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Keeping the line

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The arrangements for keeping the line were entirely under the supervision of the Chief Constable (Captain Segrave), and were most admirably planned and efficiently carried out. The forces engaged were the Police and the Staffordshire Volunteers. Of the first named, the total number present was eight hundred and eighteen, viz.: Wolverhampton Borough Force, sixty eight men, under the supervision of five Inspectors. The Staffordshire County Constabulary, three hundred men, under the command of Chief Constable Congreve and Deputy Chief Constable Major McKnight. Walsall, twenty men, under the command of the Chief Constable. London, two hundred and thirty men (of the 'A' division), under the supervision of Superintendent Walker. Birmingham, two hundred men, under the supervision of two Superintendents. 

Albert on the move. Over the years Queen Square has been redeveloped several times and the statue been moved accordingly. Courtesy of David Clare.
The Volunteer Force was composed of the different Battalions of the County, under the command of their respective Colonels, and numbered altogether three thousand two hundred men. The different forces of police and volunteers were stationed alternatively outside the barriers all along the route, and the manner in which they all, to a man, performed their duty, was highly creditable. The volunteers, especially, deserve great praise for their steadiness and soldierly demeanour. Captain Segrave exerted himself most energetically in seeing that his orders, down to the minutest details, were attended to, and the result was gratifying in the extreme, not the slightest confusion being observable from the commencement to the end.

Ample provision was made at the Agricultural Hall for the entertainment of the volunteer forces who came to assist in preserving order in the different streets through which Her Majesty passed. The hall was decorated for the occasion, and after the party had partaken of the viands provided for them, they were further entertained by the lively strains of their bands.


Unfortunately a rather serious accident happened to one of the artillery men who was engaged in firing the Royal Salute from one of the cannons stationed on the Racecourse. The unfortunate fellow, William Bridgeway, was about nineteen years of age, and the gun at which he was assisting had been fired twice, but whilst Bridgeway was loading it again, from some undiscovered cause the charge went off. His hand was blown off, and his arm fractured in three places, besides which his face was badly bruised. He was removed to the General Hospital, where his forearm was amputated. He has since recovered.

Another view of the statue on the move in the early 1970s. Courtesy of David Clare. 

It will be seen, by one of the letters from Sir T. M. Biddulph to Sir John Morris, that Her Majesty, with her usual kindness, has settled a life annuity of £20 upon William Bridgeway.

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