PC Charlie Burt

Canvey's popular police officer

The memorial bench outside Canvey Police Station

A memorial bench dedicated to a popular Canvey police officer has been placed outside Canvey Police Station. Many older residents will remember Charlie Burt who patrolled the streets of Canvey until the late 1980’s. The bench was donated by Charlie’s family as a permanent reminder of the work that Charlie carried out on the Island he loved.

Charles Edward Burt was born in Tottenham in February 1931. After leaving school he joined the RAF as a photographer’s Clerk and was stationed in Egypt during the Suez crisis. On his return he joined Essex Police and worked first in Upminster, then Takely in North Essex before moving to South Essex.

Charlie was a well loved member of the community and worked hard throughout his time here to make Canvey a safer place. He had the great honour of introducing Canvey’s first police motorbike to the Island.

The notation on the back of the picture says: ‘Tuesday October 19th. Canvey’s first motorcycle has arrived to patrol the Island. A picture of PC Burt on the bike outside Canvey Police Station, Long Road’

When he wasn’t working, Charlie enjoyed spending time with his wife, Eileen and their three children Brian, John and Jackie. He was a regular in the Conservative Clubs in both Canvey and Benfleet and was a lifelong Spurs fan. His son Brian, who remembers growing up in the police house next to the station says “Daw was well known and liked on Canvey and is remembered as a cheerful, jovial man”.

After retiring from the police force through ill health, he went on to become a warrant officer before finally retiring in the early 1990’s. Charlie passed away at the age of 76 two years ago and hopefully the memorial bench will help to keep his memory alive on the Island.

First published in ‘Your Canvey’ November 2009
Thanks to Angela for allowing us to reproduce her article here.

Comments about this page

  • In the early hours of a day in the summer of 1963 we had a break-in at our bungalow ”Sundown” in Gafzelle Dve. My Dad disturbed two guys who were making a quick exit out of the kitchen door. At first glance it appeared that all that was missing was half a tin of cat food out of the fridge. However, shortly after a phone call, the local constabulary turned in the quite large form of Charlie Burt, then on his push-bike. At that time my brother had a Reliant Regal 3-wheeler van (a very basic predecessor of Del Boy’s Robin). It was parked outside, so pyjama-clad I jumped into the driver’s seat and Charlie squeezed into the passenger-side and we hurtled off down Seaview Rd in pursuit of the cat-food burglars. Thwarted, we turned round at Beach House and came back. A great memory of policing on Canvey in the 60s! Graham.

    By Graham Stevens (05/01/2010)
  • Going to Furtherwick Park Schoool In the early 70’s, I used to walk to school from my house (police house with my father Charlie Burt) , sometimes if it was a rainy day dad would run me to school in the police old mini van, its funny but I used to ask him to drop me round the corner so no one saw me. I have great memories of my childhood with my father. Myself, my brother (John Burt) and my sister (jackie Burt) used to play on our go-kart in the police station forecourt, you couldn’t do that now.!!

    By Brian Burt (07/01/2010)
  • I was Charlie’s sergeant at Upminster where, under my guidance he leant how to capsize a dinghy! Again later at Canvey Island.

    He was an altogether great guy. I remember him well, as will other police colleages, which brings to mind the Maypole Dairy safe blowing/’Island Shampoo & Set’/’man in the heap of soot’/’man and car driven into the lake’ night. Followed by the appearance next morning of three pathetic looking men. One with very clean hair and smelling of gelignite, another still covered in soot and a third clad only in a blanket hiding the many, many bites he received from lying in the lake most of the night.

    Charlie and I looked a mess too but we went home after. The three men however did not see the outside of a jail for the next 14 years.

    By Arthur Norris (11/03/2011)

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