Life story written by Paul Beecroft
TO THE MEMORY
DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE OF BERKS
WHO DIED SEPTR 26 1896
AGED 65 YEARS
William GRANT was born in 1831 in Stepney, Middlesex. Nothing is known of his early years but by 1861 he is known to be living in Duddingston, near Edinburgh, Scotland. He is a Police Inspector and is married to Catherine Farquharson Cumming and they have one child named William who is 2 years old.
In 1862, William moved to Reading and took up the position of chief clerk to Col. Sir James Fraser, the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary which had been formed in 1856. The H.Q. of the Berkshire Constabulary was based in Abbey Street, Reading. By 1871 he has been promoted and is now a Superintendent living at the County Police Station. More children had been born – Margaret (1865), James (1867), Charles (1869) and Thomas (1871). More children would follow with Bessie (1874), George (1874) and Catherine (1876).
In 1863, Sir James Fraser was appointed Commissioner of the City of London Police and Colonel Adam Blandy was appointed as the Chief Constable of Berks. On his appointment changes were made within the constabulary, one of which was the appointment of William Grant as the deputy-chief constable. He held this position until his death on 26th September 1896.
The Reading Mercury, Oxford Gazette, Newbury Herald and Berks County Paper published his obituary which reads in part:-
DEATH OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE OF BERKS
We regret to record the death, on Saturday afternoon last, of Mr. William Grant, the deputy chief constable of the county constabulary, in his sixty-sixth year. Mr Grant was highly and deservedly respected by all who were brought into contact with him, for his high ideal of duty, combined with a gentle courtesy and rare business capacity; and every member of the force with which he was so long connected regarded him as a true friend as well as an able administrator. It is a painful coincidence that he would have retired on a well-earned pension the middle of the present month, but this retirement he was not permitted to enjoy, paralysis striking him down.
The funeral took place at St. Lawrence’s Church, on Tuesday, at noon, and at the Cemetery at 1. The choir, under Mr. K.K. Deacon, the organist, were present at the service at the church and show their respect for his memory a large number of parishioners also assembled, including Mr. Henry Creed, churchwarden, Mr. Oliver C. Maurice, the deceased’s medical adviser, was also present.
The mourners were Messrs, William, Charles, Thomas and George Grant (sons), and the Misses Grant (daughters), and next to them followed, in carriages, Colonel Blandy (Chief Constable of Berks), all the superintendents in the county with the exception of Mr. Borlase of Walingford, who was prevented attending, viz., Supts. Pocock (Reading), Atkin (Wokingham), Heath (Abingdon), Butcher (Faringdon), Molsher (Wantage), Dorrell (Maidenhead). Taylor (Maidenhead borough), Robotham (Newbury), and Reed (Windsor). Also following were Inspector Borlase (Hungerford), Inspector Weeks (Newbury), 12 sergeants and 24 constables. Six of the sergeants were bearers.
Handsome floral tributes were sent by the family and by the Chief Constable, and some members of the force, the church officers of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence’s Sunday-school and by the colleagues of his eldest daughter at the Woolwich High School for Girls.
Division 62, Row A, Plot 29