John Joseph Charlton



4 April 1899






Police Constable



Berkshire Constabulary



Homicide - Beaten

Duty Status


On Duty

Roll of Honour Citation

Died after being fatally beaten and kicked by two men who had been ejected from Chequers, a public house in Harwell.

At 7pm on Easter Monday April 3, 1899, things were getting too much for the landlord of The Chequers public house in Harwell. The majority of patrons had been drinking for most of the day and by this time were very noisy.

One of them was singing and passing around his hat begging for money, supported by his friend. The landlord ordered them to leave, but both refused, so he called for the Harwell village policeman PC Hewett, who arrived with PC Charlton.

A struggle ensued and the two Constables managed to eject both drunks, with the help of the landlord.

Once outside one of the drunks called out ‘Now Bob, give it to the buggers! Knife them I will back you!’ and a fight ensued with both Constables falling to the ground.
PC Charlton hit his head on a kerb and became unconscious. PC Hewitt managed to handcuff one and the other ran off.

In the meantime, the unconscious PC John Charlton was taken to the Harwell Police House where a Doctor was summoned. There was little he could do and PC Charlton died the following day.
The man who made off was arrested at a pub in Stoke Row and conveyed to join his accomplice at Wantage Police Station in Mill Street. Both men were charged with murder.

PC Charlton had served in various places around Berkshire, including Maidenhead, Twyford and Abingdon. He moved to East Hendred in 1887 living with his wife and their four children at Queens Square in East Hendred.

There was a full police funeral with honours at East Hendred for PC Charlton.