A foreign accent betrays escaped German prisoners

The Standing Joint Committee which oversaw the police in Berkshire heard of an exciting incident involving escaped PoWs in Old Windsor. Meanwhile, single policemen were continuing to join the armed forces, while women and the retired were filling civilian jobs.

6 January 1917

The Finance Sub-committee report that at about midnight on 7 December, 1916, PC 177, George Crook, was on duty at Old Windsor when he met two men who were unable to give a satisfactory account of themselves, and, as they spoke with a foreign accent, the Constable telephoned to Superintendent Jannaway at Clewer, who instructed him to detain them and convey them to Clewer Police Station, where it was eventually discovered that they had escaped from the German Officers’ Internment Camp at Holyport that same night. As an appreciation of PC Crook’s prompt action and judgment in the matter, he has been advanced in grade of pay (2d per day) nearly three months earlier than he otherwise would have been.

Police joining the Army

The Chief Constable has written to Lieut-General Sclater, Commanding the Southern District, Salisbury, giving him the number of Constables under the age of 30 years serving in the Force, and a list of those now serving in HM Army, with a view to the possible release of such as can be replaced by men of the Berkshire Police whom it is advisable to release from further military duty, but who are fit for Police duties.

Arrangements have been made for the following unmarried Constables (taking those who joined the Force since the commencement of the war and the remainder in rotation from the youngest upwards) to join the Army under the provisions of the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1915, viz:

PC 165, Pill, H.

PC 82, Eaton, J. B.

PC 43, Meen, J. R.

PC 139, Alder, F.

PC 26, Rogers, C.

PC 184, Hatch, W.

PC 119, Warman, C.

PC 135, Haines, G. H.

PC 116, Henness, A. E.

PC 1, Garrett, G. H.

Of the above, 5 have been contributing to the support of dependants, viz:

PC 82, Eaton, contributes 3/- per week to the support of his parents. PCs 116, Henness, 43, Meen, and 1, Garrett, allow their parents from 3/- to 4/- per week. The father in each case is in employment. Henness’s parents have 5 young children to support. The other Constables have not so contributed.

The Sub-committee recommend that … an allowance of 3d per day be made to the parents of those Constables who are contributing 3/- a week, and 4d per day to the parents of those contributing at 4/- a week.

Arrangements have been made for only 4 First Police Reservists to be called up as substitutes for the above 10 Constables, as it is very difficult to provide houses for them, the regular members of the Force whom they are replacing being single men. The Chief Constable will do the best he can under the circumstances but it may further curtail the leave granted under the Police Weekly Rest Day Act if housing accommodation cannot be obtained for the remaining First Police Reservists to be called up.


Constables Killed and Wounded

I regret to report that PC 24, George Penstone Gould, was killed when in action in France on 14th October last. He joined the force on 1st October, 1910, and volunteered for service with the colours on 1st May, 1915. He was unmarried, and at the time of his death had attained the rank of Lance-Sergeant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment to which he belonged. He was 27 years of age and a very promising Constable.

The following Police Constables have been wounded, viz:

PC 47, Thomas J. Dean, on 15th September, bullet wound in left leg above the knee; and PC 80, Edward Pitt, on 27th September, shot wound through thigh.

I understand that both of these men are recovering.

Report from the Clerk of the Peace and Council to the Staff Purposes Committee

Owing to alterations and the general inadequacy of my staff to cope with the work of the office, which is constantly being increased by new work, I think it will be necessary to reorganise and augment my staff,,,

I have already found it absolutely essential to engage an expert lady shorthand typist (Mrs Gee) as from 17 November at 25/- per week, to be raised to 30/- or thereabouts, and I ask for approval for this.

Miss Brodrick (shorthand typist) will take up an appointment on the Staff of the War Pensions Committee on 1 January, and I should wish to replace her with a discharged soldier at a salary of about 30/- per week from that date.

Mr Mills, senior clerk in the Taxation office, has been warned for service, but I hope to be able to keep him until February to cope with the rush of taxation work, and to enable a substitute to be trained. To take the place of Mr Mills I have succeeded in obtaining the services of a retired solicitor (Mr W. A. Morgan) who is over military age but anxious, from patriotic motives, to release a fit man. He is willing to accept the moderate salary of £2 per week. He will commence on 1 January, 1917.

I should like to increase the salary of Miss Neale from 6/- to 10/- per week, and in order to retain the services of Mrs Gee it will, I feel sure, be necessary to give her an increase at an early date. Authority for this is aked for.

I may say that every day it gets more and more difficult to get a clerical staff at all, much more an efficient one – the market rate for labour is constantly rising, and the salaries of the temporary staff are disproportionately high as contrasted with the permanent and more experienced staff. But this cannot be avoided uinder present conditions.

A. E. Preston


… adopted.

Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

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