William Locke

1946, February: PS William Locke awarded King's Police Medal for Gallantry placed himself in front of a prisoner who was displaying an automatic pistol and attempting to escape from Guildford Police Station. The prisoner fired at point blank range but the bullet struck the bottom button of the sergeant's uniform jacket and was deflected. Sergeant Locke thereupon closed with the prisoner and overpowered him.

In February 1946 PC Wilson on patrol in Guilford stopped a man who gave unsatisfactory answers and aroused the officer's suspicions and so he was arrested. He was wearing a coat several sizes too large and whilst being searched at the police station by Sergeant Almond the man suddenly produced an automatic pistol. Both the policemen moved very fast: PC Wilson out of the line of fire and Sergeant Almond out of the door.

Meanwhile Sergeant Locke having heard the disturbance came at the gunman from behind. Sergeant Almond who must have returned shouted a warning and the gunman turned when the sergeant was about four feet away the gun was fired. The bullet blew a metal button off the sergeant's tunic. On further investigation it was found that the gun had four more bullets but the gun had jammed. The man was sentenced to seven years.138

From Mrs Thompson, Guildford: April 2009: Daughter of George Locke: When my father challenged this man he struck him hard with his left hand as his right hand was injured. He then fell on him and an outline of the gun was found on his stomach. Later that evening he was brought home by the police surgeon as he was quite shaken by the event and later that night the police surgeon attended again and I remember him saying "Locke, you are on fire!".

The following day he was fine and returned to work. My father was a Borough man who never gave up his rights as he wanted to stay in Guildford. His KPM is in a display cabinet in HQ along with a letter from him in his beautiful handwriting. I remember being told that in about 1926/1927 on his very first night on patrol in Guildford with a senior man they captured a man who had a pistol.

On another occasion he was checking an unoccupied house and found a window open. He entered and searched and found a man hiding in one of the beds. He was a big tough man and one night he gave chase, leaping a five barred gate to catch a criminal something he could never normally do!

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138 Roberts, Tom (1987). Friends and Villains: an Autobiography, Hodder and Stoughton, ISBN 0-340-41150-3, p. 91.

 

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