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  • Swanson Obituaries

    Has anyone seen DS Swanson's Obituary before?
    It is from the Surrey Comet and is dated 29th November 1924.
    It is interesting that his involvement in the Ripper case isn't mentioned.
    Who would have prepared the obituary? The most obvious answer is his immediate family. Makes you think that he didn't mention his involvement in that notorious case much. Is this in line with what we have been told?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Lechmere,

    Interesting document. The fact that his involvement in the Whitechapel Murder enquiry isn't mentioned might (to my mind) suggest that this was compiled from a Scotland Yard press release. Then again, Swanson's death pre-dated Leonard Masters' book by five years, so perhaps the JtR thing wasn't thought to be of great interest by that time - especially as there wasn't a successful outcome!

    Regards, Bridewell.
    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, this is true evidence of yet more shenanigans by the family.

      The fact NO cases are mentioned at all and that Swanson was 'opposed to publice 'reminiscience', to which the obituary is clearing respecting, is telling.

      However, if some prefer to see Dragons....

      Monty
      Monty

      https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

      Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

      Comment


      • #4
        Yet quite a few aspects of his work are mentioned.

        He retired 21 years earlier so I somewhat doubt it was a Scotland Yard press release.

        Robert Sagar also died in 1924 and his obituary mentioned the Jack the Ripper case.

        Comment


        • #5
          Anderson published his memoirs in 1910 (not 1905) and that mentions the Ripper case I seem to recall.
          Sir Henry Smith also wrote his memoirs in 1910.
          Inspector Reid’s reminiscences were published in Lloyds Weekly News in 1912.
          Macnaghten published ‘The Days of My Years’ in 1914.

          I don't know about you but I think the lack of a successful outcome rather fuelled interest in the case.

          Comment


          • #6
            He retired 21 years earlier so I somewhat doubt it was a Scotland Yard press release.
            The length of time since his retirement doesn't necessarily preclude it. On his death, his family would have had to contact Scotland Yard, as a matter of course, to notify them to cease making pension payments. It follows that either party to that communication could have notified the press. If the obituary appeared only in the local press, I guess the family is a more likely source. If it was published further afield an official press release seems more probable. I have no knowledge of how widely publicised the death of DSS was though.

            Regards, Bridewell.
            "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

            Comment


            • #7
              If it was via Scotland Yard then reference to Ripper case is more likely surely - after all wasn't he in charge of the investigation?
              But would the Yard Pensions Department have known the date and location of his funeral or the other details?

              Comment


              • #8
                The widow was entitled to take on the pension once her husband had passed away.

                I know this happened in the case of of one of the City PCs (Watkins, Harvey or Robinson, I can recall which - its in the Rip) and to do this the widow had to write a letter to HQ.

                However this did cease, when I cannot recall, but I think it was active in 1911. Couldn't tell you if it was around in the 1920s however in my mind I believe it stopped around the time of World War II.

                So contact between the force and the family could have been made upon Swansons death.

                Monty
                Monty

                https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...t/evilgrin.gif

                Author of Capturing Jack the Ripper.

                http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1445621622

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Police Pensions Act 1921 altered the situation for widows but I think for a long service officer like Swanson his widow would have retained his pension.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The minutiae of Police Pension Regulations may fascinate some, but I will move things on.
                    Here is DS Swanson’s grandson, Jim Swanson’s obituary, from ‘Leather International’ (ooo-err missus) 1st February 2002.

                    James Douglas (Jim) Swanson, former group general manager of Gomshall and Associated Tanneries, died on December 20, 2001, aged 89.
                    He was born in Gibraltar, and educated at Colfes Grammar School, Lewisham, and the Leathersellers' Technical College, Bermondsey.
                    He joined the Vestey Organisation in 1930. During the war, he joined the Home Guard in Surrey, and was later commissioned in the Royal Navy. After the war, he returned to his chosen career with the Vesteys, working first at the Gomshall Tannery, and then managing J Meredith Jones at Wrexham.
                    In early 1951, he designed and opened a tannery in Mazamet (France) and was then sent to Australia to rescue the Northmead Light Leather Co. He was told he would be home by Christmas but this transpired to be by Christmas 1952!
                    He was then appointed general manager of the Gomshall Group of Tanneries which, at their peak, had factories in Gomshall, Abingdon, Wrexham, Nuneaton, France, Australia and New Zealand.
                    Under Swanson's leadership, the group became the largest producer of ovine clothing leather in the world, using up to one quarter of all suitable available New Zealand lamb pelts each year. During his career, he gave much time and effort to the leather trade as a whole. He was a member of council of the British Leather Federation from 1968 to 1982. He was elected deputy president in 1968, and president in 1970 during a particularly difficult time.
                    He was chairman of the Leather Institute from 1976 until 1982, and represented the trade at many functions around the world. One of his specialities was to produce samples of mouseskin or frogskin both at lectures and on TV. This was particularly appreciated by viewers in Hong Kong!
                    A former colleague, M Heinz Mayer says of him: `He will be sorely missed by all his friends, and all those who had the privilege of working with him. He was an extraordinary man who achieved much and was always fair, available and receptive. He was a great boss.'
                    Editor's note: On joining LEATHER in 1974, I was welcomed to the industry through the generous hospitality of Jim Swanson and his staff at Gomshall Tanneries. That was in the heady days when press relations was high on the priority list. To this day, I still have a small, orange coloured, tanned mouseskin, a personal gift to me from `Mr Swanson' that I would not dream of parting with.


                    I will draw out the following:
                    Jim Swanson occupied quite a high powered position in business. You would have to guess that he was used to getting his own way. He also must have been quite resourceful, setting up leather factories in France and Australia.
                    He must have been very busy indeed, at least up to 1982, until which time he was Chairman of the Leather Institute and on the Council of the British Leather Federation, when he was 70! His retirement must have been quite a contrast.
                    To produce samples of mouseskin and frogskin he must have had a delicate hand and a great eye for detail.
                    In the mid 1970s Jim Swanson regarded press relations as a high priority.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lechmere View Post
                      If it was via Scotland Yard then reference to Ripper case is more likely surely - after all wasn't he in charge of the investigation?
                      But would the Yard Pensions Department have known the date and location of his funeral or the other details?
                      At the risk of anachronism, police widows (and widowers), even today, retain the right to a reduced pension when their spouse dies. If any retired Nottinghamshire officer dies I (and others in my situation) get to hear of it, and of the funeral arrangements. I think it likely that Scotland Yard did have possession of this information in the case of DSS, although whether or not they did so in advance of the funeral is anybody's guess.

                      Regards, Bridewell.
                      "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

                      Comment

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