Search

Gold pocket watch holds clue to 77-year-old Camden crime

21:25 13 September 2012

The gold fob watch awarded to William William

The gold fob watch awarded to William William's after he stepped in to help two police officers under attack

Archant

Lying in a drawer in a bedroom in Wales is a gold pocket watch - a testament to an act of bravery that happened 77 years ago in Camden.

Charles Thomas Williams, better known as William Williams, was a conductor on the buses when he spotted two policemen being attacked in Camden Town.

Without a thought for his own safety, he jumped off the bus and waded in to their aid – and ended up in St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, south London, with concussion, where he stayed for two to three weeks.

In recognition of his valour, Mr Williams was awarded a gold fob watch from the Metropolitan Police

Now, years later, Mr Williams’ family is desperate to unearth the details of the incident.

But the only thing known about the event is the inscription on the timepiece, which reads: “Presented to William Williams esquire by the officers of Kentish Town Station, N Division, Metropolitan Police, in appreciation of his courage in going to the assistance of two of their officers who were being seriously assaulted in Camden Town on 10 June, 1935.”

Mr Williams’ only son Peter, 72, who lives in the former coal-mining Welsh town of Abertillery, where his father was born, said: “He never spoke about it. He just used to say, ‘It was one of those things. You would have done the same, son’. He was as reticent as anything.

“In those days, Irish troubles were abroad and there was a huge Irish contingent in that area, so maybe it was connected with that. But the police say they have no record.”

Mr William was born in 1901 and worked in the colliery from the age of 14 to 18, when his strong singing voice saw him win a scholarship to the Guildhall in London. After completing his studies, he stayed in London – living in Mercers Road, Tufnell Park – where he worked on the buses while also singing for an opera company.

But in 1941, he was called up to serve in the Second World War, enlisting in the RAF, and his wife Elizabeth returned to Abertillery to have their son.

After the war, Mr Williams also returned to his home town, getting a job with British Nylon Spinners and working there until his retirement.

Mr Williams died in 1982 at the age of 80, leaving behind his wife – who died six years later, his son and two grandchildren. He now also has two great-grandchildren.

“I have his watch,” said Peter. “I don’t wear it but my dad used to use it regularly. I can see him now, pulling it out of his pocket.”

* If you can help trace the details of the incident in 1935, contact the Ham&High newsdesk on 020 7433 6215 or email editorial@hamhigh.co.uk.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 08:41
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Friday, April 29, 2016
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Friday, April 29, 2016
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Friday, April 29, 2016
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe