Black police photo: The truth, in black and white
Tuesday 03 August 2004
The strange case of a 94-year-old photograph some people said showed Britain's first black policeman may have been an accident, and he may have been white.
The original photograph of a crowd at a fire brigade demonstration in Chislehurst, Kent, in 1910 has puzzled historians, because it appears to show a black policeman more than 50 years before the first black man joined.
But, in a second image of the same scene, uncovered by Roy Hopper, of the Chislehurst Society, the man looks more Caucasian. Mr Hopper, a retired librarian, believes that the case of mistaken identity is down to a "photographic accident" caused by the slow shutter speeds and rudimentary equipment.
He said: ""I would be the first to cheer if it turned out to be a black policeman but I think it is one of those photographic accidents."
The first black policemen in Britain is believed to have been Astley Lloyd Blair, who joined the Gloucestershire force in 1964. In 1967, the Met had its first black recruit Norwell Roberts, who was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1996.
The Met's Black Police Association believes a mixed-race officer served in the Carlisle area in the 19th century. They were also contacted by relatives of two men said to have served in south London a century ago.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Which country would be hardest to invade?
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
UK weather: Severe weather warning for snow and torrential rain over bank holiday weekend
Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...