‘He was always a gentleman’

James (Jim) Hilton Brownlow
James (Jim) Hilton Brownlow

A FORMER police chief who dedicated his life to serving the public has died.

James Hilton Brownlow, who was brought up in Shireoaks, spent more than 40 years in various police forces around the country.

He spent ten years at the top of South Yorkshire Police, serving as the Chief Constable from 1979 to 1989.

He passed away in hospital surround by his family on 25th October, following a short illness.

This week his family described him as a ‘determined and strong willed man.’

His daughter Ann said: “He was proud and dignified - always a gentleman. Devoted to his family. He was very proud of where he came from, all he achieved and all that his family achieved.”

“He was very grounded, loyal and noble man. Spirited, very chatty and absolutely devoted to his wife, Joyce.”

James was born in Cinderhill and moved to Shireoaks at a very young age.

He attended Worksop Central School and served in the Flight Sergeant rear gunner from 1943 to 1947 before he joined the police service.

He joined Kent Constabulary where he worked up through the ranks from Constable to Detective Chief Superintendent, before leaving in 1969 to join the Hertfordshire force as Assistant Chief Constable.

While there he served on some notable cases including poison serial killer Graham Young.

He served with Greater Manchester Police for 10 years before moving to South Yorkshire Police.

After leaving the force he worked as an advisor to the FA on security.

He retired fully in 1995 and moved back to Altrincham, in Cheshire to be near his daughter Ann and her three children.

Ann added: “He moved a lot to further his career, his children attended numerous schools!”

“He worked long hours and was constantly on call and was a determined man.”

“He had the full support of his wife Joyce, who remained devoted and supportive throughout his career.”

During his career James was awarded a Queen’s Police Medal, a CBE and received a commendation for bravery whilst serving in Hertfordshire.

He had two children with his wife Joyce, who he met during WWII and married in 1947 - Jane, who was born in 1950 and Ann in 1953.

During his spare time James enjoyed playing golf and when he was younger liked watching Sheffield Wednesday play.

He enjoyed learning about the internet and his family said he was a proud ‘silver surfer.’ He also loved gardening, watching Western films and travelling the world with his wife.

His funeral will be held at St Mark’s Church, Dunham near Altrincham at 12.15pm on Tuesday 6th November.