Farewell to famous 'ordinary copper'

Dixon of Dock Green

Picture from 'The Blue Lamp' 1949

Jack Warner and Jimmy Handley

A signed picture from the T.V. series Dixon of Dock Green which is on display at Milton Keynes Police Station.

Isle of Thanet Gazette 5th June 1981

Farewell to famous

'ordinary copper'

Hundreds of fans gathered to pay their last respects to the country's best-loved "policeman," actor Jack Warner, at Margate Crematorium on Monday.
They were joined by delegations of policemen who had met and known Mr. Warner during the 21 years he had portrayed "Dixon of Dock Green."
Officers lined the route with admirers from as far away as Wales and Newcastle during the 25-minute service, conducted by the Rev. John Went, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Margate.
Margate's Chief Ins. Ray Bing and Sgt. Bob Bugden who met Mr. Warner many times while they were stationed at Broadstairs, were joined by Supt. Mike Whitfield and Deputy Divisional Commander Desmond Ladd.
Six Margate Constables stood as guards-of-honour outside the chapel. They were P.C.s Brian Atkinson, Chris Boots, Michael Stratton, Liam Coyle, Michael Humphries and Mel Batterbee.
A sixteen man representation from the Metropolitan Police was led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner George Rushbrook and Commander John Atkins.
Among the mourners were officers from the Kensington District, where Mr. Warner lived while in London, and Paddington Green, where the "Dixon" series was based.
One of them, P.C. Ron Spendloff, said: "We were very friendly with Mr. Warner and attended his 85th birthday party last year. He was just like a policeman to us."
Scores of floral tributes were displayed in the chapel courtyard from friends, relatives and admirers.
They included wreathes from the Thanet Male Voice Choir, the Sussex and Kent Police Forces and the ranks of the 5 th Royal Inniskillin Dragoon Guards.
One, from the public information department at New Scotland Yard, bore the inscription: "With fond memories for a charming character who served the Metropolitan Police and the public so well through the media and television."
"His warmth and understanding of the problems of London Police Constables will long be remembered with affection."
Mr. Warner died in the Royal Masonic Hospital, London, last week at the age of 85. He was taken into hospital two weeks ago suffering from pneumonia, and a week ago had an operation to amputate his right leg.
He and his wife Mollie lived at Porsea Cottage, Kingsgate, for 35 years and he was an active and well respected member of local organisations.
He rose to fame as the fatherly, old-style policeman George Dixon. He first played the part in the film "The Blue Lamp," in which he was killed.
But the character was revived by the author, Lord (Ted) Willis, who was present at the funeral, and become one of the most popular series on television.
The crematorium chapel proved too small to hold all the mourners, and many stood outside in rows three deep throughout the service.
Among them were Mr. James Robinson, his friend Mr. Tom Hopkirk and their families, who travelled from Newcastle and Mrs. Megan Davies from Porthcawl, South Wales.

Police Officers lined the route to pay their last respects. The famous "Dixon of Dock Green" theme tune was played
as Mr. Warner's coffin entered the chapel. It had been requested by his widow, Mollie.

Mr. Warner's widow Mollie (front) and his sister Elsie visit the chapel
courtyard, where scores of floral tributes to Mr. Warner were displayed.

As a resident of Thanet for 35 years, Mr. Warner attended many police functions. The last occasion was when he opened the new police club at Ramsgate three years ago (1978).

He was made honorary member of the Margate and Ramsgate Forces in the 1950s.

These past events were recalled by his widow Mollie on Monday when he spoke to Margate's Chief Inspector Ray Bing (right) Superintendent Mike Whitfield, Deputy Divisional Commanded Desmond Ladd and other officers.

Hundreds of fans were at Margate Crematorium on Monday to give the nations favourite policeman, Mr. Jack Warner, a film stars farewell.

"Evening all."
Hundreds of fans were at Margate Crematorium on Monday to give the nations favourite policeman, Mr. Jack Warner, a film stars farewell.