A Leeds City Police badge from the Victorian era has recently come into our collection, and it’s history is certainly not clean cut…
One of the treasures of the Thoresby Society collection is this Leeds City Police badge. It is of interest in its own right as it is the design worn by the police shortly after Leeds gained city status in 1893 and probably dates from about 1895.
What happened to it over the next twenty years is less clear, but somehow it had ended up in West Africa by 1916. The accompanying letter sent to the Chief of Leeds City Police explains the circumstances:
I have the honour to enclose herewith a badge belonging to one of your Force which was found on a native here on the borders of French Haut-Senegal and Niger. It was on a policeman’s helmet which he was wearing, and which he stated he had bought in Coomassie market.