Ensuring Civil Order
These records come from the wartime files of Frank Bunn, the Chief Constable of Stoke on Trent City Police, 1936-1955. For fans of "Foyle's War", Frank Bunn was Stoke's answer to Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. During the War he was responsible for ensuring civil order in Stoke on Trent as war-time restrictions took effect. In fact the first of the documents show that the Police Force was well prepared to implement restrictions even before war was declared on 3 September 1939.
Throughout the course of the war Frank Bunn sent regular situation reports to the Home Office and other files show that he was in regular correspondence with Sir Vernon Kell, the head of MI5. Stoke on Trent City Police had been conducting surveillance operations for many years before the war, keeping track of Communist and Fascist activities. This continued during the war and Police Officers were also detailed to watch for any possible spying activities.
All leave for Police Officers was cancelled at the beginning of the war and there is no doubt that there was an increased workload during the war years. As well as policing in Stoke on Trent the Force was sometimes required to reinforce areas of the Country under particular stress, such as Coventry in November 1940. All potential emergency situations had to be prepared for. The possibility that telephone and telegraph wires might be sabotaged prior to a German invasion led the Stoke Force to set up a Pigeon Messenger Service.
Outbreak of War
Assistance to Coventry
Police Pigeon Messenger Service
Thinking the Unthinkable