Arthur Smith

Police Constable 49

Paul Watts

Arthur Smith Enlistment
Herts Poliice Historical Society

Early Life.

Arthur Smith was born on the 17th March 1877 at Hampstead Norris, Berkshire.

His father, Henry Smith a shepherd and agricultural labourer, married his mother, Ann Holdway, in 1874 at Kingsclere. They had ten children two of whom sadly died before the 1911 census:
1. Charles Henry born in 1875 at Ashampstead Berks.
2. Arthur.
3. Annie Elizabeth born in 1879 at Hampstead Norris.
4. Sarah born in 1880 at Hampstead Norris.
5. Thomas born in 1882 and died in 1893 at Hampstead Norris.
6. William born in 1885 at Hampstead Norris.
7. Martha born in 1888 at Hampstead Norris.
8. Henry born in 1890 at Hampstead Norris.
9. Alice born in 1892 at Hampstead Norris.
10. Albert born in 1895 at Hampstead Norris.

During the 1881 and 1891 census returns the family were living at Haw, Hampstead Norris, Wantage, Berkshire. In 1891 Arthur was employed as an agricultural labourer.

Early Army Service.

Arthur’s early Army Service Records have survived and show the following. On the 16th November 1893 Arthur Smith enlisted for six years at Reading as Private 4599 in the Militia serving in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment. The following was recorded: He said he was born and lived at Hampstead Norris, Berks and gave his age as 18 years 7 months. He said he was not an apprentice but was employed as a labourer by James Dew of Newbury, Berks. He said he was not married, had no children and had never previously served in the Military.

He was medically examined at Reading on the 17th November 1893 and the following recorded: Age: 18 years. Height: 5 feet 9 ½ inches. Weight: 142 lbs. Chest: 33 – 35 inches. Complexion: Fresh. Eyes: Light hazel. Hair: Brown. Marks: Mole lower part of belly. He said his religion was Church of England.

His statement of service has only a brief entry which reads having served 47 days in the Militia between 16th November 1893 and the 1st January 1894 he transferred to the Grenadier Guards.

Arthur enlisted on the 1st January 1894 at Reading for short service of seven years in the Colours and five in the Reserves in the Grenadier Guards as Private 4664. The following was recorded: He said he was born in Hampstead Norris, Berks. and gave his age as 18 years 9 months. He stated his trade was a farm labourer, he was not an apprentice, was not married but he was currently serving in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment.

He was medically examined at Reading on the same day and the following recorded: Age: 18 years. Height: 5 feet 9 ¾ inches. Weight: 147 lbs. Chest: 34 – 36 inches. Complexion: Fresh. Eyes: Light hazel. Hair: Brown. Marks: Mole to lower part of belly. He said his religion was Church of England and his next of kin were his father Henry, mother Ann, younger brothers William and Henry, sisters Annie, Sarah and Martha of Hampstead Norris, Newbury, Berks.

On the 4th January 1894 he joined the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards at London. On the 13th December 1896 he was awarded Good Conduct Pay of 1d per day.

On the 28th September 1897 he began service at Gibraltar. Whilst there he signed the following certificate: I hereby elect to come under the conditions of the new Regulations, as to the granting of Messing Allowance, issued by Army Order, dated War Office 2nd April 1898 (except as regards para 12) Dated at Gibraltar 9th April 1898. Signed A. Smith Private 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards.

Sudan.

Then on the 19th July 1898 he was posted to Egypt for the Nile Expedition. After 81 days he returned Home on the 8th October 1898.

On the 28th February 1899 he forfeited his Good Conduct Pay there is no record as to why. On the 18th January 1900, a Court of Inquiry was held regarding some injuries he had received, there is no explanation as to the extent or cause of the injuries or to the outcome of the Inquiry. On the 28th February 1900, his Good Conduct Pay was restored.

Marriage.

Arthur married Annie Maria Griffiths on the 3rd June 1900 at Putney. Arthur was shown as being a soldier and his address was the same as Annie’s at 33, Bendemeer Road, Putney. Her father was shown as a Policeman. They had four children:
1. Annie Irene born in 1902 at Islington. She was baptised on the 6th July 1902 Arthur was shown as a soldier of 24, Cloudesley Square, Islington.
2. Arthur Andrew born in 1904 at Hitchin. He was baptised on the 22nd July 1904 Arthur was shown as a Police Constable of 23, Bunyan Road, Hitchin.
3. Dorothy Phylis born in 1908 at Little Heath.
4. George H. born in 1913 at Hatfield.

On the 1st January 1901 Arthur should, after seven years’ service, have been transferred to the Army Reserve. There is no record that this happened except for a later reference that he had been re-transferred to the Reserves, suggesting that he had been in the Reserves before. There is also no trace of him or his wife Annie in the census of 1901.

Boer War.

The next reference in Arthur’s Army Service Record shows that on the 12th April 1902 he arrived in South Africa and saw service in the Boer War. This also suggests that he had been recalled from the Reserves as the Grenadier Guards were amongst the first to go to South Africa in 1901 and, had he still been in the Regiment, it seems likely that he would have gone there then.

On the 22nd July 1902 Arrived Home and immediately re-transferred to the Army Reserve. On the 31st December 1905 he was Discharged on the termination of first period of service.

Arthur was awarded the Khedives Soudan Medal with Clasp Khartoum, Queen’s silver Sudan Medal and the Queen’s South Africa medal with Clasps Cape Colony, Transvaal and South Africa 1902.

He then applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Arthur’s Police Service Record has survived.

Form 86, The Herts Constabulary Conditions of Service and Agreement contains a Declaration of Candidate written in Arthur’s own hand. It contains the following information:
Age: 25. Height: 5 feet 10 5/8 inches. Weight 11 stone 6 lbs. Chest: 37 inches. Eyes: light hazel. Hair: Brown. Complexion: Fresh. Where born: Hampstead Norris, Newbury, Berks. In services: Army. In Reserve: Yes. Marital status: Married. Children: One. Age: 5 months. Benefit Society: No. With whom last employed: Army. Duration: 8 years 202 days. Discharged: 21/07/1902. Address of employer: 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Wellington Barracks London.
Dated 27th September 1902 signed: Arthur Smith Army Reserve 24 Cloudesley Square Barnsbury.

Testimonials of Character and Period of Knowing The Candidate:
David Marshall 156, Cloudesley Road, Barnsbury between 1898 and 1902.
Andrew Griffiths, (father-in-law) 24, Cloudesley Square, Barnsbury between 1894 and 1902
I certify that the signatures of the above named persons are known to me and that their recommendations are deserving of confidence. Signed: Lancaster M.A. Holy Trinity Vicarage, Islington N.

Medical Certificate:
I hereby certify that I have examined A. Smith as to his health and physical strength and that I consider him fit for the duties of the Constabulary. Signed: Lovell Drage Surgeon M.D. Dated at Hatfield 16th October 1902.

Approval and Appointment by Chief Constable:
Approved 16th October 1902.
Appointed 2nd March 1903.
Signed: Henry Daniell Lt. Col. Chief Constable.

His Hertford County Constabulary Form 3 Police Service Record has also survived and contains many identical details to the Form 2. In addition, it also recorded that Arthur was born on the 17th March 1877 and that he had been working as a labourer for Messrs. Marion and Sons of Soho Square. He stated he could both ride a pedal cycle and swim and his next of kin was his wife Annie Maria.

Arthur was posted to E Division at Hitchin on the 2nd March 1903 and started his Probationer training. He would have been taught by a senior experienced Constable under the Supervision of the Divisional Superintendent. He was Appointed as Constable 49 and Attested at Hitchin on the 31st March 1903.

General Order 18 of April 1903 announced Arthur’s Appointment on 23/11 per week from the 31st March 1903.

In June 1903 Arthur 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.

General Order 42 of the 22nd October 1903 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from his last pay day.

Commendation.

General Order 2 of the 6th February 1905 announced Chief Constable Commendations for January which included Sergeant Freeman 120 E, PC Robinson 152 E, PC Threader 52 E, PC Smart 87 E, PC Smith 49 E, PC Pearman 11 E for apprehending thieves and recovering valuable property.

The Electoral Roll of 1905 records Arthur Smith as living at 23, Bunyan Road, Hitchin.

General Order 9 of the 7th February 1905 informed Arthur that he would receive a Special increased rate of pay from 25/8 to 26/10 from 19th January 1905.

Parliamentary Elections 1906.

In General Order 1 of 1st January 1906 instructions are given to dozens of Police officers in connection with the General Election of January 1906. Voting was carried out over several days and schedules were drawn up detailing where and when officers would perform duty. The following excerpts refer to Arthur.
Schedule C
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Western or Watford Division on Tuesday 23rd January 1906.
Div. Rank No.      Name           Station           Place for Duty
E PC 49                Smith A         Hitchin          Rickmansworth
Schedule D
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Northern or Hitchin Division on Thursday 25th January 1906.
Div. Rank No.     Name           Station            Place for Duty
E PC 49               Smith A        Hitchin            Hitchin

A Minor Blemish.

General Order 28 of the 22nd October 1907 reported that the Chief Constable fined Arthur £1 having been reported for being drunk on duty at Baldock Fair on the 3rd of October.

Transfer.

General Order 8 of the 6th January 1908 instructed Arthur that he was being transferred on Tuesday 11th February 1908 from E Division at Hitchin to G Division at Little Heath.

Commendation.

General Order 9 of the 12th February 1908 announced that Arthur had been Commended by the Chairman of Hitchin Petty Sessions in the case of three men arrested under the Poaching Prevention Act.

General Order 11 of the 3rd March 1908 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 26/10 to 28/- per week from the 13th February 1908.

The Electoral Rolls of 1909 and 1910 list Arthur Smith as living at Cooper Road, Little Heath.

General Election.

General Order 2 of 13th January 1910 gave instructions to dozens of Police officers in connection with the General Election of January 1910. Voting was carried out over several days and schedules were drawn up detailing where and when officers would perform duty. The following excerpts refer to Arthur.
Schedule A
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Eastern or Hertford Division on Wednesday 19th January 1910.
Div. Rank No.      Name              Station                Place for Duty
G PC 49                Smith A           Little Heath        Bishops Stortford
Schedule C
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Mid or St Albans Division Tuesday 25th January 1910.
Div. Rank No.      Name              Station                 Place for Duty
G PC 49                Smith A          Little Heath          Little Heath
Schedule D
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Western or Watford Division 27th January 1910.
Div. Rank No.     Name              Station                  Place for Duty
G PC 49               Smith A           Little Heath         Rickmansworth

General Order 9 of the 28th February 1911 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 28/- to 29/2 per week from 9th February 1911.

During the 1911 census Police Constable Arthur Smith his wife Annie Maria and children Annie Irene, Arthur Andrew and Dorothy Phylis are recorded as living at Thornton Road, Little Heath, Potters Bar.

The Electoral Roll of 1914 lists Arthur Smith as living at Park View, Thornton Road, Little Heath.

Another Minor Blemish.

On the 18th May 1914 Arthur was severely reprimanded and fined 10/- by the Chief Constable for drinking on duty.

Transfer.

On the 4th July 1914 Arthur was instructed that he was being transferred from G Division at Little Heath to C Division at Watford.

A Vicious Assault.

Published on the 3rd April 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
At Hatfield Petty Sessions Charles Matthews, a labourer of Hatfield, was charged on remand with assaulting Dorothy Neale, a maidservant, with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm, at Hatfield, on Sunday, 21 March, and further with assaulting two police constables on the same day. The latter charge was heard first. The case was partly reported in our last issue. Mr A. Clark, solicitor, of St Albans, appeared to prosecute on behalf of the police.

PC Arthur Smith stated that on Sunday week he went with other officers to arrest the prisoner at 11 p.m. at a house in Union Lane, Hatfield, where the prisoner slept. He found him there, told him their suspicions in reference to the other charge, and asked him to go to the police station. He used filthy language, and they had to push him along the road. On the way the prisoner started kicking and biting. The third kick fetched the witness down. They had to handcuff the prisoner, strap his legs together, and carry him to the police station. The prisoner also attempted to bite PCs Hagger and Lovell. In answer to the prisoner the witness denied knocking him about.

PC Hagger said he saw the prisoner kick PC Smith three times and tried to bite the witness and the other constable. PC Lovell also corroborated as to the assault, and said the prisoner used the foulest language he had ever heard. In the cell he was very violent and said he would smash all the windows. In reply to the prisoner as to whether there were not six of them to arrest him the witness said there were Supt. Sullivan, three constables, and two special constables.

The prisoner said the police used him roughly, and Supt. Sullivan tried to choke him. The magistrates convicted the prisoner, and reserved sentence until the other charge had been heard. Mr. Clark, in opening the other case, said that the complainant was housemaid in the employ of Dr Lovell Drage and on the Sunday afternoon in question she was walking along the Hertford Road, and when near a house called ‘Burnside’ she saw a man standing in the road. He spoke to her as she was passing but she did not understand what he said.

Shortly afterwards she returned and found the man was still there, and as she approached him he again said something. He raised his stick in a threatening attitude, and she ran away terrified in the direction of Hatfield. The man ran after her and caught her by the belt of the jacket with the hook of the stick. He then caught hold of her by the shoulder with one hand and struck her several blows with the stick on the back and face and forced her to the ground on her hands and knees. She screamed out and managed to get away.

Shortly afterwards another young man, who was coming to her rescue, caught her up and handed her the umbrella she had dropped when assaulted. She told the young man what had happened, and he returned to look for her assailant. The girl was so terrified and her nerves so much upset that when confronted with the prisoner next day, she was unable to identify him, that probably being due to the fact that the prisoner was then dressed differently.

Two other witnesses, however, who saw the prisoner immediately before and after the assault at once picked him out from amongst a number of other men. They saw the prisoner at the spot before the assault, they heard the girl scream, and saw the prisoner running away across the field directly after. Subsequently the prisoner was seen to arrive at Hatfield through the park and out at the Station Lodge. He then went home and changed his Sunday clothes and put on some corduroy working clothes.

Miss Dorothy Neale corroborated counsel’s opening statement. She was so frightened that she could not identify the man. He was dressed in a dark suit, with a light coloured cap. She could not say positively that the prisoner was the man who assaulted her.

Dr Upcott Gill stated that he examined Miss Neale on March 23, about 42 hours after the assault, and found swelling and bruising on the left side of the face, considerable bruising of the left shoulder and upper arm, and the right forearm, and in addition the nervous system was much upset. He was shown by Mrs Drage, who was present at the examination, the skirt the girl was wearing at the time. It was dusty and had a large ragged tear.

Thomas Starkey, of Mill Green, Hatfield, said he was walking along the Hertford Road in company with Walter Russell on the Sunday afternoon, when he saw the defendant sitting on the side of the road just beyond ‘Burnside’. When he returned about halfway between ‘Burnside’ and Saw Mill Lane, he heard a woman scream, and at once ran in the direction of the sound. As he ran he could see over the hedge a man holding a stick over his head. When he got near to him the man jumped over the hedge into a field on the left. As he turned round the next bend, he came in full view of the man who was sitting down by the hedge, apparently hiding.

As soon as the man saw him approaching, he ran across the fields on the righthand side into a plantation. The witness then saw the girl’s umbrella lying in the road, and she was running as hard as she could go along the road to Hatfield. He ran after her and asked her what was the matter, she said she had been assaulted, and he advised her to go to the police station. Her face was very much swollen and bruised, and her hand was bleeding, and her skirt torn and dirty.

On Monday, March 22, the witness saw the prisoner amongst other men at the police station and identified him, although he was dressed in different clothes.
The prisoner: ‘Was I this side or the other side of ‘Burnside’? The witness: ‘This side’. ‘Didn’t I peep from behind a tree when you came along’? ‘No’. ‘You ought to know me for you see me every day of your life’. ‘I do know you’.

Walter Russell, of Mill Green, corroborated the last witness. Having heard the girl scream, and seeing the man run away he took particular notice of him as he crossed the field. He recognized him as the prisoner, although he did not know him before. He identified the prisoner next day.

PC Smith stated that he saw the prisoner at Essendon on the Sunday in question at 2.50, and he was wearing a dark suit. That was an hour and a half before the assault, and the prisoner was then going in the direction of Hatfield.

Joseph Welch, of Mill Green, Essendon, a labourer, said he knew the prisoner well, and saw him on Sunday, March 21, coming from the direction of Essendon towards Hatfield, at 3.30. Thomas Titmuss, lodge keeper at Hatfield Park, said he knew the prisoner quite well. He saw him at a quarter to six on March 21. He came down the carriage drive out of the park walking very hurriedly. He was wearing a dark suit of clothes and a white wrapper round his neck.

Mrs Maria Matthews, widow, of Ground Lane, Hatfield, mother of the prisoner, said he had his meals at her house and slept at the house of Mrs Andrews in Union Lane. He had breakfast at home on the Sunday morning in question, and then changed his clothes and went out between 10 and 11. She did not see him again until late in the afternoon, when he came back and changed into his working clothes. The Bench committed the prisoner for trial at the next Hertfordshire Quarter Sessions.

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.
Of this number 5 have been accepted provisionally by the Army Council for service in the Military Mounted Police viz:
1. PC 11 Pearman C.H. A Div. Wormley
2. PC 34 Bolter F.L. B Div. Albury
3. PC 49 Smith A. C Div. Watford
4. PC 249 Burns A. E Div. Hitchin
5. PC 255 Stroud T. E. E Div. Graveley
Further instructions with regard to these men will be issued as soon as received.

The order then went on to list a further fifteen Constables who received similar instructions.

General Order 17 of the 21st February 1917 informed Thomas that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/10/4 to £1/10/11 per week from the 28th January 1917.

General Order 19 of the 21st February 1917 was entitled the Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 Enlistment in H M Forces. Reference Order 5/1917:
The following Constables having now been called up for service in the Military Mounted Police, the Deputy Chief Constables hereby gives to them the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts, for the purpose of enlisting in HM Army.
1. PC 11 Pearman C.H. A Div. Wormley
2. PC 34 Bolter F.L. B Div. Albury
3. PC 49 Smith A. C Div. Watford
4. PC 249 Burns A. E Div. Hitchin
5. PC 255 Stroud T. E. E Div. Graveley
The Constables will be released from the Police Service on 28th February 1917 and will be paid up to that date inclusive. Each Constable is granted leave of absence on 27th and 28th February 1917 and will be required to report to the Recruiting Officer on the morning of 1st March 1917.

Army Service During The War.

Arthur’s Army Service Record has not survived but from other research it is without much doubt that he would have initially enlisted under 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. They were all then immediately transferred into Section B of the Army Reserve and returned to normal Police duties pending mobilisation. 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.

The only Hertfordshire Police Officers who enlisted after December 1915 without joining the Section B Reserve, would have done so without the consent of the Chief Constable. They would have had to resign and therefore lose all their pension rights and any possible support for their family’s such as allowances and accommodation. As the Orders above specifically state Arthur had the consent of the Chief Constable then this supports the belief that he was a Section B Reservist.

From Arthur’s Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll we know he joined the Military Mounted Police on the 1st March 1917 as Lance Corporal P8197 landing in France on 12th April 1917 and remaining there until 11th November 1918. Although, this is thought to be an administrative date as it appears on numerous Military Police records, yet the men all continued serving abroad some of them for many more months. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Arthur’s Army Service number was P/8197 and Constable’s Charles Pearman, Archibald Burns, Thomas Stroud and Francis Bolter had consecutive Army Service numbers of P/8281 to P/8284, so they all clearly enlisted at the same time though other than their initial training, there is nothing to say they served together.

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. Arthur was Medically examined on the 21st January 1919.

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. Arthur was shown as: PC 49 Smith A. C Division at Watford from 23rd January 1919 on £2/12/0 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.

The Electoral Rolls of 1919 to 1930 list Arthur Smith ad family are living at 9, Ridge Street, Watford.

General Order 71 of the 23rd April 1920 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/10/0 to £4/12/6 per week from the 31st March 1920.

Commendation.

General Order 47 of the 13th March 1923 announced that at a Special Court held at Watford on 2nd March 1923 the Chairman, J.P. Taylor Esq., complimented Constable Arthur Smith 49 C Division, upon his action in effecting the arrest of Frederick Richards, no fixed abode, on charges of being a suspected person and loitering with intent to commit a felony. The Chief Constable endorsed the commendation and directed that an appropriate entry be made on his record of service.

General Order 75 of the 7th May 1924 informed Arthur that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/12/6 to £4/15/0 from the 31st March 1925.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Arthur retired as a Constable on the 30th March 1928 having completed his 25 years’ service on a pension of £153/11/3 per annum.

In the 1939 Register Arthur, a bank guard, and his family were still living at 9, Ridge Street, Watford.

Arthur Smith of 9, Ridge Street, Watford died on the 10th March 1946.

This page was added on 06/05/2020.

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