The Ghost of PC Tom Lamb

928
Reading Time: 4 minutes

PC Tom Lamb’s ghost has haunted the bridge between Huntingdon and Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire since his mysterious death in 1841, writes MARK EGERTON

The Ghost of PC Tom Lamb

The ancient County of Huntingdonshire no longer exists. In 1974 it was absorbed into neighbouring Cambridgeshire and then became a District. However, for historical reasons it still retains its original Huntingdonshire name. This was basically down to Huntingdonshire’s rich historical past.  Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon; Katherine of Aragon died in Huntingdonshire and the famous diarist Samuel Pepys, lived, was educated and also worked here in Huntingdonshire.

Right next to the county town of Huntingdon is the first century Roman town of Godmanchester. These two towns are linked by an old medieval bridge which dates back to around 1332. This ancient Grade-I listed bridge spans the river Great Ouse between the two towns and it is reputed to be haunted.

The death of PC Tom Lamb

On December 23rd 1841, PC Thomas Saunders Lamb, aged 28 is reported missing whilst out patrolling his beat.

Further inquiries reveal that he was last seen by a member of the public around 1am that particular morning. He was reported as being seen standing on the centre of the old bridge, gazing down into the water below.  

His ‘Top Hat’ (see photo), was later found floating down the river at nearby Hartford. Therefore, the river was thoroughly dragged, but nothing was found.

Some two months later PC Lamb’s body was discovered floating in the water, beneath the bridge. 

It is thought that his heavy Greatcoat had become saturated and had dragged him down to the river bed. His police issue truncheons were still in the hip pocket of his Greatcoat.

An artist's impression of PC Tom Lamb.
An artist’s impression of PC Tom Lamb.

An inquest was held in February 1842, to try to determine whether PC Lamb had been murdered or whether this had been a suicide?

It was generally believed that Tom had been assaulted by several men, who had then tossed him into the river below. However, there was no real evidence to support this theory.

Tom had been due to give evidence in an assault case involving a man called Edmund Shippey, the week after his disappearance, but this case was thought to have been far too trivial to justify any murder.

The details surrounding the death of PC Thomas Lamb still remain a complete mystery.

His police truncheons are on display at the nearby Norris Museum in St Ives, a tragic reminder of a police incident which will never be solved! 

The Ghost of PC Tom Lamb 1
PC Tom Lamb’s police truncheons in the Norris Museum.

Within months of his death of PC Lamb, sightings of his ghost were regularly reported on the old bridge. It is thought that his spirit was unable to rest as his murderer, or murderers, have never been convicted. 

Sightings of PC Tom Lamb’s Ghost

The sightings all invariably reported a man wearing a policeman’s uniform, being seen standing on the bridge gazing down into the river.

Perhaps the most famous sighting of all was by a woman from Godmanchester during the 1950s. She was crossing the bridge around 4am on her way to work at a local bakery in Huntingdon. Fearing that she was late for work she approached a policeman standing on the bridge and asked him for the time. The policeman did not respond, and thinking that he’d not heard her she approached him and again asked for the time. She reported that the spectre then melted away right in front of her eyes, and how she’d then fled in sheer terror.

Sightings of PC Lamb seem to have faded during the late 20th century, but this can possibly be explained, as the bridge was changed into a non-pedestrian area.

A modern footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists now runs alongside the old bridge.

An old photo of the bridge, which is believed to be haunted by PC Tom Lamb.
An old photo of the bridge, which is believed to be haunted by PC Tom Lamb.

Occasionally motorists have reported seeing a male figure standing on the bridge. Fearing the possibility of a suicide attempt, the local police have often investigated, but invariably nobody is ever found.

The Cambridgeshire Police Force has a Roll of Honour for all its police officers who have lost their lives while on duty. The very first name on this list is PC Thomas Saunders Lamb.

So, if you do happen to be crossing either the bridge or the footbridge late at night, please do keep a look out for Tom Lamb, walking his ghostly patrol. 

Have you seen the ghost of PC Tom Lamb? Tell us in the comments section below!

MARK EGERTON'S book, The Haunted History of Huntingdonshire is available from Amazon.

MARK EGERTON’S book, The Haunted History of Huntingdonshire is available from Amazon.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here