Murdered Pc to finally have memorial plaque at Stapleford Abbotts church

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 May 2016

George Gutteridge

George Gutteridge


Pc George Gutteridge was ruthlessly gunned down on an Essex roadside 89 years ago, now a memorial plaque is finally set to be unveiled in the village he died protecting.

Brian Alexander, the eldest grandson of PC George Gutteridge, and Bernard Mullin, who is writing a book about the police officer's lifeBrian Alexander, the eldest grandson of PC George Gutteridge, and Bernard Mullin, who is writing a book about the police officer's life

After the police officer was murdered on a road between Stapleford Abbotts and Romford on September 26 1927, the local parish church of St Mary the Virgin drew up plans to have a memorial plaque erected.

Funding difficulties meant the plan fell through, but now Bernard Mullin, who is writing a non-profit book about Pc Gutteridge’s life, has joined forces with a relative of the late policeman to finally have a plaque placed on the church’s northern wall.

The 65-year-old revealed that it had taken around a year for plans for the memorial to finally come together.

He said: “The colours of the plaque represent the colours of the police uniform he would have worn when he was serving, it was the actual wording of it that took a bit of time.

George GutteridgeGeorge Gutteridge

“The Bishop of Barking at the time didn’t like the word murder, so his grave bears the term ‘met his death’, but that could mean he had a road accident, or just fell down dead.

“It was decided that ‘murdered’ was more factually accurate for the plaque.”

Only once the plaque is properly on display at the church does Mr Mullin, whose mother grew up in Stapleford Abbotts, feel people will really be able to fully understand the wide reaching impact of the vicious murder that took place on that rural lane one cold September night.

He said: “The grave, the road-side memorial and the plaque allow people to triangulate the story of this man’s life.

A memorial plaque to PC George Gutteridge will be placed at St Mary the Virgin Church in Stapleford Abbotts in SeptemberA memorial plaque to PC George Gutteridge will be placed at St Mary the Virgin Church in Stapleford Abbotts in September

“They really help create a geographical link to the area if anyone wants to learn more about what happened or pay their respects to the man.”

The plaque will officially be unveiled at a remembrance ceremony at the church on September 24. It is hoped senior representatives from a number of police forces will be present to pay their respects to the fallen officer.

For the full report, and to read our exclusive interview with George Gutteridge’s eldest grandson, pick up a copy of the Recorder this Friday.

Latest Romford News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Spanish people in Spain? Shock horror.

I am sure there are a huge amount of massively relieved 18-year-olds breathing out massive sighs of relief at the realisation that they passed their A-levels.

Yesterday, 17:00

Think you know what is going on in your area?

Yesterday, 15:02

The friends and family of three-year-old Isla Caton - who has a rare form of cancer - held a special early birthday party for her before she leaves to go for specialist treatment in Barcelona.

Yesterday, 14:15

A popular tea shop organised a special celebration for their first anniversary in Hornchurch.

Yesterday, 11:48

A community that has been left “disappointed” after the decision to build on a contentious open space by their homes was given the green light.

Yesterday, 09:33

Police are trying to find Rachael Joseph who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now