When we acquired this image it was described as Police Constable John Squire sending Morse code.
Further research and with a little help from our friends we have found the following information.
- The photo depicts the radio (shack) room of a radio amateur (not a police station).
- The callsign of the radio amateur is G6ZQ (just visible on the wall – top centre (not the callsigns on the wallpaper))
- The G6ZQ callsign was issued to a Mr J.E. Squire, Winston, Alstone Ave. Cheltenham.
- This range of callsigns were issued between 1921 to 1939.
- In terms of equipment, most radio transmitters of this era used frequencies in the range 3-15MHz.
During WWII (and subsequently) there were a number of police radio rooms (especially in the London area) that were used for monitoring for spies, and embassy radio traffic, in parallel with the GPO.
It was quite common for those Police Officers who operated the police radio transmitters to be radio amateurs in their spare time (as they had the technical knowledge and easily gained their amateur licence by default).
John Edward Squire, Police Constable 414 joined Gloucestershire Constabulary on 22nd April 1930, after serving in the army for 7 years and retired as a Police Sergeant on 22nd April 1955.
Looking at the voters registers it appears that the address that the G6ZQ call sign was registered to, was lived in by Police Constable Squire between 1933 and 1936 which may help date the photograph more accurately. The photograph was also taken before his promotion to Sergeant on 1st January 1946.
According to his Record of Service Police Constable Squire served in St Briavels from June 1930 to February 1931.
We also know that he went to the Headquarters Traffic division in 1939
We are not sure when this was taken but he was obviously involved in all aspects of Police life.
During the Second World War he applied to the Royal Air Force to use his radio skills it appears that he was turned down because he was over 40 and also in a reserved occupation.
According to his personnel file after he retired he applied to work at GCHQ. The letter from them requesting a reference said that he had been a wireless technician for the constabulary.
Jack retired to Cornwall where he died on 25th December 1982