A FORGOTTEN Ruthin police inspector of old has been discovered thanks to the detective work carried out by a local genealogist.

Now, North Wales Police want to find the inspector's living relatives.

John Harvey was an officer in the Denbighshire County Constabulary between 1879 and 1914, six decades before North Wales Police was established.

Inspector Harvey was born in Chester in 1856, incidentally the same year that the County Borough Police Act was passed, requiring all counties to have a working Constabulary.

He joined the police and completed his training at the Wrexham headquarters between 1879 and 1881, starting a service lasting over 33 years.

John married his wife Margaret in 1894 and later moved to Ruthin Police Station on Record Street with their seven children, once he became the town’s Inspector.

A professional genealogist with nearly 40 years of experience, Jeremy Stuehmeyer investigated the family’s history and offered to share it with the Conwy and Denbigh rural neighbourhood policing team (NPT).

“Being from Ruthin myself, I have great interest in the area, and often put what I find on the Ruthin Memories Facebook Group," said Mr Stuehmeyer.

“I wanted to share this find with North Wales Police as it offers an insight into their own history, as well as the town’s.”

Much has changed in 120 years and Ruthin no longer has a dedicated Inspector.

The role now lies with Inspector Gareth Jones, who leads the Conwy and Denbigh Rural NPT from Denbigh Police Station.

He said: “It’s really interesting to read how far the role I’m in has come, as well as learning about the fulfilled life of my predecessor.”

The latest records of John Harvey are the 1911 census and a medical report in 1914.

The 1914 report concludes: “At the Standing Joint Committee meeting on Thursday last, at Wrexham, in reference to Police Inspector Harvey, a certificate dated 22nd September, of Dr J Medwyn Hughes, stating that on that day he examined Inspector John Harvey, that he is quite free from any disease and is fit to follow his usual occupation; and also read the Chief Constable’s certificate, dated 25th September, that Inspector John Harvey has completed 33 years approved service, that he had been examined by the Police Surgeon and found to be physically fit for further service, and that in the Chief’s opinion his retention in the force is desirable in the public interest. The committee sanctioned the continuation of service.”

At this time, Inspector Harvey was 58 and was too old to volunteer for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in Belgium, and his two sons - Kenneth and Hector - were too young.

There is no known record of John’s retirement and he died in 1937, at the age of 80.

If you recognise the names John, Margaret, Lillian-May, Gertrude, Doris, Beatrice, Kenneth, Hector or Lucy Harvey, please contact Jeremy at jeremy@jsfamilytrees.com / www.jsfamilytrees.com