War Reserve Constabulary

From Historical Hastings Wiki

The War Reserve Police was introduced in 1939 and at the height of World War II in 1944 there were 17,000 war reserve constables.[1] The rank was dissolved on 31 December 1948, causing 686 officers to be discharged from service, and the remainder being recruited for service as a regular or special constable.[2]

Despite British police traditionally being unarmed, during the war officers were armed with Canadian Ross rifles for protection from enemy action, enemy sabotage and to assist with the armed forces.

Duties of a WRC included the usual activities of a constable, as well as enforcing blackouts, combating black market activity, assisting in evacuations and air raids, and capturing deserting soldiers.[3]

Uniform and equipment was the same as a regular constable, with the exception of uniform epaulettes which were detailed WRC above the collar number and divisional sign. During the war officers wore named Brodie helmets instead of traditional police headgear.

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