Emery, Albert Charles, 9, Constable.

Paul Watts

Albert Charles Emery 1919 Luton Riot Duty
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

Albert Charles Emery was born on the 6th July 1892 at Stevenage and was baptised there on the 4th September 1892.

His father, John Emery a hay and straw carter, married his mother, Julia Bird, on the 12th July 1884 at St. Ippollitts. They had eight children:

  1. Alfred John born in 1886 at Titmore Green.
  2. Frederick William born in 1888 at Titmore Green.
  3. David George born in 1890 at Titmore Green.
  4. Albert Charles.
  5. Rose Lilian born in 1895 at Stevenage.
  6. Edith Julia born in 1898 at Stevenage.
  7. Violet May born in 1900 at Stevenage.
  8. Daisy Maud born in 1904 Stevenage.

During the 1891 census the family were living at Titmore Green, Little Wymondley, Hitchin. By the time of the 1901 census they had moved and were living at 11, Baldock Road, Stevenage. They were at the same address in the 1911 census and Albert was working as a Blacksmith.

Little else is known about Albert’s life for the next few years other than for 4 years he served in the Militia, the 1st Herts Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, although his Service Record has not survived. He then joined the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Albert’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know he was Appointed on the 8th August 1914 as Constable 9 on £1/4/6 per week. He would have undergone his Probationer training at Police Headquarters at Hatfield. At the completion of his training he would have been Attested and taken on to the Roster and posted to a Division. It is believed that he was posted to A Division at Ware.

General Order 133 of the 18th August 1915 and General Order 105 of the 9th September 1916 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/4/6 to £1/5/8 per week from the 8th August 1915 and from £1/5/8 to £1/6/10 per week from the 8th August 1916, respectively.


Published on the 26thh June 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: At Ware Petty Sessions on Tuesday Mary Gladding, of Tonwell, was summoned for being drunk and incapable. PC Emery said that on June 19, at 6 p.m., he was between Wadesmill and Watton Road, when he saw the defendant lying across the footpath. He asked her to get up, but she could not because she was too drunk. When the witness picked her up, she could not stand, and he brought her to the Police Station and she was charged and detained. Supt. Handley said the defendant was admitted to bail the same evening at 10.30. She was in a beastly state of drunkenness and had a mineral water bottle in her pocket which had apparently had whisky in it. The defendant pleaded guilty and expressed sorrow. She was fined 4 shillings.

A Coal Strike.

General Order 116 of the 17th July 1915 was entitled Glamorganshire Coal Strike and listed a Sergeant and ten Constables, including Albert, who were instructed to hold themselves in readiness to proceed at short notice for duty in the Admiralty Coal Fields in Glamorganshire. There is no record which shows that they were deployed.

Potato Thieves.

Published on the 25th November 1916 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: Cecilia Jackson (9), Joseph Trundle (11) and Ernest Hemmings (7) all of Ware, were charged at Ware Petty Sessions, with stealing potatoes from land occupied by Mr. W. G. Odell of Bengeo Farm, Ware. PC Emery stated that he had seen a number of children with little shovels and trowels digging potatoes in a field occupied by Mr. Odell near the Ware brickfields. He chased and caught the children, each of whom had a bag containing potatoes. He said there were 18 or 20 children involved. He said that the potato digger had been through the rows, but they had not yet been harrowed and that there were “plenty of potatoes left”. Mrs. Jackson said that her girl had not got a bag or a shovel, but that what she had been found with was what had been left behind by a boy who had run away. Her girl, she said, had only been looking on. The other mothers said the same thing about their own children. Mr. Odell, the owner, said that he had been robbed of two tons of potatoes, to the value of £20. Mrs. Hemmings said that she had seen women going past her house with sacks of potatoes, and that she had heard the children saying that they had been given permission to clear the land. Mr. Odell said that he had given one or two people permission to glean any odd potatoes that were left after the crop had been fully gathered the previous year, but that no such permission had been given this year because the crop had not been got in. The Chairman severely reprimanded the children and their mothers and imposed a fine of 6 shillings each. He said that they had been treated leniently because the fathers of the children were away fighting for their country.

General Order 124 of 18th November 1916 was a list of 16 Constables, including Albert, who had signified their desire to sit the examination for promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. The necessary examination papers were prepared and forwarded to the Superintendents concerned. The examination was held in accordance with the rules laid down in Order 192/1915.

General Order 137 of 21st December 1916 announced the result of the Examination for Promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. Albert was one of those that qualified having taken the exam on the 6th December 1916 in the office of his Superintendent.

General Order 5 of the 22nd January 1917 was entitled Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 Enlistment in H.M. Forces: Consequent upon the demand for men of military age for service in H.M. Army the Standing Joint Committee have reconsidered the strength at which it is necessary to maintain the force and have authorised that a further 20 members shall be released for Army Service. Five of these have been accepted provisionally by the Army Council for service in the Military Mounted Police. Further instructions with regard to these men will be issued as soon as received.

In accordance with the resolution of the Standing Committee dated 5th January 1917 the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent as required by the above Acts to a further fifteen Constables for the purpose of enlisting in H.M. Army. Albert was included in this group. The Constables enumerated will be released from the Police Service as from Thursday 1st February 1917 inclusive and will be paid up to and including the 31st January 1917.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     General Order 8 of the 25th January 1917 referred to Order 5/1917 and announced that the same fifteen Constables who were being released for military service were being granted leave of absence on 30th and 31st January 1917.

Army Service During The War.

Albert’s Army Service Record has survived and from this and his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll we know the following:

Albert enlisted on the 10th December 1915 at Ware and on the 11th December 1915, he was transferred to Section B Army Reserve and returned to his Police duties. This was part of what was known as the Derby Scheme. Thousands of men around the country including dozens of Hertfordshire Police Officers enlisted under the scheme. The Hertfordshire Officers mainly enlisted between the 9th and the 11th December 1915. Every Section B Reservist was issued with an individually numbered Khaki Armlet with a red Crown displayed on it which was to be worn on the upper left arm to demonstrate they were a Reservist and were waiting to be mobilised.

The following was recorded: He gave his address as 11, Gladstone Road, Ware, his age as 23 years 5 months and his trade as Police Constable. He said he was not married and that he had served four years in 1st Herts. Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

His description on enlistment was recorded: Apparent age: 23 years 5 months. Height: 5 feet 9 inches. Chest: 36 inches 2 inch expansion. Marks: 2 vaccination marks on left. He gave his next of kin as his father, Mr. John Emery 9, North Road, Stevenage, Herts.

His Medical History Army Form B178 recorded that he was examined at Ware on the 10th December 1915 and it noted the same information as his description on enlisting with the addition that he said he was born at Stevenage, Herts., his weight was 156 lbs., his physical development was very good and that he had six false teeth.

Albert was mobilised on the 1st February 1917 and on the 3rd February, he was posted as Gunner 205987 to the Royal Horse Artillery Depot at Woolwich. Of the fifteen men who were mobilised at the same time as Albert one joined the Grenadier Guards and two others joined the Military Foot Police. The remaining twelve became artillery men. They were 205951 Harry Wallman, 205952 William Hussey, 205953 Joseph Wallen, 205954 Arthur Mansfield, 205956 Wilfred Darton, 205981 Stephen Burch, 205982 Thomas Kempthorne, 205983 William Cripps, 205985 Alban Freeman, 205986 Herbert Trussell, 205987 Albert Emery and 205988 Henry Camp. Other than during their initial training there is nothing to say that they went on to serve together.

On the 16th February 1917 he was posted to R Battery, Royal Horse Artillery.

In March 1917 during their training there was an outbreak of Rubella at the Woolwich Depot. Of the twelve men who were mobilised the Army Service Records of ten of them have survived. Of these records two, belonging to Darton and Kempthorne, show they were hospitalised for two weeks with the disease. Additionally, Alban Freeman died of fever on the 7th March which was almost certainly due to the same cause.

General Order 54 of the 23rd June 1917 was entitled The Police Reservists (allowances) Act 1914. Reference order no/. 183 1915. At a meeting of the Standing Joint Committee held at Hatfield on 15th June 1917 six allowances were granted to the dependents of unmarried Constables who have enlisted in H.M. Army for the period of the war. Albert’s mother, Julia Emery, was granted a weekly allowance of 8 shillings from the 1st February 1917.

On the 23rd August 1917 Albert was posted as part of the British Expeditionary Force to France. On the 2nd October 1917 he was posted 298th Army Brigade Royal Field Artillery. On the 11th November 1917 he was admitted with Scabies to No. 4 Stationary Hospital. On the 20th November he was admitted to the 59th (Northern) General Hospital at St. Omer.

The next two lines are unreadable. On the 12th April 1918 he was posted to Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery. On the 4th September 1918 he was appointed paid Acting Lance Bombardier, whilst  a man named Ellis was in the UK, and on the 14th September, he was attached to Brigade HQ.

On the 19th September 1918 he was appointed paid Lance Bombardier and, on the 22nd September, he was granted leave to the UK returning on the 6th October. On the 8th October, his appointment as Lance Bombardier was cancelled.

On the 11th January 1919 he was sent to the UK at Purfleet for demobilisation and on the 9th February 1919, he was transferred to Class Z Army reserve at Woolwich.

His Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity Army Form Z11 recorded: Name: Albert Charles Emery. Regt. No.: 205987. Rank: Gunner. Record office: Blackheath. Unit: Q Battery. Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery. Pay Office: Blackheath. Address: 9, North Road, Stevenage, Herts. Theatre of war: 1A. Year born: 1892. Medical category: A1. Place of re-joining in case of emergency: Woolwich. 28 day furlough granted. Issued: 12/01/1919 Purfleet.

He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Like every other soldier Albert would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation and he would have used this time to apply to re-join the Police. He would have had to have undergone a Medical Examination by the Force Surgeon to ensure that he was still fit enough for Police duties. Having passed this, he would have been re-Appointed on the day following the date of the end of his leave period.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 23 of 25th January 1919 listed 25 Police Officers who, having been released from H.M. Army, had been re-appointed to the Force. Albert was shown as: PC 9 Emery A.C. A Division at Hoddesdon from the 30th January 1919 on £2/7/0 per week. Each officer had to be formerly re-attested. The Superintendents concerned had to report to Headquarters the date and place of Attestation and before whom taken.

Hertfordshire Detachment To Luton Re Riots.

Albert was part of a detachment sent to Luton to help quell rioting between the 20th July and the 5th August 1919.

General Order 177 of the 9th August 1919 announced that the following extract from a letter received from the Head Constable of the Luton Borough Police under date 4th August 1919 was published for information.

“I desire to express to you my high appreciation of the members of your Force on detached duty here for the riot. They proved to be excellent fellows in every way, gave a splendid account of themselves when need arose and conducted themselves in a manner which was credit to any Police Force.”

The Chief Constable is very gratified to have such a good account of the services of the detachment and congratulates Inspector Wright and the Sergeants and Constables. An entry of service on Riot Duty will be made in each man’s record sheet.

To see the whole photograph go to the Mutual Aid category and the article Hertford County Constabulary Assist With Quelling Rioters.

General Order 182 of 20th August 1919 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 per week from the 8th August 1919.

Two Transfers.

General Order 215 of the 8th October 1919 instructed Albert that he would be transferred from A Division at Hoddesdon to A Division at Buntingford temporarily from the 27th October 1919. General Order 63 of the 12th April 1920 instructed him that he would be transferred from A Division at Buntingford to A Division at Stanstead Abbotts from the 15th April 1920. The 1920 Electoral Roll lists Albert Charles Emery as living at 2, Rose Villas, High Street, Stanstead Abbotts and the 1921 Electoral Roll records him as living at 5, Middleton Villas, Park Road, Stanstead Abbotts.


Albert married Ellen Fish in 1921 at Ware.

The Electoral Rolls of 1922 to 1926 list Albert and Ellen Emery as living at Council Cottages, St. Margarets.

The following General Orders all informed Albert he would receive an increase of pay on the 8th August of the year shown:                                                                                                                                                                                      General Order 142 of the 19th August 1921 from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week.                                                                        General Order 109 of the 18th August 1922 from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week.                                                               General Order 148 of the 16th August 1923 from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week.                                                           General Order 149 of the 1st September 1924 from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week.


General Order 6 of the 14th January 1926 informed Albert that he would be transferred on the 25th January 1926 from A Division at St. Margarets to B Division at Welwyn, to occupy the cottage being vacated by Acting Police Sergeant 279 Prior.

Published on the 23rd January 1926 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: The following police moves are announced to take place on Monday next: PC Albert Emery from St. Margarets to Welwyn, PC Smith from Harpenden to St. Margarets, PC Emery has been stationed at St. Margarets for the past five years. PS Cook from Hemel Hempstead to Ware to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of PS Snow. PS Cook has only recently received his promotion. PC Milton from Sawbridgeworth to Hatfield. PC Holland from Hitchin to Sawbridgeworth. PC Sherwood from Albury to Abbots Langley. PC Cobb from Wilstone to Albury.

The General Strike.

General Order 117 of 29th August 1926 concerned the Emergency Regulations 1926 and instructions for 50 Hertfordshire Police Officers to be on standby should the Secretary of State call upon the County Force to draft men elsewhere. The first 20 named would be required to proceed at 8 hours’ notice or less. These included officers from A,B,C and D Divisions and it would appear to qualify to be amongst the 20 you needed to have a motor bicycle available. Albert was not one of first the twenty named as he did not have a motor bicycle.

Called Out.

General Order 140 of 18th October 1926 declared: EMERGENCY REGULATIONS 1926.                                                   The following detachment of the Hertford County Constabulary is detailed for duty in the County of Derby as from 19th October 1926, inclusive: There then follows a list of one Inspector, three Sergeants and 47 Constables which included PC 9 Emery, A. of B Division at Welwyn.

The detachment will proceed by nearest railway route to St Pancras, London Midland & Scottish Railway, reporting on the main departure platform at 2 p.m., when Inspector Digby will parade the party and call the roll. The detachment will proceed by the 2.25 p.m. train to Derby. On arrival at Derby, Inspector Digby will report to the representative of the Chief Constable of the Derby County Constabulary who will meet the train and provide omnibus transport to Ripley about 10 miles distant.                                                                                                         Dress: Greatcoats, cape, cloth jacket, 2nd cloth trousers, 1925 issue helmet, leggings, truncheons and handcuffs, woollen gloves, lamps, whistles and chains.                                                                                                                                   Divisional Superintendents will advance Railway fares if required and an account for same will be rendered to Headquarters Office for repayment. Inspector Digby will render a daily report direct to the Chief Constable’s Office each day, showing state of health of all members of the detachment and any matters of interest which may occur.

General Order 157 of 14th November 1926 THE EMERGENCY POWERS ACT, 1926.                                                            THE EMERGENCY REGULATIONS, 1926. COAL STRIKE.                                                                                                             The Chief Constable is gratified to learn that the services of the detachment of the Hertford County Constabulary added temporarily to the Derby County Constabulary, were satisfactory, and he has much pleasure in publishing the following extract from a letter received from the Chief Constable of Derbyshire, under date 11th November 1926:  Begins: “The detachment has done very good work and I will be grateful if you will be kind enough to convey to them my warm thanks for their services. I may say that Inspector Digby did very good work indeed and was of great assistance to my Ilkeston Superintendent. Will you also give him my personal thanks”. Ends.

If this letter from the Derbyshire Chief Constable seems a bit luke warm it transpires 10 of the Hertfordshire Constables suffered food poisoning after eating food which was supplied to them on behalf of the Derbyshire Police Authority. The Hertfordshire Force Surgeon said that their illness should be classed as an injury on duty and the Chief Constable agreed and said no one should suffer any stoppages from their pay. Albert was one of those who suffered from the food poisoning.

The Electoral Rolls of 1928 to 1930 list Albert and Ellen Emery as living at 54, The Crescent Welwyn.


The records have been lost but from the following newspaper articles it would seem very likely that  Albert had been transferred from B Division at Welwyn to C Division at Sarratt.

Due Care And Attention.

Published on the 9th February 1934 in the Buckinghamshire Examiner under the headline After The Hunt Was Over: A woman driver’s mishap after attending a meet of the hounds at Chipperfield had a sequel at Watford Police Court on Tuesday. Kathleen Ashley Cooper, “Little Pollards,” Chalfont St. Giles was charged with driving a motor car without due care and attention, at Sarratt, on January 13th. Mr. Anthony Marlowe, for defendant, pleaded not guilty. Police Constable Emery said that he went to the scene of a collision at the junction of the Sarratt, Flaunden, and Chipperfield roads at Belsize. There was a wheel mark made by an Austin van 18 feet long, and a mark made by defendant’s car measured 11 feet. Cross examined: He agreed that the van driver pointed out the mark made by defendant’s car, which had gone when witness arrived. They did not tell him that she denied it was made by her car. William John Fuller, Gloucester House, Yiewsley, a van driver for Messrs. Bourne and Hollingsworth, said that while driving along Sarratt Lane towards Chipperfield he saw two cars approaching him. Then a third car shot out from behind them without warning into the lane towards Flaunden. Witness could not avoid it, and his nearside front wing struck the nearside of defendant’s car. Defendant was very close behind the other two cars, and he thought she was going to follow them. Cross examined: His speed was 18 miles an hour. He could not see defendant’s car until it was dead in front of him. She did not pull up until she had passed “The Plough.” Re-examined: The main stream of traffic was from Chipperfield to Sarratt, and the Flaunden road was only a small lane. Albert John Kirby, Milton Street, Stoke Newington, van boy with the last witness, gave corroborative evidence. Mrs. Lily Roberts, Belsize Cottages, Belsize, recalled that at about 3 p.m. she was looking out from her sitting-room window and saw three cars coming from Chipperfield. A van was coming from Sarratt. Suddenly the third car coming from Chipperfield came right across the road in front of the van and she heard a bang. There was a meet of hounds at Chipperfield that day. Cross-examined: She did not see defendant signal. Police Constable Mead, Amersham, said that when he interviewed defendant, she gave him a written statement. She said in the statement that she was following the two cars, which went towards Sarratt, and she turned to the right by the green. She did not see the van owing to the cars in front of her. Defendant, on oath, said that she had driven for 12 years and had a clean licence. She had been to the meet, and on returning she came very slowly down the hill. She saw two cars in front going towards Sarratt and looked to see if anything was coming. She did not see anything and turned across towards the lane to Flaunden when the van came suddenly into her at about 30 miles an hour. There was plenty of room for the van to pass behind her. She told Fuller she denied the marks on the road were hers. Mr. Marlowe submitted that there was no evidence on which to convict. The Bench dismissed the case.

No Driving Documents.

Published on the 4th May 1934 in the Buckinghamshire Examiner under the headline Greyhounds Not “Goods”: James Donner, The Forge, Sarratt, Herts was summoned for using a motor car not properly insured and also for driving while not being licensed to do so. Norah Pritchard, Dedman’s Ash, Sarratt was summoned for aiding and abetting the insurance offence. Minnie Clara Coltman, The Hollies, Dedman’s Ash, Sarratt, was summoned for permitting the vehicle to be used while not properly insured. Donner did not appear; pleas of not guilty were entered by the lady defendants. Police Constable Curtis, Chesham, said defendant was in charge of a van, and had with him the two ladies, a lad, and three greyhounds. Police Constable Emery, Sarratt, said defendant’s licence was not in force when he was stopped by the Chesham police. The certificate of insurance did not cover the vehicle for purposes for which it was being used at Chesham. Supt. Neal pointed out that the policy was only available while the owner or her employee were driving, and Donner was not an employee. If he was, he was not licensed at the time. The policy allowed for the carriage of goods in connection with her business, which was a little general store, and had nothing to do with greyhounds. The police withdrew the case against Norah Pritchard. Mrs. Coltman’s explanation was, that she could not have got the dogs to their destination in time and thought there was no harm in taking them in the car. Supt. Neal added that the vehicle had now been properly insured. The cases were dismissed on payment of costs.


Again, the records have been lost but from the following newspaper article it would seem highly likely that Albert had been transferred from C Division at Sarratt to C Division  at Watford.

Drunk Driver.

(Abridged) Published on the 10th March  1939 in the Buckingham Examiner under the headline Sequel To Motor Collision, Chesham Man Fined Twenty Pounds: A collision between two motor cars in Watford High Street on Saturday night had a sequel at Watford Police Court on Tuesday  when a Chesham man was fined £20 and his licence suspended for a year. The man was Walter Alexander Clarke, aged 40, of Vale Road, Chesham. He was charged with driving a motor car whilst under the influence of drink on March 4th. Represented by Mr. J. Johnson (solicitor, Watford) he pleaded not guilty. Maurice Leonard Arthur Latchford of London Road, Morden, Surrey said that on Saturday he was driving a motor car along Lower High Street, Watford towards Queen’s Road and saw a car approaching. The car swerved to its off side. Witness went nearer to his near side kerb, but the car continued to come towards him. As witness turned to his off side the cars collided. Defendant drove further down the road and stopped. Witness got out of his car and ran towards the other car. A policeman appeared and he walked with him and the defendant to the Police Station. Defendant appeared to be unsteady on his feet. Police Constable Emery said that he was standing near the High Street Railway Station and heard a crash somewhere near Benskin’ s Brewery. He went there and saw a Morris Car standing on its near side facing the crossroads. The off side of the car was damaged. About 60 yards nearer Bushey Arches on the other side of the road was another stationary car. Witness went towards it and when 30 yards from it he saw defendant leave the car and walk towards him. He swayed and stumbled. Witness stopped him and asked him if he was in charge of the car he had just left, and defendant said, “Of course I am.” The officer told him, “I understand your car has had an accident with another car,” and defendant replied, “N, not an accident, just a biff, that’s all.” His breath smelt strongly of alcohol. Witness told him he considered that he was under the influence of drink, and defendant replied, “I am drunk, am I? Let the doctor say that, not you.” Witness took hold of defendant’s sleeve and invited him to the Police Station. Defendant broke away and lost his balance. When about 40 yards from King Street Police Station defendant said, “Don’t lock me if I am drunk, look what it means to me.” After the Police Surgeon had examined him, he asked for Dr. Buchanan to be called. After the second examination witness charged him and defendant replied, “I don’t want to say anything about it at all.” The bench heard evidence from the defendant, a defence witness and both doctors following which they found the defendant guilty and imposed the penalty mentioned above. When Mr. Johnson asked for the licence not to be suspended the Chairman said he had put forward no special reason. The fact that defendant might lose his employment had been held in the High Court not to constitute a special reason.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Albert retired as a Constable on pension on the 7th August 1939 having completed his 25 years’ service.

In the 1939 Register Albert, shown as a retired Police Officer, and Ellen Emery are shown as living at 1, Brightwell Road, Watford.

Albert Charles Emery of 4, Rosehill Close, Hoddesdon died on the 29th December 1972.

This page was added on 27/05/2020.

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