Corne, Archie William, 314, Police Constable.

Paul Watts

Archie William Corne 1915

Early Life.

Archie William Corne was born on the 31st October 1892 at Waltham Abbey.

His father, Charles Corne a tailor, married his mother, Clara Ann Halfhide, in 1873 at St. Mary the Virgin, Ware. They had eight children, all born in Waltham Abbey, two of whom died prior to the 1911 census:
1. Maud Louise born in 1876 and died in 1879.
2. Laura Francis born in 1877 and died in 1912.
3. Charles John Robert born in 1879.
4. Edward Ernest born in 1880. Enlisted 12th December 1915 Bedfordshire Regiment as a Section B Reservist. Mobilised 19th July 1916 transferred 3rd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment served on Western Front 18th May 1917 to 4th February 1918 suffered shell shock and lost the power of speech.
5. Harry Thomas born in 1883 and died in 1899.
6. Jessie Clara born in 1885.
7. Frank Halfhide in 1888.
8. Archie William.

During the 1901 census the family were living at 29, Paradise Road, Waltham Abbey. By the time of the 1911 Census they had moved and were now living at 5, Railway Road, Waltham Cross. In 1911 Archie was employed as an assistant parcel carrier.

Little is known about his life over the next three years other than he was employed as a Porter at the Angel Road Station of the London Great Eastern Railway. He then applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Archie’s Police Service Form 3 Record Sheet has survived and records the following information:

He gave his age on joining as 21 4/12 years and his date and place of birth as the 31st October 1892 at Waltham Abbey. His height was 5 feet 9 inches, his chest 37 to 38 inches, his complexion dark, eyes grey and hair dark brown. He had a scar on the back of his left wrist. He said he could ride a cycle but could not swim.

He said his religion was Church of England and gave details of his next of kin as his father, Charlie Corne of 5, Railway Road, Waltham Cross.

He was medically examined on the 26th February 1914 at Police Headquarters at Hatfield by the Police Surgeon who declared: I hereby certify that I have examined the above candidate as to his health and bodily strength and consider him fit for the Constabulary of this County. Signed Lovell Drage Surgeon.

Archie was Appointed as Police Constable 314 on the 9th March 1914 and started his Probationary Training at Police Headquarters at Hatfield earning £1/4/6 per week

Pc 314 Archie William Corne c 1914

He was Attested before Frederic W. Anson J.P. and R. Cecil Peake J.P. at St. Albans on the 20th June 1914. On the same day he was taken onto the Roster and posted to C Division at Watford.

In November 1914 Archie passed his Ambulance certificate, an important qualification which entitled him to wear a badge on his lower left tunic sleeve to show he was trained in basic First Aid.

Transferred And Disciplined!

On the 13th November 1914 Archie was transferred from C Division at Watford to D at Tring. He was later reprimanded by the Chief Constable for being absent from his station without leave from 9 p.m. on the 12th to 6 a.m. on the 13th November 1914. The details are not recorded but clearly Archie must have believed that he need not work a night shift before moving house!

General Order 45 of the 26th March 1915 informed Archie that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 24/6 to 25/8 per week from the 9th March 1915.

General Order 96 of the 5th June 1915 was entitled Police Constable (Naval and Military service) Act, 1914. Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915:
The undermentioned Police Sergeant and Constables being desirous of enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the war, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent for enlistment, as required by the above Acts:
1. PS 20 Wright H. B Division
2. PC 316 Brown A.S. D Division
3. PC 19 Carder H.W. D Division
4. PC 314 Corne A.W. D Division
5. PC 142 Hawthorne E.F. G Division
The Sergeant and Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will be paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army Pay. The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Sergeant and Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Sergeant and Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force, as from that date.

General Order 118 of the 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable, 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered for military service. Archie is shown as PC 314 Corne A.W. D Division who enlisted in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on the 10th June 1915.

Army Service During The War.

Archie’s Army Service Record has partially survived and with his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Rolls we know the following:
Archie William Corne aged 22 years 7 months enlisted on 12/06/1915 at Hertford into the 3/1st Hertfordshire Yeomanry as Private 2516 (later 105780 under re-organisation) signing up for 4 years Army Service. He was ‘embodied’ or taken on into the regular Army on the same date. His next of kin was given as his father Charles Corne, 5, Railway Road, Waltham Cross. He spent his first period of training at Colchester.

Archie was one of 23 Hertfordshire Police Officers who joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry who posed for a photograph in 1915 believed at Colchester. The officers were:
1. PC 308 F. Clarke
2. PC 93. F. Potton
3. PC 189 J.W. Clark
4. PC 312 D.E. Cattermole
5. PC 285 G.H. Sirett
6. PC 105 H.M. Armitage
7. PC 313 H.H. Quarrie
8. PC 120 A.T. Day
9. PC 315 W.J. Thurley
10. PC 10 E.A.V. Elkins
11. PC 35 A.W. Reid
12. PS 20 H. Wright
13. PC 233 W.J. Bethell
14. PC 121 F.W.E. Perry
15. PC 274 H. Rowlingson
16. PC 19 H.W. Carder
17. PC 217 O.V. Lake
18. PC 316 A.S. Brown
19. PC 305 G. Archer
20. PC 301 G.A. Allen
21. PC 7 A.G. Capon
22. PC 321 N.J. Reid
23. PC 314 A.W. Corne
The photo included a regular Army Sergeant Jeffrey Arthur Riches who was an instructor.

Army Form B.121, Regimental Conduct Sheet records:
Trooper 2516 (crossed through and 105780 inserted) Corne A.W. of 3/1st Herts Yeomanry, Enlistment Age: 22 years 7 months. Place: Hertford on 12th June 1915. Trade: Constable. Religion: Church of England. Born: Waltham Abbey.
Place: Reed Hall (Camp) Colchester.
It records a discipline matter dated the 14th October 1915 of firstly not complying with an order and secondly of making an improper reply to an N.C.O. A witness was Corporal Armitage (possibly PC 105 Armitage) and his punishment was three days confined to barracks.

On the 22nd October 1915 he was posted to the 1/1st Herts Yeomanry and left ‘home’ as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. On the 16th November 1915 he landed in Gallipoli where he spent 157 days before leaving on the 27th March 1916.

On the 28th March 1916 he joined the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force spending 2 years 290 days with them. On the 9th November 1918 he was taken ill with Malaria whilst still in Mesopotamia.

On the 12th January 1919 he arrived ‘Home’ and was he admitted to the 4th Scottish General Hospital at Stobhill, Glasgow. On the 21st January 1919 he was transferred from No. 4th Scottish General Hospital, Glasgow to The County of Middlesex War Hospital, Napsbury, St. Albans for demobilisation.

Army Form B.179A Medical Report on a Soldier Boarded Prior to Discharge or Transferred to Class W., W. (T), P., or P. (T), of the Reserve dated 10th January 1919 records:
Trooper 105780 Archie William Corne 1st Herts Yeomanry. Age: 27 years. Posted for duty on: 12th June 1915 at Hertford in category A. Trade: Policeman. Date of origin of disability: 9th November 1918. Place: Mesopotamia.
History: Comes with history of two attacks of malaria. On D.I. list with first attack, profound anaemia and splenic enlargement. Has kept well since 15th December.

Disability attributable to service in present war: Yes. Present condition: Very fit at present, has made a good recovery so far.
Recommendation: For dispersal under authority W.O. letter 122/834 (MOB 2B)
Dated: 10th December 1918. Signed: R.O. Whyte Captain R.A.M.C. 4th Scottish General Hospital Glasgow.

The County of Middlesex War Hospital Napsbury, St. Albans, Opinion of Medical Board.
Any disability claimed: Nil.
Present condition: No disability at present but has had malaria.
Attributable to service during the war: Yes.
Do Board find soldier to have suffered any impairment to health since his entry into the Service: Yes. He is liable to malaria.
Dated 22nd January 1919.

On the 19th February 1919 he was dis-embodied from the Regular Army and on the 22nd February 1919, he was Discharged from the Army. He gave his address as 65, Western Road, Plaistow, London, E13.

Like every other soldier Archie was granted 28 days leave on demobilisation. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. As part of that process he would have had to undergo a medical examination with the Force Surgeon at Police Headquarters at Hatfield. He was examined on the 30th January 1919.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 26 of the 31st January 1919 announced the re-appointments to the Force of four Police Soldiers who had been released from H.M. Army. Archie was shown as PC 324 Corne A.W. posted to D Division at Tring from the 20th February 1919 at £2/7/0 per week. Each officer had to be formally re-attested. The Superintendents concerned had to report when this had been done showing the date and place of attestation and before whom taken.

His period of Army Service from the 10th June 1915 to the 19th February 1919 was deemed to count as Police Service for pension purposes Vide Standing Joint Committee Resolution 35 dated the 9th October 1914.

Hertfordshire Detachment To Luton Re Riots.

Archie 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.

Archie William Corne 1919 Luton Riot Duty

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


General Order 179 of the 11th August 1919 instructed Archie that from the 13th August 1919 he was being transferred from D Division Tring to D Division Hemel Hempstead.

General Order 180 also of the 11th August informed Archie that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £2/7/0 to £2/8/0 per week from the 9th March 1919. Then on the 9th April he received another general pay rise to £4/0/0 per week.


Archie married Eleanor Mary Humphrey on the 20th December 1919 at the Parish Church at Bletchingley, Surrey. Archie was recorded as a Police Constable of 20, Queen Street, Hemel Hempstead. They had five children:
1. Olive Eleanor born in 1920 at Hemel Hempstead.
2. Peter John born in 1924 at Hemel Hempstead.
3. Barbara Elsie born in 1928 at Ware.
4. Joyce Mary born in 1930 at Ware.
5. Robert Edward born in 1936 at Ware.

The Electoral Rolls of 1920 to 1924 list Archie and Eleanor Corne as living at 54, Bury Road, Hemel Hempstead.

General Order 51 of the 19th March 1920 shows Archie had a pay increase from £4/0/0 to £4/2/0 per week from the 9th March 1920. For the following four years Archie received pay increase each from the 9th March, from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from 1921, from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from 1922, from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week 1923 and from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from 1924.

Transferred Again.

General Order 143 of the 26th August 1924 instructed Archie that from the 4th September 1924 he was being transferred from D Division at Hemel Hempstead to A Division at Ware, to occupy the cottage being vacated by Constable 40 Bradbury. The Electoral Rolls of 1926 to 1929 list Archie and Eleanor Corne as living at 94, Watton Road, Ware.

A Little Trouble.

Archie was accused of neglect of duty, that is to say he did without good and sufficient cause failed to submit a report in connection with a collision that occurred at Ware at 6.20 p.m. on the 5th January 1929. The Chief Constable disagreed as he dismissed the charge on the 26th February 1929.

However, on the 11th August 1930 the Chief Constable reprimanded Archie for what was described as discreditable conduct. Archie was said to have acted in a manner likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the force as he gave permission to a Mr. W. Huckle of 141, Ford Street, Hoddesdon to use the name Cornflower, the name he used in betting transactions with Messrs. Gardner & James Commission Agents of Westcliffe-on-Sea. Apparently Mr. Huckle tried to use the name on the 5th June 1930 when placing a horse racing bet with Messrs. Gardner & James. They declined to accept it and instituted enquiries into the matter.


Archie retired on the 8th March 1939 on pension on the completion of 25 years’ service. He received an annual pension of £147/9/7.

In the 1939 Register Archie, who was shown as a retired Police Constable, and Eleanor and their children are listed as living at 94, Watton Road, Ware.

Archie William Corne, a retired Police Constable of 94, Watton Road, Ware died at 10, Churchill Drive, Newark on the 30th September 1969. His funeral was held at 3 p.m. on Monday the 6th October 1969 at St. Marys, Church Street, Ware.

This page was added on 30/03/2020.

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