GENEROUS donations continue to roll in to fund a headstone for the first warranted woman police constable.

Despite her place in history, Edith Smith was buried at Halton Cemetery in Runcorn in an unmarked grave.

To celebrate her position as the first warranted woman police officer, Merseyside Police Parity 21 is seeking to raise funds to mark Edith’s final resting place with a headstone and a ceremony to mark her achievements.

A spokesman said: “Edith is an inspiration to all who have followed in her footsteps and are proud to serve as a police officer and it is an honour for me to be involved in acknowledging her phenomenal contribution to policing history.”

Edith Smith was born on November 21, 1876, near the centre of Oxton.

She went on to marry and had four children but, after the sudden death of her husband, Edith was left to care for her children alone at the age of 31.

After initially training as a midwife and nurse, the war soon lead her down a different path in the summer of 1914.

Edith joined the Women Police Volunteers who began patrolling the streets to help and give advice to refugees arriving in London.

The Women Police Volunteers eventually reformed as the Women’s Police Service.

Edith and a colleague were eventually posted to Grantham to assist in the issues around Beltham Park due to concerns caused to civil and military authorities who struggled to maintain law and order.

The women were expected to carry out policing duties with no powers of arrest.

In December 1915, Edith Smith received her signed warrant card, giving her the power of arrest.

She was the first warranted woman police constable.

Edith took no holidays, had no days off worked night and day as required and received no pension.

Once her colleague resigned Edith remained in the town working alone.

Edith also travelled throughout Britain, giving talks as well as wrote books on women’s policing.

By the end of 1917 Edith’s career was starting to have an impact on her health. She died in June 1923.

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