William Dent Whitaker was one of the 48 special constables sworn in by Burnley Borough magistrates 13th October, 1914. These replaced regular police officers who had volunteered for military service.
His son John enlisted and between 1914 and 1920 William corresponded with him regularly, sending a total of 1200 picture postcards. The postcards describe life on the home front and accounts of “bobbying” in Burnley.
Although some of the accounts are quite humorous, William took his police duties very seriously, regarding them as his contribution to the war effort.