We were very proud last week to be present at the unveiling of a Police Memorial Trust plaque marking an area near to the spot where PC George Snipe of Birmingham City Police fell after being attacked by a mob in the 1890s.
PC Snipe was killed on 19 July 1897 after being called to a drunken disorder at a pub in Newtown. The 29-year-old was fatally injured after being struck by a brick thrown by an angry mob as he and a colleague tried to arrest two men.
Reports at the time suggest that George tried to seek refuge in the nearby St Matthews Church as he was pelted with stones after trying to break-up a drink-fuelled fight. Over a century later the church is no longer there, but during an event organised by The Police Memorial Trust a plaque was unveiled near the site where he died, which is now a retirement village.
Relatives of PC Snipe also attended the event at ExtraCare’s Pannel Croft Village in Newtown, along with Mohammed Azin, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham Council and Chief Constable Dave Thompson. Replica plaques were presented to family members and one was given to Chief Constable Dave Thompson, which will be held in the police museum alongside the helmet of PC George Snipe.
Ensuring that fallen officers are remembered is an important part of the role of the West Midlands Police Museum and the Roll of Honour is an integral part of the history of the force. PC George Snipe features on the memorial plaques in the reception area of West Midlands Police HQ, Lloyd House, and also on the digital Roll of Honour there.
Back in 2017, the police museum along with Norman Bartlam from TNT laid flowers at Newtown Police Station to mark the 120th anniversary of PC Snipe's death, you can see the news report of that here: