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Photo of Margaret Clara Scharina

Margaret Clara Scharina

Police Officer in Women’s Police Service
Birthplace Greater London Charlton Place of Death Bevendean Hospital Brighton Date of Birth: February 14, 1880 Date of Death: December 12, 1957


Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.


Name: Margaret Clara Scharina
DoB: 14 February 1880
Place of birth: Charlton, London
Parents: Wilhelm Edward Herrmann & Janet (nee McKay)
Parental Home: 1881 – 4 Delafield Road, Charlton, London
Siblings: Millicent Wilhelmina (1882-1970 ), Marion Alice (1885-1931), Archibald McKay (1884-1885), Hermann McKay (1889-1942)
Spouse: Never married
Date of Wedding: Not applicable
Children: None identified
Marital home(s): Not applicable
Employment: Governess
1911 Census: Living at home: Mount Park, Victoria Park, Gourock, Scotland
Date of death: 12 December 1957
Location: Bevendean Hospital, Brighton, Sussex. Living at 26 Wilbury Villas, Hove, Sussex. No confirmed burial location

Gretna details
Name: Margaret Clara Scharina
Clock No: N/A
Date joining: Not found but possibly early 1917 due to Badge Number (24)
Date leaving: October 1918
Addresses: Women’s Police Barracks, Eastriggs
Rank on start: PC
Promotion: None found
Career after: Police Officer in Northampton Borough Police

1921 Census : 42 Guildhall Road, Northampton

Addresses after Gretna:
42 Guildhall Road, Northampton
55 Abington Street, Northampton
26 Wilbury Villas, Hove, Sussex

Additional information: Margaret Clara often changed her forenames and regularly dropped Margaret. She was born in Charlton, South London in 1880 into the family of Wilhelm & Janet Scharina where she had 4 siblings. Wilhelm, a German national, was an electrical engineer and inventor, working on a number of projects. At some stage, the family moved to Scotland quite probably due to Wilhelm’s work. He was now employed by Siemen’s organizing the wiring onboard new vessels being constructed on the Clyde. In 1897, Wilhelm and his children took out British citizenship, their naturalization documents shown below. Janet, his wife, did not need to as already a British Subject. The 1911 Scottish census shows Clara employed as a Governess, still living at home.
Her father sadly died in 1912. At what stage she joined the police during the Great War has not been found, but thanks to a petition to the Minister of Munitions, Winston Churchill we know that her Gretna Police Badge was Number 24. We do not have conclusive proof of which Barracks she lived in yet. Her brother Hermann joined the British Army, attaining the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. An Oxford newspaper reported in October 1918, that Clara was joining Oxford Police, but it appears she chose Northampton Borough Police where she stayed up until retirement. Living in Hove, she passed away on 12 December 1957 in a Brighton Hospital.

Served at Gretna with her sister, Millicent Wilhelmina.

Related by Category

Related by City - Charlton

Related by County - Greater London

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