The Museum of Policing in Cheshire

Museum of Policing in Cheshire
Records enquiry report


Dear …,
Thank you for your request for information concerning Thomas. Sadly we do not have a photograph, that is to say we may, there are literally hundreds of photographs of officers, but their names were never recorded on the reverse of the photograph and so they remain unidentified.

Before continuing with Thomas, can I just remark about Stalybridge Borough Police. Tameside Archives and Greater Manchester Police Museum may have something, both are contactable via the internet. Further there is a book “Reminiscences of a Chief Constable” by William Chadwick (Chief Constable Stalybridge 1862-1899). Printed in 1901 and reprinted in 1974, by the Longdendale Amenity Society this book is a history of Policing in Stalybridge, Mottram etc, and is one of the best police history books I have come across and it is well worth trying to get hold of it, it really does gives a good insight. It was for sale on the internet in 2008 and I paid £13 for it, but I suppose your local library will be able to order it for you.

If you also read the history of the Cheshire Constabulary “To the Best of Our Skill and Knowledge” which is on the Museum Web Site, in the Features section. I feel that a useful picture can be obtained of life in the force at the time. My own opinion is that discipline was draconian and those who strayed outside the rules were fined way above what they earned or dismissed. Also the restrictions on their private life; an officer was not allowed to drink on or off duty even in his own home. It all comes down to the fact that from the very beginning up until the 1960’s every Chief Constable of Cheshire was an ex military officer and they of course brought with them the military codes of practice. As a point of interest part of Thomas’s service (1877-1881) was served under Chief Constable John William Arrowsmith, who is well documented in the force history for the austere discipline that he dished out.

I trust you will enjoy what follows and can I ask you when you get a moment would you send a quick mail so I can mark of your enquiry as complete? If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Jim Talbot. Volunteer Trustee and Researcher, Cheshire Museum of Policing.

Collar Number/Rank.   Sergeant 72 and 271 Thomas Gosling (His Collar number would have changed from 72 to 271 on promotion to Sergeant)
Born. Circa 1835 Stayley, Mottram in Longdendale, Cheshire.
Date of Entry. 23rd February 1857
Date of Leaving. 29th May 1859 Resigned.
Re-appointed. 19th September 1859.
Final Date of Leaving. 30th April 1891
How Discharged. To pension.

Initial Posting. Hyde Number 7 Division (which covered the areas of Broadbottom, Dukinfield, Gee Cross, Hollingworth, Mill Brook, Stalybridge, Mottram, Newton, Roe Cross and Tintwistle).
Other Postings and Dates. 20th April 1857 Hyde, 19th September 1859 HQ Reserve Chester, 23rd September 1859 Broxton; June 1870 Nantwich; May 1871 Northwich; January 1879 Hyde; 23rd November 1880 Wirral; 13th October 1888 Eddisbury; 25th August 1889 Hyde.

Miscellaneous Information. Religion Protestant. Height 5' 9", Age 22, Eyes Dark, Hair Black, Complexion Pale, Build Proportional. 1st April 1891 Certificate of Service with character marked as "Very Good" sent to him.
Age on retirement 56 years 1 month.
Total service 34 years 30 days.
Died 5 July 1893 aged 58 years 3 months.
Promotion. June 1870 Promoted Acting Sergeant. May 1871 Promoted Sergeant.

Misconduct. 8th December 1864 Drinking when on duty in a Public House at Malpas, Reprimanded by Chief Constable.
27th January 1879 habitually neglecting to visit the men of his Section, Deprived of Merit Badge and Pay (2d per day) and transferred to Hyde Division.
10th November 1880 endeavouring to bring outside influence to prevent the Chief Constables Orders being carried out, Reduced to 30/4d per week.
With regard to the offence on the 27th January 1879 the following is recorded in General Orders.
“Sergeant Thomas Gosling, E Division, having been reported by his Superintendent for gross dereliction of duty in habitually neglecting to visit one of the Constables of his Section nightly during his tour of duty in accordance with the rules of the service, which prescribes that so far as practicable each Constable is to be visited at least once by day and once by night. On examining Sergeant Gosling’s Duty Book it appears that the only night visits made by him to the Constable referred to during the last five months were as follows, August 14th, September 12th, October 15th, November 18th, and December 25th out of which number only 18 visits were made after midnight and the Chief Constable is compelled to mark his displeasure at such a gross irregularity in the performance of a most important duty and hereby deprives Sergeant Gosling of his Merit Badge and Pay from this date, and trusts this may serve as a warning to all ranks in the Constabulary against a repetition of so serious a breach of duty, as it must be in the recollection of the older members of the force, the fatal result of a Constable not being visited in the same Division in the year 1873”.
(The latter part of the entry is referring to the Murder of Constable James Green, of the Cheshire Constabulary.
With regard to the offence recorded on the10th November 1880 the following is recorded in General Orders
“The Chief Constable has been much surprised to find that Sergeant Gosling of A Division, on being ordered to remove to Mottram, had notwithstanding the Chief Constable’s stringent General Orders of the 19th October 1878, resorted to a practice which he has been trying to suppress, i.e. the divulging of General Orders to the Public, and endeavouring to bring outside influence to prevent his Orders being carried out, and were it not for Sergeant Gosling’s previous service and conduct, he would have undoubtedly been dismissed from the Force; as it is the Chief Constable cannot pass over this breach of discipline and is therefore compelled to make his sense of it by reducing Sergeant Gosling to 30/4d per week, and warns him that should a repetition of this infringement of General Orders on his part take place, dismissal will certainly follow, Sergeant Gosling will be held in readiness to move from Mottram at an early date which will be notified in a future General Order. Superintendents will read this, and the General Order of the 19th October 1878 at the next parade of their Divisions, and will strongly impress upon all ranks the prudence of complying with all orders issued by the Chief Constable, otherwise when too late it may prove a source of deep regret to them and their families”.
Weekly Pay. 15th July 1858 19/- to 20/-. 26th March 1860 19/- to 20/-. 15th September 1865 20/- to 21/-. June 1867 22/-. March 1870 23/4d. January 1871 Merit Badge 2d per day in addition. May 1871 Sgt at 25/2d. October 1871 26/2d. August 1872 27/5d. December 1872 29/2d. May 1874 30/4d. May 1875 31/6d. January 1876 32/8d. April 1876 33/10d. 27th January 1881 reinstated to 32/8d per week. 1st February 1886 33/10d.
Annual pay on retirement.  £88. 4s. 2d.
Discharged on Pension of. £58.16s.1d per annum.
Total time on pension. 2 years 66 days.
Total pension received. £128. 4s. 0d.
Awards/Good Conduct/Other information. January 1859, apprehending a Burglar, Reward of 10/- by Chief Constable. January 1863 apprehending a Naval Deserter, 20/- reward by the Commanding Officer H.M.S. "Majestic". October 1865 cash reward of 5/- paid under Poachers Act, by F. Aldersey Esq.
Paoching Affray at Bostock, 25th November 1882.
“The Chief Constable has great satisfaction in notifying to the Force the good behaviour of the Constables lately engaged in the Poaching Affray at Bostock, Near Middlewich, more especially the bravery and determination displayed by Sergeant Gosling and Constable Hodgkinson, and for their gallant conduct on this occasion he promotes Sergeant Gosling to 32/8d per week and Constable Hodgkinson to 28/- per week from the 2nd instant”.
Marriage Record
Officer.  Thomas GOSLING
Occupation. Sergeant of police.
Age. 39 years.
Condition. Widower.
Place of residence at Marriage. Astbury Cheshire.
Date of Marriage. 23rd September 1875
Place Married. St. Oswald’s Church, Chester.
Fathers Name. John GOSLING.
Fathers Occupation. Labourer.
Spouse. Margaret BROSTER
Occupation. Servant.
Age. 34 years.
Condition. Spinster.
Place of residence. Lea Newbold, Cheshire. (Near Chester)
Fathers Name. Joseph BROSTER
Fathers Occupation. Labourer.