The Passing of the First Chairman of the National Association of Probation Officers

AuthorGeorge H. Warren
DOI10.1177/026455053400101903
Publication Date01 April 1934
Date01 April 1934
SubjectArticles
292
THE
PASSING
OF
THE
FIRST
CHAIRMAN
OF
THE
NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION
OF
PROBATION
OFFICERS.
By
GEORGE
H.
WARREN,
Honorary
Secretary,
N.A.P.O.
Tut
is
with
profound
regret
that
we
record the
death
JL
of
Mr.
Sydney
George
Edridge,
O.B.E.,
on
Thursday
the
8th
March,
1934.
&dquo; Sydney &dquo;
as
he
loved
to
be
called,
tried
in
all
humility
to
follow
in
the
footsteps
of
his
Master.
His
sincerity
and
directness
of
character
were
undisputed.
No
distressed
person
came
to
him
in
vain,
his
hand
was
guided
by
justice
and
his
heart
expanded
by
ben-
evolence.
He
was
gifted
with
eloquence
and
none
could
compare
with
him
in
pleading
for
mercy
for
some
poor
creature
before
the
Magistrates.
&dquo; Probation
&dquo;
was
his
life
work
and
certainly
without
him
this
merciful
movement
would
never
have
achieved
the
prominence
and
dignity
it
enjoys
in
our
Courts
to-day.
At
the
entrance
to
the
Court
in
the
Town
Hall,
Croydon,
are
two
carved
figures-that
on
the
left
representing
Mercy
and
that
on
the
right
Justice,
and
every
morning
when
entering
the
building &dquo; Sydney &dquo;
raised
his
hat
in
passing.’
He
told his
intimates
that
he
breathed
a
prayer
that
he
might
accomplish
something
in
the
view
he
took
of
what
Justice
meant.
As
Clerk
to
the
Justices
of
the
Peace
for
the
County
Borough
of
Croydon,
which
office
he
occupied
for
25
years,
he
served
a
dual
capacity-advising
the
Magistrates
and
at
the
same
time
always
protecting
the
interests
of
the
poor
individuals
bewildered,
and
ignor-
1912.
ant
of
the
intricacies
of
the
law.
On
retirement
from
that
office
in
1925,
he
resumed
practice
as
a
Court
Solicitor.
A
Labour
of
Love.
He
was
the
founder
and
first
President
of
the
National
Association
of
Probation
Officers,
twenty
odd
years
ago.
The
journal
of
that
Association
he
edited
for
many
years,
and
in
one
of
the
last
articles
he
contri-
buted
he
wrote :
&dquo;After
50
years’
experience
in
the
Police
Courts
as
justices’
clerk
and
as
solicitor,
I
believe
that
effective
treatment
of
delinquents
will
not
be
accomplished
by
sectional
activity.
All
who
are
concerned
in
the
problem
must
learn
to
co-operate
and
act
as
a
team.&dquo;
Probation
work
he
described
as
&dquo;a
labour
of
love
which
nothing
short
of
four
score
years
induced
me
to
lay
aside.&dquo;
In
1928,
Mr.
Edridge
received
the
O.B.E.
at
the
hands
of
H.M.
the
King,
in
recognition
of
his
work
for
Probation,
but
posterity
alone
will
be
fully
able
to
comprehend
and
understand
all
Mr.
Edridge
did
in
this
connection.
The
numher
of
people
saved
from
the
ignominy
of
prison
and
rescued
from
a
life
of
crime
by
the
Probation
System
is
beyond
computation.
Peculiarly,
Mr.
Alderman
Trumble,
J.P.,
The
Mayor
of
Croydon,
was
also
Mayor
in
1912,
when
Mr.
Edridge
made
his
first
organised
effort
to
establish
a
Probation
Officers’
Association.
Civic
Tribute.
Announcing
the
death
of
Mr.
Edridge
to
a
standing
Court,
Ald.
Trumble
said :
&dquo;
I
can
speak
of
a
friendship
with
him
of
over
forty
years,
from
the
time
when
he
entered
public
life
as
a
member
of
the
Council
in
1892
and
remained
on
the
body
until
i8gg,
being
elected
Mayor
in
1897.
His
manners
and
personality
were
very
striking.
He
was
kindly
and
generous,
compassionate,
and had
won-
derful
qualities
for
speech ;
and
the
manner
in
which
he
conducted
the
affairs
of
the
town
was
notable.
&dquo;He
was
quite
a
personality,
and
we
all
remember
him
with
a
great
deal
of
affection.
When
he
resigned
from
the
Council
in
i8gg,
he
was
appointed
Clerk
to
this
Court,
and
we
have
recollections
of
how
he
served
as
Magi-
strates’
Clerk
for
25
years.
He
had
a
good
knowledge
of
the
law
and
his
judgment
and
advice
were
usually
sound.
Sometimes
those
who
came
to
the
Court
differed
from
him
but
we
knew
he
had
a
kindly
heart
and
will
always
remember him
with
affection
and
kindly
regard.
Most
Enduring
Work.
&dquo; Perhaps
his
most
enduring
work
commenced
some
21
years
ago,
when
I
had
the
privilege
of
being
Mayor.
After
the
passing
of
the
First
Offenders’
Act,
Mr.
Edridge
took
a
great
deal
of
interest
in
its
administration
and
advised
us
when
we
could
take
advantage
of
the
oppor-
tunities
for
placing
young
people
who
came
before
us
on
probation.
He
then
established
the
Probation
Officers’
Association
which
has
become
a
very
influential
body,
and
the
first
meeting
was
held
in
this
Court
in
1912.
In
respect
of
his
work
for
Probation,
Mr.
Edridge
will
ever
be
remembered
with
deep
affection.
&dquo; VVe
all
knew
him
by
his
Christian
name,
and
he
delighted
in
being
called
Sydney ’ by
those
who
met
him
in
the
town.
He
belongs
to
a
past
generation
and
there
are
probably
many
in
the
town
to-day
who
knew

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