Graham Shillington

Sir Robert Edward Graham Shillington (2 April 1911 – 14 August 2001) was a senior Northern Irish police officer. He served as Chief Constable of Royal Ulster Constabulary from 1970 to 1973.[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Shillington was born on 2 April 1911 in Portadown, Ireland.[2] He was the youngest of six children born to Major David Graham Shillington, who went on to become a Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.[1][3] He was educated at Castle Park School, a prep school in Dublin, Ireland, and Sedbergh School a public boarding school in Yorkshire, England.[1][2] He then attended Clare College, University of Cambridge where he studied natural sciences. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1932.[1]

Police careerEdit

Shillington had originally planned to join the Civil Service, however he wanted a more varied career.[1] He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary on 8 February 1933 as a cadet officer.[2] He completed his training at the Newtownards depot in County Armagh.[1] He was promoted to district inspector in 1935,[2] and served as officer in charge of D District in Belfast. In 1944, he was promoted to 1st Class District Inspector and was posted to Derry.[1]

In 1953, after nine years in Derry, he was promoted to County Inspector and returned to Belfast.[2] There, he joined the Inspector General's Headquarters and served in an administrative post.[1][2] On 16 January 1961, he was appointed Commissioner of Belfast City.[4]

Honours and decorationsEdit

In the 1952 New Year Honours, Shillington was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[5] He was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1959 Queen's Birthday Honours.[6] He was knighted in the 1972 Queen's Birthday Honours List.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sir Graham Shillington". The Daily Telegraph. 16 August 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Sir Graham Shillington". The Guardian. 16 August 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Sir Graham Shillington; Obituary". The Times. 16 August 2001. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Office of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland". The Belfast Gazette (2058). 2 December 1960. p. 453.
  5. ^ "No. 39421". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1951. pp. 16–21.
  6. ^ "No. 41727". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 June 1959. pp. 3708–3711.
Police appointments
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Young
Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
1970 to 1973
Succeeded by
Sir James Flanagan