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East London Observer.
Saturday, 11 June 1892.


Chief Inspector Abberline Retires from the Service,

And is the Recipient of a Presentation.

On Wednesday evening, on the occasion of his retirement from the service, Chief Inspector Frederick G. Abberline, of the Criminal Investigation Department, was entertained at dinner at the "Three Nuns Hotel" by a number of his friends, and was made the recipient of a handsome presentation. Although, as a matter of fact, Mr. Abberline has retired from the force now for some little time, and was made, on the occasion of his retirement from Scotland Yard, the recipient of a presentation by his brother officers, it was thought by the tradesmen of East London and others who knew Mr. Abberline there, to be only appropriate to mark, by another presentation, their appreciation of the services of Mr. Abberline while stationed - as he was for a considerable number of years - with the H Division, and discharging his duties in the interests of the district. The result was the dinner on Wednesday evening, over which Mr. Isaac Davis presided, supported by, in addition to the guest of the evening, Messrs. F. Louisson, H. Gluckstein, J. C. McDonald, C. A. McDonald, D. Older, H. Brooks, M. Joseph, J. W. Galton, F. W. Ayres, R. A. Kearsey, H. Gibbs, E. J. Anning, Anning, jun., H. Allan Thorpe, J. Hawkins, J. Levy, I. Abrahams, J. McCarthy and McCarthy, jun., Superintendents Shore, Butcher, Arnold, and Jones, Chief Inspector Peel, Inspectors Jarvis, Moore, Conquest, Hare, Richards, Turrell, Willson, Kitchner, Melville, Regan, and Froest, and Messrs. Hodson, Thornton, and others. - At the conclusion of the proposition of the usual loyal toasts, Mr. E. J. Anning, rising amid cheers, said he had had the distinguished honour conferred upon him in the name of those who were present, and of the still larger public outside, of offering for Mr. Abberline’s acceptance, the very handsome silver tea and coffee service which lay before him, and which was the outcome of the high estimation in which he was held by all in East London. (Hear, hear.) The inscription on the silver salver, which accompanied the service, recorded the fact that for thirty years Mr. Abberline had been engaged in the honorable service of that department of our system which had for its object the detection of crime. He thought that if he were to attempt to tell them of all the exploits in which Mr. Abberline had been engaged during that time, he should have to ask them to stay for another thirty years while he recounted them. The profession in which their distinguished guest of that evening had been engaged was one of a very honorable character, and he who carried out the duties connected with it in the honorable way which had been done by Mr. Abberline, was a man of whom not only they, but society at large, might be proud. (Applause.) The British individual, as a rule, was a great grumbler. He knew that ever since he had seen the light - and it was, he presumed, very much the same before he did - his experience had been that John Bull was a great grumbler, not only against his country in general, but also against all the institutions of his country. In his grumbling he had not failed to grumble also at the department of the police service relating to the detection of crime. John Bull had either heard, or read, or been told, that they managed this business very much better in other countries, and compared our system - very much to its disadvantage - with what he chose to call the admirable systems of France, Russia, Germany, and America. But for all that, he knew perfectly well that what they did in those countries under the authority of the police would not for a single hour be tolerated in free England. (Cheers.) The detection of crime in some of the countries to which he had alluded was easy, and when one heard of some very great feat performed by the detective departments in those parts, they knew as a matter of fact that there had been very little trouble at all about the detection and arrest of the criminal. Not so in this country. The ramifications of crime here were very minute, and very difficult to detect and the service often got very little credit for the most difficult and daring undertakings. (Hear, hear.) He would say nothing - because it would take up too much of their time - about what Mr. Abberline had done in the course of his honoured career. He need only mention Cunningham and Burton, and barely allude to what occurred on board a certain Channel boat, and a bare allusion to those matters was quite sufficient to remind them of some of the matters in which Mr. Abberline had been engaged. They were all, he was sure, glad and proud to be there that evening to ask his acceptance of that testimonial. It would enable him in future to look back upon what he was sure would be one of the most pleasant evenings in his life. The termination of his official career, which had been one of the most adventurous character, must be gratifying, not only to himself, but to all who where gathered there that evening, because they had now Mr. Abberline entirely amongst them - he would not say full of years, for he was comparatively young as yet, but certainly full of honour. (Cheers.) When, in after years, Mr. Abberline looked upon that presentation, he would, he was persuaded, remember that it was a proof of the high regard in which he was held by all with whom he came in contact, and, on their part, those who came after him would also remember, when they looked at it, that it was given in recognition of the services of a man of whom the country had every reason to be proud. (Applause.) The speaker concluded by asking Mr. Abberline’s acceptance of the silver tea and coffee service, which was magnificently chased, and contained the following inscription:- "This testimonial is presented to Mr. F. G. Abberline, late Chief Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard, on his retirement from the police force after a service of nearly thirty years, by a few friends, as a mark of their esteem and regard, and in appreciation of his services as a police officer, and the rectitude of character and gentlemanly bearing exhibited by him on all occasions. - Signed on behalf of the Committee J. C. McDONALD, Hon. Secretary, June 8th, 1892." - The presentation was accomplished amid the greatest enthusiasm, and the toast of Mr. Abberline’s health was cordially honoured. - Replying, Mr. Abberline, who was again received with enthusiasm, expressed his high appreciation of the great kindness which had been shown him that evening, and, indeed, in so many quarters, since he had retired from the police force. He was deeply sensible of the great compliment which had been paid him by the presentation of that testimonial, and he took that opportunity to express to all who had been engaged in its promotion, his heartiest thanks. He was especially glad to see so many of his old colleagues rally round him that evening to bid him an official good-bye. He could only hope that he would merit their esteem and retain their friendship. (Cheers.) He would retain very pleasant recollections of his services in East London. He was fully convinced that any man who did his duty in the East End honourably, honestly, and fearlessly, would find no more ardent supporters and no truer friends than were to be found there. Nor was there in all London any quarter that interested itself more largely in the cause of charity than did the East End. As a proof of that, he need only refer to the large number of charitable societies with which his friend Mr. McDonald was associated, and he could only trust that in due time his services in that direction would be rewarded as they so richly deserved to be. (Hear, hear.) He thanked them again sincerely, and assured them that he would always remember the many happy evenings he had spent in East London, and the very great kindness he had met from everybody there. (Loud cheers.) - The Chairman, in proposing the toast of "The Metropolitan Police," mentioned the fact that they now numbered over fifteen thousand men, and spoke of their services in the direction of protecting life and limb and property in terms of the warmest praise. - Superintendent Arnold, of the H Division, in replying, took the gathering of that night to prove how greatly the services of the police were appreciated in East London. For several years Mr. Abberline had served under him in the H Division, and he assured them that he had found no better officer in the service. (Hear, hear.) In losing him he felt that he was losing his right hand, and that he would have the utmost difficulty in replacing him. He felt bound to tell them, however, that when he was in trouble - as he was during the continuance of the Whitechapel crimes - Mr. Abberline came down to the East End and gave the whole of his time with the object of bringing these crimes to light. Unfortunately, however, the circumstances were such that success was impossible, but he could assure them that it was through no fault of Mr. Abberline’s that they did not succeed. With regard to himself, he could only say that for 37 years he had served in the police force, both in the East and West End of London, and that he had never received heartier or better support than he had found among the people of East London. (Cheers.) - Superintendents Shore and Butcher also responded, both of them taking the opportunity to speak in warm terms of the services of Mr. Abberline. - Mr. Kearsey proposed "The Health of the Committee" in a characteristically genial and appropriate speech, adding that if longer time had been given, and the appeal had been more extended, not one, but several testimonials could have been obtained for Mr. Abberline, so generally and even universally respected was he. (Hear, hear.) - Mr. J. C. McDonald, as one who had for 19 years been a comrade of Mr. Abberline’s, expressed, in replying, his pleasure at the successful issue of that presentation. - Mr. J. Levy and Mr. J. W. Galton also responded, the former recounting, in humorous terms, the incidental manner in which the testimonial was first mooted. - The health of the visitors having also been toasted, the proceedings shortly afterwards closed.

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