Why do people celebrate the villains that get away with it?

When a man linked to mass murderer was celebrated with a building in London’s East End named in their honour in 2010, it raised a thousand questions, chiefly:

  1. Is murder acceptable after a few years?
  2. Did we run out of good people to celebrate?
  3. Why are heroes that died for us so quickly forgotten?

The reason for this period of introspection was the centenary of the most notorious murder of police officers on mainland Britain in history just before Christmas 1910, in what became known as the Houndsditch Murders. Last week, I returned to the scene of the crime with my colleagues Ian Miller and David Clarke to lay flowers at the memorial that David and his team initiated ten years ago.

Service Before Self

As we reflected on the superhuman heroics of the officers that cold night, we were joined by PC Fulbrook who happened to be passing. He is one of the City Police’s longest serving and most commended constables and reminds one of the spirit of duty and service that runs through the veins of these locally appointed officials to this day.  

The ordinary lives of the officers who demonstrated extraordinary courage, the tragedies that befell their widows and children, the role of Winston Churchill and the failed trial of the murderers, were captured in an enthralling commemorative booklet.

In these dark times, this story is a reminder of the stoicism of good people in the face of danger. I’ve attached a copy of the booklet and encourage you to read it and reflect on Lord Wedgewood’s wise advice to Winston Churchill after the murders and subsequent Siege of Sydney Street. You can download the story here.

Houndsditch Murders Commemoration cover

Click on the image above to download the booklet.

The Christmas Appeal for the City Police Charity for Children is far short of its target so please donate to this good cause if you can by giving here.

City of London Police Children's appeal

I send my heartfelt thanks to all members of the emergency services. I wish all of them and you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and a peaceful, COVID-19 free 2021.

Houndsditch murders memorial