Absence of Chief Constable

Hertfordshire Mercury, 8th May 1915


At the Annual Meeting of Hertfordshire County Council, held at the Shire hall, Hertford, on Monday, the Standing Joint Police Committee reported that leave of absence had been granted to the Chief Constable and detailed the arrangements that had been made for Supt Wood to carry out his duties.

The Chairman said that at the commencement of the war Major Law was very anxious, all honour to him, having recently left the service, to volunteer to return to the Army, and he had reason at that time to think that an appointment for which he was believed to be specially qualified might be offered to him.  However, from information he (the Chairman) had he thought it doubtful, because a change in the regulations relating to the appointment had been made since Major Law left the Army.  Further, the whole matter was considered by the Standing Joint Committee, and the view they took was that having regard to the importance of his duties as Chief Constable of a county like this, and situated as they were, it was not desirable to give him leave of absence, and that his first duty was to stay at home and take charge of the police; but they made this reservation, that if he was specially applied for to take any special appointment they would consider it.  In due course his services were applied for by Lord Salisbury, who was at that time just appointed to the command of a Division, and he was in need of an Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General, a most important appointment, but could not find any person to take it.  All the officers who were really qualified by experience and service in the regular forces had already been snapped up, and Lord Salisbury wrote to him and represented that as far as he knew Major Law was the only person he could lay his hand upon who was qualified.  The Committee then considered that they ought not to stand in the way of the efficiency of the services of the country, and that however inconvenient it might be to them personally they ought to let the Chief Constable go.  Accordingly he had accepted the appointment.  He was not very far away, and hoped to be able to keep an eye on what was going on in the office of the Headquarters of the Constabulary at Hatfield.  With regard to the complaint by the vice-chairman that the Inspector of the Home Office was going to be asked for advice, he (the chairman) thought that in these exceptional times the experience of the Inspector, who had charge of the police of the whole of the South of England, would be of considerable value to the Deputy Chief Constable.  With regard to the appointment of Major St Ledger, that was no new appointment, Mr Brodie Henderson having held it and done valuable work.  Major St Ledger was an experienced man, and could give advice on military matters.

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