Littlechild Deals With Anarchists

Posted: September 15, 2009 in Chief Inspector John George Littlechild
Chief Inspector Melville, who succeeded to the charge of the Special Department of the Criminal Investigation business at Scotland Yard, upon the retirement of Mr. Littlechild and who has lately been concerned in numerous raids upon Anarchist clubs in London, was for some time in constant attendance upon the Queen at Osborne and elsewhere, as one of the officers entrusted with the personal protection of her Majesty. His staff largely consists of Irishmen, most of whom have been trained in France.
Source: Otago Witness, Issue 2114, 30 August 1894, Page 48
Discovery of a Bomb.
A fully-charged bomb was discovered under a bush in Parliament hill fields, between Hampstead and Highgate. A constable in the employ of the London County Council, in perambulating the fields in the discharge of his duty, saw a peculiar looking object under a bush. On making a close examination of it he found that it was a fully charged bomb, with a fuse attached. Near the fuse were, it is said, fragments of a parrafin match, which appeared to have been lighted, but to have been extinguished, probably by the dampness of the soil, before the light reached the fuse. The police theory is that the bomb was placed under the bush where it was found – at a safe distance from any house – for testing purposes as an experiment, and any explosion therefrom would probably have been attributed to fog signals on the adjacent railway.
At the Marlborough street Police Court, Joseph Thomas Deakin, a clerk, single, of Stafford Street, Walsall, was charged, on remand, with having been unlawfully in the possession of a cigar-box containing a bottle of white fluid, and not being able to give a satisfactory account of how he had obtained it. When the prisoner was brought up, Inspector Quinn, of the Criminal Investigation Department, detailed the manner in which he had arrested the accused in the Tottenham court road. Prisoner was carrying a parcel which was found to be a cigar-box, in which was a bottle marked and containing chloroform, and covered with sawdust. He declined to say whence he got it, or where he was taking it. Inspector Quinn said that he had been directed by the Treasury not to produce any further evidence at that Court, as the Justices of Walsall had issued a warrant for the prisoner’s arrest, in connection with other men, for having explosive substances unlawfully in their possession. Chief-Inspector Littlechild from Scotland Yard, produced the warrant, and the prisoner was discharged. Immediatley afterwards Inspector Quinn re-arrested him under the warrant granted by the Magistrates of Walsall, and backed by Mr. Vaughan, at Bow street. The prisoner is described as the Secretary of the Socialist Club in Goodhall street, Walsall.
The six prisoners in custody in connection with the alleged Anarchist plot were brought up at Walsall. Their names are Victor Cailes, 33, engine-driver; Frederick Charles, alias Slaughter, 27, clerk; Joseph Thomas Deakin, clerk; John Westley, 32, brushmaker; William Ditchfield, 43, hame filer; and John Bartola, alias Devganavoff, 30, shoemaker. The charge against them was that they did unlawfully and knowingly have in their possession, or under their control, certain explosive substances, under such circumstances as to give rise to reasonable suspicion that they did not have them in their possession or under their control for a lawful purpose.
The Chief Constable said he visited the Socialist Club, and found Charles and Cailes there. Charles had a loaded revolver in his possession, and at his residence was found a model of a bolt for the top of a bomb. In this box was a sketch of a bomb, with instructions (in French) how to make the bomb. Witness also found a manifesto in manuscript, evidently in Cailes’ writing, and signed "Victor Cailes, Walsall, 1st September." It was entitled, "The Means of Emancipation." In the MS. was a paragraph – "Let us occupy ourselves with chemistry, and let us manufacture promptly bombs, dynamite, and other explosive barricades to bring the revolution of the actual state of things, and, above all, to spare the precious blood of our comrades." Upstairs, at the Club, he found a large number of Anarchist papers and publications in French, and a length of fuse. These things were in the possession of Cailes. There was also a paper entitled, the International, No. 7. In French there were instructions how to manufacture bombs, and how to bring about the blowing up of public buildings by means of those bombs. Cailes, on this evidence being interpreted to him, said the things were not concealed in any way, and the fuse was not explosive.
The Chief Constable said he visited Ditchfield’s workshop and arrested Ditchfield. He there found a plaster cast of a bomb similar to the sketch produced. In the cellar at the Club was a quantity of clay mixed with hair, evidently for moulding purposes. The Mayor said that, on the sworn information of the Chief Constable (as stated in the charge), and on the evidence given, the accused would now be remanded, as the ends of justice might be frustrated if further evidence were given at this stage.
The accused were then remanded, the Chairman remarking that the Justices, having regard to the gravity of the charge, were compelled to refuse bail.
Source: Star, Issue 7232, 16 March 1892, Page 3


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