Police Constable 49 Cuthbert Henry Wallace Dale died as a result of an accident on 30 June 1931. He was the fiancé of Dorothy Bunten at time of his death. His father was also a Gloucestershire Constabulary Officer, Inspector Hubert Dale of Kingswood Police Station.
Dorothy Bunten was at Teacher Training College in Brighton. According to her memories;
“I met our local Police Constable at Maidenwell, (Broad Campden) and chatted to him. I did not think much of him. He seemed a bit big-headed. I had seen him several times. The following February, when we were visiting a school one day for demonstration lessons, we passed a shop selling Valentine cards. We decided to buy a card and send it to someone. The only person I could think of was P.C. Dale. It was an ordinary card with little bows of different coloured ribbons and verse under each one .
If of me you fondly think
Send me back the bow of pink
If your love for me is true
Send me back the bow of blue
If your love for me is cold
Send me back the bow of gold
The next time I came home I happened to see him, so casually asked if he had had a Valentine’s card. He said he had, so of course I told him I had sent it. So began a lovely romance. I could not call him Cuthbert and so re-christened him Benny. That was the start of what should have been romance with a happy ending. His father was the Inspector at Kingswood Police Station in Bristol, a lovely man. He had a mother and sister Dorothy and a lovely young teenager brother called Jim. I spent one holiday half-term there and had a lovely time. Benny and I went on a bus to Keynsham and then walked all the way back to Kingswood. We also went to the Hippodrome. I duly received the correct bows of ribbon! When I was at home on holiday, he would walk over to Broad Campden and I would meet him. Then he arranged for John Horne to take us to Evesham to the pictures and pick us afterwards and we walked back from Campden.”
Brighton – “By this time, Cuthbert (Benny) Dale and I are in close contact. I used to receive a letter every weekday and we made a pact that we would read our letters at 10 pm, wherever he was. At the end of term (end of June, beginning of July) of our second year, we took our final exams. We had visited various schools and seen demonstration lessons given by our tutors and done our school practice, and been judged and marked on that work. Now was the final week.
During that week, I heard from Mother and Mr and Mrs Dale in Bristol that Benny had been involved in a road accident. He had left Chipping Campden Police Station and was one of the first men to join the newly formed Police Traffic Patrol.
He also bought his own motor cycle and was on it when we had his accident. He was turning off the main road to Bourton-on-the-Water, a small car was coming out and they collided. I don’t think it was ever established whose fault it was. Anyway, he was in Cheltenham Hospital.
I should have gone home the following week but on the Saturday morning, the Principal sent for me and said Mother had contacted her and would like to fetch me on the Saturday morning. So some hurried packing, and Mother, driven by Uncle Frank, (Frank Ewart James) duly arrived and we set off for home. Somewhere on the way, we started talking about the accident and mother told me that he was dead. The doctors had amputated one of his legs and gangrene had set in and he died.
Two young men in that hospital died of gangrene that same week. I am not going to try to tell you my feelings. The next two or three days were awful and I had to prepare myself to go to Bristol with Father to his funeral. The funeral was terrible. The path to the grave was lined by policeman. I went to Bristol once more and stayed with the family, but had the feeling that his Mother did not really want to keep in touch, so I stopped writing. He was buried at St Margaret’s Church at Kingswood. A cortege of police lined the path to the cemetery. He would have been 24 in October 1931.”
With thanks to Corrine Brazier West Midlands Police and Major (Retd) Janet Brodie Murphy who is the daughter of Dorothy Brodie nee Bunten fiancé of Cuthbert (Benny) Dale when he died.