Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page
Article written by Margaret Craddock (nee Thurlow), 2005 - amended 2015

George Morling Thurlow

PS58  - served in Burton Latimer 1947–1956

Sergeant George Thurlow

My father was born in a small village in Suffolk and in the 1920’s served in the Coldstream Guards.  At the age of 22 he joined the Northamptonshire Police Force.  After 18 months stationed at Wellingborough he was posted to Long Buckby where he remained until the outbreak of the Second World War.

George Thurlow in the Coldstream Guards
George Thurlow as a Military Policeman in 1940
(Left) With the Coldstream Guards (Right) Military Police 1940

He was then called up into the Military Police serving mainly in London and, in the last year of the war, in Baghdad, Iraq .  He returned to Long Buckby at the end of the war and in 1947 was promoted to sergeant and posted to Burton Latimer.

Extract from the Northampton Mercury 15 August 1947


PC G Thurlow, stationed at Long Buckby for 13 ½ years transfers to Burton Latimer next week and will be promoted to sergeant. Since PC Thurlow has been in Buckby he and Mrs Thurlow have made many friends. PC Thurlow is a member of the parish church choir, and Mrs Thurlow, who is also connected with that church, is a member of Long Buckby WI and the Baptist Sisterhood, a non-denominational organisation in the village. There are two children, Malcolm who will be transferred from Daventry Grammar School, and Margaret. PC Thurlow, whose promotion takes effect from August 19, is a native of Norfolk. He joined the Northamptonshire Constabulary in March, 1931, and was first stationed at Wellingborough. He came to the Daventry Division in March, 1934. War Reserve Buttle has become a full-time constable and will take over the Long Buckby beat when Sergeant Thurlow leaves.

George Thurlow as PC58
George Thurlow as a Military Policeman in Bagdhad 1945
George Thurlow as a Military Policeman in Bagdhad 1945
(Left) PC58 (Centre and Right) Baghdad 1945

We lived at 17 Finedon Road in the first of the pair of police houses with the office in the centre.  In those days the sergeant and the constable, in the adjoining house, manned the office by day and night and operated the office telephone switchboard in addition to their other duties.  The police wives were not allowed to take outside work at that time but were expected to carry out the office duties if the officers were not present.  The house next door was occupied first by PC George Ward and then by PC “Jock” Paterson .  There was a third officer, PC Johnny Firkin, living in Newman Street .  In addition to these constables, there were other officers based at Geddington and Broughton - both villages being part of the Burton Latimer section along with Warkton, Weekley, Pytchley and Grafton Underwood.  In order to supervise this area it was necessary for my father to purchase a car on moving to the town and he had to borrow the cash in order to do so.

Sergeant George Thurlow with Burton's first police car - an Austin A35

On the Police Station drive
with his second car

Boughton House was part of the area policed by my father and this was the era of royalty frequently visiting the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and the Earl of Dalkeith.   Princess Margaret often visited, together with Princess Alexandra. 

George Thurlow on duty at Warkton for the visit of Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra visiting Warkton Church whilst staying
at Boughton House in about 1951.
Sergeant George Thurlow on crowd control.

Well-known stars of the day such as Douglas Fairbanks Jnr also attended the house parties.  I was allowed to accompany my father sometimes and peep at the celebrities!  I also used to visit the walled garden there and from time to time met the Duchess as she checked on produce for the house.

One of the memorable events that my father was involved in policing in 1952 was the double murder at Ashton, near Oundle, when an elderly gamekeeper and his wife, George and Lilian Peach were brutally slain.  My father was detailed to attend this scene for the three months’ investigation but the murder was never solved.

A regular period of duty each year entailed policing the Silverstone Grand Prix.  He hated this spell of duty directing traffic, etc.

George Thurlow on retirement day, with his last customer
On retirement day in 1975 with his last
customer, Derek White of Elmcott Poultry
Farm at Caldecote near Biggleswade
In 1956, after 25 years service, he decided to quit the police force following a plan to move him to Kettering as a town sergeant.  A countryman at heart, he had no desire to immerse himself in town duties.  Following his retirement he worked as a salesman of one-day chicks for W D Evans, the company based in the farm opposite the entrance to Churchill Way , and eventually for similar organisations, retiring from this work in 1975.  At the time of his death in 1980 he was still employed during the summer months on the part-time staff looking after the public as they visited Boughton House.

My father replaced PS Sid Richardson who retired in 1947.   In 1956 my father was followed by PS Arthur ‘Darkie’ Ellis and then PS Frank Spokes.   He had served during the war years with ‘Darkie Ellis’ who was a good friend and was also instrumental, whilst living at Long Buckby, in helping Frank Spokes to join the force.

George & Hilda Thurlow outside the Police Station in Finedon Road in about 1950
George Thurlow as crucifer for the Church Choir in 1975

Also in the picture are Roger Dacre and Renee Toseland

One of my father's interests was singing, and he became a member of the Church Choir at Long Buckby, and then thoughout his years sang in St Mary's Church Choir at Burton latimer (1947 - until his death in 1980). He was a memebr of the flourishing Burton Latimer Male Voice Choir under the leadershio of Bill McKenna and he also enjoyed singing solos at social functions as I accompanied him on the piano

George and Hilda Thurlow
outside the office of the Police Station
in about 1950
George & Hilda Thurlow outside the Police Station in Finedon Road in about 1950

George Thurlow was a big man who knew what was right and wrong and lived accordingly.  He expected other people to do the same.  He always seemed to be around and about - as my husband and I found to our cost in our courting days - and often just his presence on the streets was sufficient to keep law and order in Burton Latimer.

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Emergency Services Index