Oldest Benevolent Fund member celebrates milestone birthday
A prisoner-of-war who went on to become a bobby in Birmingham was joined by the present day Chief Constable and our Fund Chairman John Williams, to celebrate his milestone 100th birthday on Saturday 28 July.
Douglas Stewart served with West Midlands Police for almost 30 years after joining the force as a 28-year-old in 1946.
He started with the then called Birmingham City Police in Ladywood and then spent most of his years on the area cars after passing the advanced driving course.
Known by most as Doug, he finished his time with the force as a road safety officer in schools in 1973.
The new centenarian had earlier served in the Armed Forces and was a part of the Royal Engineers during World War II.
Doug became a prisoner-of-war and while held in Poland he helped to dig a tunnel to unselfishly let others escape.
He was kept as a prisoner for three years before he was repatriated from eastern Europe back to England.
Even after his subsequent spell with the police, the father-of-two continued to work as a rent collector, manager of Northfield Baths, a council road safety officer and jewellery shop worker before finally retiring at the age of 85.
Doug – who is a member of the Benevolent Fund and the National Association of Retired Police Officers – was visited by Chief Constable Dave Thompson who handed over a special police badge and an enlarged copy of his police service record dating back decades.
John also presented him with a cake on behalf of West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund.
The Chief said: “We are proud that Doug is part of the West Midlands Police family and I wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday on behalf of the force.
“It is a fantastic achievement to reach the milestone age of 100; and even more so when you consider all he has been through during his life.
“It was nice to reminisce with him over his time with the force. Times may have changed since Doug was an officer but the principles of being there to help others always remain.”
Doug, from the West Midlands, said: “I am honoured that the Chief Constable has come to see me, he took a real interest in hearing about my policing career.
“I really enjoyed my time with the force and it is nice I have not been forgotten. I never expected to receive such lovely gifts.”