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Slain Brighton chief police officer is honoured
6:30pm Sunday 18th May 2014 in News
A highly regarded police chief who died after being attacked in his office has been honoured with a blue plaque.
The distinctive sign recognising Henry Solomon was unveiled during a ceremony at Brighton Town Hall yesterday.
Those attending included Brighton and Hove mayor Brian Fitch, Chief Inspector David Padwick of Sussex Police, and members of the Jewish community.
Mr Solomon was assaulted at his Town Hall office on March 13 1844 and died the following day.
He is the only chief officer to have been fatally wounded in his own police station and the culprit was the last man to have been publicly hanged in Horsham.
Mr Solomon was appointed as the first chief officer of Brighton Borough Police in May 1838.
His appointment to the highest rank in the force was notable for the time, as he was Jewish.
He commanded 31 officers and was held in high esteem by the local population.
This incident was seen as a tragedy for Brighton and sympathy for Mr Solomon and his large family – he had nine children – extended beyond the town.
A public meeting raised more than £1,000 for his dependents, including £50 donated by Queen Victoria.
In December 2010 he was described by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks as a “remarkable character”
in Brighton’s Jewish history.
Brighton and Hove City Council culture committee chairman Geoffrey Bowden said: “This blue plaque marks a tragic event but is an important reminder of someone whose life and work made a difference to the locality.
“Henry Solomon’s good character and standing in Brighton’s community is well documented and this is a further, fitting tribute to his memory.”
Chief Supt Nev Kemp said: “Henry Solomon was clearly a remarkable and well-respected man who was murdered while on duty and leading the Borough Police Force in Brighton.
“I am delighted, as the current police commander for the city, to know that we have secured this blue plaque in his honour.
“Henry Solomon reminds us of some of the great traditions of policing, which still carries with it an element of risk in order to protect the public.”
Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation chairman David Seidel said: “Henry Solomon was an important figure in the histories of Brighton, the Jewish community and within the police and he is thoroughly deserving of the honour.”
Sussex Police and the Jewish community provided the money for the plaque.
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