Author Topic: What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?  (Read 399 times)

Offline saturnia

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What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?
« on: Wednesday 23 May 18 15:18 BST (UK) »
I have an ancestor's occupation listed, on his death certificate from the mid 1940s, as works policeman - electrical engineers and then his usual occupation (journeyman joiner) listed in brackets after this.  He was over 60 and, as far as I can tell, had been a joiner all his working life so I'm unsure what the works policeman - electrical engineers part describes or relates to?  Any help would be very appreciated - thank you.

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Offline diplodicus

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Re: What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 23 May 18 15:45 BST (UK) »
In the "good old days" a lot of factories (which then employed thousands of people) would have what we would now call security guards. They could search employees on their way. home to ensure they weren't pilfering anything. They were even known to patrol the lavatories to minimise skiving!

I suspect your ancestor was now in his pre-retirement role?

Also it being wartime, perhaps they were engaged in "the war effort:
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Offline saturnia

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Re: What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 23 May 18 16:17 BST (UK) »
Thank you so much for this reply - that's really interesting and informative to be able to know more about this role that he indeed must have been undertaking in the final stage of his life during the second world war years. :)

Offline philipsearching

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Re: What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 23 May 18 20:43 BST (UK) »
In the "good old days" a lot of factories (which then employed thousands of people) would have what we would now call security guards. They could search employees on their way. home to ensure they weren't pilfering anything. They were even known to patrol the lavatories to minimise skiving!

I suspect your ancestor was now in his pre-retirement role?

Also it being wartime, perhaps they were engaged in "the war effort:"?

The demand for men too old for active military service was high.  In addition to "out of hours" activities in the Home Guard, Air Raid Precautions or Special Constabulary, extra men were employed in factories as security guards (works police).  Not only to prevent pilfering, but also because there was a fear of "fifth columnists" and enemy agents carrying out sabotage.

Unlike men in the uniformed services your ancestor would not have been awarded the Defence Medal or other recognition, but his work was important.

Philip
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Offline saturnia

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Re: What was a "Works Policeman - Electrical Engineers" in 1940s England?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 24 May 18 10:45 BST (UK) »
Thank you so much for your reply; it is good to be able to finally know exactly what type of work he was doing at this late stage in his life, and gain more of an insight into what this would have involved. :)