Kenneth James Bowerman GM

b. 1939 West Ham, London.

DATE OF GM ACTION: 16/10/1964 Stepney, London.

Kenneth J Bowerman GM

Kenneth was born in 1939 in West Ham, the son of James Charles and Lily Lavinia Bowerman. After serving two years National Service with the Royal Air Force, Kenneth joined the Metropolitan Police in 1961 and was posted to Islington, North London.

In 1964, Kenneth married Diana Elizabeth Elliott at Rochford in Essex. They have two children. At this time in his career, Kenneth was attached to the CID based at the City Road Police Station. On 16th October 1964, in the Limehouse district, he was involved in the capture of a desperate armed criminal Walter “Angel Face” Probyn whereby he sustained an injury.

On 15th March 1966, Kenneth was presented with his George Medal by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his part in the arrest. Kenneth remained in the Metropolitan Police until retirement in 1992. He then became a security adviser until the age of 70 in 2009. On the 24th September 2015, Kenneth attended the 75th Anniversary of the Institution of the George Cross and George Medal at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Kenneth currently resides in West Essex with his wife Diana.



Information   was  received  by  the   Police   that a   dangerous   escaped   criminal   would   be   at   a certain    address    and    police    officers    in   plain clothes  were  sent   to   the   vicinity   to   effect   an arrest.     Constables   Whitham   and   Brown  saw the   criminal  and   his   wife   drive   up   in   a  car which  they  left   and   entered   a  shop.     Several officers  entered  the  shop  and  discovered  the  man and  his  wife  on  a  flat  roof  over  the  front  of  the shop.   They  were  called  upon  to  give themselves up  but  moved to  the  roof  of  the  next  shop where the  woman  tripped   over   a  wall.     A  constable grabbed  her  as she fell whereupon the man turned and  fired  a  gun  at  the  officers.    A  second  shot was  fired   and  then  another  in  the  direction  of police in the street below. Constable Whitham  had  taken  up  position  in  a  doorway of an  adjoining  shop  and  as  the  man  and  his  wife emerged   and  started   to  run   towards   their   car he  struck  the  man  with  a  broom  which  he  had picked  up.   The  man  staggered  but  kept running and fired at Whitham and other officers who were following    him.      At this point Constable MacLeod rushed  at the man and brought him down with a tackle but he     broke loose and fired again. The woman   reached   the   car  but   was  overtaken  by Sergeant   Gibbins  who  pinned   her  against   the side  of  the  car.    The  criminal  approached   from the  other  side  of  the  car  and  fired  two  shots  over the  roof  in  the  direction   of  Gibbins.    He  then got    into    the    car.      Constable    Brown    who had  picked  up  the  broom  used  earlier,  broke  the glass  of  the   driver’s   window  and  attempted   to strike  the  man  but  he  was  shot  at  through  the window.    The  criminal  then  dived  through  the window     into     the     street     where     Constable Bowerman   grabbed   him   and   hit   him   with   a truncheon  but  was  struck  over  the  eye with  the pistol  barrel  and  the  man  ran  off.   He  was  pursued  by  other  officers  and  overtaken  by  Sergeant Eyles  who  tackled  him.    The  man  turned  and fired  at   Eyles  from   about   two  feet   and  broke away.     Eyles   and   other   officers   continued   the chase  and  Sergeant  Robson  caught  up  with  him and  tackled  him  but  he  kicked  his  way  clear  and jumped   a  fence   into   a  back  garden   where  he was   finally  caught  and   overpowered.




Kenneth Bowerman GM – for all images on this page and for the biographical notes above.