were lucky that A.R.D. would be tacked on to a Rest Day giving us the pleasure of two whole days off duty. We walked the beat and had four meeting points each shift with the relief Sergeant and were expected to ring in regularly to the H.Q, switchboard where where our ring in times were logged. Walking the Beat was almost mandatory and I was rebuked by the shift Inspector for using my bicycle after refreshments on a night shift on what was a very long patrol stretch of Shaftesbury Street and Malpas Road “Beats are for walking not cycling” I was told firmly. Gossiping on the Beat with another Officer was considered a heinous offence. About 4.00 one morning I made my way down Commercial Street to its junction with Hill Street and had a short conversation across the width of Hill Street with the Bobby on the next Beat – I think Graham Turner. The night Inspector Bob Allen saw us and put us on a “fizzer”. We were fined 2/6d each. My only disciplinary offence.

Rattling door handles at night to check for insecure premises was a must and was required before and after refreshments. The key holder would be logged at the station and we would have to hang about at the premises until they arrived and locked the front door. On one occasion having gone off nights  I was awaken from my deep sleep at about 8.30 am. by a traffic driver at the door. The early turn man on my Beat had found a premises insecure, reported it and I was now required to confirm what times I had checked it. Fortunately I was busily involved with prisoners that shift so was excused any responsibility. Needless to say I had harsh words to say to the idiot next time I saw him.

Residents going on holiday would pass their details to the station and the Beat Officer, on the three shifts, would be required to check the empty house, note the time in his pocket book and also record it on the “unoccupied premises” register in the station. Saturday day shifts in Newport Town Centre often resulted in a “lost child” being brought to our attention. If the parent was not readily found the child would be taken to the police station at the back of the Old Town Hall; then unoccupied it still had a small office, toilet and telephone,  and we would keep the child amused, usually with sweets, until the worried parent had been traced.

On one occasion I tried to pass the child off to one of the Borough`s six policewomen. I was told quite firmly that she was unmarried, disliked children and, as a father of three, I was better equipped to deal with a crying youngster than she. Our policewomen, under Sergeant Clarice Elizabeth Preece, spent most of their duty time involved with women and children but did walk the streets when not otherwise engaged. They finished duty at midnight and were taken home by the night traffic car with one being on call throughout the night if required. At that time they received only 75% of a male officers pay. The lovely Sheila Graham made history in the Borough being appointed the first female Detective Constable when I was a Detective Inspector. I recall her being involved in searching two Cardiff prostitutes who had stolen a number of rings from a display pad in a High Street jewellers. Already searched by a uniform W.P.C. without result, Sheila found them secreted in a place where such items are not normally found.

Found Property could be a damned nuisance. We had one very eccentric lady who lived in Gold Tops then a good class dwelling area at the back of the Civic Centre. Dressed in Edwardian clothing complete with ankle length skirt and cloche hat she would frequently be seen in the town centre. It was said that she came from a wealthy shipping family and her fiance had been killed in the First World War; as a result she had suffered mentally. She would approach the Beat Officer and hand him a postage stamp or a 3d piece claiming to have found it. When I first met her I tried, to no avail, to persuade her to keep the alleged find. The property and her details would be written in the pocket book and the property handed in at the station. Here she was well known. After three months she would be sent a batch of letters from H.Q, asking her to come in and collect the of course unclaimed property. She always reported and then signed away any rights to her “find”. A very sad, elderly lady. Some years later, as a result of a call from neighbours, police officers broke into her home and found her dead. She lived in terrible squalor and hundreds of newspaper parcels of excrement were scattered throughout the house.

In the late 1950s we were poorly paid. Pay Day was on a Thursday and in a pay packet. The packets were made up by a number of policemen in Admin which was then considered a plum posting with regular day shift hours and no weekend duties. It was not unusual for night duty, or off duty men to walk or cycle to the Civic Centre on the Thursday afternoon to collect their pay instead of waiting until they reported for their shift as bills had to be paid.

Few policemen had cars although I recall Jim Young being the exception. Constables, Sergeants and Inspectors either cycled or used public transport. My first bike was a 28″ Raleigh with dynamo hub lighting and Sturmey Archer 3 speed for which I paid Goff Prosser, a local cycle shop, the princely sum of 6 shillings a week. It was much admired by my shift companions as if, today, I had reported for work in a Porsche.

Newport County played at Somerton Park where there was also a weekly dog track meeting. Newport Rugby Team played, as they still do at Rodney Parade. Each of these three sporting meetings required the attendance of ONE policeman on Special Duty; that is undertaken in our own time. The roster was compiled by the Admin Office and, if we were lucky enough to come up on the list, we rang in from the nearest police pillar as we arrived and again when we left. The Special Duty money which I think was around 30/- shillings, was almost 20% of our weekly salary and a welcome addition to the housekeeping budget.

There were only two river crossings across the Usk. One at the Transporter Bridge with limited car loading and the other from the Old Green to Clarence Place where, as a youngster, I can recall an Officer being on permanent point duty standing in a covered stand near the cenotaph. Even in those far off days traffic at peak hours was very congested and it was decided to form a permanent point duty squad under the direction of Sergeant Jack Kelly to keep the traffic moving through the town. Ron Vaughan, Terry Blake, Howard Mathews and myself were among the officers “selected” with others from “B” division being based in Clarence Place. The Old Green traffic lights were switched off and an Officer controlled traffic in the middle of the five junction Old Green with another point at the junction of Mill street and Shaftesbury Street. If the weather was dry we wore white traffic sleeves and gloves. If wet a nasty, stiff, white plastic raincoat. Not the most popular of duties I have had, although the day time hours were welcome. I had not joined to wave my arms at motor vehicles and the amount of fumes we inhaled would have the present day Health and Safety lobby in a tizz.

Jack Kelly was a wonderful Sergeant and allowed us frequent tea breaks in Newport Market – absolutely against regulations of course- and did much to keep up our morale. I think it was the sheer monotony of that duty that led me to apply for and secure an appointment as a Patrol Inspector in the Bechaunaland Mounted Police where I spent three interesting years before returning to The Borough. Looking back I wonder how little those early days of my police career differed from the policemen walking the streets several decades earlier.

Charles Nunn


December 2014

1st £1000 = Pc 510 Jennie Tinsley

2nd £100 = Mr John Pavett (Retired)

3rd £50 = Mr Cedric Eynon (Retired)

January 2014

1st – £200 Pc 974 Catherine Hughes Gardner (Monmouth)

2nd £100 = Pc 1420 Leighton Edwards (Maindee)

3rd £50 = Insp Kevin Warren (Alway)

February 2014

1st £200 = Pc 956 Michael Ashcroft (Caerphilly)

2nd £100 = D/I Mark Johnson (OCU)

3rd £50 = Mr Terry Osment (Retired)

March 2014

1st £200 = Pc 1379 Christopher Thomas (Pontypool)

2nd £100 = CO Selina Hayward (Monmouth)

3rd £50 = Pc 2061 Philip Williams (Caldicot)


No 33 FEBRUARY 2015


Dates for your Diary

Spring Committee meeting – Islwyn Social Club Wed 29th April 2015 at 7pm. (Note change of date)


Coach Trip – this has been booked for Wed 24th June and will again visit the Gower and Swansea with an evening meal at Porthcawl.  Stella will be taking bookings in early May.

Hog Roast – Hog roast & social evening to be held at Usk Conservative Club on Friday 21st August.  Contact Dave Moses re tickets


The Annual Prize Draw was held at Islwyn Social Club on Wed 26th November 2014. The Newport Philharmonic Choir entertained us with carols and all enjoyed an excellent buffet, provided by our host, Karen Gibbs.

The prize-winners were as follows:

1st Prize –      £250    Paul Harris

2nd Prize –     £100    Fred Wyer

3rd Prize –      £75      Ken le Prevost

4th Prize –      £60      Richard Boyt

5th Prize –      £50      Colin Hart

6th Prize –      £40      John Davey

Morels Luncheon

Another excellent luncheon was enjoyed by members at Morels Restaurant, Crosskeys on Thursday 11th December. More visits are planned for the New Year.  Contact Chairman Dave Moses for bookings.


Former PC 334 John Rice Thomas YATES, aged 74 passed away on 18th October.  John was a scenes of crime officer in Abertillery, when he retired 25 years ago.  He is survived by 3 sons. His funeral was on October 31st at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, Abertillery, followed by cremation at  Gwent Crematorium.

Former Detective Inspector Idris ROGERS passed away peacefully in his sleep on 17th November 2014 in Ontario, Canada.  He did not wish to have a funeral service but was cremated privately on Friday 21st November. Idris is survived by his wife, Sue.

Former Pc 616 Paul GWYN passed away on 15th December 2014. He is survived by his wife, Gill. His funeral was on Tuesday 23rd December at Llanwenarth Baptist Chapel, Govilon.

Former Inspector Jeffrey EVANS passed away on 17th December 2014.  Jeffrey was working  for  Gwent Police in the Joint Scientific Unit in South Wales. He was formerly an Inspector working in Abertillery and before retiring, in the Communication Suite.  His funeral was on Tuesday the 6th January 2015 at the Holy Trinity Church in Ystrad Mynach followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff.

Former Sgt Alexander (Alex) SMITH has passed away on Friday 19th Dec. He is survived by his son Robert. Alex began his service in Abertillery, then moved to Ebbw vale, where he was made a PS. Alex ended his service at Brynmawr during the 1980’s. His funeral was on Monday 12th January at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Constable 213 Raymond Cyril HILL, 87 yrs. of age has passed away on Saturday 10th January 2015. He is survived by his by wife Audrey, daughters Susan and Veronica. Ray completed 30 years of service working mainly on traffic.  The funeral was on Friday 23rd January at St Mary’s Church Abergavenny, followed by burial at Abergavenny Cemetery.

Former Chief Inspector William John WILLIAMS 74 years, passed away on 1st February 2015. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy. John initially retired when he was 51 years old and then worked as a member of staff at H.Q in financial investigations until his retirement at 65 years old. His funeral will be held at Gwent Crematorium on 23rd February at 3.30pm

Former Inspector David George William LURVEY passed away on Sunday 8th February 2015 after being ill for a number of years. He is survived by his wife Valerie, 4 daughters and 1 son. David joined Gwent police in 1951 and worked as a Sgt in Bed was/Machen before being promoted to Inspector. He worked in the Police Training College and retired in 1984. His funeral will be on 3rd March 2015 at St Gabriels Church, Old Cwmbran followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium..





Budapest-born, Detroit-raised, he was the most famous magician who ever slipped free of a straight-jacket; the king of escapology whose name became synonymous with mystifying sleights of hand and death-defying stunts; but what’s less known about Harry Houdini – the 140th anniversary of whose birth took place this year – was his love of Newport, where he performed some of his most spectacular feats and even got himself arrested in the process.  Houdini loved Newport and Newport loved him. In fact, he liked it here so much that he chose The Lyceum Theatre, which was the biggest venue in Wales back then, as a the place to kick off his very first international tour in 1905 and it was that tour which made him an international superstar, because when he returned home to the States afterwards he was greeted like a conquering hero – a new-found status which could have something to with a particular stunt which ended up making newspaper headlines all across the UK.

He challenged the Newport police to lock him up in their cells, something which drew a huge crowd of spectators outside the station. Houdini then stripped, leaving his clothes in one cell before entering another completely naked.

Both doors were then locked behind him as officers, dignitaries and reporters all waited with bated breath down the other end of the jail house corridor to see what would happen.

Much to their collective surprise – and despite numerous boasts from the chief constable about the prison’s impenetrability – Houdini miraculously emerged fully clothed three and a half minutes later. It really rubbed the police’s noses in it, an antagonism that would escalate eight years later when Houdini made a return visit to South Wales.

In March 1913 he announced in the local press that he was going to jump handcuffed from Newport bridge and, while submerged in the River Usk, free himself of his shackles.  The police then put a response in the paper stating that if he tried anything of that nature they’d have him for it – and it went on like that, back and forth, until, come the big day, thousands flocked to Newport Bridge to see Houdini make his dive.

Ever the illusionist, however, he first sent a car along containing a look-alike in swimming costume, and while the police were busy dealing with the impostor, Houdini climbed up onto one of the bridge’s buttresses and leapt into water below. He resurfaced, free of his chains, further down river and swam to a nearby waiting boat, having suffered only a broken toe from his fall.

It had been a stunt too far for the local constabulary though; Houdini was summonsed to appear before a magistrate for various charges such as obstructing a public highway. The police wanted very badly to get back at him for showing them up previously, but the case was eventually dismissed and Houdini walked free without so much as paying a fine.

He became a part of the English language – to this day we use the phrase ‘to do a Houdini’ to describe someone who manages gets out of a tight spot. You just can’t get much more famous than that.

Paul Walks Wales  – The Final Steps

Day 40

Day 39: Saturday 2nd August 2014

A very early start with a  drive to Ferryside, a 45 minute delay at the train station and then a train to Carmarthen to meet up with Shane Williams, Detective Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police. He drove us to our start point at Llansteffan. As we both looked across the estuary, we could visualize a fifteen minute walk to Ferryside but neither of us had the ability to navigate the water and a long days walk awaited.

The walk took us into the countryside and the heat and conditions combined to invigorate the horse flies, who feasted on Shane’s legs (I did warn him to wear trousers!). Despite losing our way slightly and hurdling barbed wire fencing, we continued on our trek towards Carmarthen. We stopped at a family farm and enjoyed a cup of tea, lunch and shelter as the only rain cloud of the day passed by with anger.

Upon arriving at Carmarthen we crossed the bridge and headed south, along lanes and countryside, towards Ferryside. At one point we entered a field of 30 cows, 29 started to move away but one decided to front us up, kick a hoof and head in our direction. The other 29 clearly regained their confidence and anger at us entering their ‘manor’. The ‘gate hurdling’ competition was won by Dyfed Powys Police, Gwent Police taking a very close second and 30 cattle an even closer joint third place! We modified our route through other fields and eventually picked the route to Ferryside and a well deserved pint!

Day 40: Sunday 3rd August 2014

Made it to Pembrey enroute to Llanelli with DCS Simon Powell. I dropped my car off at Llanelli and caught the train back to Ferryside to join Simon Powell, Detective Chief Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police. It was a very hot day but the walk was flat and hugged the coastline as we walked around the headland and into Pembrey Forest.  The Forest Walk took us onto the magnificent Pembrey Sands. Conversation never stopped and neither did the walking as we followed the cycle path route through Burry Port and headed to Llanelli. The route followed the Millennium Path and brought us next to the Eisteddfod. We both felt like we had reached the finish but it was a few more miles before we arrived at the train station and it was really tough going.

Day 41

Day 41: Saturday 9th August 2014

With a 5am alarm and a long drive to Llanrhidian in North Gower, I managed to catch the 7.41 am bus to Gowerton.  I spoke with the bus driver and an accompanying bus Inspector to confirm a drop off in Gowerton. I sat during the journey and was entertained by their banter and conversation. The entertainment fell flat when the Inspector announced that I had missed the stop, he couldn’t return and apologised for causing me to miss my train at Gowerton! I had to stay on the bus until Swansea and walk to that train station. I got my ticket to Llanelli and was directed by the staff to wait at platform 4 for the next train. Fantastic advice when I saw the Llanelli train departing from Platform 1! Pulling what little hair I had left, I finally sat down on the right train, disgruntled, grumpy and tired. I glanced at the ‘Justgiving’ website page and saw a fantastic donation and comments from Colin Thomas, a Police Sergeant from Gwent Police which gave me a real boost for the day – Thanks Colin!

From alarm to my first foot on the Coastal Path took 5 hours but I was ready for the challenge. The walk from Llanelli travels through the Millennium Coastal Park with lakes, coastal views and a lot of wildlife. It was a lovely walk and crossing the bridge over the River Loughor signalled the end of my walk in the Dyfed Powys Police area – stunning views and great people. I entered the South Wales Police area, having already received a Yorkie and full support from Chief Constable Peter Vaughan. The route took me to Gowerton (got there eventually!) and borders the Marshland all the way through Pen-clawdd, Crofty and along the Llanrhidian Marshland to my destination.

Day 41 a

Day 42: Sunday 10th August 2014

The thunder and lightning woke me at 6am as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha travelled past. I drove to Port Eynon, dropped the car off and caught the bus back to Llanrhidian.

The bus ride was long and eventful with appalling downpours and cars blocking routes but eventually at 11.30 am, I set off from Llanrhidian. The walk was through the countryside before the pleasures of Whiteford Sands, Broughton Bay and Llangennith came into view. The weather was bright and sunny and the views were fantastic. The beach walk from Llangennith was two miles and I turned inland and through a campsite. Some of the tents had clearly lost the overnight battle with the elements.

I arrived at Rhossilli with the prominence of Worms Head before me. It was very windy and made the walk around this area a bit more challenging. I then followed the headland around and walked the very quiet but rugged route all the way to Port Eynon.  This stretch was the first time that I saw England on this walk since I walked along the River Dee in January and I started to realise that the end is getting closer – thankfully. I arrived in Port Eynon early evening and was pleased to be driving home.

Day 42a Day 42

Day 43: Friday 15th August 2014

I managed to get a lift from friends Richard, Helen and young Thom from Gwent to Port Eynon (Via McDonalds). Another great day for walking, and off I set around the headland of Oxwich Point and along the dunes of Oxwich Bay. The good weather and weekend had attracted a load of people taking advantage of the beach. Dune walking is very tiring and strips away your energy levels. Nevertheless before long I had entered the magnificent setting of Three Cliffs Bay, a monumental feature of the Gower. The plod continued with a route that hugs the headland as I passed through Caswell Bay and Langland Bay.

The lighthouse at the end of the Mumbles was a useful target and after another full days walk arrived at the Mumbles meeting up with Rachael and the boys.

Day 43

Day 44: Sunday 17th August 2014

Richard kindly dropped me off at the Mumbles to start my final day’s walk in August. The weather was variable and I spent some time dashing for cover as I walked along the promenade route through Black Pill to Swansea Marina. It was a journey of reminiscing, as I had three memorable years in Swansea.

I grabbed food and drink at a supermarket and followed the route away from Swansea towards the M4 motorway.

The route was very pleasant along waterways with the peace being broken regularly with the sound of motocross engines and young Evil Knievels … I crossed the bridge over the River Neath and the route brought me back to Aberavon Sands. The walk along the beach and promenade was windy and interesting. With the view towards the Mumbles, you see huge investment on the promenade and a beautiful beach stretching into Swansea…. you turn 180 degrees around and are faced with Port Talbot Steel Works. The walk took me alongside a residential area and I couldn’t help my unease when I passed an air quality monitoring station. I finally arrived at the train station for my journey home.

Day 44

Day 45: Saturday 13th September 2014

Day 45

Another early start and train journey to Port Talbot. I was joined on the train by Jeremy – a friend of 25 years. The scenery at the start was dominated by industry and housing estates. With a walking partner standing at 6’8″ tall and the stride of a giraffe, I knew my work would be cut out today.  The route opened up into dunes as we walked near Kenfig, but whilst the scenery improved, the sand walking was more challenging. By lunchtime we had arrived at Porthcawl and with the good weather, the place was busy and vibrant. Fuelled up with chips and the obligatory ice cream, we continued our trudge to Ogmore.

Day 45a

Our hopes to cross the river were dashed when we saw it and we drifted inland to cross at a bridge. The scenery along this stretch of the coast was excellent and we finally reached the lighthouse at Nash Point to meet our friend Simon with the prospect of an evening curry and alcohol celebrations.

Day 46: Sunday 14th September 2014

After a full cooked breakfast, Jeremy and I set off from the lighthouse for a very scenic walk via St Donats to Llantwit Major. We had a cup of coffee and then parted company as I continued on the route alone.

The headland route took me all the way to Aberthaw Power Station, but it was difficult walking across the pebbles and rough ground. The scenery lightened as I approached Rhoose, with forestry and good cliff walking.

The day was sunny and Porthkerry Country Park was packed with people enjoying the day. I arrived at Barry and after a circuitous route around a lively Barry Island I managed to just make my train home.

Day 46

Day 47: Saturday 4th October 2014

I met with Paul Symes (Retired ACC) at McDonalds in Newport to fuel up for the day and then drove to Cardiff to catch the bus to Barry. We were joined by Amy Jones – a PhD student from Swansea University who was studying the All Wales Coastal Path and wanted to interview me about my experience.

We set off from Barry and walked a route through the Docks until we eventually found a more scenic view along the coast. The conversation flowed and Amy cleverly interjected with a few questions as she busily tried to write down the answers. The weather was good and the route took us to Swanbridge where we lunched as the tide came in to cut Sully island off from the mainland. The day got hotter as we walked to Penarth and the obligatory ice cream was devoured with pleasure.

The route from Penarth Pier climbed into residential areas and weaved through until we broke through into Cardiff Bay. The stroll across the barrage was alive with people and the breeze picked up across the Bay. Our ventures took us into Atlantic Wharf and as we bid farewell to our academic colleague, Paul and I drifted to the end and a well-deserved pint.

Day 46a

Day 48: Sunday 5th October 2014

Day 47

At 8.40, I looked around at the thousands of competitors lined up for the Cardiff Half Marathon. Huw Rees (Chief Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police) was a friendly face in the crowd and it was good to see my Machynlleth to Borth walking partner.  I squeezed into the masses with a full pack on, boots at the ready and walking sticks poised as the 9am firing gun was sounded and away we went.

I started with a gentle jog and felt relatively comfortable, despite being overtaken by a runner carrying a Childs Play House! At a steady pace I was overtaken by Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman – but that would be expected with their super-human powers. I was soon crossing the Cardiff Barrage and arriving at the 5 mile point – I had by now settled into a sociable pace. The crowd were tremendous as we went through Cardiff Bay and Atlantic Wharf and the entertainment and support was electric. By the 10 mile point and the long haul around Roath Park Lake – it was now getting a challenge to run, particularly when a camera crew and reporter started interviewing me!

I had aimed to complete the event in 3-3.5 hours and couldn’t help the competitive edge drift in as I clocked my progress – finally crossing the line at 2:59:03. For me though, this was half time and after a light lunch and re-adjustment of the kit – I set off on the 11 mile walk to Light House Park in Newport. Whilst it was nice to pick up the coast again, my body felt like it had aged a little since breakfast. The weather held out and I followed the route past Peterstone and along the coastal embankment; arriving at the Lighthouse Inn at 6pm in a bit of a state.

Day 47a

Day 49: Saturday 11th October 2014

Rachael dropped myself, Lyn Hawker (Detective Inspector), Lilly the Hound and Ziggy the Labradoodle off to start our days trek. The walk followed the embankment to West Usk Lighthouse and then drifted inland near Duffryn and towards Newport Industrial Estate. We paused for an early lunch at a take away and strolled on towards Newport Transporter bridge which towered above our heads. The bridge was closed and we walked across the SDR bridge and around, adding some time to our day.

The route took us across fields and a field full of cattle – a regular occupational hazard with walking. On this occasion, Lyn who was brought up on a farm, told me that these were bullocks and demonstrated a loud and exuberant method to frighten them away and clear the path. The cattle stood still and looked unamused, so we walked around the field and avoided any confrontation!

We arrived at Nash and looking up at a very dark sky, decided we would have a short break in the shelter of a children’s playground. Within a minute, a loud thunderstorm and lightening shower came across and dumped a significant amount of the Atlantic on the area in a short space of time. The storm was fierce but only lasted 10 minutes and then we continued in glorious weather to the Wetlands and picked the Sea Wall route to Redwick – Ziggy was tiring but Lilly could have walked forever. As the sun started to fade, we trudged through a lane of silage and arrived at the Rose Inn at Redwick for a celebratory pint, kindly bought by my eldest, Sam.

Day 48

Day 50: Sunday 12th October 2014  11am and back at the pub with Ian Roberts (Detective Superintendent) and Ieaun Watkins (Detective Sergeant) to start the final day. The walk to the coastal path was literally through silage and I could see them questioning what was ahead of them. Back on the sea wall we picked up a good pace and enjoyed the dry weather. The Second Severn Crossing was covered in fog but was a great marker to gauge progress. As we cut inland to avoid a firing range, we crossed the M4. I looked ahead to see three full police vans parked up and thought – ‘What a reception committee!’… only to find out that they were poised waiting for deployment for protesting.

The route hugged the M4 and then crossed back to pick up the seawall route. We stopped at the Second Severn Crossing for lunch. Ian had started to complain about his aches and pains from weight training, whilst Ieuan and I got stuck into the biscuits. We walked under the bridge and across country fields, golf courses, villages and eventually found ourselves at the edge of Chepstow. A drift through the town and I finally made it to the finish to be met by a reception committee of Family, Friends and Colleagues. It was a real feeling of excitement and relief at finishing the 870 mile route. We didn’t waste too much time before we were in the pub rolling out the stories.

Day 49

A big thank you to Rachael (who really made it all happen!), Joe, Helen, Rich, Thom, Paul (Deputy PCC), Ian, Ieuan and not forgetting Paul Duggan (CSO from North Wales Police) who were at the finish. Paul Duggan was tremendous help throughout the journey and a credit to his Force. I received a lovely wooden replica of the Coastal Path sign from the family and a kind present from Paul Duggan with a North Wales mug and wooden housing.

Most importantly, was the smile on my face when I checked the Just Giving site and saw the total reach £2,830 for COPS – a very big thank you to the 136 people who have donated and a slight nudge to those who have promised.


 Roger Tuck painting

Former Inspector Roger TUCK turned amateur painter made Christmas extra special for an American couple after painting a scene of a Blaenavon church for them.

Roger received an email from Robin Campbell, of Columbus in Ohio, who said she had seen a painting produced by Mr Tuck while visiting St Peter’s Church in Blaenavon with her husband, Joel.  She requested a print of the original, but this could not be done with the painting blessed to be hung in the church. Instead, Mr Tuck painted her another and posted it to America, so that Mrs Campbell could present it to her husband on Christmas Day as a memento of their visit.

The couple spent September in Wales visiting ancestral sites, including St Peters, where the Roderick side of Mr Campbell’s family is buried. Roger had previously lived in Blaenavon, after being posted there as a detective in 1968. He took up painting about five years after his retirement at the age of 46.  After being contacted by Mrs Campbell, Mr Tuck took four hours sketching the scene and adding to the paint.

After opening his Christmas gift, Mrs Campbell said that her husband ‘put his face in his hands and wept, as he was so touched by the sentiment. “I feel wonderful about it, as it has given so much joy which is what Christmas is about,” Mr Tuck added.


Centenary Commemoration of GHULEVELDT 31ST Oct 1914-2014

 Welsh Memorial 2

The whole idea had been the brain-child of Dennis Pitman who together with John Coleman, Branch President, attended a meeting at Haigh House, London in 2012.  Here they met with sixteen other Regimental Associations and it was agreed that visits to the Battlefields would be organised.  Following that meeting, Blackwood branch liaised with  Harris Coaches, Fleur-de-lis; the staff at Ghuleveldt town hall and the relevant museums and the owners of the Chateau to set the ball rolling.  Meanwhile, Blackwood members and other interested parties began preparations for the forthcoming event and a lottery grant was obtained along with gifts from the Regimental Association, making it possible for some of the pensioners to consider coming.

The preparations completed, 23rd October arrived and the bus load of fifty persons departed Blackwood for the Dover/ Calais ferry en route to the hotel at Lille.

After our arrival at Lille we were joined for evening dinner by our long- time friend and associate, Johan Claerhout (based at Poperinge), who had arranged lunchtime meals and was to be our guide throughout.  Johan met us on Friday morning and we set off on a tour of all the area including such places as Hell Fire Corner, the Menin Road, and Hooch Crater.  We also felt that it was appropriate to visit the German Cemetery at Langmark, a very cold and dark place, not as well tended as ours.  The area was full of like-minded people, both young and old, on the same pilgrimage.  This tour served to bring to life the terrible conditions under which our troops fought, for although we experienced excellent weather, any dampness underfoot demonstrated the clay-like conditions which could quickly turn into thick mud.   Our guide, being a local man with an in depth knowledge of The Great War, was able to take us to all the relevant areas and to demonstrate how the terrain dictated the way the battles were fought.

The following day, BBC Wales (Abigail Neale) had asked to interview Dennis Pitman and Col.Henry Cadogan at Ypres. When this was accomplished, the Comrades went on to TocH, where there was a tour of the premises with Monique.  It was an   insight not only into the terrible conditions suffered by our brave forebears, but into the humanity of Tubby Clayton and his staff who recognised their plight and provided an island of calm amongst the mayhem of the Front. We visited the newly arranged Passchendale Museum where BBC TV WALES met us and broadcast the presentation of the book containing the names of many men of the Blackwood area who fell in the conflict.  This book was devised by Bill Baber of our local British Legion Branch and will be on permanent display at the Museum. On then, to the Dragon Memorial where, along with a small group from Neath, wreaths and crosses were laid and the National Anthem was sung, then to Tyne cote and its poignant rows of white stones.  The day’s events culminated at Menin Gate at Ypres.  The town was alive with people waiting for the eight o’clock event.  The Band of the Horse guards and a platoon of men marched to the Gate and a service took place where wreaths of poppies were laid.  The Branch was represented by Dennis Pitman (S.W.B)   Colour Sgt. Paul Marsh of the Royal Welsh and Deri Hughes representing the Welsh Regiment.  This proved a very emotive ceremony and was attended by all ages and creeds.

Sunday saw us at Zonnebeke, again met by Johan.  A service was held to unveil the new Memorial with the Household Cavalry Band and troops of the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards; then on to Zandvoorde for the unveiling of the new memorial to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, by the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier Napier and the Colour Party of the 1st Royal Welsh.

Later at Ghuleveldt village, representations were made by S.W.B and Welsh Regiment at another Memorial Service along with, again, The Household Cavalry Band.  Lunch was provided by the Regiment at Passchendale, after which we returned  via  the chateau, where we had permission from the new owners to have photographs taken in the  grounds.  A poppy wreath was laid at the gates.

Johan, throughout all this time, was a mine of information regarding the surrounding countryside and all relevant points of interest.  At this juncture, he said his goodbyes and we went back to our hotel at Tourcoing where we relaxed and socialised over dinner.   This was truly an unforgettable experience for all involved; it ran very smoothly and everybody came home the next day, feeling that we had paid due respect to the fallen of the Great War.

In conclusion, there was the annual Gheluveldt dinner at Blackwood Rugby Football Club on Friday 31st October, which was attended by 125 members and guests. The Regimental Band played throughout the dinner and the guest speaker was Lt. Col. C Kilminster (Regimental Secretary) accompanied by Capt. Des Williams D.C.M from the Wrexham office and various other local dignitaries.  It was a fitting way to complete our commemorations.

Gheluvelt Chateau

Standard Bearers 3 (2)

Joanne at Ghelluvelt

 DENNIS PITMAN,  Chair, Royal Welsh Assoc.


Many of you may have seen Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ over its 64 years in the West End. It opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. It has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012.

However, what you may not know, it that the story which gave Christie the inspiration to write the play came from a real life drama which befell Terence and Dennis O’Neill, brothers from Pilgwenlly, Newport who were taken into care by ‘Social Services’ when Terry was only 5 years old.  Some four years later, Terry and Dennis, separated from their siblings, arrived at their new foster parents, the Goughs – a farming couple from Shropshire.

They worked on the farm as hard as they could and tried to be good, but the daily beatings got worse and they were so hungry until the terrible morning when Terry couldn’t wake Dennis. It was January 1945 and WWII was still ongoing, but the subsequent revelations and the trial of the Goughs shocked the nation and knocked the war off the newspaper front pages.

Agatha Christie wrote a radio play, Three Blind Mice, based on the trail and The Mousetrap is based on that play.

 ONeill boys

Pictured above is the only known photo of the O’Neill brothers – Terry, Dennis & Fred

Over 18 years, Terry subsequently wrote a book, “Someone to love us” published in 2010 by Harper & Collins (available in  paperback) He was only to discover Agatha Christie’s involvement in 2006, when one of his relations was studying the case as part of a Social Care course.  The connection has since been confirmed by relations of Christie.

Terry saw The Mousetrap for the first time in September 2010, when he presented the photograph to St. Martin’s Theatre.

 Terry O'Neill

Someone to love us” is a compelling read, which I couldn’t put down.

Terry O’Neill now lives in Bettws and is the father of the partner of one of our members, Nigel Payne]





The Highways Agency found over 200 dead crows on the M4 near Bridgend recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues, it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with lorries, while only 2% were killed by cars.
The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Lorry”


A businessman walked into a bank in Central London and asks for the loan officer. He says he is going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow £5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for such a loan, so the businessman hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of the bank.

Everything checks out, and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.  An employee drives the Rolls into the bank’s underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the man returns, repays the £5, 000 and the interest, which comes to £15. 41.

The loan officer says, “We are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled sir. While you were away on business, we checked you out and found that you are a multi-millionaire! What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow £5, 000?”

The businessman replied, “Where else in Central London can I park my car for two weeks for £15 ?


After 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife went for counselling. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the years they had been married.

On and on and on…..neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured.

Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand; he embraced and kissed her long and passionately as her husband watched – with a raised eyebrow.

The woman shut up and quietly sat down in a daze.

The therapist turned to the husband and said, “This is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you do this?”

The husband thought for a few seconds and replied, “Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish.”


All members are reminded that it will save us a great deal of money in postage and printing if we have your email address. If you receive a copy of this by mail and you have an email account, please send me an email and I can add you to the 450 members on email.        Thankyou.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.



Association Officers

PRESIDENT – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


 Dates for your Diary

Christmas Draw Night – Wed 26th Nov 2014 – Islwyn Club

We are being joined by the Newport Philharmonic Choir who will be singing carols. A Buffet will be provided.


Former Insp Andy CLEMENT has recently been involved in promoting his wife Cherie’s latest book. Her first book, ‘Hollow Awakening’, has been followed by ‘Hollow Homecoming’.  These are the first of the Mitchell’s Hollow books, based in Virginia, USA and a third is due for publication later this year.

Cherie’s web page –  includes several excellent short stories!

Cherie Clement

Cherie Clement

[My apologies to Andy and Cherie. This article was to have appeared in the August newsletter before my computer crashed. Editor]



Newport “A” Division Past RFC

With reference to the photo on the rear of the last Newsletter, my thanks to Roger Tuck for this photo –  Newport PAST team,  – who beat the Newport present team on this day in 1978.

Newport Past RFC

 How many can you name?



Annual Prize Draw


In with this newsletter, you should find a book of raffle tickets. The draw night is 26th November, so please return counterfoils and monies without delay to our Treasurer, Chis Parry, in the envelope provided. Thankyou and good luck!

This should be a very enjoyable night so come along and enjoy the carols with a free drink and lovely buffet.


Former Police Constable, Gareth John WILLIAMS, known as Gary on the 13th August 2014.  He leaves a widow, Ann.  His Funeral service was held on Tuesday 19th August 2014 at St. Mark’s Church, Llanhilleth followed by cremation at the Gwent Crematorium, Cwmbran.

Former Police Inspector Clive Roland WILLIAMS passed away on 19th August 2014. Clive served from 1953 to 1984. He is survived by his wife Margaret. His funeral service was 1st September 2014 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Pontllanfraith followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Mrs Violet Lawrence, aged 106 years passed away in August 2014 . Violet was the widow of Police Sgt William Lawrence of Newport Borough Police Force, who died in the 1980`s. Her funeral service was at Gwent Crematorium on 5th September 2014.

Former Chief Inspector Brynley PUGH passed away on 9th September 2014.  Bryn joined Monmouthshire Constabulary and served at Risca, Machen, Monmouth, Bedwas, HQ, Maindee, Cwmbran and Newport Central. His funeral was on Friday 19th September at Tovey Brothers Funeral Home Newport, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium Cwmbran.

Former Police Sergeant Brian NELMES passed away on 23rd September 2014. Brian served from 1954 to 1984 and is survived by his wife Margaret. His funeral service was on 3rd October 2014 at the Baptist Church, Usk followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Sergeant John Terence Dean FITZPATRICK passed away on 4th October 2014. John retired in 1997. He is survived by his wife Christine, their children and grandchildren. His funeral was on Friday 24th October at Gwent Crematorium

Former DCC of Stafford, Gordon JONES, QPM & ex Det Chief Supt with Gwent passed away suddenly on 14th October at Cardigan, West Wales. His funeral was on Monday 3rd November at Stafford Crematorium.  Gordon is survived by his daughter Beverley, his son Alex (both serving police officers with Staffordshire Police) and Susan his eldest daughter.


It was with a sense of shock and great sadness that I received a telephone call from Gordon`s daughter telling me that he had died suddenly only a few hours before.

I first met Gordon in 1966 when I, a Newport Borough Detective Sergeant, opened the Newport office of No.8 (Welsh) Regional Crime Squad in Pill Police station. Gordon, a Monmouthshire Traffic officer, was posted to the Squad. He came from a police family his father being a much respected Constable in Pengam, Blackwood and his brother and two sisters also joining the Job.

I hit it off immediately with this great big, strapping young man who was playing regularly for Abertillery – then a top class rugby club. For the next three years we worked closely as a team and I could not have wished for a better colleague and before long, a good friend.

Our issued vehicle was a Mini Cooper “S” – old style of course. The boot was full of multi-channel radio equipment which enabled us not only to talk directly to other R.C.S. vehicles but also to tune in to any Force wireless networks as we moved around Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom in the course of our duties. The back seat was taken up by the spare wheel, jack and wheel brace. We could only take one prisoner!

I confess that Gordon, a First Class driver, could make that little car drive like a Formula 1 machine and frequently frightened me. To see Gordon who was over 6’5″ and myself a mere 6’1″ unroll ourselves from this little car must have been a sight to behold. Totally impracticable it was swapped for a Cortina G.T.

We worked together on a number of major investigations and our methods may well not have withstood the present day scrutiny of political correctness and the I.P.C.C.

One in particular stands out and was often discussed, and laughed about, by Gordon and I in our regular telephone calls in later life.

In 1967 we received information that a team from Luton, who travelled the country blowing open safes with explosives, were looking at the safe of the National Dock Labour Board office in Alexandra Dock, Newport. In those days, the dock workers were paid in cash on each Friday and on a Thursday night, the safe contained a large sum of money. The team of four were led by a man named Peter Porter Harris who was the gelignite expert.

The enquiry went on for many months with the team driving down from Luton, parking their car on waste land near Mendalgief Road and walking across the rambling wilderness of the huge dock complex to keep observations on the movements of the British Transport police officers who policed the dock.

On two occasions we thought that the job was on and briefed over 60 police officers from the R.C.S. and now Gwent in Pill Police Station. Because of the huge expanse of dockland, if any of the criminals got out of the building they would be difficult to track down. Therefore a cordon, which included dogs and their handlers, was placed around the area and concealed in dock buildings. When the arrest team, headed by Gordon, went into the building, the cordon would move into place to contain any fleeing villains. Twice we assembled and then stood down as the Luton mob, for whatever reason, came on site but did not enter the building.

On the third occasion the job went off. Gordon led the arrest team into the building as the explosives were being placed into the lock.  Peter Porter Harris, who was facing a long prison sentence, was foolish enough to attack Gordon with a crow bar and they fought together on the floor. The office contained an old fashioned coat and umbrella stand with a drip tray at the bottom. The tray was later found to contain a considerable amount of blood – where Harris caught his head during   the struggle.

Dave Ackrill, then a dog handler, was part of the arrest team. In what must have been a rush of blood to the head, he went into the office and released his Alsatian. Gordon was straddling Harris and wielding his truncheon to some considerable effect. The obvious target for the dog was the hind quarters of my Crime Squad colleague to which he affixed his teeth.

One of the team, Cyril Buck, escaped through a window and was eventually discovered by a police dog hiding in the cab of a steam shunting engine which had been damped down for the night but the boiler still very hot. In trying to hide, he suffered quite serious burns. Three people were taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital that early morning; one for treatment for head injuries, a second for burns and a third for a dog bite!

The team of four were sentenced at Monmouthshire Quarter Sessions to lengthy terms of imprisonment.

Gordon left the Squad in 1968 whilst I remained until 1971. In 1973 we spent 3 months together traveling back and forth to the Police College at Bramshill; he on the Inspectors` Course and me on the Command Course.

Gordon went on to a long and distinguished career as Head of C.I.D in Gwent and retired as Deputy Chief Constable in Staffordshire. On the way he picked up the Queen`s Commendation for Gallantry when he tackled an armed criminal in Gwent and the Queens Police Medal.

When I went to Oman in 1975 we lost contact but met up again at C.I.D. reunion dinners and thereafter talked regularly on the telephone.

A fine man, a damned good policeman and a friend – it was a privilege to serve with him and I will miss him.

Charles Nunn



Paul Walks Wales (Cont’d)

Nov PWW 01

Day 27 Friday 6th June 2014

The ‘journey’ actually started the day before when I completed a presentation at Dyfed Powys Police HQ and, with the drive and motivation of  Det. Superintendent Shane Williams, I was very grateful to the audience for the donations for COPS. I also met up with Chief Constable Simon Prince who gave me a pack of three ‘Yorkies’ to keep me going! I stayed the night in St Davids and the day started with catching two buses to Cardigan. I set off for the start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Walk. Within 3 miles I bumped into Alison Maule, a Detective Sergeant from Gwent Police, on a family dog walk!

 Nov pww02

Day 27 – Cardigan to Newport

The weather was pleasant and the views were spectacular. I came across another walker who was walking around Wales in the opposite direction – he was taking his time, strolling at a  leisurely pace and I was envious. With the warm air, I was drinking at a faster rate and this caused me to run out of water. I eventually found a fast flowing stream but was disappointed to see the green tinge of the water – I opted for dehydration rather than the risk of drinking it. Luckily, as I approached a golf course, I came across public toilets and an oasis called a ‘tap’. I eventually got  Newport (not the Newport I am used to) for my overnight stay.

Nov PWW 03

Day 28: Saturday 7th June 2014

An early start with a hilly walk ahead and temperamental weather predicted. It was a day of waterproofs on – Waterproofs off – and then back on. I actually lost a considerable amount of time changing but the sights from Dinas Head along the coast compensated for the inconvenience.

The route took me through Fishguard and then back onto the headland. The hardship of the day reached a pinnacle when I finally arrived at Strumble Head. The sun was shining, the coastline was rugged and the lighthouse stood out magnificently. I dragged myself around the headland and reached the sanctuary of a  youth hostel, which was positioned with great views across the bay.

Nov pww 04

Day 29: Sunday 8th June 2014

I started the day extremely early as I knew this day would be a challenge. It was hot and sunny, a long distance and the terrain was testing. The route took me through the delights of Abercastle and Trefin and I paused at Porth-gain for an ice cream and a break. The scenery was splendid and, at one stage, as I looked across the sea, I saw six seals close to the shore. The Birds of Prey flew around me and it was tempting to stop and just enjoy the moment. The path was quiet as this was a remote part of Wales – but the solitude was enjoyable. The strain of the last three days was starting to show and my legs were getting tired as I reached Whitesands beach, with all the surfers enjoying the waves. I had walked over 20 miles and that was enough for me….except for the two miles walk inland to my car! It was a long drive home.

Nov PWW 05


Day 30: Friday 20th June 2014

I woke in a hotel in Port Meirion in North Wales and following a morning meeting with fellow Superintendents, I grabbed a lift from Simon Powell and Huw Rees, two Chief Superintendents from Dyfed Powys Police. After ridiculing my public transport plans, I was very grateful for them driving me all the way back to Whitesands! They dropped me off at 3.30pm but, as this was the weekend of the longest daylight hours, I was confident I could complete the 17 miles before dark. The route was clear and well signed, it was quiet and the power of the sun started to fade as the hours passed by.

It was really pleasant walking conditions and I stopped for a snack at one of the many coves. It was a great experience walking in the evening but I was always conscious that I needed to make progress. I had another encounter with cattle as I entered a field and shamelessly ran into thorn bushes when a cow with horns / Bull (not sure of the exact description as I was running away at the time!) started running over to me. I was glad to climb the stile and leave that field.

As I approached Newgale, I could see the pub I was aiming for in the distance. I was on the headland and confident that I would arrive in good light. I misjudged that part of the walk, as it involved 4 separate climbs, each time dropping back down to sea level. It was hard work but I finally arrived at the accommodation – exhausted by the events of the day.

Day 31: Saturday 21st June 2014

Glorious day, iPod on, and off I set again heading towards Martin’s Haven. Newgale beach was fantastic and as I walked south I came across some delightful places, such as Broad Haven and Little Haven. They are picturesque and understandably inviting for tourists. The sun beat down as the walk took me back into remote coastal areas. In this remote area, I met a fellow walker and chatted for a while – It transpired that he was walking the coast of UK! I wished him well and advised him to wrap up warm in Scotland.

The route allowed me to look back at the trek I had walked the day before. I had placed a lot of sun cream on – but I soon sensed where I had missed! The Island of Skomer came into sight and signalled the closing stretch of the walk. I had to walk an additional mile from the path to the youth hostel, which was a converted farm but a sanctuary for refreshments, shower and sleeping.

Day 32: Sunday 22nd June 2014

Nov PWW 06

Great support today from Det Supt Shane Williams (Dyfed Powys Police) and Dave Thomas (Gwent CSI)

The day was hot and sunny again and I set off at a gentle pace heading to St Ann’s Head Lighthouse at the end of the Dale Peninsula. I was really grateful to Shane Williams who had kindly driven Dave Thomas, a CSI from Gwent Police, to drop him off there so he could walk with me. It was great to see them both. We waved a farewell to Shane and we set off on the trek.

I have walked with Dave, mainly in the Mountains, for 20 years, so we are used to plodding along and the hourly exchange of friendly abuse. We stopped at Dale for an ice cream and blister repair before continuing on in the piercing heat. We encountered a sign indicating a shorter low tide route or a longer high tide route – the gamble paid off as we walked across a narrow small bridge and we were quite smug about it. We then walked for hours and the path was quite overgrown with vegetation and insects galore. Dave thought it was amusing to flick all the vegetation as he walked ahead of me to ensure the swarms of insects were disturbed and flew in my face as I followed him!

We walked for hours until we came to another High-Low-Tide option sign. Again we took the low tide short option – only to find an impassable stretch of river and the prospect of an even longer days walk. It’s fair to say – I had a sense of humour failure at that point. We plodded for hours along minor roads and at one stage, an elderly lady pulled over and offered us a lift. My feet were screaming for salvation but I had to decline. We walked into Milford Haven and we could smell and taste the oil in the air but we were relieved to arrive at his car and set off back to Gwent.

Day 33: Thursday 10th July 2014

With a very generous donation of £215 from the Panel of Friends of the Police Superintendents Association – I started the day having passed £2000 in sponsorship!

Nov PWW07

I was accompanied today by my two teenage sons as we drove for an hour to Pembroke, parked and caught a bus to Milford Haven. The day was extremely hot with the sun beating down and the sun cream readily applied. We started our walk from the train station and walked through the town and we eventually broke into the countryside. The first gate we approached had a sign stating ‘Beware of the Bull’. I pointed out to the youngest that he was wearing a red top and to be careful! Halfway across the field we could see cattle in the distance and, like something from a Monty Python sketch, myself and my eldest simultaneously screamed and started running – I have never seen a red t shirt move so quickly to the next gate!

The route took us around the oil refinery and the combination of heat and insects was unpleasant and demoralising for all. After a spot of lunch on a rocky beach, the route took us over the Cleddau Bridge which provided excellent views of the Estuary. Working our way through Pembroke Dock, we eventually arrived at the magnificent castle at Pembroke and the end of the first day.

Nov PWW08

Day 34: Friday 11th July 2014  Dramatic coastline along the route

With the logistics of leaving a car at the finish and start of the days walk, I set off from Pembroke with Dave Thomas, CSI from Gwent Police and my youngest son. The walk took us away from the town and into pleasant countryside. The view, however, took us around the side of another oil refinery until our arrival at Angle bay. The walk around the bay was very pleasant and we treated ourselves to ice creams upon arriving at Angle. As we negotiated the headland, we left the views of industry and, in glorious weather, we started to see the beauty of the Pembrokeshire coastline re-appear when St Ann’s Head Lighthouse came into view. With the beauty of the landscape comes the added challenge of the walk as the terrain became more challenging to walk. Our efforts were rewarded with the stunning views of Freshwater West which signalled the end of a long day’s walk.

Nov PWW 09

Day 35: Saturday 12th July 2014

Rachael and the boys kindly dropped me off at Freshwater West and headed off for a fun family day, leaving me in solitude, drizzly weather and another 19 miles walk ahead. Within a mile I met up with a couple who had just got off the coastal bus and were clearly walking part of the path. After a chat, I was really warmed by their donation which shows the generosity and appreciation towards the COPS charity. Today was the second leg of the Long Course event and the cycling phase. I found myself walking against a constant line of cyclists, making the periodic step off the road to avoid any accidents! One group of cyclists passed me at speed and I heard someone shout “Hiya Boss!”. With a flash of black lycra, helmets and goggles – I have no idea who that was but hope the Long Course went well for you!  19 miles later arrived at Manorbier!

The route today was B Class roads and minor roads to Bosherton as the route avoids the Castlemartin Military Training area. The weather was humid with periodic drizzle and I opted to walk without waterproofs. Bosherton signalled the start of a fantastic section to walk. It took me from Lily Ponds, to Dunes, through Stackpole Head to the quaint Barafundle Bay. The undulating and rugged landscape took me through Freshwater East and finally arriving at Manobier. I was kept going by the incentive of a family BBQ with Shane Williams, Detective Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police – and I needed a meat feast at that point!

Nov pWW 10


Day 36: Sunday 13th July 2014   Moment of reflection – lunch at a bench dedicated to Francis’ late husband who died on police duty in 1990

Rachael and the boys dropped me off at Manobier before the road closed for the Long Course Marathon. There, I met up with Colin Murphy, a DC from Dyfed Powys Police and his mother-in-law Francis who joined me today.  The route took us to Lydstep, Penally and along the beach to Tenby. They both recited a lot of stories which brought the walk alive with their knowledge and history of the area. Francis told me about the death of her late husband Roger, who sadly, with others, died on duty with Dyfed Powys Police in 1990. She was left with three children and talked me through the grief, challenges and how she worked through it. We sat on a bench overlooking Tenby which was dedicated to Roger from his friends and colleagues. She is a remarkable lady who has overcome many challenges and continues to have a very positive outlook to life. Colin left us at Tenby for a family commitment and Francis and I continued on to Saundersfoot, where she then left me to walk alone to Amroth. With the benefit of Low tide, I walked the beach to the end of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. This section alone totalled 186 miles, 30,000 feet climb and descent, 537 stiles and 56 gates!

To be continued.


The last two N.A.R.P.O magazines have carried reminiscences about the Police issue and use of firearms in the days before weapon selection and training became a professional matter and highlighting the amateur approach of the earlier years of my service.

In 1971, as the result of information, I was involved in a firearms incident which led to a tragic loss of life although not in my team.

I was an Acting Detective Inspector on No. 8 (Welsh) Regional Crime Squad. Information was received from the Yard that London criminals, carrying firearms, would travel to Welshpool in Mid Wales on Bank Holiday Monday, 23rd. August, 1971. They would attack a jewellers shop on the High Street. The Squad was tasked to carry out observations and arrest the criminals if the robbery was carried out.

The Chief Constable of Dyfed  Powys declined to allow firearms to be issued but a number of revolvers were brought up from Police Headquarters and stored in the safe of the Superintendent at Welshpool Police station. We were not given sight of them!

Not without some trepidation, we took up our observation positions in a flat overlooking the jewellers shop and in an adapted observation van parked in the High Street. We were armed – if that is the right word- with pick-axe handles.

Fortunately the robbery did not happen. Had it done so we would have attempted to arrest armed criminals by threatening them with our wooden clubs whilst the firearms remained snug in a safe some considerable distance away.

Sadly, that very same day, a team of armed London robbers attacked a jewellers shop in Blackpool. In the ensuing chase Superintendent Gerry Richardson was shot and killed by a well- known London criminal Frederick Joseph Sewell and Constable Carl Walker was shot and wounded. They were of course unarmed. Sewell was later arrested in London and convicted of murder. He was released in 2001.

Superintendent Richardson was then the highest ranking officer to be killed on duty since the murder of the Chief Constable of Brighton in 1884. Superintendent Richardson and Constable Walker were each awarded a well-deserved George Cross although, sadly, one posthumously. Four Blackpool officers were awarded George Medals; two British Empire Medals and one a Queens Commendation for Gallantry.

It would seem almost certain that Welshpool and Blackpool were mixed up in the information although this was never confirmed.

It is impossible to describe the sense of shock among the Regional Crime Squad team in Welshpool, when the news came down that afternoon of the tragic shooting and gallantry of the Police Officers in Blackpool. There was considerable bitterness at the refusal of the local Chief Constable to allow us to be protected by the issue of firearms.

Yours faithfully, Charles Nunn. Newport Borough and Gwent (Retired)


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers

PRESIDENT – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]


 Dates for your Diary

GPPA AGM – Wed 24th Sept 2014 – Islwyn Club, Blackwood

Annual Luncheon – Sun 26th Oct 2014 Usk Conservative Club

Christmas Draw Night – Wed 26th Nov 2014 – Islwyn Club

Annual Outing

 GPPA Outing 2014 - large

This year, we gave Devon a break and instead members enjoyed a trip to The Mumbles with a meal at The Fairways, Porthcawl on the return journey. I am assured that it was a great success. Our thanks to Stella Coburn for her organisational skills and hard work.



Former Police Inspector Paul Michael HEATON passed away on 13th June 2014. Paul served from 1963 to 1993 and will be remembered as a police motorcyclist and member of the Traffic Department. He was single and lived in Thailand where the funeral will be held. His daughter, Mrs. Jane Tolson, has arranged a Memorial Service at Tabernacle Baptist Chapel, Penygarn Road, Pontypool, NP4 8BG at 2pm on Wednesday 1st October 2014, followed by refreshments in the hall at the rear of the Chapel.

Former Police Constable Paul EVANS passed away on 22nd June 2014. Paul retired in 1998 and is survived by his wife Delores and his son Tom. The funeral service was on Thursday 3rd July 2014 at St Patrick’s Church, Cromwell Road, Newport followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Inspector Lyndon ‘George’ GLADWYN passed away on 6th July 2014. George retired in 1996 and is survived by his wife Susan and children Kirsty, Alix and Bethan. His funeral service was on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 at Penmaen Chapel, Oakdale followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Sergeant Kevin SADLER passed away on 5th July 2014. Kevin served with South Wales Police transferring to Gwent in 1996 and retired in 2000. He is survived by his wife Julie Ann. His funeral service was on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 at St Mary’s Church, Whitchurch followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium.

Former Police Constable Peter Lewis PROSSER passed away on 4th August 2014. Peter served from 1978 until 2006.  He is survived by his wife Nicola. His funeral service was on 14th August 2014 at Penuel Chapel of Rest, Harcourt Terrace, Tredegar followed by cremation at  Gwent Crematorium.

16 Days behind Bars

At times I would have preferred to be behind prison bars and not handlebars!   On 9th May I set off with five others to ride across Tibet to Kathmandu. I had an upset stomach for the first three days which really drained me (in every way!).

The second day was only 45 miles long but included an 8000 foot climb. By the fourth day I had serious doubts about my ability and thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I gave myself a talking to and “manned up” to the task. By sticking to my game plan, I got stronger as others burned and got weaker. It was quite lonely at times but it paid off.


On 19th May I realised my dream of cycling to Everest Base Camp. It was an emotional moment, or series of moments actually. What an imposing mountain!

Mission accomplished! Everest in all its glory and I was so close to it!

Once that was achieved I was able to relax more and enjoy the ride. Having said that, the five days of riding after that were still hellish. I did have to remind myself that I was only riding a bike, not bloody dying!  Extreme temperatures and long long climbs, but there were long descents too and the views were breathtaking.


Tibet is an extremely barren place with nothing but rocks, sand and yaks. I hand fed a yak and nearly lost a finger, helped an old farmer plough a field by a yak drawn plough (I think he was humouring me) and I helped a lady dig her field over. The Tibetans are friendly people and live very simple lives.

I wasn’t able to update my blog while away as China bans all public Internet media.

I am glad to be home to my creature comforts like the loo and running water. The living conditions we had were very basic and we got pretty grubby. All will be explained in my blog. 

As ever a little reminder that you can support my cause by donating to Macmillan Cancer support via my Just Giving page or text. Every little helps.

Text CEBC47 £5 to 70070.     Thank you.          Angela BURT Ps 788

World War I Memorial

As part of the national commemoration of the centenary of the start of WWI, the Chief Constable invited members and a guest to a Candle Ceremony at Police HQ on 4th August 2014.

You will see a lot more about this in the coming weeks as we remember the million young British men who lost their lives for their country, including at least 14 serving Gwent Police Officers. If you visit the British Legion Lights Out website you will see what the Legion is planning for the night of August 4th.  It would be great if the night shifts on 4th August could join in Lights Out by blowing out a candle?  If you would like to do so, get in touch with [email protected] and they will send you a special commemorative candle.

GPPA Website


The GPPA Website was launched at last year’s AGM. The web address is

Recent newsletters and many old photos can be found, together with details of forthcoming events.

PAUL WALKS WALES cont’d from last issue.

Day 12:  Friday 7th March 2014

The night before I travelled up to North Wales to stay with Mark and Eleri Jones. They were the perfect hosts as usual and I have been so grateful for all their support.  An early start with Eleri dropping myself, Mark and Alfie Jones (Dog) at Malltraeth in Anglesey to pick up the route that we had abandoned during the gale force weather in February. We had unfinished business in Anglesey but the weather today was in total contrast to last time– dry, warm and pleasant.

We worked our way through Newborough Forest and despite Mark’s clear inability to navigate forestry, we managed to reach Newborough Beach to walk along. The pleasant day, beautiful sands, sea rolling in and Snowdonia Mountains in the background provided an idyllic setting to that part of the walk. It was stunning!

We then followed the route along the Menai Strait over rivers, through mud, roads and paths until the sight of the Menai Bridge beckoned. Over 20 miles of walking and the Island of Anglesey completed – we had a well-deserved curry and wine session to seal the day off.

Day 13: Saturday 8th March 2014

I set off from Menai Bridge at 9am and was joined by Mark, Eleri (+ Alfie the dog) and a lifelong friend, Andy Gullick. He had driven from East Midlands to walk with me for the day. The weather was kind again and we walked along the Menai Strait towards Caernarfon. It was useful having local guides to point out the history of the area!


By the time we reached Caernarfon castle, it was time to say Goodbye to Mark and Eleri who had been so supportive. Andy and I continued along the coast, along beaches, roads, villages until we reached our destination at Dinas Dinlle. It was another 15 miles completed and I took every opportunity to mock Andy as he hobbled around the B+B following his day’s endeavours!   Another Curry, more alcohol and plenty of reminiscing made for a great evening.

Day 14: Sunday 9th March 2014 – After a full cooked breakfast, we shook hands and parted company as I started my walk along the Llyn Peninsula.

Half the day’s walk took me alongside the A499 which, apart from the glorious sight of St Beuno’s Church at Clynnog Fawr, it was not very scenic. I arrived at a place called Trefor and after a refreshment stop at a local convenience store, I had to climb 400m and over the hills as there was no coastal path. The views were magnificent of Trefor but the climb was a challenge. The route was very pleasant and took me along the coast to the beautiful location of Nefyn.


I arrived at Cliffs Inn in Morfa Nefyn , just in time to see the second half of the Six Nations!

Day 15: Monday 10th March 2014 – Ahead of me – I had 26 miles to complete, a full backpack and the route was off road. I knew I had to start early and dig deep for the day. I woke at 6am and had agreed to cook my own breakfast – so after a full plate of burnt offerings, I started walking at 7am – destination Aberdaron.

The scenery along this walk was literally stunning – beautiful bays, coves, beaches and the sun was beating down – even the sun cream made an appearance! The walk started to get harder and harder – the ground was undulating and I was constantly doubling back on myself as I was negotiating the terrain. As the weather got hotter, I started to drink more and by mid-afternoon liquid refreshment was rapidly running out, I was getting very tired and the end still seemed a long way away.


The sight of Bardsey Island urged me on but I was really tiring now and desperate for water. The oasis arrived as PCSO Paul Duggan turned up in his camper van and I drank most of his water supplies. I carried on walking and finally arrived at Aberdaron at 6pm – 11 hours walking and I had only taken a few 5 minute breaks all day.

Day 15 – Made it to Aberdaron…26 miles…thoroughly shattered but for a worthwhile charity

I took Paul out for a meal and a few drinks but I collapsed into bed at 9pm and was asleep before my head hit the pillow!

Day 16: Tuesday 11th March 2014

A good night’s sleep and a full breakfast at the Ship Hotel and I was ready for my final day – walking to Abersoch. I started the walk alone and after skirting the headland, I saw the welcome sight of a North Wales Police car. PCSO Llinos Jones was dropping off PCSO Paul Duggan to join me for the rest of the walk. He is an interesting and magnetic character, never missed an opportunity to engage with people, pass his business card and talk about his role as the Maritime Crime Liaison Officer – even off duty. Really enjoyed his company as we walked for hours along beaches and headlands.


The day was hot, the company was good and we made excellent progress – Paul is clearly a fit man – being able to walk (and talk and talk!) for miles. His support and help with the logistics of the challenge has really been appreciated and he is a credit to North Wales Police. It was enjoyable and picturesque and we arrived at Abersoch Police Station late afternoon.

With a 4 hour drive ahead of me – I drove back content with the 5 day trek – nearly 300 miles completed!

Day 17: Thursday 10th April 2014

Over 3 hours of driving saw my teenage son and I arrive at Porthmadog Police Station to be met by a familiar face – PCSO Paul Duggan. He kindly gave us a lift to Abersoch where we met up with his colleague PCSO Steve Regan for a quick drink and a chance for a teenager to be placed in the cell compartment of the police van – I do so hope it never happens again!

The weather was good as we walked the 9 miles from Abersoch to Pwllheli. Much of the walk was along the beach and it was quality time to discuss teenage issues such as physics, life, mobile phones, Simpsons and Linkin Park. Apart from a teenage led detour across the side of a cliff face, we found ourselves in Llanbedrog for a well-deserved ice cream.

The rest of the route hugged the coast right into Pwllheli. Apart from a 10 minute ‘Kevin the teenager moment’ – we had a fab day together and secured a lift to Criccieth for a very pleasant stay at the Lion Hotel. We had a drink and met Carol Brown (Owner of the Hotel) and Suzanne Millard (Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for the area) – both very supportive of the challenge and charity.

Day 18: Friday 11th April 2014 – Whilst waiting for Steve Regan to pick us up from the hotel, I failed to spot the teenage boredom being occupied with the game – ‘Let’s see how far I can extend a walking stick until it breaks’! Steve arrived to pick up an unimpressed dad, guilty son, two backpacks and one walking stick (the other was placed in a bin!). He drove us to Pwllheli.

The walk was splendid along the beach and Steve navigated us along the route and kept us entertained. At one stage we detoured off the path to navigate a river and were met by an elderly gentlemen waving a golf club about, shouting that we were on private land. Steve showed his years of policing experience and expertise at diffusing the situation by recognising him as a previous witness in a case and ended up having a chat and a laugh. The gentleman finally used his club to direct us on a short cut through his land (Haha!).

The route led us into Criccieth where we were met by Suzanne Millard and Jane Berry. We were all grateful for the refreshment break which was kindly provided. We walked on, grabbing an ice cream and back to beach walking along Black Rock Sands. The sun cream was on and the day was glorious. The route took us around to Sea View Tea Room at Borth–y–Gest where Suzanne was again waiting to cheer us on. We were all very appreciative of the refreshments and encouragement provided by Gavin and Fiona at the Tea Room. It was only a short walk then into Porthmadog and a big bag of chips as a reward. I then drove all the way back to Gwent to drop off my intrepid walking partner who felt 2 days was enough and needed the excitement of the X Box and You Tube.

Day 19: Saturday 12th April 2014 – Another long drive north to Porthmadog and saddled with my rucksack and new walking poles, I set off through the town and past an old steam train. As the crow flies, Harlech is only 4 miles away but navigating the estuary and river means a 12 mile round trip inland to cross the bridge at Maentwrog. Future Coastal Walkers will avoid this as a new bridge is being constructed for road, rail and pedestrians but it wasn’t ready yet!!


Having been spoilt with company the last two days, today was lonely. The drizzle added to the morale boosting feeling. The walk and views were pleasant and took me through a lot of farmland. As tiredness set in, I saw the impressive Harlech Castle which acted as useful encouragement. Upon arriving at Harlech, I rang Chris and Sue Travis who were accommodating me that evening. They gave me the news that I had to climb the very steep hill to the Castle – ouch! This is a World Heritage Site and I could see why when I reached it.

That evening, I was treated to good food, excellent crumble and great company.

Day 20: Sunday 13th April 2014 –

An early start saw me descend back down to sea level. The route led me through Llanfair, Llanbedr and finally through a disused airfield, over sand dunes until I was reunited with the beach. It was breathtaking – something I couldn’t capture in a photograph with the warmth, breeze, and panoramic view of the beach, sea and mountains. I enjoyed the moment as, unfortunately, the coastal path rejoined the A496 which didn’t provide the same feeling. I distracted myself with Guns and Roses, Seal, Pink, Madness and Blues Brothers.

I made it to Barmouth and for the first time I saw a place starting to be taken over by the influx of tourism. It was a carnival atmosphere. I walked over the Barmouth bridge and was collected to stay the night at Dolgellau.


Day 21: Monday 14th April 2014 – Picking up the trail from Barmouth Bridge, the route climbs very steeply and cruelly. The pain of the climb was surpassed by the views back towards Barmouth and the estuary. The day was again glorious and the route held the high ground. I kept a reasonable pace and made good progress. As the route came down to Broadwater, I was pleased to see a newly built bridge and the All Wales Coastal Path signs directing me across it. The route hugged the railway line into Tywyn where I found the Bed and Breakfast I was staying at, showered, changed and treated myself to a fish and chip supper.

Day 22: Tuesday 15th April 2014 – After a good breakfast I hit the trek for the final day. As much as I have enjoyed it, 6 days walking, coupled with over 10 hours driving was starting to take its toll. My feet were holding out but my hips and legs were aching and I was generally tired. With music blasting in my ears to distract me, the morning walk took me along the edge of the sea, all the way to Aberdovey. From there, the route climbs steeply onto a Hill ridge which made me feel a lifetime away from the coast. I knew I had to make a bus departure and picked up the pace for hours. This took me on a route which followed the A493 and, well ahead of schedule; I crossed the bridge over the River Dovey. I entered Machynlleth, the Ancient Capital of Wales and Dyfed Powys Police Area. I was fortunate enough to catch an earlier bus to Porthmadog to collect my car and start the long journey home.

Arriving in Machynlleth signalled the end of nearly 400 miles of the Coastal Path in the North Wales Police area. I have been humbled and impressed by the degree of support I have received from the public and the Police, with some members of the Force going way beyond my expectations to ensure I had the necessary transport, refreshments, accommodation and support. Whilst I have thanked them individually, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all the support – a hard act for Dyfed Powys Police to follow!!

Day 23: Friday 2nd May 2014

The alarm went off at the youth hostel in Borth. The night before I had travelled by car, bus, train and boots to arrive there. After a good breakfast, I walked to the train station and met with Huw Rees, a Chief Superintendent from Dyfed Powys Police. We caught a train to Machynlleth, where we met up with CSO Paul Duggan (North Wales Police) and PC 365 Jonathan Thomas (Dyfed Powys Police) for a few border control photos.

Huw and I set off at 11am along a route which followed the river, back to the Estuary and ultimately Borth. Huw was carrying the smallest rucksack I had ever seen – in fact, my first aid kit was bigger! The route climbed inland and for much of the walk, we walked in good weather and through beautiful countryside. However, as Huw pointed out, on this section of the All Wales Coastal Path Walk, there was not much ‘path’ and he couldn’t see the ‘coast’! The conversation was constant and it was a good day. At one point we had to trek through a cow field and a herd of about 20 were clearly agitated and unsettled – leaving us uncomfortable to say the least! The only time the conversation waned was a long and laborious section into Borth, as we were both tired and looking forward to finishing. We dined at a pub Huw had been to 13 years earlier and stated the food was great then – thankfully it had stood the test of time. Back at the youth hostel, an early night was in order.

Day 24: Saturday 3rd May 2014 – An early start saw a climb along the coast, out of Borth. Whilst the climbs are tiring, the views become more spectacular. The section to Aberystwyth was very hilly, but I finally made it to join Ieuan Watkins, a Detective Sergeant from Gwent Police. A quick coffee on the promenade and I could see that the repairs from the coastal erosion were clearly on track for completion in the summer.


We walked south from the town and despite an invasion of flies, the climb saw some dramatic coastal scenes. Birds of prey flew effortless over our heads as we tucked into some welsh cakes, kindly supplied by Ieuan’s mum. We finally dragged ourselves to Llanon which was the half-way point of the whole Journey – 435 Miles! We calculated, with the assistance of Ieuan’s GPS app on his phone, that over the 19 miles from Borth, I had probably climbed the equivalent of Snowdon!  We ended up in a pub for a refreshments and Ieuan kindly dropped me off at a bed and breakfast for the evening, before his long drive home.

Day 25: Sunday 4th May 2014 – By 8am, backpack on, walking poles extended and off I continued along the Ceredigion Coastal Path. Within a few miles I had arrived at the picturesque location of Aberaeron. Plodding on, I had to stop for some running repairs to blisters and abrasions, but nothing to dampen the spirit.

The weather was again good, but the route was hilly and the terrain challenging. I was tired by the time I arrived in Newquay, but the place was busy and alive with tourism and there was a good atmosphere. I had a break and some food there before setting off again heading to Llangrannog. The route was arduous and my energy levels were waning. A diversion was in place as a landslide had taken part of the path away. This caused me to walk inland. As I walked the closing stretch I saw a red pick-up drive past me, come to a halt and start reversing. The vehicle came level to me and leaning out of the passenger window was Mike Peard, a DC from Gwent Police. I was feeling a bit weathered to say the least but it was really good to see a friendly face. I arrived at the pub where I was staying and was soon pushing out the Zzzzzzzs!

Day 26: Monday 5th May 2014 – The early morning view over Llangrannog and the coast was simply stunning. The route follows the headland and hugs the coast into Aberporth. This stretch of coastline was at times, overgrown and unused, but there is something really nice about the isolation and the ruggedness of the scenery.


I arrived at a beautiful church at Holy Cross and could see Cardigan Island, just off the mainland. The route continued inland and along a road which was very busy with agricultural vehicles and their loads / trailers. It was safer at times to dive in a hedge than risk being clipped as they drove past.


I really started to tire with the final couple of hours walk into Cardigan. I thought I would have built up stamina over the past 5 months but I staggered into Cardigan and the locals would be forgiven for thinking I had had a few to drink. I reached my car, which was parked at the police station and sat in it, just as the rain came down for the first time in 4 days.

That was the end of the Ceredigion Coastal Path and I am now on target to commence the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in June.

(Det Supt) Paul Griffiths

[Paul has raised £2265 for COPS so far!  If you would like to donate, please visit:  ]




This year’s Annual Luncheon will be held at Usk Conservative Club on Sunday 26th October. We have changed caterers and look forward to a quality meal. Three courses with choices of starter, main and dessert, followed by cheese & biscuits. The cost of the meal will be £8 per head for members and partners; £13 for guests. Contact Stella Coburn on 01633 547546 or email her on  [email protected]




January Lottery – 1st Prize £200 –PS 607 Christopher Williams (Caerphilly)

2nd Prize £100 – Mr. David Tanner (Retired)

3rd Prize £50 – DS 794 Arwel Hicks (NST Monmouthshire)

February Lottery – 1st Prize £200 – Mr. Owen Gibbon (Retired)

2nd Prize £100 – Insp Lysha Thompson (LPU Bedwas)

3rd Prize £50 – PS Maria Henry (NSU Caerphilly)

March Lottery – 1st Prize £1000 – PC 1151 Kelli Greenhalgh (Torfaen)

2nd Prize £100 – PC 2058 Peter Lewis (LPU Chepstow)

3rd Prize £50 – Sarah Shinton-Webb (FIB HQ)

April Lottery – 1st Prize £200 – Mr. Eric Curtis (Retired)

2nd Prize £100 – PC 979 Janet De Gare Dando (FIB, Headquarters)

3rd Prize £50 – PC 2043 Simon Richens (LPU – Alway)

May Lottery – 1st Prize £200 – Mr. Anthony Morgan (Retired)

2nd Prize £100 – Ms. Deborah Melvin (Bridgend)

3rd Prize £50 – PC 1541 Andrew Whittington (NSU – Blaenavon)

June Lottery: 1st Prize £1000 – PC 1553 Kramer Sloman (Caerphilly)

2nd Prize £100 – PC 25 Neil Hardy (NST Monmouthshire)

3rd Prize £50 – PC 951 Deri Wells (NSU Monmouthshire)

July Lottery – awaiting details.



” Having two daughters living in California I have made contact over the years with a Captain in the San Bernadino Sheriff`s Department and a Trooper in the Californian Highway Patrol.

C Nunn

They have given me a number of U.S. police insignia which, following a mention in the Newsletter, I was pleased to pass on to Mike Gunter who is a collector.

They much admire the British Police helmet which is of course unique and I have been able to acquire a few which now reside in various Californian Law Enforcement offices.

Looking on line, there is a thriving trade in police memorabilia with helmets, helmet plates and even old capes attracting quite substantial prices. I wonder what happened to the uniforms we used to wear in the 1950s and 1960s.?

The Newport Borough helmet was not particularly fancy but we did have a very good leather belt with the Borough crest on the buckle. Glamorgan of course had very smart headgear akin to a cavalry helmet with chain mail and, I think, a generation before, a spiked dome. Swansea Borough Police had a most impressive helmet plate and a ball dome.

I presume that most of the uniform equipment was disposed of on amalgamation and either ended up in the hands of farsighted dealers or was destroyed. What a pity.

Whilst a helmet, greatcoat and cape were not the best clothing to wrestle with a drunken yobbo on the floor, I think they reflected the majesty of our office far better than the now almost universal T-shirt and baseball cap.

Incidentally, a couple of years ago I watched a television programme about an Indian doctor, in the 1960s, in a fictitious village in South Wales but filmed, I am sure in and around Pontypridd.  The village Sergeant – no Constables in sight- wore a genuine Glamorgan uniform but, on his left sleeve the old Metropolitan Police “on duty” cuff which the Mets dispensed with many years ago. (Modern television producers seem to think it was standard issue in all Forces, whereas of course it was confined to the Mets and the City of London Police who wore a red chequered cuff. This matches of course their red/white check cap bands.)

The cuffs originated with the early Metropolitan Police. Constables were required to wear their uniforms at all times and the great majority lived over the police stations. To show if they were “on” or “off” duty the cuff bands were introduced. In later years, when many officers travelled to work on public transport, the cuff bands were retained but officers were still expected to deal with serious incidents whether or not the cuff bands were worn. They were dispensed with around the early 1970s as more officers travelled in their own cars or changed at the ‘nick’.

The City of London Police, who still wear the cuff bands, adopted them for the same reasons but chose red and white check instead of the Mets. blue and white check. As far as I know no other Police Force in the country, or indeed the world, still wears cuff bands.

I emailed the BBC and was pleased to see that the next series dropped the “cuff.”

Incidentally when I joined the Borough in 1955, we were issued with two helmets; a dark helmet plate for nights and a bright one for days. These were soon done away with for the dark plate by day and night – presumably cheaper.!  No collars and ties but a stand collar uniform that chafed the neck until we learned to smear Vaseline around the inside. A heavy great coat, cape and leggings. No rain coat! Whistle and chain with the key to the police call boxes on the chain.

Those were the days.

Charles Nunn

“Uxbridge English Dictionary”

For fans of Radio 4’s “I’m sorry I haven’t a Clue”, here are some humorous alternative definitions:

Subdued – A less than cool person

eMail – what they say up North when the postman arrives

Chiropractice – Getting ready to go to Egypt

Senile – What to do in Egypt

Canapé – Scottish inability to settle your bills.

Acne – walking stick for dyslexics

Groin – the go light in Birmingham

Navigate – scandal concerning road diggers.

Routine – an adolescent kangaroo

Gyroscope – a device for locating dole money

Disillusion – to slag-off the work of Paul Daniels

Impolite – a flaming goblin

Philharmonic – to feed a queen

Problematic – a disastrous loft conversion

Aggregate – farming scandal

Prolapse – in favour of having dinner in front of TV

Stifling – Scottish dance for pigs

Rambling – jewellery for sheep

Tissues – important matters in Yorkshire

Definite – I can’t hear, man!

Ratchet – rodent droppings

Aerobic –  a chocolate biro

Parapet – an airborne cat

Claimant – an insect that’s had an accident at work


Visit to Dewstow Gardens Friday 12th September

We have arranged a visit to these fabulous and unique gardens.  We will meet at the gardens for a cup of tea / coffee at 1.30pm.  This is followed at 2pm by a guided tour of the gardens and grotto.  Then at about 4pm there will be a cream tea.  The cost will be £5 per person, which will include all refreshments and admission.  Please forward cheques to Dave Moses (details at rear of this newsletter).

We have to order the cream teas so please say if you want a cream tea.  If you do not there will be a number of other cakes and snacks available.  Unfortunately the grotto is not accessible by wheelchairs or those with mobility problems.  There are gardens above ground to visit.  Please let me know if you cannot visit the grotto as the gardens have agreed not to charge for admission for those not visiting the grotto.  If you do not have transport but would like to attend we will arrange transport for you, please ring or email Dave Moses so we can arrange a lift.

Names of people attending ______________________________

Number of Cream Teas required._________________________

I will not be visiting the grotto ___________________________

I can give someone from my area a lift.   Yes / No


GPPA Lunch, Morels Restaurant Cross Keys College.

Thursday 2nd October

Following a very well attended and enjoyable lunch in June, we are again visiting Morels Restaurant.  The restaurant is situated in the college buildings. There is car parking in the College grounds accessible from Waunfawr Park Road. The Restaurant will be open from 12 noon and we need to be seated for lunch by 12.30pm.  There is a bar in the Restaurant serving a wide range of both alcoholic and soft drinks.

The three course meal will cost members £3 per person  – about the cost of a large coffee when you are out shopping.

We are restricted to 30 dinners so it will again be on a first come first served basis.

Unfortunately we will not have the menu for the meal until the College returns in early September.  If you could include either an email address or telephone number when you send the cheques I will contact you with the meal choices as soon as I have them.

Please forward your cheques to Dave Moses.  Contact details are at the back of the newsletter.

Name(s) ____________________________________________

Emails address  ______________________________________

Telephone no.  _______________________________________

If you have any dietary requirements please let me know as Morels will look to accommodate you.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers

PRESIDENT – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]

 MAY 2014

Dates for your Diary

GPPA Social Meeting – Wed 28th May 2014 at Islwyn Social Club, Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith. 7pm.

GPPA Lunch Club – 5th June 2014  –  Morels Restaurant

Gwent Police Sports Dinner – 21st June 2014 –  Park Hotel, Cardiff

GPPA AGM – Wed 24th Sept 2014 – Islwyn Social Club, Pontllanfraith.


On 29th April, the Secretary had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Beryl KING, of Magor, widow of former traffic Pc Jim KING,  a delightful lady who unfortunately had been a victim of crime in Newport.  Happily however, ‘Gwent’s Finest’ apprehended the offender and Elsie’s purse and contents were recovered and returned to her.


All members are urged to join OWL – Online Watch Link – which is a community messaging system and neighbourhood watch database which will keep you up to date with incidents in your area, appeals,  and details of PACT Surgeries, crime prevention advice, and results of local campaigns and initiatives.    Join online at or email  [email protected]

GPPA Lunch Menu 12md for 12.30pm Thursday 5th June  – Morels Restaurant, Crosskeys College

Our Treasurer unfortunately missed our last committee meeting, so in the best tradition of ‘while the cats away’ we decided to again visit Morels Restaurant for lunch.  We have not told the treasurer yet but we have again agreed to subsidise the meal. The below three course meal will cost members £3 per person – about the cost of a large coffee when you are out shopping.  This has to be the bargain of the summer.  There is a bar which will be open from 12 noon.


Unfortunately we are restricted to 30 so it will be on a first come first served basis and to members and partners only. 

The restaurant is in the college campus and there is plenty of car parking.  If you go into the college car park from Wainfawr Park Road, the restaurant is on the left and has a red fascia around the middle of the building.

Cheques made payable to GPPA to be sent to Dave Moses (address at back of the Newsletter).   Please include email and / or telephone number along with your choice from the three courses below.  A vegetarian main course will be available if required.

Home-made Cream of Potato & Watercress Soup with Cheese Puffs

Salmon Terrine


Grilled Pork Cutlet with an Apple Fritter,

Apple Cider Gravy & Creamed Potato Tower

Plaice Paupiette with Julienne Vegetables,

Poached in Tomato Coulis with New Potatoes

Spiced Vegetable Pancakes with Mango & Yoghurt

A Selection of Vegetables


Chocolate Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce

Pears Poached in Wine with Creamed Rice Pudding


Freshly Brewed Coffee or Tea

Name of Person(s) attending …………………………………….

Email address………………………………………………………

Telephone number…………………………………………………

First Course(s)…….……………………………………………….

Main Course(s)…………………………………………………….


Any Dietary Requirements………………………………………..

 Buffet Dance

 Due to a very poor response, the committee of the GPPA have decided to cancel the Buffet Dance which was to have been held on 9th May 2014.


Former Police officer Tom MORGAN (Neath) (former Coroners Officer) passed away on 14th February. He is survived by his wife, Joan. His funeral was at St Catwg’s Church, Main Road, Cadoxton, Neath at 26th February 2014 followed by burial at Brecon.

Former Police Constable Glyn Vivian EVANS passed away on 7th March 2014. Glyn was the father of DCI Jonathan Evans, father-in-law of PC 620 Cara Bafico and uncle of PC Bethan Stroud. Glyn is survived by his wife Brenda and another son, Jeremy. The funeral service was on 20th March 2014 at St Cadoc’s Church, Caerleon followed by  cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Fomer Police Constable Ron ARTHUR has passed away, aged 92 years on 16th March 2014.. He served from 1949 to 1974. His funeral was at Holy Trinity Church, Christchurch, Newport on Monday 31st March 2014 followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium, Croesyceiliog.

Former Traffic Warden Louvaine PARRY passed away in early April 2014 the age of 86. Her funeral was Thursday 10th April at Ebenezer Chapel, Griffithstown followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium.

Former DS 239 David James ‘Jim’ ADAMS passed away on 24th April 2014. Jim was a widower and the father of the late PC Jeff Adams. His funeral was held on Wednesday 30th April at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Chief Inspector John Henry Ramsey “Jack” SMITH passed away on 25th April 2014.  The funeral was on Wednesday, 14th May, at St. Catwg’s Church, Gelligaer, followed by interment in Gelligaer cemetery.

Former Pc 396 Robert GROVES passed away on Sunday 27th April 2014. His funeral was on 14th May 2014 at Merchants Hill Baptist Church, Abersychan followed by cremation at  Gwent Crematorium.


Paul Walks Wales cont’d from last issue.

day 5

 Day 5: Thursday 6th February 2014 – I was with North Wales Police on the previous day and I was grateful for the support Chief Constable Mark Polin gave the walk and COPS charity. The day started at 8am back at Bangor Pier. I was walking with retired Superintendent Mark Jones and the weather was good. We started off at a good pace along the Menai Strait towards the bridge. The day was busy with morning traffic and students. The bridge crossing was a poignant moment – only 132 miles to go on this week’s adventure!

“Welcome to Anglesey” as we headed along pavement and good paths to Beaumaris and its castle. Beyond there, the route was more tricky as we walked along the beach. Mark demonstrated his long jump abilities with a 6 foot leap across a 8 foot river! Lucky for him he got picked up and I continued along the coast to see the delights of Puffin Bay before a long afternoon walk to Red Wharf Bay.    I was met at 5pm by Iona and Dennis – two CSOs who were cheering me on and by Lyn and her daughter. Lyn’s police officer husband had been killed and I was touched by her support. Iona was kindly helping me out with accommodation and after a short journey I found myself at her Lighthouse!

 day 5 lighthouse

Day 6: Friday 7th February 2014 – I had an early morning cup of tea in Benllech Police Station with Iona and Wendy and then got dropped off for my walk, heading north from Red Wharf Bay. The weather was glorious but the ground was still saturated with water from the previous rain. It made the going that day slippy and tiring. I paused along my route for a rest after a couple of hours and I was warmed by a poem sent to me by Hywel Griffiths – it really did spur me on but the terrain made me feel like Robin Cousins for most of the day! I finally arrived at Port Lynas as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful location and a nice finale for the day.

day 6

Day 7 – Saturday 8th February 2014 — Started walking at 7am but the weather had taken a turn – the rain persisted all day and the winds were getting very strong. I walked through Amlwch and worked my way around Bull Bay to a point where the path skirts along a cliff edge. The winds were extremely gusty now and I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable along the edge. One gust pushed me off balance and this was quickly followed by a second which went into my hood and blew it up like a balloon. Unfortunately the expensive Go Pro Camera fixed to my head shot off like a stone from a catapult and careered down a 40-50 foot near vertical drop! The fight with the weather continued all day and was particularly disheartening when I knew the Six Nations was being played. The route took me through Cemaes Bay  and then through Wylfa Nuclear Power Station. With all the security, it wasn’t long before the police came to check me out – clearly, I looked like a dodgy character! It was a good natured exchange and my route finally took me to Cemlyn Bay where I was grateful for a lift (and a cup of tea!)  from Mike (CSO). The bed and breakfast owners were from Bilston, which made me feel at home, and Bob entertained me with his Black Country Poems.

Day 8: Western coast of Anglesey – Sunday 9th February 2014  – Mike kindly collected me and dropped me back at Cemlyn bay to pick up the trek. The route follows a cliff edge until it swings around in a southerly direction to bring Holyhead into sight for the first time. The wind was still strong and I got drenched walking through a waterfall that was being blown back on itself. The route was picturesque with beautiful bays. This was the day where I started to feel some discomfort in my boots again. With ‘Guns and Roses’ blasting in my ears, I made good progress down the western coast of Anglesey and, despite a detour to avoid a herd of 60 mean looking cattle, I finally made it to Llanfachraeth. Laura and Sarah (CSOs) picked me up and, following a quick shop at a convenience store, I got dropped off at an Outdoor Activity Centre which would be home for two nights. Feet repair was the activity of the night!

 day 8

Day 9: Monday 10th February 2014  – Another lift back to re-start the route, eventually it took me over the bridge into Holy Island. Holyhead was a typically busy Port and the path eventually led me to skirt around Holyhead Mountain.  There was a degree of climbing in the walk but it was worth every step when I looked down on South Stack Lighthouse. A magnificent view which was interrupted by a text from O2 to indicate I was connecting to the Irish Mast over the water – best move on before I get charged! The route followed the outskirts of the mountain with terrific scenery. I was tiring in the afternoon but was boosted by the support of Sergeant Owain Llewellyn and colleague who stopped to encourage me on. The route took me back to my accommodation for another evening of foot repair and food.

day 9

Day 10: Tuesday 11th February 2014 – Another nice day to begin with my final part of Holy Island before crossing Four Mile bridge back and heading in the direction of Rhosneigr. The route was pleasant and fairly flat and eventually took me through Valley Airport. This is clearly a busy military base with fighters and helicopters regularly flying overhead. Then the route went on the beach – it was sunny day. Within a short space of time I could feel the wind picking up and the sand being blown away from the direction I was walking. I was quite interested in this and started videoing it on my phone. I turn around and looked back to the utter darkness – the weather was closing in and fast. I picked my pace up and could see a local dog walker starting to rush to get off the beach. Suddenly I started to get hit by a hail storm and with strong winds, I felt the stinging sensation on my hands. I was now rushing along. The weather started to worsen and I could see a river cutting through the beach – the dog walker had decided to walk straight through it and I made the same decision. I sank into the sandy bed of the river and my legs disappeared as I struggled to walk through it. I got to the other end and made my way to the clock at Rhosneigr to get picked up. In a rather sodden state, with a free hot chocolate from a local shop keeper, I was glad to get picked up by Mark!

day 11

Day 11: Wednesday 12th February 2014 – Having seen the forecast, Mark ignored my protestations at joining me today. Eleri dropped us off at Rhosneigr and the plan was to walk as far as possible,  but to be in Bangor Train Station for 17.18!    The weather was dreadful – heavy rain and very high winds. Everything was uncomfortable and challenging. The route took us along beaches, sand dunes, paths and roads but instead of easing with time – the weather continued to deteriorate. At one point I managed to glance across at Mark who was clearly testing how far he could lean forward without falling forward – the angle was worrying! Every step was difficult and we later heard that the wind speeds hitting the southern coast of Anglesey were nearly 100mph!  We got to Malltraeth at 1pm and with the weather only continuing to worsen, we decided to summon a lift – particularly before the bridges were closed. We got safely back to Bangor to hear how devastating the weather had been across the whole of the UK. The journey home, which usually takes 3-4 hours was affected by the weather – I ended up on 3 trains and a taxi arriving home at 1am!   I left my adventure  with a total of 192 miles under my belt but 22 miles short of my plan. A very very big thank you to officers and particularly the CSOs of Anglesey who were so supportive and helpful – they were a credit to North Wales Police.   To be continued…                                     (Det Supt) Paul Griffiths

[Paul has raised nearly £1600 for COPS so far!  If you would like to donate, please visit:  ]


1960’s “Definition of God”

Chief Constable – leaps tall buildings with a single bound, is more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, walks on water and gives policy to God.God

Deputy Chief Constable – leaps small buildings with a single bound, is more powerful than a bulldozer, is nearly as fast as a speeding bullet, walks on water if the sea is calm and occasionally talks to God.

Assistant Chief Constable – leaps small buildings with a running start and favourable wind, is almost as powerful as a bulldozer, walks on water in an indoor swimming pool, can dodge a speeding bullet and talks to God if a special request is made.

Chief Superintendent – barely clears a garden shed, loses tug-of-war with locomotive, can sometimes avoid a speeding bullet, swims well and is occasionally addressed by God.

Superintendent – makes scratch marks when trying to leap buildings, is run over by locomotives, can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting injuries upon himself, does doggy paddle and is ignored by God.

Chief Inspector – recognises locomotives two or three times a day, runs into buildings, is not issued with guns or ammo, can stay afloat with proper instructions on a Mae West and talks to animals.

Inspector – falls over doorsteps when entering buildings, says ‘Look at the choo-choo’, is not issued with guns, plays in puddles and talks to himself. He can also ride a bike

Sergeant – lifts buildings and walks under them, kicks locomotives off their tracks, catches speeding bullets between his teeth and eats them, freezes water with a single glance. He is God.

Constable – sweeps under buildings, puts locomotives back on their tracks, picks up empty cases after speeding bullets have been fired, carries water to be frozen – He is the son of God.

The above article was unashamedly poached from the Police Federation magazine and was submitted by a retired West Yorkshire officer.

[Editors note – I identify with this definition, NOT I hasten to add because I was once a Sergeant, but because I worked for one or two Sergeants like this as a young constable. My contemporaries will know who I mean! ]

Interested in Cycling?

Would you like some company, advice and help for rides in our lovely countryside?  Anything from a few miles, to twenty or thirty miles.

I would be happy to assist you back into cycling with some of the flattish cycle routes around us, river rides to the more extreme rides over the Brecon Beacons. There are rides for men, women of all abilities and fitness.

Please give me a ring to arrange suitable dates, venues or just to have a chat about cycling.

Malcolm Parfitt (PC 221 1973 to 2003) 3 Skenfrith Close, Grove Park, Blackwood NP12 1GD telephone 01495 227104

Gwent Police Motorcycle Club

If two wheels but no pedalling is your thing, please check out the Gwent Police Motorcycle Club.  You don’t have to own a Superbike – they have something to offer from a moped upwards, as I was told!

The GPMC welcomes members of all experience levels. The GPMC has changed a lot over the number of years that it has been in service, where at its inception the Club was based on sporting activity, then it migrated into a collection of Class 1 riders; it has now evolved into a group of riders from all over the place, from all Sections and beyond the bounds of the Authority. It now lives to promote biking within Gwent, and seeks to bring bikers together to enjoy the social side to enjoying the open road, rather than focusing on just sporting activities alone.  or contact Ps 103 Poulton at HQ  – Tel:  –  01633 645715

Gwent Police Sports Association Dinner

This will be held on Saturday 21st June 2014 at the Parc Hotel, Park Place, Cardiff – 6.30pm for 7.00pm

Guest Speaker – Kingsley Jones (Former Welsh International, WRU elite coach, current head coach of Russian National Rugby Team & Gwent Dragons Technical Coach)



Starter – Roasted tomato & pepper Soup with pesto croutes –

or –  Rillettes of Salmon, Pickled Cucumber and Horseradish


Main Course – Breast of Corn-fed Chicken with Dauphinois Potatoes – or – Wild Mushroom & Chestnut Orzo Pasta (v)


Dessert – Vanilla Cheesecake Plus coffee & mints

£25.00 per person

Dress code – Lounge suits    Bar ‘til 12.30am

Any member of staff wishing to attend the dinner please forward a cheque (made payable to’ Gwent Police Championship Account’) to DC 980 Sally Broome, OCU-FCT at Police Headquarters (07581 239912) together with your details and menu choice A.S.A.P but by no later than Wednesday 11th June 2014

 GPPA Website


The new GPPA Website was launched at the AGM. The web address is

We hope to have more information and photographs online soon.

Monmouthshire Police Helicopter

 Copter 1 colour

(Double click on images to enlarge and show a clearer image)

For those who think that the Police helicopter is the latest hi-tech ‘toy’, here is a photo of its fore-runner, the Monmouthshire Police Helicopter, which took to the skies above Gwent in 1968.

It is one of a number of old glass-plate photographs discovered by former Pc Tim Banks, who is working to convert them to computer images.


Appearances are not quite what they seem. It was a joint Civil Defence exercise, in which Monmouthshire officers took part, together with the military.

Copter 2 collour

On the left of the photo can be seen former ACC John  Woodcock and Supt Tony Hoare, with other officials examining the aircraft.

Old vans colour

 Fortunately our vehicles are now a little more up to date.

 old pandas colour

This was a fleet of new Panda cars in 1966, where Monmouthshire Constabulary took part in a policing experiment together with Lancashire, for those who remember “Z Cars”

 police van colour

This motorway patrol vehicle was introduced in 1969. You R.P.U. types eat your heart out. This van could possibly reach 70 mph fully laden!

Ford Zodiac & cc

Ford Zodiac ? patrol Car with Chief Constable William Farley.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers

PRESIDENT  – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail [email protected]

Rugby Team

This is Newport A Division RFC sometime in the early 80’s, taken at the old Gwent Police sports ground at Llantarnam.   How many can you name?          [Small Prize for the first correct reply. Editor ]




Dates for your Diary


Charity Dinner – Hilton Hotel 1st March 2014


Spring Luncheon – Morels Restaurant – 20th March 2014


Buffet Dance  – Usk Con Club. 9th May 2014



 Former DS 239 Jim ADAMS is now residing at the Cantref Nursing Home, Belgrave Road, Abergavenny  He hasn’t been in too good health recently but as ever with some of the older ones, his mind is still as sharp as ever. He would be happy to see old friends.

Charity Dinner

 The Police & Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable are jointly hosting a Charity Dinner at the Newport Hilton on 1st March 2014. 7pm for 7.30pm. Tickets £30 per head which includes half a bottle of wine each with proceeds going to Parkinsons UK.

There is a Live Band. Dress code – smart casual.  No long speeches! This is an evening to enjoy and also support the Charity. Tickets available via Chris Parry. The hotel are also offering Bed & Breakfast accommodation at £65 per couple.

Please support this excellent cause.

 GPPA Lunch Menu 12md for 12.30pm Thursday 20th March  – Morels Restaurant, Crosskeys College

 Chris, our treasurer, has found his cheque book and agreed to generously support the above lunch.  The cost of the meal to members will be £3 per person.  This has to be the bargain of the year.  Anyone who has been there before will tell you the food is of a very good standard.  There is a bar which will be open from 12 noon.

 Unfortunately we are restricted to 30 so it will be on a first come first served basis and to members and partners only. 

The restaurant is in the college campus and there is plenty of car parking.  If you go into the college car park from Wainfawr Park Road, the restaurant is on the left and has a red fascia around the middle of the building.

Cheques made payable to GPPA to be sent to Dave Moses (address at back of the Newsletter).   Please include email and / or telephone number along with your choice from the three courses below.  A vegetarian main course will be available if required.

Home made Watercress Soup with Parmesan Choux Buns


A Trio of Melon Pearls steeped in Port with Mint Syrup


Beef Bourguignon with Savoury Rice


Fillet of Cod Topped with Brie & Bacon Lardons


Each with a selection of Freshly Prepared Vegetables and Potatoes


Crème Brulee with Fresh Fruit Compote


Almond Tart with Custard


Freshly Brewed Coffee or Tea.


Name of Person(s) attending …………………………………….

Email address………………………………………………………

Telephone number…………………………………………………

First Course(s)…….……………………………………………….

Main Course(s)…………………………………………………….


Any Dietary Requirements………………………………………..

Buffet Dance

 The committee of the GPPA have decided to hold a Buffet Dance.   The Dance is to be held at the Usk Conservative Club from 7pm till 11pm on Friday 9th of May 2014 dancing (not compulsory) to “Under the Covers”   The music featured is described as “60’s to the Present”

Admission by ticket only – £10.00 per person which will include a buffet.  No dress code.

Please support this function by coming along and bringing your friends and meeting some old and perhaps making some new ones.

Tickets to be purchased in advance please – to allow us to cater for numbers etc. For tickets and enquiries, contact Stella Coburn on 01633 547586  or  email [email protected]

Your participation is vital as we need all the support for this venture to succeed.


Senior Siren Magazine –

An online magazine for Senior Citizens


Please follow the below link to the very latest edition of the Senior Siren magazine. The bi-monthly magazine of the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (SCLT)

We are delighted to report that the Senior Citizen Liaison Team were the recipients of a national ‘Fighting Fraud’ Award, which is organised by the British Government.

Please take a moment to check out the magazine and consider forwarding it to someone who may benefit from the contents. This edition features a Senior Spotlight interview with Mr Brian Cumming MBE ~ a career soldier with the British Army and now one of the famous Chelsea Pensioners.

Ash Jones

Chair of Trustees


 I was in a truck stop listening to two long-distance truck drivers complaining of the increase of traffic on the roads.

One said he can remember his Father telling him about how he used to leave Amsterdam on a Monday, drive to the south of Italy, make his delivery and be back home on Tuesday evening.

The second said his Father used to leave Cherbourg on a Monday, down to the south of Portugal and back by Tuesday lunchtime.

At this juncture I had to chip in, “My Dad told me that he would leave the south of England on a Monday evening, go to Hamburg, drop his load and he’d be back in England early on Tuesday!”

“Wow” exclaimed the other two, “what the heck was he driving?”

“I think it was a called a Lancaster.”




“My memory is going  so I changed my password to “Incorrect.” That way when I log in with the wrong password,
the computer will tell me… “Your password is incorrect.”

After watching a documentary on TV, I said to the wife, “I would hate to be dependent on a machine and only taking fluids”  She turned my laptop off and poured my beer down the sink!



 Former Police Constable David LEWIS passed away on 27th November 2013. Dave served from 1959 to 1990 in Newport and was the Coroners Officer based at Central Police Station. Dave was a widower and is survived by his children Donna, Neil and Jane. The funeral service was on Friday 6th December 2013 at Gwent Crematorium.

Former Police Constable John R. ROGERS passed away on 4th November 2013. John served from 1972 to 1986 retiring to Perth, Scotland. He is survived by his wife Hilary. This was a late notification and the funeral service has taken place.

David BURGE passed away on 10th December. He was a widower and is survived by his daughter, Andrea Pearce. It is believed that he served from 1960 to 1973. His funeral was on 20th December 2013 at the Gwent Crematorium

Sybil BURTON, wife of former Pc 719 Tom BURTON (Pandy) on 7th January 2014. Her funeral was on Wednesday 21st January 2014 at Gwent Crematorium.

Mrs Sarah Elizabeth GROVES, widow of Ny Groves (who died in 2001) has passed away. She is survived by her son Mark.  Her funeral was on 20th January 2014  at St Annes Church, Nantyglo then  interment at Brynithel Cemetery.

Florence ‘Rusty’ ASTON died on Thursday 2nd January aged 96. Rusty at the end of the World War 11 decided to join the police. She underwent basic training at Harrogate before travelling to London for further Training. She was then allocated to Newport Borough Police as a Matron dealing with women and children. It is unclear if she was appointed as a WPC. She married PC, later, Sergeant Ken Aston. Her funeral was at St John’s Church Maindee on Monday 20th January.

Former Wpc 5 Sarah Ann MOON, Nee REES passed away in late January 2014. She served from 1957 to 1970 and her family understand she was the first Wpc in Risca, having transferred to Monmouthshire from Leicestershire & Rutland Constabulary. Her funeral will be 10.30am Wednesday 12th Feb 2014 at Cwmcarn Church.

Former Pc Peter RICH passed away on 1st February 2014. Peter served from 1962 to 1991 and will be remembered for his days with the Dog Section, Bagpipe playing, building model railway engines and his restoration work with Didcot Railway Society. He is survived by his wife Maureen. His funeral will be held at 1pm on Thursday 20th February 2014 at Gwent Crematorium.

Christmas Draw Night 2013

 The above event was held on Wednesday 27th November 2013 at Islwyn Club, Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith.

The draw winners were:

1st Prize – £250 Phil Roberts,

2nd prize – £100 A Hewes,

3rd Prize – £75 Dave Lewis,

4th Prize – £60 M Richards,

5th Prize – £50 Geoff Davies,

6th Prize – £40 D. Edwards.

Cheques have been sent to the lucky winners.

The usual excellent Buffet was provided and a good night was had by all who attended.

Do you remember Abergavenny… or Betty

 Last week, CSO Amanda Yung met one of the country’s first female police photographers.

Betty Jones who is 99 years old, was a photographer with the former Monmouthshire Constabulary and one of the first two women in the country to do the job at the time.

Betty and Amanda met last week with ‘Forgotten Abergavenny’ which is a community research project run by the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. The project aims to speak to local people from Abergavenny to discover more about the heritage of the area.

Betty Jones

Photo: Betty with Dr David Studdert and CSO Amanda Yung

Betty was invited to share her memories. Her interest in photography began when she got a box Brownie at the age of 12. She began taking pictures of friends’ weddings, pets and babies and her reputation as a good photographer grew.

It was meeting a police officer at the local camera club which set her on the path to her career with the police when he mentioned that the Chief Constable at the time was looking for a photographer.

Betty was based in the former police headquarters in Abergavenny, she explained; “I was told that the Chief Constable wanted to see me at 9am in the morning. I went along and he said “When can you start?” – that was the interview! I started work the next day and stayed until I retired at 62 and a half.”

Local Community Support Officer Amanda Yung joined residents, keen to learn more about how policing has changed over the years, she said; “It was so interesting to speak to Betty about her job with the former Monmouthshire Constabulary, she is a really inspirational lady.”

If you grew up in Abergavenny or worked there and have any old photos or memorabilia you’d like to share with Forgotten Abergavenny, visit their Facebook



 One of our members, former Sgt 1120 David Cameron (the original one, not the more recent version) formerly of Rhymney station, has unfortunately been burgled at his home in Trelewis and amongst other items, his Police Good Conduct medal and Queens Golden Jubilee medal were stolen. South Wales Police are dealing with the incident, but should anyone come across the items for sale, or hear anything, he would be very grateful of any help.   Thank you.


 World’s Worst Sketch leads to arrest


A police sketch dubbed the ‘worst ever’ has amazingly led to an arrest in the US.

Lamar County Sheriff’s Department released the picture in the hope of tracking down a mugging suspect, reports Metro.

The image went viral, sparking hilarity among social media users and online news sites with many claiming it was the worst police sketch ever, but a patrolman from the local sheriff’s department in Paris, Texas, later claimed he recognised the man from the cartoon-like depiction.

Police had defended the image which they said was a composite from two descriptions sketched by an experienced police artist.

And they had the last laugh when the patrolman’s tip led to a local man being charged with aggravated robbery and other crimes including indecent exposure, burglary, criminal mischief and evading arrest.

Paul Walks Wales

 Paul Griffths

Superintendent Paul Griffiths has committed to a new challenge in 2014, he is going to walk the entire length of the Welsh coastal path – 870 miles!

Commencing on 9th January, 2014, he is walking over a series of long weekends.  After getting a train to Chester, he commenced walking along the River Dee on 10th January and arrived at Bangor on Monday 13th, to travel back to work.

Day 1 – Thursday 9th January 2014

 day 1

Welcome to Wales…870 miles…off we go!

The train journey from Newport to Chester was full of a mixture of apprehension and excitement. Only 870 miles ahead to walk this year but it is a fantastic cause. All credit to rail services, train arrived on time and walked to a local backpackers accommodation for an overnight stay. A quick stroll that evening to the local shop to get my provisions for the next day and I was set to go!

Day 2 – Friday 10th January 2014

Early start, washed, packed and ready to go! Walked through Chester in the dark. Wonderful place and managed to find a window cleaner to take a quick photograph of me. I was surprised how close the Welsh Border is to the centre of Chester.

I arrived at the starting point, alongside the River Dee, at 07.30am and it was still dark. This was my first problem – I had arranged with Corporate Communications for Gwent Police to walk the route with one of their Go Pro Cameras on my head to film the route on a time lapse camera – but I didn’t want to start in the dark. The sun was up at 8.15 and off I set – paved walk along the Dee. It was a nice day and apart from jumping out my skin when an Airbus Airplane flew low over my head – it was very enjoyable.

 day 2 flint castle

Flint Castle

I crossed a bridge and then found the ground a little more tricky. I was grateful to have walking sticks when sliding around the mud banking! The Dee had flooded previously and unfortunately, I found myself wading through shin deep water which got into my boots. This was going to cause me some problems later. I finally arrived at the castle in Flint for a lunch stop. I checked my Go Pro camera and found that the battery had run out! – I was mildly unimpressed and had no way of re-charging it. My great media plans shattered on the first morning!

I continued on from Flint and enjoyed the scenery as the Dee started to widen out. However, the flooding damage created further problems. Footpath closures caused disheartening diversions and when I got back on the path I regularly came across the complete disappearance of a path. Fence climbing and scrambling got me over these hazards. I started to feel the dreadful warming sensation in my feet – the blisters were developing, but at least the weather was good!

As I approached my accommodation in Mostyn, a car slowly pulled up next to me with Chief Supt Simon Humphreys driving. There was a pleasant exchange of encouragement (!?!?) and, as planned, he agreed to collect me later and take me out for food. I stayed in an interesting establishment in Mostyn – note to self – contact local Police for advice on accommodation next time! Had a shower and changed and Simon drove me to Prestatyn for a welcome meal. His insistence for pudding was on the basis that I looked like I needed the calories! 🙂 He very kindly drive me around for a while whilst I warmed my legs on his heated seats. I slept fully clothed that night as the heating had broken – deep joy!

Day 3 – Saturday 11th January 2014

 day 3

Sunrise in Prestatyn

A distinct lack of sleep made the decision to start early easy. Off I set at 6.15 am in the dark. Fortunately, it was road walking and with drizzle in the air, the night sky was occasionally lit up with lightening at sea. I arrived at Point of Ayr for sunrise – walking on the beach. Apart from the wind driving into my face for a couple of hours and the uncomfortable sensation in my boots, it was a very pleasant walk to Prestatyn. The route for the rest of the day was paved and led me through Rhyl, Kimmel Bay and heading in the direction of Colwyn Bay. I was finding the walking a little tough now. My difficulties lay in stopping and then trying to re-start. It would take a while to get started until my feet were numbed into normal walking mode. I was paying a heavy price for the blistered feet. The weather was good and the coastline was very scenic. I finally arrived in Colwyn Bay – approximately 45 miles in two days to be greeted by Emyr Jones who had agreed to collect me and transport me to my accommodation. I had a pang of guilt getting into his perfectly clean car. He took me to get some provisions and then dropped me off with Craig Jones who had kindly offered to put me up for two nights. There was a distinct improvement in the quality of the accommodation compared to the previous night and I was very grateful for his help and support. Shower, food and before long I was pushing out the Zzzz…

Day 4 – Sunday 12th January 2014

 day 4


Emyr kindly dropped me back to Colwyn Bay where I met with Val Jones and 10 others who were going to walk with me all day. Members of North Wales Police and Cheshire joined me on a 15 mile walk from Colwyn Bay to Conwy. The support was incredible and I had time to chat to everyone. They were really decent people, each with their own personal and professional stories. The chatting had distracted me from the pain of the walk and once the mini rally had driven past, we all admired the view from the Great Orme. The walk down to Conwy was interesting, where we saw the true damage caused by the sea at West Shore. I was also rather intrigued by a walkers dog who did rather an unusual trick with other dogs excrement. We all finally made it to Conwy to be met by a couple of PCSOs and their police vehicle for the final photograph of the day. I thanked everyone for their incredible support and the time they had given up. They were fantastic – hopefully a few more twitter followers too! Val took me back to Craigs for food and rest.

Day 5 – Monday 13th January 2014

day 5

Made it to Bangor! Only 790 miles to go…

Craig dropped me off at Conwy and I was met by Mark Jones, Ex Superintendent from North Wales Police and his faithful dog. Again – the weather was kind and we chatted for hours and hours as we crept our way towards Bangor. I was grateful for the sandwiches he provided and he even made his own bread! – he clearly has time on his hands with retirement. I was finding the walking very tough now and it was definitely mind over matter with the blisters. Mark was patient and kind to say the least. We finally made it to Bangor Pier – 80 miles of the journey completed. Eleri (Marks wife) kindly collected us and took us back for a bath and food. I met the extensive family – really nice people. The train left Bangor and went direct to Cwmbran where after several hours on the train, I realised my legs did not want to play again. I took a taxi from the Station to Headquarters and after Mr Stinton had seen me struggling to walk and heard about my endeavours – he gave me £2 for COPS.

Apart from hobbling around Headquarters for a couple of days, I have now recovered and set for the next stage.

I have raised £310 for COPS so far – If you would like to donate please visit:

You can follow my journey on Twitter @GPCIDSuper

Thank you

Paul Griffiths
Detective Superintendent


GPPA Website

 The new GPPA Website was launched at the AGM. The web address is

 We hope to have more information and photographs online soon.


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.

Association Officers

PRESIDENT  – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable



14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]



The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]



Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail  [email protected]



 Dates for your Diary

 Wednesday 27th November 2013 – Draw Night at Islwyn Club, Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith from 7pm.

 Annual Draw

You should all have received a book of Draw Tickets with this Newsletter. Please note that monies and completed stubs should be returned to the Treasurer before 25th November. Don’t fall into the trap of putting them ‘behind the clock’ for another day, or you could miss out on a prize!  Your support is appreciated, Thank you.

 Other News

 Following the request for help tracing old colleagues in the last magazine, the following day I had calls from Cora Warner, Neil Jones, Graham Kennard, Marie (Bevan) Holmes, and several others. Many thanks. We have traced all except Bill Landman and reports put him in Saskatoon, Canada.   Watch this space!

 Letters / Correspondence

In your last News Letter there was an interesting account of John Smith`s involvement in the Battle of Kohima whilst serving in the R.A.F. and tasked with dropping supplies to the fighting troops involved in that terrible battle.

Kohima was the beginning of the end for the Japanese in Burma although somewhat overshadowed by events on the European mainland. Not for nothing did the 14th. Army fighting in Burma consider themselves “The Forgotten Army.”

These reminiscences of Sergeant John (Jack ) Kelly are the combined memories of myself, Jim Young, Ron Vaughan, Bob Gwatkin, Joe Sanderson and Shon Davies.; we all had the privilege of serving under this most charismatic of men.

Jack hailed from the North of England. Either Yorkshire or Tyneside. In his early days he had played professional football for Barnsley. An immensely powerful man he seemed as broad as he was tall and his hands were like shovels.

Stories abound of Jack separating a pair of fighting drunks and holding them apart by sheer strength and also throwing a wife beater down the stairs of the house, (after Jack found him hiding in a bedroom) and ordering Jim Young, who was at the bottom, to “Stand on his head!” – the villain’s that is.

Jack was a devout Catholic, an absolute teetotaller and, somewhat eccentrically, walked from his home in Coldra Road to duty and back again and rarely used public transport.

A disciplinarian, he was also a great Sergeant, content to turn a blind eye to the occasional tea break and always supportive of his men. Most Bobbies who served under Jack thought the world of him as did I.

On one occasion I noticed that Jack was wearing a black, white and red Medal Ribbon that I did not recognise. He told me, without boasting, that it was the Military Medal awarded to him when Company Sergeant Major of the Northamptonshire Regiment fighting at Kohima.

A few months ago, I was reading a book on the Burma Campaign. Kohima was written about in great detail.

Mention was made of C.S.M Kelly of the Northamptonshire Regiment who was awarded the Military Medal for single-handedly taking out a Japanese machine gun position that was causing extensive casualties to British troops.

He picked up a Bren gun and charged the Japanese wiping them out to a man.

On 6th. August 1944 The Viceroy of India, Field Marshal Lord Wavell flew to Imphal where he presented numerous decoration awarded for heroism at Kohima.

 Amongst the recipients of the Military Medal was Company Sergeant Major John Francis Kelly of the Northamptonshire Regiment.

Jim Young recalls that Jack was subsequently given a Battlefield Commission and finished the War in the rank of Major.

Upon his retirement he took up a security post at Whiteheads Steel Works and, through his son Chris, developed an interest in rugby. Sadly, Chris died at the age of 32 on the rugby field whilst playing for Newport High School Old Boys.

Another Newport Borough Officer also served in Burma.

Sergeant Richard Bell was a Chindit and a longstanding member of the Burma Star Association. I inherited his Constable`s collar number ,108, when joining in 1955.

Dick Bell was a Sergeant Instructor at the District Police Training Centre at Bridgend and married the Matron.

If only through the pages of our Pensioners` News Letter these gallant men should not be forgotten.

 Charles Nunn

 Important information re E111 / EHIC

 Members with access to the internet should be wary if applying for, or renewing, European Health Insurance Cards (formerly E111).

Search engines will throw up a number of “offical looking” websites for applications/renewals – at costs ranging from £19.99 to £24.99. !! Of course, this is a free entitlement to anyone who has paid NI (haven’t we all ???) and can be applied for via the official Government website, or in person at main Post Offices without charge .

Kind regards

Chris Titchener

 AGM Report in Brief

 The Chairman David Davies opened the meeting and welcomed our guests, (see below).  He announced that he was standing down for health reasons. He hoped that the Vice Chairman, David Moses would step into his shoes. He thanked the membership for their support over the past years but felt that this was the right time to stand down.

The Chief Constable being unable to attend, was represented by Ch/Supt Alun Thomas who gave all present an account of the state of the Force, the current high profile cases including Operation Imperial – the enquiry into slavery/servitude in Marshfield; the drive-by shooting at Chepstow Road and several murders, as well as several fatal RTC enquiries, one of which is currently going through the Courts.  The force has also been supplying Mutual Aid to other forces, including Northern Ireland. The Winsor report has brought changes to policing, including officers serving until they are 65, (he mentioned speaking to one officer who stated he still had 44 years left to serve) direct entry at senior levels from Military and Industry and the possibility of officers being made redundant.

The Deputy Police Crime Commissioner, Paul Harris apologised for the absence of the PCC Ian Johnson, who would be late, owing to a prior arranged meeting. He is attending an average of 2 such evening meetings per week. He also spoke regarding changes that are planned and hopes for the future of the force. He and PCC will be attending this Sunday afternoon at St David’s Hall, Cardiff where the National Police Memorial Day is being held.

Mr David Moses was duly elected as Chairman and Mrs Stella Coburn as Vice Chairman.

The Secretary (Laurie Oliver) and Treasurer (Chris Parry) were re-elected.

The existing executive committee were put forward and those re-elected were:

Nigel Pocknell, Keith Edwards, Norman Crockett, Anthea Crockett, Lydia Clarke, Jean Jeffries, Terry John, Mike Wyatt and Malcolm & June Parfitt.

Next years Annual Trip will be to Swansea, with a stop on the way home at Porthcawl for a meal. More details to be announced later.  The meeting was then closed.

 GPPA Website

The new GPPA Website was launched at the AGM. The web address is

We hope to have more information and photographs online soon.



 Following his decision to step down as Chairman of GPPA due to health issues, David DAVIES was presented with two Certificates at the Annual Luncheon. The first was a Certificate celebrating Dave’s Lifetime Commitment to Gwent Police, NARPO and GPPA and was presented by the Chief Constable, Jeff Farrar, pictured here with Dave and the Gwent PCC, Mr Ian Johnston.  The second certificate was making him an Honorary Life Member of GPPA for his services to the Association.  Dave was totally taken by surprise and has written to give his thanks to everyone in GPPA for their support.

 Police in a Pickle


Officers from neighbouring Avon & Somerset found themselves in a pickle – literally, when they attended an incident in Bodden Lane, Shepton Mallett where a vehicle delivering Branston Pickle struck on overhanging branch and lost some of its load.

Only 10 miles from Cheddar, the spiritual home of British cheese, locals suggested that the driver was trying to create the world’s largest ploughman’s lunch.

cartoon 1 cartoon 2


The contents of this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Chief Constable or Gwent Police.


Association Officers

 PRESIDENT  – JEFF FARRAR,   Chief Constable


14, Chichester Close, The Moorings, Newport NP19 7LJ

Tel 01633 669672

eMail – [email protected]


The Glade, Trostrey, USK, Monmouthshire NP15 1JH.

Tel 01291 673515.

eMail [email protected]


Treasurer GPPA, 125 Castle Lea, Caldicot,

Monmouthshire NP26 4HS

Tel 01291 423458

eMail  [email protected]