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Police Hero in Stamford Hill

ImageNowadays we all have to be so careful on our busy roads, but was it as risky in the days before bendy buses and those white vans always rushing along?


We might think that road safety wasn't the biggest problem for a policeman in Hackney a hundred years ago.  The dangers were much more to do with murderers, robbers and dens of thieves, weren't they?   The streets had horses pulling their buses, carts and carriages along.  No bikes weaved through the traffic delivering pizzas, there were no lorries or orange diggers in those days. 

But there were different dangers:  Inspector Jonathan Clinch, from  the Hackney Community Safety Team, told us about this story from nearly a hundred years ago:

One ordinary Spring night in 1919, the quiet of Stamford Hill was shattered by a terrible disaster.  Suddenly, a horse, quietly pulling its cart down the hill got a shock -  and took fright.  There was just nothing the driver could do as the horse raced away, and soon the poor man was thrown flying out of his cart, landing with a bang on the road.  

At that very moment, PC Frederick Lambert, who had been a policeman for twelve years, became a true local hero:  without even thinking about his own safety,  he ran straight into the road, and grabbed for the reins of the panicking horse.  Struggling to control the emergency, Frederick  was dragged along by the terrified animal - and soon he got caught underneath one of the wheels of the cart.  Leaving Frederick lying in the street with terrible injuries, the horse careered straight on, all the way into the Seven Sisters Road.  

At last the horse was stopped, but it was too late for the brave policeman:  Frederick William Lambert died that very night, 7th April 1919,  from the horrible injuries to his head.   When he was buried in the hero's corner of Abney Park Cemetery, over a thousand policemen came to the funeral.
 
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