Dastardly Deeds on the Home Front, Episode 4: It’s a Fair Cop

Debbie Cameron, one of the volunteers for GM1914, has uncovered a fascinating tale of fraud in Manchester during the Great War.

Not only has she researched details of the trial and the criminals involved, but she has also been able to track down the policeman who gave evidence.


He may be one of the men in this image of a march past Colonel Eden in 1910.

Colonel Eden Saluting the march past, 1910
IT’S A FAIR COP

The policeman who gave the evidence in this trial, and who was cross examined, was one Detective Sergeant Charles Henry Haughton.

Charles was born in Huddersfield in 1882 and in the 1901 census he is still there, not yet a Policeman – in fact his occupation is described as “Assistant” at a Turkish Baths, which is not quite as exotic as it sounds as it was attached to the Huddersfield Infirmary and used purely for “medicinal” purposes!.

He married Annie Hirst at the Salem Chapel, Huddersfield.

I know he joined the Manchester Police in 1905 as I have found his registration. By 1911 he is living in Harpurhey and his occupation is that of a Detective Police Constable. So he has moved location and moved up in the world.

We know he was promoted some time before 1917, as he is listed as a DS during the court proceedings. Furthermore, I know he was promoted to a Detective Inspector as I have traced his career through several newspaper cuttings of cases that he was involved with.

I know that he obtained the rank of Detective Inspector by 1921 and was still involved in cases up until 1928, when the reports come to an end. Perhaps he retired in 1930 after 25 years’ service?! He could have told some great tales, judging by some of the cases he was involved in!

I also found a newspaper cutting in which it was reported that Charles received an award for Meritorious Police work (in 1921) – and a cash reward of £15 to boot! I was rather pleased to find that the doughty Charles had been recognized for his hard work – the citation states that he worked for over a month, 7 days a week and also at night  ‘above and beyond the call of duty’.

I found some absolutely brilliant headlines associated with Charles’ cases whilst researching this – including:

“Mallet found in abandoned motor car”;
“Discovered on Roof – Broken Window”
“Fraudulent scamp sentenced”.

Not exactly sensational, ‘hold the front page!’ headlines!

You can follow the story of the trial on the GM1914 blog posts – don’t miss next week’s concluding instalment!

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