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JWMT 22-01-21 04:39 PM

Leicester Borough Police 1870 -1900
Hi all,

I appreciate this is a very niche query but hoping someone may be able to help.

I have a relative who served with the Leicester Borough Police in the 1870s up to 1900, covering the ranks of Police Constable up to Superintendent.

Does anyone know (or can point me in the direction of where I can find) what insignia (badges, buttons etc) he would have worn?

I would love to find an example but currently have no idea what to look out for.

Thanks in advance,


altcar73 22-01-21 05:20 PM

I have a large collection of Leicester Borough/City Police insignia. I'll do a photo for you tomorrow when the light is better.


JWMT 22-01-21 05:27 PM

That would be fantastic Dave thank you, much appreciated!

altcar73 23-01-21 09:41 AM

2 Attachment(s)
As promised please see the appended photos.

I'm sorry but I'm unable to suggest any likely sources of these items other than to suggest keeping a watching brief on eBay and the auction houses. I note that you are particularly interested in items of insignia from the Victorian period. These are almost impossible to find and if you do, expect to pay large sums to secure them. Sorry if I sound negative, but that's the reality.


JWMT 23-01-21 09:50 AM

Those are brilliant thanks Dave - very impressive collection!

Appreciate the comments on scarcity of these - best for me to be aware of as much as possible.

Of the ones in your collection - do you know which are likely to be from the period I am looking at?
(Do you also know the distinction between the badges which show leicester police and leicester borough police? Am I right in also thinking the Leicester City police are post-1900?)

altcar73 23-01-21 10:31 AM

Leicester formally became a "City" in April 1919. However, it would seem that the title had been used informally by some prior to that time.

The first four helmet plates on the left hand side of the first photo bear Queen Victoria's Crown which would date them prior to 1902 or thereabout. The fifth helmet plate on the right "208" which has on it the King's Crown is Edwardian.

The belt clasp and cape chain were worn during the Victoria's reign and into Edward's.

Senior Officers during that period wore a bullion wire badge consisting of the "wyvern" or "shield" within a wreath with Crown above.

There is no real significance between the wording on the helmet plates (Police versus Borough Police). Such variations were usually at the whim of the Chief Constable of the day with the approval of the Watch Committee. That said, in Leicester's case it can be an indication of the age of the badge.

If you are not already in possession of a copy, I recommend buying the book "Peelers to Pandas" (An illustrated History of the Leicester City Police") by Ben Beazley, Published in 2001. An excellent book full of period photos. There are usually several copies on eBay.


JWMT 23-01-21 11:51 AM

Thanks Dave - very thorough and extremely useful.

I'm hoping to get to the Leicester record office once lockdown lifts as they believe they may have additional photos of my relative.

I do have one photograph of him in Uniform from c.1876 when he was a PC - It looks like the badge he is wearing is similar to bottom right of your first photo but with a Queen Victoria crown - hopefully one of these will pop up at some point!

Here is a link to the photo in case it is of interest - Link. Thanks as well for the book recommendation - I'll be sure to take a look

Phil2M 23-01-21 03:41 PM

A two part badge, perhaps made using a collar badge and a generic white metal QVC at the time?

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