5. Research services at the Essex Police Museum

Whether you are researching your family history or Essex Police, the museum may be able to help you.

Records of Service

We have a large collection of service records or information files for officers dating back to 1840. All information is subject to strict rules on use and release. In some cases, particularly for recent records or records of officers still living, we may ask you to provide evidence of your relationship to or permission from the individual you are enquiring about. 

To request a record of service please email us with as much information as possible. We will then check to see if we have the record and ensure the appropriate permissions are in place to release it. We will then invoice you for the purchase and email over a PDF copy once the payment is received. All costs will be agreed with you prior to invoicing.

If we have the record of service it will contain the following information about an individual:

  • Personal details including date and place of birth, family and previous occupation
  • Rank
  • Dates of service
  • Where they served
  • Training
  • Pay
  • Commendations
  • Misconducts
  • Sickness
  • Reason for Leaving

Our database includes records from:

  • Police officers in the Essex County Constabulary from the 1880s to present day
  • Police officers who served in the Colchester Borough Police and transferred to the Essex County Constabulary in 1947
  • Police officers serving in Southend Borough Police 1914 – 1969
  • Police War Reserves – World War II
  • Women Police Auxiliaries – World War II

There is a £20 fee to purchase a PDF service record copy which contributes to our storage and conservation costs. Where an officer has worked across different forces within Essex, such as with Essex County Constabulary and Southend-On-Sea Borough Police, they may have multiple service records. All charges will be agreed with you prior to invoicing.  

Due to a series of estrangements that occurred during my childhood I lost all contact with my extended family. Thanks to all the help I have received from the Essex Police Museum I have discovered four of my ancestors.
One of them was being researched by another individual only a week before my request. I asked for my contact details to be passed on to them, and later that day I had a telephone call.
He said “This is your cousin Edmund speaking!”
Since then Edmund and I have met up and we speak regularly on the telephone. We have become close friends.
I have been able to fill in large chunks of knowledge – I feel I have got my family back.
Margaret-Mary Philips

You may find more information by searching through copies of the Essex Police newspaper, and downloading our History Notebooks.