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The Square Mile, its crime and policing history The Square Mile, its crime and policing history

PC Jesse Richardson

Jesse was born July 1886 in Deptford, London, the son of Arthur Richardson, a greengrocer/carman, and his wife, Catherine.  By 14 years of age, he was an assistant wheelwright. On 12th December 1907 Jesse joined the City of London Police and was allocated a warrant number of 7503. During 1911 he was living at the City of London Police Station at 1 Bridewell Place.

Awards

Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal and Vellum Certificate

Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal

King’s Police Medal (George V issue), awarded for the gallantry Richardson displayed during the two incidents described below.  Announced, the London Gazette, 1st January 1912.

Circumstances of Awards

On 18th May 1909, PC Richardson dived from Temple Steps on the Victoria Embankment into the River Thames to rescue a woman who was trying to kill herself by drowning.  He received the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal and Vellum Certificate for his actions.

On 18th October 1910 at 9.20 pm, Jesse McClintock threw himself from the centre of Blackfriars Bridge into the Thames intending to commit suicide.  The tide was low; The height from the bridge parapet to the water was 51 ft, but, as the tide was low, the depth of the water only 8 ft.  The night was also wet, cold and very dark, and the river particularly treacherous at that stretch.

The alarm was raised and PC Richardson was called.  He threw off his helmet and cape and dived into the river from the bridge parapet.  He swam after McClintock, but the man sank and drowned before Richardson could reach him.  Richardson then swam to the columns of the railway bridge where he was picked up by a boat from the fire-float Alpha.  McClintock’s body was recovered the next day.  Due to the height from which he had dived, PC Richardson was badly bruised and was kept in hospital for three days after the incident.  He was later awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal.

Jesse retired from the force on 5th January 1933 and died on 22nd February 1939 at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, leaving his widow, Selina Richardson.  At that time they were living at 1 Capthorne Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex.

 

Bibliography

Assorted genealogical records

Farmery, J P (1995).  Police Gallantry, 1st edition. North Manley: Periter and Associates Pty Ltd

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