I’ve had an article published on the Guardian site about Charles Brett, the first Manchester police officer to be killed on duty. He was shot dead on 18 September 1867, as a group of Fenians sprung two of their leaders from a police van on Hyde Road. By coincidence, it was exactly 145 years to the day before the recent murders of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Mottram.
Although the three men hanged for his murder are well remembered as the ‘Manchester Martyrs’, Brett’s story is much less well-known, so I thought I’d tell it. My research included a visit to Harpurhey Cemetery in the pouring rain to find his headstone, and a look through some of the old Manchester Guardian reports of the time.