Married to the force

Gail Armstrong, Moya Knight and Pat Finch were all married to policemen. Moya married in the 1950s and Gail and Pat in the 1970s. Their experiences were surprisingly similar.


West Sussex Constabulary Instructions (extract)

January 1st 1914

A S williams

I want now to say a few words to the wives of the West Sussex Constabulary. It is very probable that when a young woman first marries a policeman, she does not realise what a responsibility lies with her, not only for the good of the force, but for the success and advancement of her husband.

There are few cases when, as is the rule for the police, a man who wishes to marry has not only to ask for permission, but to give the information necessary for an enquiry as to his future wife’s previous good character. And the reason for this is what I have written above, namely, the good of the force and future of her husband depends a great deal on her. If a constable has not a clean, comfortable home to return to after his hard work, it is very disheartening for him. If it is very uncomfortable indeed he will not want to stay in it and will perhaps have nowhere better to go than to the public house; if it is very dirty it tends to make him slovenly and untidy, and his work will become slovenly, and he will lose self- respect and the respect of his neighbours.

If a wife keeps the house clean and comfortable, not only will she have something to do when her husband is out and the time will go quicker until he returns, but she will gain the respect and the liking of her well-to-do neighbours, and the best people in the neighbourhood will become her friends, and, which is so important to a policeman, will become also the friends of her husband, and she will have the satisfaction of knowing she is doing the best for her husband’s career, as well as happiness, as I shall invariably consider the home conditions of an Officer when contemplating his promotion.

A S Williams