PC Forehead attacked

1934, September: PC W Forehead66 was attacked and seriously injured at East Horsley. Bloodhounds were used by the Surrey police yesterday in an effort to trace two men who attacked and seriously injured PC W. Forehead at East Horsley on Monday.

The dogs were employed to test the theory that the men might be hiding in the woods or coppices that abound in the district, but they failed to find any evidence of their presence and eventually the police came to the conclusion that the men had managed to slip through the cordon drawn around the area for many miles.

Forehead was found with his clothes torn and with injuries on his face and hands. He was handcuffed and it is believed he was beaten with his own boots into insensibility. The officer, who was in plain clothes, had been called by a woman in Station Road, East Horsley, who stated that two men were in her house. He saw the two men crossing a field and gave chase and on overtaking them was attacked. He caught up with the two men in a field near Glendene Avenue in East Horsley.

During the search a motor car was found abandoned near where Forehead was attacked. A piece of the constable's clothing was used to gag him and his condition indicates he offered a determined resistance to the attack. Forehead, who is in the Royal Surrey County Hospital where his condition is described as "fairly satisfactory", has five years service in the Surrey Constabulary. Forehead was awarded the BEM for his actions that day.

Inspector Tom Roberts visited him in hospital. His face was badly battered, cut and swollen, but in spite of his serious injuries he was able to give a full account of what happened and an excellent description of the two men. This was supported by three lady witnesses who were able to pick out the men in an ID parade as did PC Forehead.

They had been arrested six weeks after the offence in the Metropolitan Police District and on the 1 December 1934 one was sentenced to six and the other seven years penal servitude. PC Forehead was awarded a First Class Commendation by the Chief Constable. He returned to beat duties at Horsley after a period of light duties in HQ.67

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67 Roberts, Tom (1987). Friends and Villains: an Autobiography, Hodder and Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-41150-3.


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