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WMP officer seeks relatives of fallen war colleagues ahead of pilgrimage

A serving West Midlands Police officer is hoping to trace relatives of predecessors killed on the battlefield in World War 1 − as he prepares for a pilgrimage to honour officers who sacrificed themselves for their country.

Detective Sergeant Andy Padmore has launched an appeal to find family members of six former Wolverhampton officers who died during the Great War.

DS Padmore is part of the Wolverhampton Police Military History Group which is planning to travel to the battlefields which claimed the officers’ lives in Belgium and France… and lay tributes at gravestones and memorials in their honour.

However, he’s keen to track down and meet family members before the journey in September so the history group - which consists of serving and former Wolverhampton officers − can find out more about the war heroes, share their research and pass on their own personal respects.

The appeal for relatives relates to:

*Private 8561 John Arthur Spencer, of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who died in February 1915.
*Private 14448 Charles Albert Victor Moisey, from the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, who was killed in November 1914.
*Private 9382 Peter Cunniffe, of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, who died in May 1915. 
*Sergeant 47402 Sampson Jones, from the 3rd Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, who was killed in January 1916.
*Second Lieutenant Samuel Bird Teasdale who died in July 1917.
*Lance Corporal Richard William Kent 7424, of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, who was killed in November 1914.

Last year, they were able to trace a living relative of Private Henry Kidd who fell at Somme in September 1916. To mark the centenary of the Guardsman’s death they went to his grave at the La Neuville British Cemetery to lay a wreath. 

DS Padmore said: “Not only was it moving and worthwhile to visit Harry’s grave, to meet a living relative and to present them the fruits of our research and some simple gifts to the family was truly special… and something that none of the group will ever forget.

“It would be lovely if we could meet some of the descendants of these six officers who gave this country the ultimate sacrifice. 

"These were true heroes who were committed to protecting the public as police officers and then during war."

The group have visited eight out of the 12 resting places in the last few years as they seek to pay their respects.

There is also a memorial at Wolverhampton police station featuring the names of former local police officers killed in conflict.

Relatives of the former officers can call DS Padmore on 101 extension 872 3041 or email a. padmore @west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

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