My uncle, Hugh Sheldrake, was based at Polegate in Sussex. This was an airship station that flew anti-submarine sorties over the Channel. I assume that he flew to protect the airships. The plane, a SESA, was only brought into service towards the end of the war. Polegate closed in 1919.

The truncheon belonged to my grandfather. He was not conscripted possibly due to age (39 when war was declared) or possibly on medical grounds. Anyway he served as a Special Constable in Colchester throughout the War.

The truncheon I am holding in the last photograph has the Essex coat of arms and is inscribed “C J Sheldrake, Special Constable from September 1914 to July 1919”.