What was PC38HR Thomas WHITBREAD doing in A Division (I assume he must have been on duty)?
What is also interesting is that the only Thomas WHITBREAD I can find is 85434 Thomas WHITBREAD, joined 31.10.1898 M Division retired 23.01.1915 M Division. He'd also previously served during the Boer War.
I note that he says that he saw her throw the stone, but nothing is said about his having arrested her. I do wonder if he was off-duty at the time, and just happened to witness the crime.
Have done a bit more digging into this case (and putting aside the fact that he didn't actually see her throwing the stone for a minute). From what I've been able to ascertain there was only one officer called Thomas WHITBREAD and he served his entire service in M Division? So I cannot account for why he has a H Division (reserve) collar number. However the fact that he was a reserve might suggest that he was transferred to A Division for some reason (I assume counter-suffragette activity). Although why he wasn't given a A Division number for this purpose is a puzzle, as surely working in A Division with a H Division number would attract attention, unless he was in plain clothes perhaps? I would suggest that he kept his number in the same why that Alfred LONG did in 1888, but the purposes for the reinforcement of bobbies during the Ripper period would I suspect be different than for the suffragette situation?
Certainly curious I wonder whether anything in the press might shine some light on it? As this was after all a high profile case.