A BLACKBURN constable has gone back in time to forge a link with a family member who was a policeman in the 19th century.

PC Richard Mountain's father-in-law traced the family tree back three generations to find another policeman in the family. Now PC Mountain has swapped his collar number, 2697, to that of his wife Carol's great-great-grandfather, Harry Maughan, number 5367.

He joined the Lancashire Constabulary on February 3, 1870, at Preston, and was later posted to the Blackburn Division. Harry was born on May 9, 1850. He married Ann Hartley, of Little Marsden, Nelson, on August 31 1871, at Brunswick Chapel, Market Street, Burnley. He was living at Accrington Police Station at the time, according to the marriage certificate.

On March 24, 1872, he was posted to the Manchester division and on April 8 he left the service. The Chief Constable agreed to his resignation, which is thought to be related to his wife.

PC Mountain's father-in-law John Maughan is still researching his family tree, and hopes to fill in the grey areas.

He said: "It is such a coincidence, and when the opportunity came up for Richard to change his collar number I felt really pleased. It is quite a remarkable connection."

PC Mountain made the change as a mark of respect and to continue the family's link with the constabulary.

He said: "It is part of family history, and I am very pleased that the change has been approved.

"It is great for my father-in-law, John, as his great grandfather's number is back patrolling the streets, and I want to do well by him."

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