Posted on 3rd November 2023 at 08:42
John Churchward, 211S, joined the force in 1952 having already served 12 years in the Royal Marines including time on the HMS Newfoundland and HMS Hermes. Leaving his wife and newly born son in Plymouth, he moved into the Police Section house in Finchley whilst attending the Hendon Police Training School. On successful completion, he moved his family up to live in the Police Flats in Finchley, just off the North Circular Road.
John was initially stationed at Hampstead and later at Golders Green. He loved being on the beat, both over Hampstead Heath but also patrolling the streets, getting to know the locals: very much the community Policeman. He was often called on to attend difficult homelife situations as he had the reputation of having a ‘good bedside manner’.
He was sent to the Police School of Driving in 1952 and, more importantly completed the Advanced Training Course in 1955 becoming an Emergency Response Driver. He loved driving through the much quieter London streets of the 1960’s with his Radio Operator beside him. He remained as a driver into the late 1970’s when it was decided that a PC was needed to supervise the local Police car fleet. By then, in his late 50’s he thought it a good time to relinquish the fast driving for a more sedate way of life and so ended his police career as the Fleet Manager. He served for 27 years.
One of the great pleasures he had as a member of the Police was an opportunity to become a member of the International Police Association (IPA). Through the association he and his wife Audrey hosted police from, and in some cases made return visits to, Berlin, Hamburg, Turin, Paris, Salzburg, Quebec, and New York.
John and his wife returned to his beloved Devon where he drove for MAFF (Ministry of Fishery and Foods, now DEFRA), visiting farms all over the country, until he reached pension age.
He and his wife then decided to move to Deal in Kent, a town where he had completed his Royal Marine training and where he met his wife, a member of the WRNS.
At 101 it became necessary for John to move into a Care Home and so moved to Great Malvern to be nearer his daughter, where he died in August 2023 at the amazing age of 103, still fondly recalling police officers with whom he had served.
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