Development of the Dog Section

1961: Dog Section: Dog Section development: Stan Wood: Bill Redwood was one of those very early dog handlers who saw service in the days of Sergeant Harry Darbyshire; see also Part 2: 1946 and 1948.

By all accounts you had to be very dedicated to the cause to actually survive. Darby had you working all day building up the actual kennels and hewing the footpaths and runs out of what had been 'the tip' area of Mount Browne. At the end of the so-called working day, quite often was when the dog training commenced.

Bill survived and became the divisional dog handler for Farnham. In 1961, the Force was worked in three areas as far as police dogs were concerned, East, West and North. Peter Morley (Guildford) and Fred Booker (Godalming) made up the western area. In 1962/63, Bill was promoted to make the second dog sergeant, he was operational and Bob Ling the dog school sergeant. He was responsible for starting up the West Horsley dog section in 1964.

In 1965, as a result of some section changes Bill was transferred to beat sergeant duties at Guildford. I understand that whilst he was there, that he went down very well with the troops who were under his command.

In September 1970, big changes were a foot for the dog training set up, not only in Surrey but nationwide. Sir Peter Matthews was responsible for this change, which made the Surrey Constabulary the Regional Dog Training School for the South East. In September of that year the Force dog training staff suddenly grew from one training sergeant to an Inspector I/C (Roy Wakefield), two training sergeants (Bill and myself) and two young kennel maids.

I then worked with Bill for four years until his retirement from the section in 1974. He was a dream to work with. We normally had a course of twelve handlers split into two groups, each one taking responsibility for a group. We had one dog vehicle, which we had to share, and believe me there was never a fall out as to who had the vehicle. I think he probably finished off my preparation to eventually take over the section.

It's a fact that Bill was never involved with dog school training until his last four years. He worked hard, even running criminal for the rookie dogs at fifty years plus, concreted my mind on the standard that one always dealt fairly and honestly with the dogs that were given to us by members of the public - there was no deviation. Every working morning recruits as well as instructors were expected to man brooms, shovels and wheelbarrows and make the area tidy as if it was a kennel in your back garden.

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