Steve Murphy has lived in Cardiff all his life. He has written a book on the life of Jeramiah Box Stockdale. He has also done research into the old Courts (slums) of Cardiff and his own family history
He was the son of a publisher in London, who incidentally sued the government for libel, this is how it became law that nobody could Sue the government. Stockdale joined the Queens own Irish Grenadiers and went out to fight in Portugal for the Queen, got decorated there and the came back. On the way home the weather was so bad they had to throw everything over board to lighten the ship. Everything he owned was thrown away. He got no compensation so when he got back to London he joined the fire brigade, he was there about a year then he joined the new metropolitan police, for a year. He was recommended to come to Cardiff to be their head constable by Sir John Peel, that is why I called this book, 'Cardiff its First Peeler'. He started off with about 5 constables, before that there was only Parish constables. He was sent to initiate a viable police force and train them up to Met Standard. The uniform was tall top hat, frock coat and black trousers with gold stripes down the legs. He always wore a sword. He stayed in the police force until his death. He chased felons up to Liverpool and London and was nearly sacked once. That is because the then Lord Mayor, a chap called Wiffin had his store broken into in St Mary's street. Stockdale survived by just one vote. He's had quite an eventful life old Stockdale. There was someone stealing from the Sailors and Stockdale dressed up as an old sea dog and found him.
They erected two monuments to Stockdale one in St: Johns Church, in the minstrel's gallery and the other in Meteor street. The one in Meteor Street was taken down and his family went and got it. They used to keep his head on the bathroom window.
I can't find where he was buried. He is meant to be in St Johns Church. Some records say he was in a vault, others say he was in a tomb. I have searched the St Johns records and can't find out where he is. He wife and children are also in St Johns.