Officer receives great great great Grandfather's collar number
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The collar number - 83 - is in use again after more than one hundred years.
A student officer has been awarded the same collar number as his great-great-great grandfather who was one of Leicestershire’s most famous policemen.
PC Dan Challis joined the force in November 2020. His great-great-great grandfather, PC John William Stephens, joined in April 1908. He was better known as PC John ‘Tubby’ Stephens because he weighed twenty-five stone. Now, they both have the same collar number – 83.
Before he became a police officer, PC Tubby Stephens served in Cape Verde fighting in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. He was a veteran in the war over-seas and received a campaign medal for his service which Dan had with him on the day he was sworn into duty.
Tubby became a public figure in Leicester City Centre whilst patrolling the clock tower. He was seen on postcards, in newspapers and people travelling to Leicester to watch the football would seek him out to say they’d met him. When he died, thousands of people lined the streets of Leicester for his funeral.
In 2017, the force ensured Tubby’s grave was marked through funding from the Leicestershire Police Federation (LPF) Trust after hearing he had been buried at Welford Road Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
After working in IT for six years, PC Dan Challis decided to follow in his footsteps and become a police officer. He said: “It’s a real honour to be given the collar number 83 worn by PC John ‘Tubby’ Stephens. I have some big boots to fill but I hope I can carry on his legacy.”