*6, OLD LONDON ROAD, KINGSTON UPON THAMES
From Historic England entry:
“Dated 1864. Former Police station. Three storeys, three bays wide. Yellow brick with yellow brick quoins. Chanelled ground floor with rusticated door surround. Windows are segmental-arched with brick architraves and keys. Brick band at second floor level. Hipped slate roof on brick eaves cornice.”
“The Kingston Hill Murder was the case of Police Constable 356 V Fred Atkins, who was murdered on Kingston Hill, Kingston, Surrey in 1881.
The murder remained unsolved. The magazine Punch published a cartoon entitled “An Unequal Match” that October highlighting the dangers of unarmed police. The case was instrumental in bringing about the arming of police officers, although it required a second fatal shooting, that of P.C. George Cole by a burglar, in 1882 and an attempted murder, of P.C. Patrick Boans, in 1883 before the authorities gave Superintendents the opportunity to arm their constables on night duty.
Fred Atkins was born in Walton-on-Thames in 1859, the son of a greengrocer, and joined the police in 14 May 1877; 356 Division V (Wandsworth). In 1881 he was lodging with John Pearmain, Inspector Of Police, and his family at the Police Station, Richmond, which was at 35 George Street until 1912. He was transferred from Richmond to Kingston on 15 August.
…The shooting took place in the grounds of The Knoll, a large house with extensive grounds along Kingston Hill next to Richmond Park and opposite Coombe Warren, in the early morning of Thursday, 22 September 1881…
…First to the scene on his horse was Inspector Rushbridge, closely followed by Inspector Crowther with other constables and the ambulance litter. They then sent for Dr. W.H. Roots, the Divisional police surgeon. Atkins could not be taken to the nearest hospital at Surbiton because of his serious condition. Instead he was taken to Kingston Police Station where he was examined by Dr Roots…
Constable Atkins did not die immediately, and before his death was able to tell colleagues that he neither saw nor heard anything before the shots. “I did not see anybody or hear anything which should (lead) me to imagine there were burglars at work. I went along the avenue slowly, accordingly to my usual custom when on duty there, but there was no-one about. Before I was aware of anything I saw something like the gleam of a lantern, and then whispers, after which there was a report, and then I felt I was struck by something sharp in the chest. I turned to one side quickly, when another shot was fired, and that’s all I can remember.”
…P.C. Atkins died at halfpast one o’clock on Friday, 23 September, at Kingston Police Station…1,500 police officers attended his funeral on 30 September, 1881.
There is a memorial to him erected in 1996 outside Kingston Police Station (5-7, High Street). There is a small memorial garden beside the old police station, now the Watchman pub, in New Malden (184, High Street).”