Detective Superintendent Cyril George Boneham MM BEM
Cyril Boneham served for seven years with the Goldstream Guards during World War I and was awarded the Military Medal during his service. He joined Coventry City Police in 1920 and in 1938 succeeded Detective Chief Inspector Bowers as head of the force’s CID, becoming their first Chief Superintendent.
He was reported to have rendered particularly fine service during the I.R.A. outrages in 1939 and in 1941 when St Mary Street was bombed, being awarded the British Empire Medal (along with Detective Inspector Edward Pendleton) for his part in rescuing 12 injured colleagues where he took great personal risk in assisting with their rescue. Several colleagues were of course killed in this blast and the rescue must have been particularly traumatic.
Cyril lost his first wife suddenly in December 1940 and as was common at the time, with two children to consider and a very demanding day job, re-married soon after in 1942. Sadly in 1943 she became seriously ill and on Sunday 10th January 1943 he was informed that she was dangerously ill. It was reported that Cyril had been suffering with his own ill-health problems for some time and after receiving the message from the hospital, that Sunday night he shot and killed himself in his office. His automatic service revolver was found near him, and two letters were found in his pocket – one to the Chief Constable and one to Detective Inspector Pendleton. It was reported at the inquest that they referred to his domestic troubles and said they were getting him down.