Can you identify what the Leamington ladies listed below might have in common?

  • Mrs Wackrill Archery Rd
  • Mrs A Hill Northumberland Rd
  • Mrs Hassall 47 Avenue Rd
  • Mrs Nutter 9 Church St
  • Mrs Davies 50 Greatheed Rd
  • Mrs Inge
  • Mrs Dykes 12 Milverton Crescent
  • Mrs Thornton 48 Warwick Rd
  • Mrs Hellis 16 Victoria Rd

The answer is that in December 1914, the Chief Constable of Warwickshire appointed a group of ladies to act as Special Female Patrols, in Leamington, in this case. Documents in the Police Local History Society archive reveal the reason for this forward-thinking move:

The undermentioned ladies have been appointed to act as Special Female patrols, for the purpose of advising young females who are in the habit of frequenting the streets of the evils and dangers they are exposed to at the present time, owing to the influx of soldiers in the town.

They will wear a badge on the arm and also be in possession of an authority signed by the Chief Constable, T. T. Earnshaw (Warrant Card)

All members of the force must render any assistance and protection if required and see that the ladies are not subjected to any abuse or insult.

Terry Gardner, Police Local History Society, 2012