Cyril V. Hearn BEM

1959: Cyril V. Hearn BEM: Nick Brent: I knew CV or Dickie Hearn as he was known to all his friends. I first came into contact with him when I was a boy cadet in 1959 stationed at Walton on Thames. He was on permanent station office duties and a more helpful, nice and flamboyant character you could not wish to meet.

The story told about him leaving his station office duties to go out and arrest someone, which was before I joined, was typical of him. However during my experience I have known him to abandon his station duties to go over to the local cinema opposite in order to turf out rowdy youths rather than get someone else to do it. Who would do that sort of thing now?

While I was at Walton he took me very much under his wing. His books were written mainly during duty time whilst on night station office duties. His first book which was called Foreign Assignment was about his wartime Special Investigation Branch (SIB) duties in Italy and I was very privileged to be the only person in the nick to be given a free copy which he signed "To my pal Nick for your kindness"; I can't think what I did to deserve that comment other than to look after the switchboard and customers whilst he was writing his book, but anyway I still treasure that book even if only to prove to some people including my wife that I can be kind. Robert Hale Limited of 63, Old Brompton Road, S.W.7, published that first book in 1961. He then went on to write others as already mentioned previously, in Old & Bold.

Dickie lived in the police quarters adjoining the police station with his wife Alice and he spent his spare time building a houseboat at the back of the Nick, which I believe, sank whilst being launched on the Thames at the Cowie Sale, or so I heard.

They never had any children of their own but did adopt a boy named George Churchill-Colman. He also joined the military police and like Dickie served in the SIB. He later joined the Metropolitan Police and went on to be Commander of the Bomb Squad in the 1970s and 1980s.

Unfortunately Dickie suffered from angina and retired on ill health grounds. He then went to live at Egham where he worked for a local solicitor. He remained a dear friend and even attended my wedding and presented us with a coffee table that he made as a wedding present. He was also a very great friend of Detective Sergeant. Bill Bruce was aircrew in the war and shot down over Germany where he was taken prisoner.

Dickie died at Egham I believe at the age of sixty nine and unfortunately gone forever was one of world's characters rich in humour, compassion and patience.

Derek Hayles Military Books: PC Cyril V. Hearn MP SIB served in the Middle East and published a book Desert Assignment (and others about police service serialised in a national Sunday newspaper) much to the consternation of Herman Rutherford and the Standing Joint Committee who attempted to block its publication.

As a point of interest he was a "character". On one occasion in l957 a Traffic car driven by Roland Cise was near Weybridge when it was sent to an address in Burwood Park where an intruder had been disturbed. Roly Cise was not sure where this particular (large) house was situated.

The crew called in at Walton police station (early hours of the morning) and found it deserted although open! No sign of a station officer. The car went to Burwood Park and saw a house lit like a Christmas tree and assumed they had found the address and that the intruder had long disappeared. There was a Rolls Royce, index TT1, on the drive and near it, an older Morris or Austin.

PC Cise knocked on the door and the officers were shown in to the lounge. Lo and behold sat on the large sofa were Tommy Trinder and Cyril Hearn who had the intruder handcuffed to him. All three were supping whisky. Cyril said he overheard the radio message whilst in the police station. As he knew TT he had jumped in his car and done the business.

Cyril was about to publish another book just before his retirement whilst at Walton. During his last week a report of a bomb was received having been found on Walton Bridge. The newspapers reported that the scene was visited by "much decorated PC Cyril Hearn who defused the bomb and made it safe, etc. PC Hearn this week releases a book etc." I seem to remember the bomb was an Oxo tin or something similar. Dutchie Holland nearly had a seizure but that was Cyril.

Unfortunately, Cyril had poor health later on and didn't particularly make old bones. Some reader out there will remember him better than I, he retired I think living in Egham.

Hearn, C. (1964). With Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch in North Africa & Italy during WWII. London: The Adventurers Club.

From a policeman extraordinary and one of England's most decorated men, C.V. Hearn, here is a racy account and graphic portrayal of the thrilling stories of wartime crime, when the author was a member of the Army's little known Special Investigation Branch.

Of the many battlegrounds of WWII none gripped the British public's imagination as strongly as North Africa. In this fast-moving story of a fast-moving, fluid war, the author has chosen the more exotic, the more bizarre and the more un-English types of crime committed abroad. Desert Assignment bristles with exciting incident involving murderers, arms traffickers, drug peddlers, espionage, dope, vice and intrigue on a grand style

C.V. Hearn was known as a tough, plain-speaking policeman, who upheld the traditions of law and order, honestly and impartially. He pulled no punches in his work and pulls none in this book. The qualities of British policemen are well known throughout the world - quiet, helpful, efficient, stolid, and calm in the face of chaos, with the ability to make big decisions when the occasion demands.

Instead, Hearn became a tough and ruthless breaker of international gangs and excelled as a fast-shooting law enforcement officer, allied with a Cockney wit, a determined spirit and a profound respect for British justice and police methods. Appropriately, he dedicates this book to policemen everywhere.

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