|nearby Birmingham fast becoming a boom town, young William decided to seek work there in order to try to provide a secure home for his wife to be. Records show that he got a job as a labourer to a Mr Appleton of Bull Street Birmingham. We do not know when he arrived in Birmingham, but in 1854 he sent for his bride and they were married on 24 September 1854 at the parish church of St James, in Ashted, now part of Aston in Birmingham. They lived at 9 Morris Buildings, Great Francis Street and on his marriage certificate his occupation was recorded as a brewer.
A year later, William Dipple sought employment as a Police Constable with the Birmingham force. West Midlands Police Museum archives show that William Dipple enrolled in the police on 25 September 1855, a year after his marriage. From the police archives we know that William was 5 feet 8½ inches (1.75m) tall, with a sallow complexion, green eyes and brown hair. The Police surgeon’s record shows that he accepted Dipple into the police service on condition that he always wore a truss whilst on duty. Maybe William had acquired a groin injury, possibly a hernia from the days when he was a brewer and moving quantities of beer around in barrels. Perhaps this is the reason that William sought a new career.
Two years after their marriage, in the summer of 1856, Harriot gave birth to the first of their eleven children: Robert Charles Dipple was baptised in St James church, Aston, Birmingham on 28th December 1856.
Next year, in 1857, his police records show that William Dipple was cautioned for being late for duty on two occasions. Maybe this was due to the fact that Harriet was pregnant again with their second child and young Robert was becoming more demanding. Sarah Ann Dipple was born on 18th June 1858 but was baptised in Willersley Parish Church.
By 1860 Harriot was pregnant again, and in 1860 the records show that Police Constable Dipple was caught in a beer house on at least two occasions. Perhaps the officer was becoming used to ‘wetting the baby’s head!’
William George Dipple, the third child was born in July 1860 and was baptised on 29th July 1860 by the vicar of St James, the Reverend T Eagles.
The 1861 census, taken on 7th April records that the family had now moved to 70 Henage Street, Nechells, Birmingham. A Census had to include details of all persons resident at a house, including children (and still does today). There was no mention of the young William George Dipple as he had died in December 1860 when he was about six months old. Again, the police records show that on 18th December 1860, P.C. Dipple was sentenced to 14 days drill for being in the Train Tavern at 5.25am on 11th December and drinking whilst on duty. By this time he may have been seeking solace from alcohol.
On 20th April 1861, P.C. Dipple should have been at the Public Office (Court). He was disciplined for his missed appearance on 23rd April. It may be that his wife was ill at this time as the fourth child Charles was born on 21st July 1861 (baptised on 28 December 1862). The family were still living at 70 Henage Street.
A year later Arthur William Dipple, the fifth child was born but like many of the children of the day succumbed to the harsh life and times and was buried on 18th December 1864 in Witton Cemetery, Birmingham.
The following year, 1865, the family had moved to 49 Henry Street when the sixth child, Herbert George was baptised at St Matthews church, Duddeston, Birmingham on 19 June 1865. Young Herbert survived only another 11 days – by 1 July 1865 he too had died.
The seventh child, Annie Maria, was born on 19th February 1868 but survived only 18 months before she died in August 1869. Again William and Harriet were to stand at the graveside burying another child. It is difficult to imagine their feelings standing there in Witton Cemetery in September 1868 – only two children were left alive from seven births.
Edward the eight child in the family was born on 28th February 1869 and the ninth, William Henry was born in 1871. Edward survived but William was to die in February 1872.
The family had moved again by this time and were now living at 49 Henry Street.
Emily Harriet, the tenth child was born on 13th March 1872, baptised at home and died only 17 days later. On 9 April 1872 she followed her deceased brothers and sisters to Witton Cemetery where she too was buried.
Harriot was soon pregnant yet again and on 5th July 1873 the eleventh child Blanche Dipple was born. By this time William was aged 43 and Harriot was 41. Three months later Blanche had become another infant mortality statistic and had died, being buried on 15 October 1873