When I was fourteen years old I worked after school in Leominster Army & Navy Stores. One market day I was in the shop alone when a cattle drover came in and demanded that I get him some cigarettes from the cigarette shop opposite. The drover was a big, hulking, filthy and scruffy man and I was frightened of him, so I left him alone in the shop and went for the cigarettes.
While I was buying the cigarettes I saw the drover stuffing army grey socks at three and eleven pence a pair in his pocket and I was enraged. I therefore asked the cigarette shop owner to ring the police while I returned to my shop and kept the drover in conversation. This he did, the police arrived and after I denounced the drover they arrested him. I was so impressed by the behaviour and actions of the police in arresting this thief that I determined that it was a policeman I wanted to be when I left school.
Two years later the Metropolitan Police began advertising for sixteen year old youths to become Police Cadets and in June 1953 I was fortunate to get one of the few places available. Being a grammar school boy as well as a keen sportsman, i.e. boxing, rugby, water polo and cross country apparently played a large part in my getting accepted.
My Professional Career
Why did you join the police service at such a young age?