Burch, William and Silcock, Anthony, Constables : fatal road accident

Daily Mirror, 9 April 1960

John Weeks

On 7th April 1960 Constables William Burch and Anthony Silcock were both killed when their patrol car ran into the rear of a lorry on the A1 at Hatfield. As far as I can recollect, the cause of the collision was never really explained. Their deaths resulted in the Burch and Silcock Fund being set up to help the families of police officers killed on duty.
Like John Halsey, I can remember the shock which was felt by other police officers at their deaths and, perhaps unlike many, I saw the wreckage of the car at the Headquarters garage at Mill Green.
The attached pictures and report were published in the Daily Mirror on 9th April 1960.

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  • I served with both Officers at Hatfield, arriving for
    Early Turn 6am on the following day the 8th and the atmosphere in the Guard Room was awful. Bill
    Birch was a quiet colleague whom I had the pleasure of being his Observer in the Area Car many times. Tony Silcock was on a different shift to me and knew less well. I with many other Officers attended Bill’s funeral at Enfield Crem. and Tony’s at Mapplethorpe, Lincs. Still feeling so sad even today.

    By Martin Lester. Pc.677 (23/10/2017)
  • I served 1954-1986. I knew Bill Burch well as did my father who had been a War Reserve at Ware. It was suggested at the time that the tanker had been making a turn into a cafe about where the University entrance is now and was side onto the police car. The rear lights of the tanker were obscured due to the angle of the tanker making the turn and the road was also unlit then.
    Ivan Judd PS 396 (Rtd)

    By Ivan judd (23/02/2016)