“England’s largest ever policeman!” or at least that’s what family legend says. That he was a constable is beyond doubt, how large he was is still open to question.
George Anderson Currie was born to a grieving widow on 27 May 1857 in Collin, a small hamlet that grew up on the Carlisle turnpike, just outside Dumfries. His father had died five months earlier from a fractured spine.
George has disappeared from the 1871 census but in nearby Lochmaben on 12 January 1877, by now a general labourer, he married Margaret Currie, daughter of William Currie and nine years his senior. Son James was born a year later followed by William Irvine a year after that.
In 1880 George and his young family up sticks and move to Millom, now in Cumbria, and George becomes a police constable. Shortly afterwards, in April, John Tolmie Currie is born while the family are living at 59 Albert Street. In 1884 they suffer the unfortunate stillbirth of another son, also named George Anderson.
THE WORKINGTON STAR First Issue June 29, 1888 / Page 2
WORKINGTON POLICE COURT – WEDNESDAY.
A BIRD LIME CASE. – JOHN DILWORTH, JAMES HETHERINGTON, and JAMES SMITH, labourers, were summoned on the information of P.C. CURRIE, and charged with using Bird-lime for catching larks, or other wild birds at Camerton, on the 21st inst. Defendants denied the offence, and were defended by MR. G. FALCON. After a lengthy hearing, defendants were fined 1s. each, with 12s. costs in each case.
This news report suggests that he may have been stationed in Workington in 1888 but George, Margaret and young John have by 1901 (been) moved to 94 Birks Road, Cleator – near Whitehaven and some 30 miles from Millom – and George has joined the local station there.
In 1905 George retires from the police force and dies only two years later when back in Millom and aged only 49. The cause of death, cirrhosis of the liver, would suggest that the retirement might not have been entirely his own idea and that he liked a drink or three. George is buried at St. George’s church in Millom and his uniform is reputed to be in a museum but we haven’t found it yet.