Road workers to keep on the lookout for suspicious foreigners

Road repair men had an unexpectedly important role to play in the defence of the country, as this order from the County Surveyor reveals:

At the request of the Chief Constable of Berkshire the following notice has been sent to all permanent Lengthmen and Roller Gangs throughout the County of Berkshire:

STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
NOTICE TO LENGTHMEN AND ROLLER GANGS
With a view to assisting the Police during the present crisis, you are earnestly requested to carry out the following duties:-

1. To keep observation on all bridges and culverts in your district and to examine them at least once each day.

2. To take a note of any foreigner or person acting suspiciously.

3. To take the number and particulars of any motor car or motor bicycle seen to stop on any bridge or culvert.

4. To take a note of any persons making suspicious enquiries; and in each case to immediately report to the Police.

J. Fred Hawkins
County Surveyor
August 6th, 1914

Standing Joint Committee minutes, 15 August 1914 (C/CL/C2/1/5)

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