The murder of James GORDON, St Helens police-constable, 1893

The Penny Illustrated November 1893

Liverpool Mercury, Nov 14th 1893

Desperate fight with thieves at St Helens

A policeman murdered

A terrible murder was committed at St Helens, the victim being Police-constable GORDON of the borough police force. About 11.30pm on Sunday GORDON and another constable named WHALLEY, were on duty near the engineering works of Messers John FOSTER and Co, they heard someone in the hen roost on the premises and found that the place had been entered. The two officer opened the door and found two men in side, one of whom knocked out the officers lamp and another man came pushing up. A desperate fight followed and GORDON was knocked to the ground by a terrible blow on the forehead by an iron bar carried by one of the men, and he was kicked unmercifully about the head. In the meantime Constable WHALLEY had felled one of the assailants and with great difficulty succeeded in capturing him. The other two men got away, but one was apprehended early on Monday morning. Constable GORDON'S head was cut in several places, and after the injuries were dressed by Dr JAMIESON he was taken home, where he died at seven o' clock on Monday morning. The prisoners are John CARNEY of Mount St, and John LEAHY of Frazer St, both colliers. The deceased officer had been in the force for four years and was a single man. A third man James RILEY collier, was arrested on Monday, and he and CARNEY and LEAHY were brought before Messers COOK, M'KECHNIE and CHADWICK at the police court. Pending further investigation Chief Constable WOOD asked for the prisoners to be formally remanded on the charge of stealing three hens. RILEY denied all complicity, but the three were remanded until Thursday.

Liverpool Mercury March 15th 1894

Liverpool Assizes March 14

The St Helens Tragedy

The grand jury found a true bill against John CARNEY, aged 19, John LEAHEY, aged 22, and Frank RILEY, aged 32, collier, who are charged with the wilful murder of Police-constable James GORDON on the 12th November at St Helens, the trial is fixed for tomorrow, on the application of Mr DEVEY. Dr COMMINS, M.P, is retained for the defence.

Liverpool Mercury March 17th 1894

Liverpool Assizes March 16, Crown Court, before Mr Justice DAY

John CARNEY, aged 19, John LEAHEY, aged 22, and Frank RILEY, aged 32, collier, who are charged with the wilful murder of Police-constable James GORDON on the 12th November at St Helens. There was a second indictment against the prisoners for poultry stealing from the foundry of John FOSTER at St Helens. Mr J. F. LEECE, Q.C, M.P, and Mr DEVEY conducted the case for the prosecution, the prisoners were defended by Dr COMMINS, M.P.

Mr LEECE explained that the prisoners were not only charged with murder, but indicted for wounding with intent to kill and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. It would be for the jury to decide on which of these counts if any, they would convict. On Sunday night 12th November, about 11.15pm Police-constable WHALLEY and the deceased constable in the course of their duty visited Foster's Navigation Boiler Works at St Helens. In the yard of those works was a hen-cote, the windows of which were broken, and the place showed signs of being entered. The Police-constables went in and Constable WHALLEY raised his lamp to show light, they saw the prisoners CARNEY and RILEY, and the latter knocked the lamp to the ground. GORDON then seized hold of RILEY, the other officer seizing CARNEY. A struggle ensued and GORDON received a blow on the chest from RILEY. Constable WHALLEY dragged his man to the door, GORDON following with his prisoner, and then WHALLEY received a blow in the back from a brick thrown by the other prisoner LEAHEY. The prisoner CARNEY now escaped and LEAHEY ran up the yard with him and together they began to throw stones at the officers. RILEY meanwhile continued to struggle with GORDON. The prisoner LEAHEY and CARNEY came down the yard, and the result of their coming was the release of RILEY from GORDON thus rendering the three men free from arrest. At that moment WHALLEY saw GORDON bleeding from a wound of the left side of his head, a wound subsequently found to be an inch and a half in length penetrating the bone. The three men being free commenced to throw stones at the officers. LEAHEY got over the roof of the boiler works making his escape leaving the other two prisoners with the constables in the yard. There were some pieces of iron in the yard and the theory of the prosecution was that the wound upon GORDON was inflicted by LEAHEY with a bar of iron. CARNEY and RILEY were followed by the policemen. WHALLEY knocked CARNEY down with his staff, and left him in charge of GORDON, and ran after RILEY but did not catch him. WHALLEY returned to GORDON and helped him to take CARNEY to the police station, on the way, however, CARNEY who resisted a good deal, kicked GORDON on the right side of the head, inflicting another bad wound which bled a good deal. The prosecution would show that RILEY struck GORDON whilst in the hen-cote, LEAHEY wounded him with a bar of iron and CARNEY kicked him on the head. Assistance was got and CARNEY was taken to the police station and on the way he practically admitted assaulting GORDON. Police-constable GORDON also made a statement in the shape of a report on the occurrence, and in that stated that the three prisoners attacked him. LEAHEY was apprehended a few hours afterwards and GORDON accused him of having a bar of iron to him. LEAHEY did not deny it. RILEY subsequently was taken, but denied using violence. GORDON had his wounds dressed and went home and got to bed. The next morning he was found dead, and the medical evidence was that death was due to shock consequent upon the violence.

Evidence was then called.

Police-constable WHALLEY of the St Helens force, gave evidence as above, also that when they were dragging CARNEY to the police station, GORDON lost hold of CARNEY in Barber St, when he stooped to get a fresh hold CARNEY kicked GORDON on the left side of the head, blood began to flow from the wound. CARNEY also kicked witness about the legs and body. They managed to get him to M'BRYDE'S time office, where they waited for assistance. GORDON spoke about his wound, and asked for water as he felt sick. When assistance came witness went back to the hen cote with his inspector, there he found two hens with their heads off and also Police-constable GORDON'S helmet. Witness next went to the residence of LEAHEY and arrested him, on his clothes were spots of blood. When witness got LEAHEY to the police station GORDON said, "That's the man who struck me with the iron bar" LEAHEY only laughed. The next morning witness saw the prisoner RILEY at the station, and all the three prisoners were put together and charged. CARNEY said, "I did not do it" LEAHEY, "I never done nothing", and RILEY, "I never saw the man."

Cross-examined, From the being of the struggle to the end they were in the dark, owing to the witness having his lamp broken by one of the men. CARNEY and LEAHEY were trying to rescue CARNEY. Witness did not draw his staff at this time, nor did he strike at the men then. GORDON did not cry out, "Oh WHALLEY its me you have hit." Witness simple blew his whistle at that time thinking that the Liverpool police who were stationed at St Helens during the strike time would come to his assistance.

Police-constable GORDON never drew his staff that night. Witness first drew his staff when he and GORDON gave chase after CARNEY and RILEY.

Police-constable John HALL, stated that he went to the assistance of Police-constable GORDON who was at M'BRYDE'S office with CARNEY. As GORDON was sick witness took charge of CARNEY, who said, "I have been led into this, this time. It is the first time I have ever assaulted the police" GORDON replied, "Well you have assaulted me now, haven't you?" CARNEY said, "I am not the only one." When asked who were the other two men CARNEY said, "I don't know them, I wish I was back at work again."

Inspector John GOODALL of St Helens, deposed that he went to M'BRYDE'S office and saw police-constable GORDON, who was bleeding from wounds to his head the blood was running down his face and coat. Witness then went to Foster's yard. He subsequently saw GORDON at the police station and he made the usual police statement, in the presence of CARNEY. GORDON explained why he and WHALLEY went to the foundry, and said that in the cote they saw CARNEY and RILEY, whom they dragged into the yard. They struggled there and CARNEY hit him in the chest then another man came up and hit him with an iron bar, the three men threw stones. One escaped over the boilerhouse, the other two ran out of the gate. They followed the men and secured CARNEY, who on the way to the station kicked him in the head. At the conclusion of the statement CARNEY said, "Yes you ---------, if you had been by yourself I would have done for you, and I will yet. And I will do for WHALLEY as well." A little later LEAHEY was brought into the station and police-constable GORDON said, "That's the man who struck me with a bar of iron." LEAHEY made no reply Witness sent GORDON to Dr M'NICOL to get his wounds dressed and afterwards he was sent home. Cross-examined, RILEY had a cut on his head as though he had been fighting.

Alexander PRATT, shoemaker, stated that he and the deceased lived in the same house in Westfield St, St Helens. They occupied the same bedroom in separate beds. About 3am on the morning in question, GORDON came to bed and witness noticed his head had been bandaged, he asked him did he want anything, GORDON said, "Don't bother yourself, wake me up at 8 o' clock. Witness got up at 7 o' clock and noticed that GORDON was dead in bed.

Inspector STEEL, of St Helens, said that RILEY when in custody wished to make a statement. Witness cautioned him, and then RILEY said, "I was in the place and when the bobbies came GORDON got hold of me. WHALLEY was keeping the other men away. I don't know whether they hit GORDON or not. I had nothing in my hand and I used no violence"

Dr M'NICHOL, police surgeon, St Helens, said he saw GORDON at 2am, on the 13th November. He was a stalwart man, but looked very pale. He was suffering from an incised wound about an inch and a half long and penetrating to the bone on the right side of the forehead just over the eye, and on the left side of the head, near the ear, there was another wound about an inch long, and of a different character to the other. There was no sign of a bruise on the chest or the stomach. Witness dressed the wounds and sent the man home. The same morning at about 7am the witness was called in haste to GORDON'S house and found him dead. A post mortem examination was held, and the organs were found to be in a healthy condition. Witness attributed the death of the man to failure of the heart, due to shock caused by the violence he had been subjected to.

Dr F. KNOWLES who was with the last witness when the post mortem was made gave corroborative evidence.

Mr LEESE put in the statements made by the prisoners in the police court, as follows :-

CARNEY, "I have nothing to say."

LEAHEY, "Not guilty, I never lifted a hand in the matter."

RILEY, "I am guilty of being in the hen place, but I never used any violence."

His Lordship admitted a report made by Police-constable GORDON before his death, as it was a declaration made by GORDON in course of the discharge of his duty.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Dr COMMINS asked his lordship if the prosecution had brought forward a case amounting to murder, no dangerous weapons had been used that they knew of.

The Judge, "Is it material seeing that a police officer was killed - Dr COMMINS, It was only a misdemeanour ? His Lordship, "I thought that when a man was killed it was murder.

Dr COMMINS, "But the weapons used were not likely to kill.

The Judge, "I look upon weapons that do kill as weapons that are likely to kill. If you kill a policeman by violence when he is discharging his duty, it is by the English law murder."

Dr COMMINS, In addressing the jury, said that cases of resisting the police arose daily, it was a common event and rarely attended by serious results. That such assaults were not intended to kill was proved by the fact that the offenders generally got off with a few months imprisonment. If these men in dock had been guilty of resisting the police, it did not prove that they had been guilty of murder, and if they escaped on that awful charge they would not escape punishment altogether, for they were indicted on other counts. How can the jury find them guilty of murder, when it was impossible for them to prove who struck the first blow, or to say whether the policemen had exceeded their duty and the prisoners justified in resisting such force. Again before the jury could find the prisoners guilty at all, they must be satisfied that the men in the dock are the men that were in Foster's yard, and that GORDON died by violence inflicted by those men. He submitted that death was not due to anything connected with the affray, on the night of the 12th, but that it was one of those cases they read about every day of sudden death of failure of the heart's action. If they did, however, think anything about the wounds GORDON had received, he put forward the suggestion of CARNEY, that WHALLEY, in striking in the dark with his staff at the prisoners, hit GORDON on the head causing the wound, and made GORDON call out, "It's me you've hit" Under these circumstances the jury could not be certain that any one of the prisoners caused that wound.

His Lordship in summing up, remarked that the deceased behaved in an exceedingly heroic manner, both constables showed great courage and excessive indulgence. Now that they knew what the result of the affray was, they could only regret that the constables did not use their staffs before they did. Indeed GORDON did not draw his at all. They both received a great deal of injury without returning it. Their conduct in this matter was beyond reproach.

The jury retired to consider their verdict, and after an hour and a half returned into court, the foreman announced that they found the prisoners guilty, but strongly recommended them to mercy.

The prisoners were asked had they anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed. They all three protested their innocence.

His Lordship, then assuming the black cap, was addressing the prisoners when he was interrupted by violent screaming and crying from a number of female friends and relatives of the prisoners, seated in the middle of the court, it was some time before they could be removed by the police. All the while they were screaming and calling the prisoners by their names. When order was restored

His Lordship said that the jury had found the only verdict possible on the evidence. This policeman's life had been sacrificed whilst he was discharging his duty by the ruffianly violence of the prisoners. The poor fellow was in the prime of life aged only 30, and had treated the prisoners with every conceivable consideration, in no way injuring them. His death must lay heavily on the consciences of the prisoners. The jury had recommended the prisoners to mercy, that recommendation would be forwarded to its proper quarter, but advised them not to build much upon it and prepare to meet their God, and take advantage of the time left them to repent their crime, make reconciliation with their God, who would be their judge.

His lordship then pronounced the death sentence, at the close of which a number of women in court again created a scene by their screams and cries.

As the prisoners were removed below, several male friends waved their hands to them and bade them goodbye

Liverpool Mercury, Mar 20th 1894

Murder of a St Helens policeman

Petition for a reprieve

The friends of the three prisoners, John CARNEY, John LEAHEY, and Frank RILEY, who on Friday were sentenced to death for the murder of Police-constable GORDON at St Helens are actively bestirring themselves with the object of securing a commutation of the death penalty. The verdict was generally unexpected, it being supposed that one of manslaughter, with a long term of imprisonment, would be found sufficient to meet the justice of the case. At the earliest solicitation of the friends of the condemned men, Mr H. L. RILEY, solicitor, St Helens, who appeared on their behalf at the preliminary police inquiry and at the coroner's inquest has consented to do all in his power in the way of making representations to the Home Secretary, and he is very hopeful that the efforts to secure the clemency of the Crown will be successful, as a strong case, apart from the recommendation to mercy by the jury, can be made out for a commutation of the sentence. In conversation with the representatives of the press yesterday Mr RILEY, stated that it was quite clear to everyone that there was no malice aforethought animating any of the men, and he was clearly of the opinion, if the case for the prisoners was fully placed before Mr ASQUITH, that the death penalty ought not to be merely commuted, but the punishment ought to be reduced to something like the punishment which would have been given on the simple facts adduced at the hearing if GORDON had not died, namely that of robbing a hen roost and resisting their disturbers.

He thought the idea of GORDON having died of nervous shock was an untenable one, and it was more than a little remarkable that Mr PAUL, an eminent Liverpool surgeon, who was called by the police authorities to examine the body two days after GORDON'S death, was not called as a witness either at the inquest, the police court, or the assizes. He believed Mr PAUL would say if he were asked by the Home Secretary, that he disagreed with the findings of the two St Helens medical gentlemen. He believed that the appearance of the deceased's body was that it looked more like a case of blood poisoning from the assimilation of poisonous food than a case of death from nervous shock. He [Mr RILEY] considered that the omission to make an analysis of the contents of GORDON'S stomach and intestines under such circumstances became of tremendous importance. Those circumstances might well have made the jury doubt whether death could be legitimately connected in the way of effect with the violence alleged to have been used by the prisoners in the way of cause. It did not lie on the defence to make out the true cause of death, it was quite sufficient to save the prisoners if reasonable doubt was cast upon the theory of the prosecution. He remarked that the prisoners were too poor to instruct counsel through a solicitor in the ordinary course, and declined to advice which he tendered as to an alternative course by which defending counsel would have been assigned by the judge, and he offered to co-operate with him on the same honorary terms.

This was just the one case, perhaps in which a defence from the dock could avail very little, as so much depended upon the knowledge of incidents which could not be communicated to the counsel by the prisoners themselves. He was in no senses complaining of the defence of Dr COMMINS who was engaged by the friends of the prisoners. He [Mr RILEY] voluntarily sent down his principal clerk to Liverpool to render Dr COMMINS what assistance he could, and he was very graciously received by that gentleman. He [Mr RILEY] now desired the support of medical gentlemen who had no doubt on the question of GORDON'S death being due to shock arising from the alleged violence of the prisoners, and he was also hoping that some of the jurymen might either publicly or by letter to him state the grounds of the recommendation to mercy they made. Apart from that his idea was to get up a more popular petition for mercy pure and simple, on the grounds of the youth of the prisoners and the absence of actual premeditation.

Mrs RILEY, wife of one of the condemned men, has forwarded a touching letter to the Home Secretary, praying him to grant a reprieve in the case of her husband. She stated in the communication that her husband had been instrumental in saving seven lives from drowning in the canal, and that he had always been a good husband and a good father to his five children.

Liverpool Mercury, Mar 26th 1894

Murder of a St Helens policeman

Letters from the condemned men

The interest prevailing in St Helens in the efforts to obtain a commutation of the death penalty passed on John CARNEY, John LEAHEY, and Frank RILEY, for the murder of Police-constable GORDON, at St Helens in November last, shows no signs of abatement. The petitions in favour of a reprieve are being signed daily by hundreds of persons, and the full number of signatures when the petitions are forwarded to the Home Secretary on Tuesday night will amount to many thousands. By every post Mr H. L. RILEY continues to receive a batch of letters, postcards, and other documents expressing sympathy for the condemned men and asking for the writer's names to be appended to the petition. On Saturday morning Messers LEWIS of Ranelagh St, Liverpool, telegraphed, to Mr RILEY that they had obtained over 1300 signatures and wanted more forms for additional signatures. As showing the local feeling it may be mentioned Mr Peter M'KINLEY, Bridge St, St Helens, received 900 signatures in three days by placing the petition forms on a table at the door of his business premises.

It is understood, in the event of the Home Secretary failing to find sufficient grounds for commuting the death penalty, the execution of the three men will take place on Monday next, the 2nd April.

Yesterday morning the relatives of the condemned men received letters from them in reply to communications forwarded from St Helens asking as to their condition. RILEY is the only married man, and the letter received by his wife is as follows :-

"H. M. Prison, Liverpool March 24. 1894,

"My Dear Wife, - I thought it best to write to you a few lines to let you know how I am getting on. I am glad to say I am keeping in pretty good health and bearing up as well as can be expected under such trying circumstances, although I feel my position very keenly on account of you and the dear children, who, I hope are all in the best of health. I have felt very miserable since I have been sentenced, and the days drag along very slow, but I must try to bear up and meet my end bravely, and will say to the last that I am innocent. I have been expecting to see you, and wonder why you have not been. Will you try to come up during next week, 2nd April ? Do you think there is any hope for me in the reprieve? Kindly remember me to my father and mother, also to your mother and my relatives. I am truly sorry for the disgrace I have brought upon you. With kindest love to you and the children, and good wishes for your future welfare, I remain, your unhappy husband.


PS, Goodbye for the present."

The following letter from John CARNEY :-

Dear Father, I write you these few lines hoping to find you in the best of health, as it leaves me at present - thank God for it. I hope you have got all right again and keeping in good health. I hope you are not fretting and crying about me for I am prepared for the worst. If it does come there is one thing I know and that is if we are hung we will be hung innocent of wilful murder even if the man died from the injuries he received, there was no more intentions to take the man's life than there was to take yours that was never near the place.

You can tell Tommy KELLY and Johnny that I will never forget what they have done for you while I was waiting on trial, all I am sorry about is that I can't have the satisfaction to see Inspector GOODALL brought up on the serious charge of perjury for which he has committed by swearing that GORDON made a statement in my presence, he never made a statement in my presence, he never made a statement no more in my presence than what you did. You can send a letter to Jim and tell him I said if he has any sense he will stop where he is for he will never do any good if he comes near the brow again, you can send me a letter and let me know how you are all doing and whether Hughy is there or not. If we get a reprieve you must not think about me, forget all about me, for I will be as well off as If I was outside. You can tell Tommy KELLY, Johnny, Jimmy and Teddy TOOLE, that I send them all my best wishes, and hopes they will never get into any row the same as we got into this.

Tell Mrs KIVEL and all the neighbours that I hope they are all well. Tell Nelly not to forget what I told her to do so no more at present from affectionate son John CARNEY. I don't know whether you will be allowed to see me or not but if you are let Nelly and Maggy come and tell Tommy and Johnny to try and come with them for I would like to see Johnny again. You can tell the Uncle that I said I hoped the lad's arm has got alright again and that he is in good health. I sent James a letter the day before we was tried so no more at present from your affectionate son, John CARNEY. So good night.

Another letter was received from LEAHEY in which he says he sat quiet in court during his trial when he saw that there was nothing but false evidence being given. He looked around the court to see if Mr RILEY, solicitor was present, because he felt convinced that false evidence would not be given * * * *. If things came to their worst he was preparing for the end. He however, knew that things were not as bad as represented, and he thought that the people of St Helens would willingly sign a petition in his favour. He asked them to speak to Mr RILEY, solicitor, on his behalf, and to be remembered to all his friends. He asked his brothers to stick to their work and be good boys. There was one happiness to him, and that was that nothing could be said against his sisters.

Liverpool Mercury, April 2nd, 1894

Letter from LEAHEY

The prisoner John LEAHEY, one of the three men sentenced to death for the murder of Constable GORDON at St Helens, but whose sentence has been respited, has written the following letter to his mother, Mrs LEAHEY of Fraser St, St Helens, who received it yesterday morning :-

H. M. Prison, Walton, Liverpool

March 30, 1894

Dear Mother, I now take the pleasure of writing to you hoping this letter finds you all in good health, as it leaves me at present, thank God for it. I received your kind and welcome letter this morning, and was very glad to hear you are all well and in good health. Dear mother, I got permission from the governor to write this letter, and he told me to tell you to come at once, so that you can come on Monday. I do not suppose I will be in this prison long. I was very sorry to hear about you being here on Monday, and not being allowed to visit me, and our Tom was here too, but I hope he has gone back to Scotland. I hope he is not that foolish to stop in St Helens because he knows him nor me never done any good in St Helens, anywhere will be better than Smithy Brow. I hope this will be a lesson to Ted and Joe [brothers] when they come to manhood.

I was glad to hear from Ned and Mary and Denis CALFREY, and Ned tell your father and mother I send my best wishes to them. And I was glad to hear Jack TROY and Hynan was in good health and working, and tell Michael HANDLEY and his wife I was glad to hear from them, and also Mrs HILLARD, and her husband, and also tell Tom MURPHY and Kate I send my best wishes to them and Jonathan HARRISON and Maggie and Mrs LEWIS, and tell Mrs HOWRICAN and her husband and Paddy HOWRICAN and his wife Josephine, I end my best wishes to them all. Tell Tommy DINNEY I send my best to him, and also to Tommy KELLY and his mother. And Mother, tell Hynan if he sees Jimmy RILEY to tell him I send my best to him, and tell my father and John TROY, I send my best wishes to them, and I hope Lizzie [sister] is in her situation yet. I was glad to hear little Katie and Neddy and Maggie was well and in good health, and I hope Daisy was alright. I suppose Esther CLARKE is all right now as Tom as come back. So no more at present from your loving son, John LEAHEY. Don't forget to come on Monday. Dear Annie [sister] I am not forgetting you - John LEAHEY. H 2-12, H.M.P, Walton "

Enclosed in the letter was an order signed by the governor, for Mrs LEAHEY to visit her son at Walton Prison. Mrs LEAHEY who has twice visited the prison without being able to see her son, will have the desired interview today.

Liverpool Mercury, May 8th, 1894

Murder of a St Helens policeman

Mr Miles J. WALKER, governor of H. M. Prison, Walton, has received a communication from the Home Secretary stating the decision arrived at with respect to the punishment to be awarded to John LEAHEY [22], Frank RILEY [32], and John CARNEY [19], described as colliers, who at the last assizes were convicted of the wilful murder of Police-constable GORDON at St Helens, on the 12th November last year. It will be remembered that these prisoners were strongly recommended to mercy by the jury, and after the sentence of death was passed that recommendation was forwarded to the proper quarter. The result of this was that the sentence of death was respited, and afterwards a reprieve granted. The Home Secretary now intimates that each prisoner is to undergo 15 years penal servitude.

It may be interesting to state that, contrary to what appears to have been generally supposed, the three prisoners CARNEY, LEAHEY and RILEY, were all old offenders and familiar characters at the St Helens Police Court. They were in no senses strangers to the dock, and there is a remarkable similarity in the class of offence recorded against them. The eldest of the trio Frank RILEY, and the only one married, is 32, and has been 20 times convicted, of vagrancy, drunkenness, larceny, burglary, and assault on the police. John LEAHEY, aged 22, rejoiced in the possession of a more formidable list of convictions than either of his companions. They totalled 36, and included drunkenness, assaults and larceny. John CARNEY, the youngest of the three, only 19, has been dealt with on 8 occasions, from robberies from the person, felony and assaults. It is understood that the records of the three men were communicated to the Home Secretary, who has now dealt with them with a full knowledge of their past proceedings.

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PC James Gordon honoured after 120 years at St Helen's Cemetery

At 11am on, November 13, at St Helens Cemetery, dignitaries including the Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Ian Pilling, chairman of Merseyside Police Federation, Peter Singleton, the Mayor of St Helens and the leader of St Helens Council also Geraldine Winner, the widow of Michael Winner who set up the Police Memorial Trust attended a special ceremony organised by The Police Roll of Honour Trust in memory of PC James Gordon to unveil a specially engraved headstone erected at his unmarked grave

Merseyside Police formed a guard of honour and a lone piper played during the service.

Mounted police officers led the official party to the old section of the cemetery off Hard Lane. During the service a bugler played the last post and reveille.


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