Murdered Houndsditch cops remembered—100 years on

THE shooting of three policemen which led to the notorious siege of Sidney Street has been marked today with a memorial to the fallen.

It was 100 years to the day that the three unarmed officers were shot by a ruthless gang of East European anarchists on December 16, 1910, during an attempted raid on a jeweller’s in Houndsditch.

Descendants of Sergeants Robert Bentley and Charles Tucker and Constable Walter Choat were among VIPs watching the Lord Mayor of London, Michael Bear, unveil a plaque in Cutlet Street close to the spot.

The gang fled through the back alleys of Aldgate after the shoot-out, dragging one of them who was wounded and later died.

It took another 18 days to track them down to a lodging room at 100 Sidney Street in Whitechapel, just a mile away, which led to the infamous seven-hour siege on January 3, 1911, when two anarchists were killed and several passers-by and a detective were wounded.

The gun that fired the fatal shots at Houndsditch went on display for the first time at the Museum of London Docklands on Tuesday in an exhibition opened by Celia Sandys, the grand-daughter of Winston Churchill, the Home Secretary at the time who oversaw the Sidney Street siege operation in person.

The notorious gang leader known as Peter the Painter managed to slip away after the Houndsditch battle more than two weeks before the siege and was never caught.