Opening of World War One Exhibition

Cllr Susan Cooley, Lord Mayor of Manchester Joins Chief Constable Peter Fahy and Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd.

Cllr Susan Cooley, Lord Mayor of Manchester Joins Chief Constable Peter Fahy and Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd.

Greater Manchester Police is commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War One with a special exhibition at the GMP Museum.

The war, which started a hundred years ago today, saw millions of soldiers lose their lives, including officers who volunteered for duties from Manchester City Police.

Around 700 police officers joined up, which was more than 50 per cent of the total strength of the Force.

This was the largest percentage of any city police force in the country and of those who signed up 85 lost their lives.

As officers volunteered, this left a gap in the policing of Manchester which was filled by special constables.

During the war 15,000 special constables were recruited to help police the community and this marked an important change to their policing powers.

The responsibility of special constable’s shifted during this time going from a ceremonial function to the vital role that they play in policing today.

The GMP Museum will be holding a special exhibition to remember those who helped the community during the conflict and those who lost their lives at war.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said:

“A hundred years on, this exhibition recognises the sacrifices which were made by men who served for their country in World War One.

“It also looks at the way the role of special constables has evolved over the years into the integral role that they play in policing today.

“We encourage the public to take the time out to come and experience all that the exhibition has to offer.” GMP Sir

On display are letters from World War One including those written from an officer loved ones at home along with historic artefacts from the era.

Museum Curator Duncan Broady said: “We are proud to join in the commemoration of this important event and to recognise the role that special constables played in the local community in the absence of officers out at war.”

Visitors will be able to listen to the letters which have been voiced by actor Bill Cronshaw and museum volunteer Mary Randles from an audio unit at the exhibition.

The letters tell the story of PC James Chapman from Moston, Greater Manchester who served in the war.

To listen to James’ story visit the GMP Museum from Tuesday 6 August 10am-3pm, the museum is open every Tuesday with special opening days on Thursdays throughout the school holidays.

To keep up to date with the museum’s activities this summer follow them on Twitter using @GMPMuseum and Greater Manchester Police Museum on Facebook and keep up with the discussion by using #WW1.

To find out more about Greater Manchester Police please visit their website: www.gmp.police.uk

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