The Queen's Coronation 1953

The Hertfordshire Constabulary Provides Mutual Aid

Paul Watts with thanks to Roger Young

Published in the Northern Whig on Monday 1st June 1953 under the headline Glimpse Of The Royal Children. 40,000 Clamour For The Queen Outside The Palace: Their great wait to see the Coronation began yesterday at vantage points on the route as hundreds of thousands of sightseers made the day London’s gala Sunday. The crowds were the biggest yet since the decorations appeared and late last night 40,000 people outside Buckingham Palace chanted, “We want the Queen ”, without avail.

A reward for the multitude outside the Palace came when brief glimpses were caught of the Queen’s children just before their bedtime. Princess Anne in a white nightgown, was held up In the arms of a nanny at a top floor window at 6 p.m. Then she was taken off to bed. The crowd surged forward to the gates, cheering and waving. Prince Charles was seen momentarily at another top floor window, laughing and waving frantically with both hands above his head. But, as on his three other brief appearances yesterday he was quickly pulled back out sight. At times the dense crowds were almost Impenetrable, and buses on routes in the area were delayed by up to two hours. There was the unusual spectacle of the sentries at Buckingham Palace marching up and down Inside the railings instead of outside. Their sentry-boxes, too, had to moved Inside.

Sir Winston Churchill, after taking the salute at a Coronation parade of auxiliary forces youth services in his constituency at Woodford (Essex), drove back through the gaily decorated streets of the city.

Unrecognized by thousands of eager onlookers was Princess Alice of Greece, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, who, wearing her sombre grey nun’s habit, was driven into the Palace early in the evening.

The essentially religious aspect of the Coronation had not been forgotten yesterday, Trinity Sunday, and loyal subjects of all denominations had crowded their places of worship from the great cathedrals to the picturesque village churches.

Provincial police coming into London yesterday to assist in the Coronation arrangements Included 525 from Liverpool and Preston. 300 from Cheshire, Manchester and Burnley. 160 from Wales and 220 from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

According to Neil Osborn in his book on the occasion of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, a contingent of seventy-three regular officers and one Special Constable under the command of Superintendent Frank Dale were sent to London to aid the Metropolitan Police. Ten days later 100 men from Hertfordshire lined the route of her Majesty’s ceremonial drive from London to Windsor at Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire.

Operational Order.

The following is a transcript of the Operational Order for the deployment of the 73 Hertfordshire Police Officers to assist the Metropolitan Police in lining the Royal Route for the Coronation. It was the personal copy given to Sergeant 353 Young and I am grateful to his son, Roger Young, for allowing me to use the information. The original nominal roll only listed the rank, number and surnames of those delegated to attend. Where possible I have added the first names or initials.

Appendix ‘A’

Consolidation Instructions: Hertfordshire Constabulary Contingent Coronation Of Her Majesty The Queen.


The Hertfordshire Constabulary will send a contingent of 72 officers under the command of Superintendent F.T. Dale, to assist the Metropolitan Police in lining the Royal Route on the occasion of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This detachment will form part of the No. 5 District contingent which will be under the command of Chief Superintendent A.E. Ruggles of the Essex Constabulary.

Particulars of the officers required for duty are as follows:

Division     Supt.     Insp.     Sgt.     Cons.     W.P.C.     Total.
A                                               1          6                               7
B                                               1          9                              10
C                                   1          1         15              2             19
D                   1                          1          8                              10
E                                    1                     12                             13
F                                                1          9               1              11
R                                    1         1           1                                3
Total              1             3         6          60              3              73

Times Of Arrival And Departure.

The contingent will report at the Police Camp, Kensington Gardens, London, W2, at 5 p.m. Sunday 31st May 1953. The contingent will leave the camp at 10.30 a.m. Wednesday 3rd June 1953.

Travelling Arrangements.

The Coaches previously hired by Superintendents A, D and E Divisions will pick up as follows:

A Division.

Bishops Stortford – 2.15 p.m.                                                                                                                                                          Ware – 3.00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                            Hertford – 3.15 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                          Hatfield – 3.45 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                              This coach will convey the officers from A, B and R Divisions.

D Division.

Hemel Hempstead – 3.15 p.m.                                                                                                                                                      Watford – 3.45 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                      This coach will convey the officers from C and D Divisions.

E Division.

Hitchin – 2.45 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                            St. Albans – 3.45 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                        This coach will convey the officers from E and F Divisions.

Coaches cannot be parked at or near the Camp and no arrangements can be made to accommodate coach drivers. If the direct route to Kensington Gardens is not practicable, coach drivers will be supplied with a copy of the official diversionary route.


All ranks will take with them the following uniform:

Male Officers.

1 Helmet (Superintendent Dale and the 3 Inspectors will wear caps)                                                                                        1 Open neck tunic                                                                                                                                                                              2 Pairs trousers                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Shirts                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Collars                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tie                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Pair White Gloves (All ranks must wear white gloves)                                                                                                                1 Cape                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Pairs boots

Female Officers.

1 Cap                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Tunic                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Skirt                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Shirts                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Collars                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Black tie                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Pair White Gloves                                                                                                                                                                              1 Mackintosh                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Pairs stockings                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Pairs shoes

Plain clothes may be taken for use when off duty. In addition, each officer must take with him or her:

Cleaning equipment.

Towel, Soap, Shaving kit and mirror (men only), Coat hanger, Ministry of National Insurance Card.                                  Sergeants and Constables must also take knife, fork and spoon.

Medals will be worn by all ranks. These will be mounted at the expense of the Police Authority.

Superintendents must hold a Divisional parade to inspect uniform of all the officers attending the Coronation. This must be clean, smart and well pressed. Any uniform requiring replacement should be forwarded as soon as possible to Headquarters Stores.


Accommodation, for male officers, will be in the Police Camp, Kensington Gardens, London, W.2. This will be under the command of Superintendent F. Deedman of the Metropolitan Police.

Accommodation for female officers will be in Pembridge Hall Section House, 16/18 Pembridge Square, Bayswater, W.2. The women police officers will be met at the Police Camp and taken to the Section House by the Metropolitan Police.

No charge will be made to individual officers for accommodation and main meals. No subsistence or refreshment allowance will therefore be payable. It will be possible however, to obtain light refreshments at the officer’s own expense if so required.


Luggage must be kept to a minimum and bags etc., should be capable of being locked. Every piece of luggage must be clearly labelled by each officer to show name, rank and Police Force. Before the Divisional contingents leave this point should be checked by a senior officer.

There are no facilities for the custody of valuables and the Metropolitan Police will not accept responsibility for the safe custody of personal belongings which is the officer’s own responsibility.


Male officers will be employed under the directions of the Metropolitan Police in lining the Coronation Route.

Women police officers will be required for duty on the Embankment on Coronation Day to assist in controlling approximately 33,000 school children assembled to watch the procession. The time, date and place of parading will later be arranged by the Metropolitan Police, but the women officers will be required to parade on the Embankment at 4 a.m.

I know that all ranks will appreciate that the good name of the Hertfordshire Constabulary rests largely in their hands and I am confident that by their discipline, bearing, appearance and behaviour, whether on or off duty, they will uphold the high reputation of this Force.

Nominal Roll.


Frank Theophilus Dale.


1.    Horace Henry Gillett

2.    Harold George Jeeves

3.    24 John Henry Lawrence.


4.    PS 421 Edward (Ted) Philip Trevor Cooke

5.    PS 315 Stuart Harry Jackson

6.    PS 384 Robert Redpath Morrison

7.    PS 262 George James Osborn

8.    PS 102 Edgar George Street

9.    PS 353 Denis Claude Young.


10. PC 448 Eric Arthur Afford

11. PC 550 Roland (Ron) Aspinall

12. PC 574 Gary Atkinson

13. PC 429 William (Bill) C. Brown

14. PC 149 Frederick Cyril Caterer

15. PC 9 Derek Noel Chapman

16. PC 520 Sidney George Cobb

17. PC 7 Percy Cook

18. PC 456 Derek Cox

19. PC 610 Ronold Coxon

20. PC 278 Philip Arthur Cracknell

21. PC 576 Peter Cragg

22. PC 332 Grenville Leonard Ernest Crosby

23. PC 452 Dempster

24. PC 363 Ivan Eames

25. PC 538 John Evans

26. PC 81 Victor Fagence

27. PC 448 Leslie Samuel Frewin

28. PC 500 Thomas (Tom) Gardener

29. PC 317 Frank Ernest Gilbert

30. PC 578 Green

31. PC 540 Frederick Edward John Halsey

32. PC 614 Ron Happs

33. PC 99 Hemsley

34. PC 318 George(?) Hill

35. PC 51 Ernest (Ernie) Hilton

36. PC 181 Eric Hoar

37. PC 212 Thomas Arthur Hughes

38. PC 84 Roger Jarman

39. PC 207 Jerome

40. PC 480 Harry King

41. PC 467 Joseph Bertie King

42. PC 552 Michael Edward Lane

43. PC 31 Victor Light

44. PC 464 Peter George Lovell

45. PC 544 Joseph Mannion

46. PC 530 John Eric Marina

47. PC 449 Raymond Maslin

48. PC 179 Ivan Mead

49. PC 376 Harold Victor Merritt

50. PC 350 Gerald (Gerry) John Mynott

51. PC 214 Pearce

52. PC 372 Ronald Petts

53. PC 57 George Pollard

54. PC 503 Ivan Rees

55. PC 101 Percy Richards

56. PC 152 Rigg

57. PC 22 Eric Ringsell

58. PC 66 Alec Seymour

59. PC 269 Francis Christopher Smale

60. PC 594 Smith

61. PC 374 Cyril Charles Snook

62. PC 481 Edward William Squire

63. PC 216 Richard (Dick) St. Clair

64. PC 411 John Waddell

65. PC 553 Barry Warner

66. PC 416 Louis Weeding

67. PC 147 Henry John Wilson

68. PC 601 John Wright

Woman Constables.

69. WPC 1 Margaret Alford

70. WPC 6 Jessie Petrie Bell

71. WPC 8 Joan Williams

Special Constables.

72. PC 325 Ludwick

With thanks to Brian Homans and Ron Archer.

This page was added on 19/08/2020.

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