PC Storey killed by a taxi

1941: Tony Davie: P.C. Storey was on duty and riding his bicycle in Churt on 16th November 1941 when he fell off. It is not known what caused him to fall and it was dark at the time. As he lay in the road he was run over by a local taxi. He died, of a fractured skull, later that day in Farnham County Hospital, aged thirty five years. His daughter, June, was nine and a half years old at the time.

PC Storey joined the Surrey Constabulary at the age of twenty one years. He married Miss Elsie Violet Foster at Hastings two years after joining. He was stationed at Oxted and Ockley near Dorking before being posted to Churt and was there some four years prior to his death.

He was a member of the local Working Men's Club and played cricket for the village as well as playing bowls for the police. He was also a keen golfer.

Mr G. Willis Taylor, H.M. Coroner for West Surrey, conducted the inquest at Farnham Court House. Superintendent S.D. Cox was in attendance. Mrs Elsie Violet Storey who was at her husband's bedside when he died gave evidence of identification. She also stated that he left home with his bicycle at 6pm on the evening of 16th November. He was well and his bicycle was in good order.

Mrs Lillian Falk, Barford Mill, Churt deposed that P.C. Storey had called upon her a between 7.20 and 7.30 pm. She had a conversation with him and he seemed quite all right. He was wearing a long black mackintosh and helmet. It was a bad night.

William John Tester told the inquest that he was a public service vehicle driver and knew the road well. He was driving an Austin 18hp taxi from Hindhead towards Farnham at about 8pm on Sunday evening. He had passed Churt Green and was proceeding downhill at about 25mph when he felt a bump as if he had gone over something. He stopped and went back to find that he had struck P.C. Storey who was lying in the road.

P.C. W.R. Bacon from Hindhead attended the scene with Sergeant Govey. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

P.C. Storey's funeral took place at Hastings Borough Cemetery. He was born in Hastings and his father was a pensioner of the Hastings Borough Police. He had been a pupil at Ore School, Hastings. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and served aboard H.M.S. Sovereign and H.M.S. Barham during the war. (He was lucky not to have gone down with the Barham, which was sunk by enemy action.)

Floral tributes from Mr Lloyd George, the former Prime Minister, who lived in Churt and Sir Walter Napier, rested on the coffin which was draped with the Union Jack. Superintendent S.D. Cox of Farnham represented the chief constable and was accompanied by Sergeant J. Govey, Hindhead.

Bearers included PCs Holbrook and Forehead from Farnham, P.C. Spiers, Tilford, PC Collins, Frensham, PC Freeman, Hindhead and PC Deacon of Camberley. The Hastings Borough Police were represented by Acting Chief Constable W. J. Buddle, Inspector A. J. Tapp, P. S. F. Rummery and PCs Gorringe, Collins and Kitney.

Floral tributes included those of the chief constable of Surrey, the officers and men of the Surrey County Constabulary, officers and men of the Farnham Division, Hindhead Section and 'C' Division Surrey Constabulary. PC Storey's will had been witnessed by Police Constable Ernest Hall, (later ACC) and P.C. H. Galloway in 1928.

As a result of this accident police officers were issued with white gaiters for use when riding bicycles.

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