Stepping into the shoes of my ancestor

JanesFredrickFollowing one of our ‘Throwback Thursday’ posts on social media, Bedfordshire Police was contacted by Tony Ireland, who recognised a man named Frederick Janes (Fred) in one of our photos dating back to 1922.

Tony, who is a Service Manager for Public Protection at Luton Council, also happens to be Fred’s great-great-grandson.

The photo depicts officers from Luton Borough Police decades before it merged with the Bedfordshire Constabulary.

Back then police responsibilities included; licensing of premises, supervising carriages (taxis), stage plays and cinematography. Those responsibilities now belong to local councils.

Tony said: “After almost one hundred years I hold the same licensing responsibilities to that of my great-great-grandfather.

“Things have changed in policing and local authorities since then but it is great to think that I continue the heritage for this work in Luton.

“I am proud to be Fred’s great-great-grandson – he had a long and successful career and was distinguished for his service numerous times.”

Chief Inspector Frederick Janes – Luton Borough Police PC 27, PS03Chief Inspector Fred Janes enhanced

Fred Janes was born in Northall on 3 November 1874. He joined Luton Borough Police at the age of 18 on 21 May 1893.

He received his first commendation in 1901 for tact and intelligence during a Bute Street robbery, and he was the first recipient of the Merit Badge.

Between 1904 and 1915 Fred served as a Sergeant, and during this time he was in charge of enforcing rules and regulations covering stage plays and licensing under the Cinematography Act.

He was promoted to the rank of Inspector on 11 March 1915 and a year later he was appointed to Inspector for amusement under the scheme of Board and Customs and Excise.

His service as an Inspector was also recognised multiple times. In March 1918 he was very active in making numerous reports and enquiries with regards to illegal immigration and suspect persons involved in the First World War. He was subsequently recognised by the War Office and a letter was read aloud during parade with an entry being made in the police record book.

In July 1919 he was highly commended by the Watch Committee for the manner in which he worked up a case of keeping a Game House.

During the Peace Day Riots between 19 and 21 July 1919 he worked to prevent the burning of the Town Hall, in which his brother, Sergeant Edmund Janes, was seriously injured.

He was appointed Chief Inspector shortly after the rank was introduced to the Police in May 1920, at the same time he was appointed an Acting Chief Constable for the Luton Borough Constabulary until a new Chief Constable appointment was made. He held this position once more between 24 June 1936 and 30 August 1936.

He retired from Luton Borough Constabulary after 44 years of service on 4 June 1937.

Throwback Thursday

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