Alfred Ernest SCHOLES and the Whitechapel murders....
Alfred Scholes certainly had a long and interesting career in the police. I have attempted to compile an account of his earlier and involvement in the Ripper murders in particular, which I thought might be of interest to fellow forum members.......
He was born in Derbyshire on the 31st December 1864.
Joined Metropolitan Police on the 27th February 1888 - Warrant number 73418
Having completed his training and being posted to D Division.
At some point possibly as early as the 8th September 1888, following the Anne CHAPMAN murder, SCHOLES was seconded to H Division. He certainly claims to have been on duty in H Division on the night of the 29th/30th September 1888 for the double event murders and states in his memoirs that he was patrolling his beat on Tabbard Street East on the wrong end of Mile End Road, it was a memorable night there had been a Lord Mayors show, whilst I was on duty Jack the Ripper committed two of his murders in the very street that I was. He also recalls in his memoirs numerous occasions that he stopped and questioned innocent pedestrians, and led to comparative safety the many ‘fallen’ women who ran into his arms convinced that they had met ‘Jack’ and were next to be slaughtered.
Scholes of the Yard by GS Burroughs has a chapter about SCHOLES during the Ripper killings which can be kindly read for free on the below link.....
I had hoped to be able to ascertain from Police Orders, exactly when SCHOLES was stationed in H Division. Thus far, he has not been as relatively straight forward as other constables I've researched, but the trail hasn't gone cold just yet and I hope to report back in due course with new information regarding that. Viewing his unabridged memoirs is one such line of investigation.....
But in the interim I will concentrate on what is documented and can be taken a fact. So we "know" that he was on duty on Mile End Road (with the mysterious Tabbard Street East being included.....), on the night of the double event (29th/30th September), albeit that he states "it was a memorable night as there'd been the Lord Mayors show", which as we know happened on the day of the 9th of November. But one would think that the fact of being on duty on the night for the double event, would stick in one's mind more than remembering the day of a Lord Mayors show? So we must assume than that he was remembering the 29th/30th and not 9th November, as the next batch of reinforcements don't appear to have been sent to Whitechapel until after the double event, so he couldn't have been in that lot, otherwise he wouldn't have been there for the double event, which he clearly appears to have been.
PC Alfred Long A Division, is well documented as having been seconded and on duty on the night of the double event and finding Eddowes apron on Goluston Street, so there is no reason to suspect that Scholes, couldn't have been included in that batch of reinforcements or thereabouts?
It is also likely that he was in fact still in H Division on the 9th November for the Kelly murder and thus also remembers that there had been the Lord Mayors show earlier that day, if not also being on duty when Kelly was murdered. We must also consider that he wrote his memoirs in 1924, some 36 years later, whose memory wouldn't be slightly misted after all that time and after all the other cases he'd dealt with to boot, the facts of each case could become unclear. He wouldn't be alone in that, when we consider that other memoirs written by other officers have also contained confused facts. Examples being Major Smith of the City Police, and his tale of the blood still swilling down the drain of the street water pump, when he got to it on the night of the double event & Detective Ben Leeson claiming to be first to respond to PC Ernest Thompson's whistle following him finding Francis Coles, not to mention Sgt Amos Simpson would could also easily be included here, although no direct claims appear to have come from him, more from family lore and his involvement on the night of the double event, as part of the special detection force, but they must have started somewhere, so we must assume they came directly from him, but I digress. The fact is these three examples clearly appear to be made up . But I don't think in the same can be said in Scholes case and he recollections should be taken as true, as he never claims to have done anything directly linked to the case, like the others have, he merely documents his experiences, whilst on the beat in Whitechapel.....
We must further assume that he was down in Whitechapel for more than just a few shifts, when in his memoirs he states "numerous occasions that he stopped and questioned innocent pedestrians, and led to comparative safety the many ‘fallen’ women who ran into his arms convinced that they had met ‘Jack’ and were next to be slaughtered". This certainly wouldn't have occurred in one or two shifts and suggests a lengthy secondment and that he could in point of fact have been down there from pretty much early on, until post 9th November or beyond, seconded officers were still deployed in whitechapel until March 1889.
The following is a brief synopsis of how the reinforcements played out........
The first batch of police reinforcements from other divisions appear to have been dispatched to the district following the murder of Annie Chapman, (this `special detection force)` being 3 Insps, 9 Sgts and 6 Constables on the 8th September this being increased to 51 in October (no exact date given) and another 28 employed to carry out the house to house searches) it should also be noted that 120 Constables (and the relevant number of Sgts) of H division were deployed on night duty of these 43 came from a special augmentation from H division men and 77 had been supplied nightly from other divisions) , PC Alfred LONG of A Division and PC Alfred SCHOLES of D Division are examples. I suspect that these nightly arrangements would have been on a more perminant long term basis as apposed to different bobbies every night?
Following the double event, one of the first things Sir Charles WARREN, did was to draft additional extra men (161) to the district, from other divisions. An example of one of these men is PC Frederick Porter WENSLEY of L Division.
It appears that `hundreds` of officers were drafted and usually patrolled in pairs (27 men are certainly documented as being employed in plain clothes work at this time, this being increased to 89 in October and 143 in November, (the mysterious L Division bobby on Dorset Street at the time of the Kelly murder is an example of this),these numbers being reduced to 102 in January and 47 in February 1889.
It appears that these men involved in both plain clothes and uniformed work. These resources begin to be reduced in both in February 1889 (in December 1888 their numbers appear to be 1 Insps, 9 Sgts and 126 Constables), these men appear to have come from other divisions, worked constant night shifts and were coming from some distance away (which they had to pay for at their own expense). These additional men had been ceased by March 1889. However, 34 uniformed officers originally detailed for patrols in Trafalgar Square (A division) remained in Whitechapel and were still there in the summer of 1889.
In July 1889 following the murder or Alice McKENZIE it was amused that the Ripper had resumed his killings so the men and patrols , (these being 3 Sgts 39 Constables in plain clothes and 22 extra men in uniform).
Two months later following the discovery of the Pinchin Street torso, an additional 100 plain clothes men were drafted in, these continued until April 1890 when they finally ceased.
Great stuff. Interesting he agreed with Sims. I was under the impression he was solely Macnaghten's creature, but this report suggests that wasn't the only source. It depends on which way the information flowed I suppose.
Thanks for posting this.