SC Ralph Henry Corfield

When he signed up as a special constable, Ralph Corfield’s occupation is recorded as aircraft assembler, although he was actually a cabinet maker by profession. But having a fulltime day job, running a shop and supporting his wife and two children was not enough for Ralph. He wanted to do something more for the war effort and so he joined the Birmingham City Police Special Constabulary. His sons remember how proud he was when he came home to tell them the news that he had been accepted. They state he used to drive around with his police helmet on the back seat to let people know. Ralph Corfield signed up to join the police in May 1942, which turned out to be towards the end of the bombing raids in Birmingham. He was given the collar number R508 and based at Lozells Road Police Station. The evening of July 28th 1942 was clear so they were settled down to sleep in the shelter. Ralph had been on duty that night and there was a raid at about 1am. He went to check on his sons and make sure they were ok, and then he left the family home to help fight fires as bombs had fallen by their home in nearby Wilton Street. The Lozells Picture House was destroyed and the manager died that night along with the wardens. Ralph never came home – his wife eventually went to look for him and found him under a pile of rubble. He was 41. She was absolutely distraught and his sons believe she never got over losing him, even though she later re-married. She stated she would be buried with him and she was when she died in 1984.

© 2020 West Midlands Police Heritage Project

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