The employment on light duty – wherever reasonably possible – of men discharged from the colours on medical grounds

Policemen returning from the armed forces were not to suffer for their service.

11 January 1919

REINSTATEMENT OF POLICE

A circular from the Secretary of State, Home Office, dated 21 November 1918, was read as to the employment on light duty – wherever reasonably possible – of men discharged from the colours on medical grounds who are below the standard of health required of candidates for appointment to the Police. In such cases where men who are drawing army pensions are so employed, they should be given the full pay appropriate to the work. Any reduction of pay on account of pension is inadmissible.

Chief Constable’s report…

PC 58, Giles, has been re-examined by the Police Surgeon after three months’ trial on light police duty, who certifies that he is fit for indoor work or to act as a chauffeur of motor car. As this Constable was wounded in the wrist by a gunshot wound when on military service, I propose, subject to your approval, to allow him to remain in the Force to carry out duties as recommended by the Police Surgeon, so long as he continues medically fit for such duties.
Approved.

The following Constables have been released from military service, and commenced, or will commence, Police duty as follows:

PC 180 Plumb 16 December 1918
PC 186 Newman 1 January 1919
PC 55 Sellwood 1 January 1919
PC 187 Hankins 1 January 1919
PC 4 Green 1 January 1919
PC 26 Rogers 1 January 1919
PC 29 Simmons 6 January 1919
PC 67 West 6 January 1919
PC 163 Hubbard 20 January 1919
PC 86 Tubb 20 January 1919

Steps will be taken for the re-attestment of all men who rejoin the Force after being employed on military or naval service.

I also recommend that men who rejoin this Force should be allowed to reckon their military or naval service not only towards approved service for purposes of Police Pension (as provided in the Police Emergency Acts) but also for promotion and allowances in the scale of pay, etc.

Approved.

Berkshire County Council and Quarter Sessions: Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

“It is most difficult to obtain respectable lodgings in Reading”

Housing in Reading was in very short supply by this stage of the war. Applying for extra lodging allowance for warder Edward Hubbard, the governor wrote to the Commissioners:

It is most difficult to obtain respectable lodgings in Reading, owing to work and also the influx of people from London on account of the raids. People have their names down for many months to obtain a house.

25.12.17

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

Helping policemen’s families

Berkshire County Council’s Standing Joint Committee, which oversaw the police, met on 4 December 1915 to consider possible extra allowances for the wives and other dependant relatives of policemen who had joined the armed forces.

4 December 1915
Enlistment of Police under Police (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1915
In accordance with your instructions permission has been given to the following constables who have enlisted, viz:
PC 203 Harris
PC 213 Wheatcroft
PC 204 Harris
PC 141 Potter
PC 78 Thompson
PC 186 Newman
PC 210 Wicks
PC 215 Jeffcock
PC 41 Vile
PC 158 Giles
PC 55 Sellwood
PC 71 Wheatcroft
PC 123 Chipp
PC 65 Pottinger
PC 209 Read
PC 147 Rowland
PC 111 Offer
PC 32 Bates
PC 83 Bennett
PC 190 Irving

PC 32 Henry Bates has been contributing £2 per month towards the support of his widowed mother. The Sub-committee recommend that an allowance of 5/- per week be made to [her].

PCs 78 Thompson and 215 Jeffcock have been granted permission to marry, but this will not involve any allowance to their wives, as they will be entitled to the separation allowance from Army funds.
In regard to the allowance made to the mother of PC 36 George Eales, which was adjourned at the meeting in October for further enquiries, PC Eales having now stated that he had not regularly contributed to the support of his mother before his enlistment, the Committee have no power to continue the allowance to Mrs Eales, and it is accordingly recommended that it be discontinued.

The following are the allowances now granted…
Constable Recipient Rate per week
PC 58 Brown Mrs D. Brown (wife). 8/9
PC 105 Siney Mrs H. Siney (wife) 12/7
PC 214 Easton Mrs J. Easton (mother) 7/-
PC 216 Sparkes Mrs E. Sparkes (wife) 10/1
PC 163 Hubbard Mrs M. Hubbard (wife) 12/7

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

Thousands of police reservists and Special Constables sign up

The Chief Constable and the Clerk of the Peace informed the Standing Joint Committee of the County Council and Quarter Sessions of the effects of the war on the police force and the Clerk’s department.

10 October 1914
CHIEF CONSTABLE’S REPORT

On the outbreak of the war the two boarded-out horses from the 11th Hussars were, at the request of the Military Authorities, returned to Aldershot….

The allowances to the wives of Police Constables recalled to Army service are, I now understand, to be altered from the 1st October, 1914, by an increased allowance from Army funds…

As regards the single Constables, I would ask that some consideration may be made them… I would, therefore recommend that the following three unmarried Constables (Army Reservists) who were recalled to the Army for service on 5th and 6th August, 1914, and who have been regularly contributing for their mothers’ support should be granted the allowance of 7/- per week:-
PC 36, George A. Eales
PC 163, Philip Hubbard
PC 214, Harry Easton
and that the money be paid monthly to the mother in each case.

Since the date of your last meeting in August, I have called up one more Police Reservist to take the place of a Police Constable called upon to resign. The total of First Police Reservists now serving is therefore 44.

Formation of a Police Special Reserve.
I beg to report that on the outbreak of war the duties of the Police were increased out of all proportion to the strength of the Force. It was necessary to recall all those away on annual leave and to suspend the weekly rest day. Forty-four 1st Police Reservists have since then been called up for duty. The demands on the time of the Officers and Constables have been very great, consequent on the necessity for continuous watching of the main bridges over the Thames, the railway lines, the requisition of Police by the Military Authorities for mobilization, purchase of horses, vehicles, and billeting, and the posting and distribution of many Orders. The registration and watching of alien enemies under the Aliens Act, 1914, further added important duties for the Police to carry out.
In order that the Police might get some assistance at such a time I issued a Special Constables appeal, a copy of which is attached.
Consequent on this appeal I received the very greatest help and assistance throughout the County, and especially as regards the guarding and watching of the bridges (railway and main road), the railways, waterworks, lighting works and other vulnerable points; and as a result of this splendid and patriotic response to my appeal, I have now a Berks Police Special Reserve Force of nearly four thousand (4,000) under the following organization:-
Chief Organizing Officer Colonel F. C. Ricardo, CVO
Assistant Chief Organising Officer Colonel W. Thornton
Divisional Officer, Abingdon and Wallingford Police Division
Colonel A. M. Carthew-Yorstoun, CB
Divisional Officer, Faringdon Division Francis M. Butler, esq.
Divisional Officer, Maidenhead Division Heatley Noble, esq.
Divisional Officer, Newbury Division (vacant)
Divisional Officer, Hungerford Sub-division Colonel Willes
Divisional Officer, Reading Division (vacant)
Divisional Officer, Wantage Division E. Stevens, esq.
Divisional Officer, Windsor Division Colonel F. Mackenzie, CB
Divisional Officer, Wokingham Division Admiral Eustace, RN

To all these Officers I am very much indebted for their valuable help and voluntary service in this organization. The efficiency of our organization is entirely due to their energetic work.

This Force has for several weeks been drilling and doing patrol work in conjunction with the Police in many parts of the county. Classes of instruction in first aid to the injured are being formed, and miniature rifle ranges are being used by the kind permission of the owners, and new ones about to be given for such use.

We have been careful to exclude from the Reserve all those who are eligible for and whose circumstances permit of them joining the Army.

I have further received great help from the Berkshire Automobile Club, and owners of motor cars generally throughout the county, in placing motor cars at the disposal of the Police when required.

I would ask your authority to swear in a total number of Special Constables not exceeding 2,000, and to provide the necessary batons, whistles and chains, armlets and other necessary articles of equipment…. Under these conditions of appointment of Special Constables, the service is a voluntary and unpaid one.

A report by the Clerk of the Peace with regard to his staff was presented as follows:-

Gentlemen
I have to report that in consequence of the War, the following members of my staff are absent on service:-
H. U. H. Thorne, Deputy Clerk of the Peace Captain, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
E. S. Holcroft, Assistant Solicitor Captain, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
R. G. Attride, Assistant Solictor (Mental Deficiency Act)
Lieutenant, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
H. P. Tate, Senior Clerk, Taxation Department Private, Honorable Artillery Company
F. J. Ford, Clerk, Taxation Department Gunner, Berks Royal Horse Artillery
J. A. Earley, Clerk Private, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment
J. A. Callow, Clerk Private, 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment

Mr Tate is actually abroad on active service and the remainder have all volunteered for foreign service.

In consequence of the great depletion of my staff, I have, after consultation with the Staff Purposes Committee, arranged with Mr C. G. Chambers, of the firm of Blandy & Chambers, Solicitors, Reading, to assist me in the legal work during the absence of the Deputy Clerk and the Assistant Solicitors…
It has also been necessary for me to make temporary arrangements for the clerical work and I have engaged the following:-

Miss M. A. Burgess, Shorthand-Typist, at 12/6 per week from 7th September, 1914
Miss Norah Scrivener, Shorthand-Typist, at 10/- per week from 14th September, 1914
Stanley A. Bidmead, Office Boy, at 5/- per week from 1st September, 1914.

Standing Joint Committee minutes, 10 October 1914 (C/CL/C2/1/5)

Constables lost, cars gained: the first impact on the police

The Standing Joint Committee of Berkshire County Council and the Court of Quarter Sessions, which was responsible for the county police force (the Berkshire Constabulary), held a special meeting on 15 August 1914 to hear the report of the Chief Constable on the initial impact of the war on his force:

A special report by the Chief Constable was presented and … resolutions were passed as set out below:-

1. Police Army Reservists called on to rejoin the Army on mobilization:- I have the honour to report that, on the outbreak of war between this country and Germany, the following Army Reservists serving as Constables in this Force were called on to rejoin the Army on mobilization:

PC 58 Frank Brown Married
PC 101 Charles H. Goodchild Married
PC 103 Samuel Theobald Married
PC 105 Jesse J. Siney Married
PC 36 George Eales Single
PC 163 Philip Hubbard Single
PC 214 Harry Easton Single
PC 216 Ernest E. Sparkes Single

One other Army Reservist, PC 51, James H. Wood, who is the Drill Corporal to the Force, was, on my recommendation, allowed to remain for duty with the Force instead of being called up for duty.

I would recommend that, pending any order of the Secretary of State, the wives and children of the Constables so called up should be given an allowance calculated at half the pay they were receiving on being called up for Army Service.

So far as I now know the four single Constables have no one dependent on them, and, therefore, I do not recommend any allowance in their case, but I ask the committee to allow me to use my discretion in the matter.

I would also ask your authority to allow the wives of the four Army Reservists to remain in the houses now rented by the County so long as I consider it desirable, on payment of amounts equal to half the deductions for house rent.

Adopted.

(a) Increase of Force, and calling up of Police Reserves.

I beg to report that on the declaration of war, owing to the very heavy duties and responsibilities imposed on the Police, I considered it necessary to increase the Force and to call up a portion of the First Police Reservists. Three recruits joined the Force on the 12th August, 1914, and I called up for duty on the 5th August and subsequent dates the following First Police Reservists:
1 Inspector
11 Sergeants
10 Constables, Class A
11 Constables, Class B
Total 33

(b) In addition to these I have appointed 10 First Police Reservists. These include 8 chauffeurs to drive motor cars which owners have very considerately lent to the Police, and the cars and chauffeurs are accommodated in the Police Stations. It will be necessary to appoint others as available…

(c) It has been necessary to put up temporary sheds in several of the Police Stations for motor cars now in use and for the storage of petrol and benzol, and the possible accommodation of further motor cars which might in an emergency be required for the movement of the Police…

I would also ask authority for the payment for the purchase of petrol and benzol which I have considered advisable to purchase and store. Also for the payments for the upkeep of the motor cars lent for the use of the Police, to include all running expenses, upkeep of tyres, and repairs, as necessary.

At present this arrangement has only been made for seven Divisions, but I hope to have the same arrangement for the other remaining Divisions as soon as possible, should motor cars from owners be available.

As a further precautionary measure, I am arranging as far as possible for twelve motor cars to be available for each Police Division in case of emergency, and these will remain in the owners’ hands, and be only used if required.

Authorised.

(c) I would further ask your authority for the provision of such clothing and accoutrements as may be necessary for the use of the First Police Reservists, and an allowance for those acting as chauffeurs not exceeding £3 per annum each. Several of the First Police Reservists have been fitted up with the clothing previously stored for this purpose, but others require clothing and accoutrements which I have ordered.

Authorised.

(d) There are 17 First Police Reservists still available to be called up if required, and I would ask your authority to call them up should circumstances render it necessary.
Authorised.

The Chief Constable was requested to express the thanks of the Committee to the lenders of cars for their patriotic action….

[The County Surveyor’s report revealed that the temporary buildings for the cars were at Abingdon, Faringdon, Maidenhead, Newbury, Wallingford, Wantage, Windsor (Clewer) and Wokingham police stations, and the headquarters at Reading. Fire extinguishers were also supplied.]

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