Arthur Eames was born on the 30th May 1886 at Kempston.
His father, Alfred Eames a general labourer married his mother, Elizabeth Ann Boyse, on the 25th January 1882 at Bedford. They had nine children, all born in Kempston, sadly two of whom died before the 1911 census.
- Maud born in 1884.
- Margaret born in 1889 and died in 1890.
- Florence Gertrude born in 1891.
- Frederick born in 1894. Served as Driver 522130, 484 Field Company (S.A.) Royal Engineers.
- Grace born and died in 1897.
- George Sydney born in 1898. Served as Driver 524424, 478 South Midland Field Company, Royal Engineers.
- Kathleen born in 1902.
- Samuel born in 1904.
It would appear that in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns the family were living at the same address at Grange Lodge, Bedford Road, Kempston. In 1911 Arthur was employed as a labourer on a farm but a year later he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.
Arthur’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know he was Appointed as Constable 282 on the 30th May 1912 and General Order 40 of the 17th June 1912 announced that Arthur was one of two Probationers who had been appointed to the strength of the Force from 30th May 1912 and posted to E Division at Hitchin.
Arthur’s entry was followed by the word ‘Augmentation’ in brackets. In 1910 the Police (Weekly Rest Day) Act was passed requiring every Constable to be allowed 52 rest days in the year, up to then they worked seven days a week. The Act gave four years grace in which to phase the rest days in as it required an increase, or augmentation, of the size of the Force to ensure cover for the officers on rest days was in place. It is clear that Arthur’s appointment was as one of the new additional men intended to allow this to happen.
As part of this process the Force introduced a new Probationer training structure. Previously all new recruits were posted to a Division and they were trained there by a senior experienced Constable under the supervision of the Superintendent. The new scheme centralised training at Police Headquarters using dedicated instructors. One of the first instructors was Sergeant 57 Cousins who was moved to Headquarters in March 1912, but the General Order is unclear whether Arthur was trained under this new system or the old one.
Although the record has not survived it is obvious from the following General Order that Arthur had previously been transferred from E Division at Hitchin to A Division at Ware. Then General Order 76 of the 8th June 1915 instructed him that he was again being transferred. This time from A Division at Ware to B Division at Bishops Stortford on the 10th May 1915.
General Order 104 of the 22nd June 1915 and General Order 71 of the 16th June 1916 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/6/10 to £1/7/5 per week from the 30th May 1915 and from £1/7/5 to £1/7/8 per week from the 30th May 1916, respectively.
Horse Injured In The Street.
The following is a transcript of report filed by A. Eames P.C. 282 which was posted on Herts Past Policing in 2014: On Tuesday the 19th of December 1916, PC Eames received a message at 1.15 p.m. from Superintendent Sullivan which instructed him to attend an incident at London Road, Bishops Stortford, where a horse had fallen down near the entrance of the Railway Station. When he arrived he found a horse, which was owned by Clifford Herbert Andrews of Hockerill, had fallen over due to the slippery condition of the road and injured its back. The horse was subsequently examined by Mr H.E.J. Mason, Veterinary Surgeon, who decided that due to the severity of the animal’s injury that it would not recover. After discussion with the owner of the horse, consent was given for the horse to be slaughtered and removed at 3.31 p.m.
General Order 49 of the 16th June 1917 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay with from £1/8/0 to £1/9/2 per week from the 30th May 1917.
Army Service During The War.
Arthur’s Army Service Record has survived and from this we know the following: Arthur enlisted on the 10th December 1915 at Bishops Stortford 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 Rose Cottage, Station Road, Bishops Stortford, his age as 29 years 7 months and his trade as Police Constable. He said he was not married and had never served in the Military before.
His description on enlistment was recorded as: Age: 29 years 7 months. Height: 5 feet 10 ¼ inches. Chest: 39 ½ inches 2 ½ inch expansion. Distinctive marks; Vaccination marks 3 left arm. He gave his religion as Church of England and his next of kin as his father Mr. Alfred Eames of Lodge, Bedford Road, Kempston and later his wife of Upwick, Albury, Herts.
His Medical History Army Form B178 recorded that he was examined at Hertford on the 16th April 1918 and it noted the same information as his description on enlisting with the addition that he said he was born at Kempston, Beds., his weight was 142 ½ lbs., his hair light brown, complexion fresh, eyes dark brown, his physical development was good and an additional identifying mark of a scar on his left eyebrow.
On the 23rd April 1918 Arthur was one of fifteen Hertford County Constabulary Police Constables who were Mobilised at the same time. Ten joined the Grenadier Guards and five, including Arthur, as Coldstream Guards. Arthur joined as 24772 in the Provisional Battalion, Coldstream Guards at Caterham. The others were 25004 Herbert Deer, 25900 Walter Skeggs, 26009 Samuel Harrowell and 26168 Frderick Smith. Other than perhaps their initial training there is no evidence to show that they served together.
Arthur married Emily Mabel Sandford (known as Mabel) at the Parish Church, Albury on the 6th July 1918. They had four children:
- Margaret Gwendoline born in 1921 at Bishops Stortford.
- Frank Arthur born in 1923 at Hitchin.
- Pearl K. born in 1927 at Hitchin.
- Daphne M. born in 1936 at Hertford.
On the 7th August 1918 he was posted to the Provisional Battalion, Coldstream Guards at Windsor. On the 16th September 1918 Herbert he was appointed as an unpaid Acting Lance Corporal. On the 1st November 1918 he was appointed, for the day, as a paid Acting Corporal to conduct a draft of Coldstream Guards who embarked at Folkestone and disembarked at Boulogne. On the 5th November he joined the 2nd Battalion in the field.
On the 7th December 1918 he was admitted to No. 48 Casualty Clearing Station with a skin condition and then on the 11th December he was admitted to No. 25 General Hospital at Hardelot. On the 8th January 1919 he joined “A” at Le Havre (there is no explanation as to what “A” was) and twelve days later he returned to England for demobilisation at Purfleet. On the 20th February 1919 he was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve.
His Statement as to Disability Army Form Z22 recorded: Unit: Guards Division Base Depot. Regiment: 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards. Regt. No.: 24772. Rank: Guardsman. Name: Arthur Eames. Address: Upwick, Albury, Hadham, Herts. Age last birthday: 32. Date of joining: 23rd April 1918 at Caterham. I do not claim to be suffering from a disability due to my Military Service, signed: Arthur Eames. Examined: Guards Division Base Depot 14th January 1919.
General Order 20 of 19th January 1919 was entitled Allowances to wives of Police Soldiers. It announced that the Chief Constable had considered the position of each individual Police Soldier under the new scale of pay and found after taking into consideration the total income of the family from allowances, including the value of the soldier’s food and clothing, that in 16 cases the families were in a worse financial position then they would have been had the man remained in the force. These cases were put before the Standing Joint Committee and they authorised extra payments, with effect from 1st July 1918. PC 282 Eames A. B Division was awarded £0/2/5 extra per week with £3/7/0 to be paid retrospectively with the allowances for the week ending 22nd January 1919.
His Protection Certificate and certificate of identity Army Form B11 recorded: Name: Arthur Eames. Regt. No.: 24772. Rank: Guardsman. Record office: Buckingham gate. Unit: 2nd Battalion. Regiment: Coldstream Guards. Pay office: Regent Street. Address: Upwick, Albury, Hadham, Herts. Granted 28 days furlough. Issued 23rd January 1919 at Purfleet Dispersal Unit.
He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Like every other soldier Arthur 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 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. Arthur was shown as PC 282 Eames A. posted to B Division at Bishops Stortford from the 6th February 1919 at £2/9/0 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.
General Order 138 of the 24th June 1919 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £2/9/0 to £2/10/0 per week from the 30th May 1919.
The 1920 Electoral Roll lists Arthur and Mabel Eames as living at 39, Elm Grove Road, Bishops Stortford.
General Order 103 of the 10th June 1920 and General Order 91 of the 9th June 1921 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 30th May 1920 and from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 30th May 1921, respectively.
The 1921 and 1922 Electoral Rolls record Arthur and Mabel Eames as now living at The Police Station, Church Street, Bishops Stortford.
A Transfer Eventually!
General Order 14 of the 23rd January 1922 instructed Arthur that from the 30th January 1922 he was being transferred from A Division at Bishops Stortford to E Division at Kimpton and to occupy a vacant house. However, General Order 18 of the 30th January suspended the move until Monday 6th February 1922 due to, it is believed, inclement weather. Then General Order 39 of the 18th March 1922 announced that the move would finally take place on the 31st March 1922. The Electoral Rolls of 1922 to 1930 list Arthur and Mabel Eames as living at The Green, Kimpton.
General Order 77 of the 12th June 1922 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 30th May 1922.
Parliamentary Elections 1922.
General Order 156 of 14th November 1922 gave Orders for Mounted Officers to perform duty at various locations in relation to the Declaration of the Poll in the Parliamentary Elections of 1922. Arthur was to be on duty at Hitchin on a hired horse.
The Mounted Establishment Is Formed.
General Order 17 of 31st January 1923 announced the formation of a dedicated Mounted Establishment: From the 1st February 1923 the Mounted Establishment of the Hertford County Constabulary will consist of the undermentioned Sergeant and Constables:
Rank & No. Name Division Station
- PS 35 Reid A. C Watford
- PC 199 Briden J. A Braughing
- PC 111 Sweetland G. A Bishops Stortford
- PC 93 Potton F. B Hertford
- PC 315 Thurley W.J. B Hertford
- PC 331 Kimpton G. C Watford
- PC 282 Eames A. E Kimpton
- PC 200 Bangs A. E Hitchin
- PC 212 Lambert S.J. R Headquarters
- PC 78 Phypers E.W. R Headquarters
- PC 233 Howe A. R Headquarters
Officers who have Mounted Equipment but are not included in the Mounted Establishment shown above will hand such equipment into stores forthwith.
General Order 57 of the 30th March 1923 detailed Arthur to be one of three Mounted Officers to Police the Hertfordshire Hunt Point-to-Point Steeplechases which were being held at Highfield Hall Stud Farm near St. Albans on Thursday 5th April 1923.
General Order 72 of the 19th April 1923 detailed Arthur to be one of six Mounted Officers to Police the Essex Staghounds bona fide Race Meetings which were being held at Tharbies Farm near Sawbridgeworth on Wednesday 25th April 1923.
General Order 127 OF 21st July 1923 instructed numerous officers to be on duty for the Herts Agricultural Show which was to be held at Hatfield Park on Thursday 26th July 1923. The details of the Mounted Officers were as follows: Constable 282 Eames will proceed to Headquarters on morning of 26th July and take over Headquarters horse “Benny Ally”. He will return to his station the same evening. Constable 212 Lambert will rise the Headquarters horse “Greig”. Constables Eames and Lambert will report at the Show Ground at 12 noon.
General Order 198 of 4th December 1923 gave Orders for Mounted Officers to perform duty at various locations in relation to the Declaration of the Poll in the Parliamentary Elections of 1923. Arthur was to be on duty at Hitchin on a hired horse.
General Order 50 of the 24th March 1924 detailed Arthur to be one of four Mounted Officers to Police the Hertfordshire Hunt Point to Point Steeplechases which were being held at Highfield Hall Stud Farm near St Albans on Thursday 27th March 1924.
General Order 58 of the 5th April 1924 detailed Arthur to be one of four Mounted Officers to Police the Puckeridge Hunt Races which were being held near Cole Green Farm, Brent Pelham on Wednesday 9th April 1924.
Parliamentary Elections 1924.
General Order 169 of 26th October 1924 gave Orders for Mounted Officers to perform duty at various locations in relation to the Declaration of the Poll in the Parliamentary Elections of 1924. Arthur was to be on duty at Hitchin on a hired horse.
General Order 43 of the 1st March 1925 detailed Arthur to be one of four Mounted Officers to Police the Hertfordshire Hunt Point to Point Steeplechases which were being held at Highfield Hall Stud Farm near St Albans on Wednesday 25th March 1925.
General Order 46 of the 23rd March 1925 detailed Arthur to be one of four Mounted Officers to Police the Puckeridge Hunt Races which were being held near Cole Green Farm, Brent Pelham on Wednesday 1st April 1925.
The General Strike.
General Order 62 of the 4th May 1926 concerned the Emergency Regulations of 1926 and instructions for 50 Hertfordshire Police Officers, made up of three Inspectors, seven Sergeants and 40 Constables, to be on standby should the Secretary of State call upon the County Force to draft men elsewhere at short notice. These included officers from A,B,C, D and E Divisions. Orders for equipment and clothing would be issued if and when necessary, but the men were advised that they would require some sort of haversack. Arthur was one of the Constables named in the list.
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, D and E Divisions and it would appear to qualify to be amongst the 20 you needed to have a motor bicycle available. Arthur was not one of first the twenty named as he did not have a motor bicycle.
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 282 Eames A. of E Division at Kimpton. 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. Arthur was not one of those who suffered from the food poisoning.
In the first photograph, which was taken in 1933, Arthur is seen as one of a large group of officers outside the Hertford Grammar School so it is fairly safe too assume he had been transferred to the Hertford Division.
Retirement And Life After The Police.
Arthur retired on pension as a Constable on the 29th May 1937 having completed his 25 years’ service.
In the 1939 Register recorded as living at 18, Baldock Street, Ware is Arthur Eames, a Club Steward and retired Police Constable, and his family.
No records have survived but from a photograph provided by Carl Foster it would appear that Arthur re-joined the Constabulary as Police War Reserve Constable169 W for the duration of the second World War.
Arthur Eames died on the 10th August 1973 at Hertford.