Charles Albert Tyrell

 – the story behind the picture


Charles A Tyrell

Charles A Tyrell


Born 20.07.1886 – Died 13.11.1950
Service dates: 04.12.1911 – 13.11.1950

This short insight on Charles Albert Tyrell has been supplied by his daughter Mrs Doris Summers.

Charles Albert Tyrell was born on the 20th July 1886, at Harriots Farm in a small Essex village called Bocking just outside of Braintree. The local industry in the area was farming, but he was a carter. Charles was married on the 27th, February 1910 and moved to Stratford the following year.

Joined the Great Eastern Police:

Charles wanted more in his life and applied to join the City of London police. Unfortunately he had varicose veins and was turned down. He went into hospital and had the veins repaired and in 1911 at the age of 25 he applied and was accepted into the Great Eastern Railway Police. He was given the number 204 and stationed at Liverpool Street. Platform 18 was where the police station could be found at that time but also he worked at Stratford and Bishopsgate.

Card Sharps:

Part of his duties was to attend Great Yarmouth in Norfolk in the summer and help supervise the arrival of holiday makers coming to the area. Overnight accommodation was supplied by the force. Another duty was to travel on trains going to horse race meetings to catch card sharps, taking money from vulnerable passengers.

Family Life:

Charles remained in uniform through the depression and the 1936 General Strike. He and his wife Emily, were a kind couple, they had five children, 2 daughters and three sons. They took in another officer and his wife until they could find accommodation of their own. During the early years Charles and his growing family moved to Dagenham and then to the family home in Essex road, Romford.

Promoted To Detective Constable:

Sometime just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Charles was promoted to Detective Constable. He served throughout the war at his designated station. The only shift the family didn’t like him doing was nights, he looked like a ruffian when he went to work in his flat cap and muffler.

Collapsed In Witness Box:

On the 6th, November 1950 Charles was giving evidence at Stratford Coroners Court when he collapsed in the witness box. He was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital, Stratford but died 7 days later of a cerebral haemorrhage. His wife did not receive a pension from the railway police, although it is believed that a small lump sum was paid.

Obituary – From a Local Newspaper:

“Charles Albert Tyrell a railway policeman for 39 years, who collapsed at an East Ham Inquest at which he was to give evidence and died on Thursday seven days later in Queen Mary’s Hospital, Stratford, will be buried at Whalebone Lane Cemetery this afternoon. He was 64 and lived at 59 Essex Road, Romford; he was due to retire next year. Mr Tyrell who had been with the railway since he was a youth comes from a well-known Essex family and leaves a widow, one daughter and two sons. Interment will be preceded by a service at St John’s Church, Mawney Road, conducted by the vicar, the Rev Stanley Moore.”


Thanks are extended to Ralph Orchard in the preparation of this article in conjunction with the Tyrell family.

Charles Albert Tyrell has been added to the BTPHG Roll of Honour (Line of Duty).

The grave of Charles A Tyrell.

The grave of Charles A Tyrell.

Mrs Doris Summers

Mrs Doris Summers, née Tyrell, the daughter of Charles Tyrell
shown aged 91 (2012)

Extract from the September 2012 edition of History Lines (No. 37)


WebMaster’s Note:
Update July 2014
Sadly, I have been advised by Roger Tyrell that his Aunt, Mrs Doris Summers, passed away in February 2014, shortly after her 93rd birthday.
Roger added that Doris had been very proud to have her fathers story in the newsletter.