Pearman, Charles Henry, 11, Police Constable.

Paul Watts

Charles Henry Pearman Enlistment
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

Charles Henry Pearman was born on the 19th February 1874 at Abbots Langley and was baptised there on the 11th October 1894.

His father, Thomas James Pearman a Hertford County Constabulary Police Constable, married his mother, Eliza Green, on the 8th October 1871 at Walkern. They had twelve children:
1. Eliza Pearman born in 1870 at Walkern.
2. Thomas James born in 1872 at Abbots Langley.
3. Charles Henry.
4. Alfred William Alexander born in 1878 at Hemel Hempstead.
5. Priscilla born in 1879 at Hemel Hempstead.
6. Rosabella born in 1880 at Hemel Hempstead.
7. Frederick John Timothy born in 1882 at Hemel Hempstead.
8. Joanna born in 1883 at Hemel Hempstead.
9. Stephen Archibald born in 1884 and died in 1885 at Hemel Hempstead.
10. Albert Edward born in 1885 at Hemel Hempstead.
11. John born in 1887 at Hemel Hempstead.
12. Leonard born and died in 1888 at Hemel Hempstead.

During the 1881 census the family were recorded as living at Mill Pond Side, Hemel Hempstead. By the time of the 1891 census they had moved and were living at Bury Road, Hemel Hempstead. Charles was recorded as being employed as a butcher.

The Death Of Both Parents.

Tragically Charles father and mother died within a few weeks of each other. His father died on Monday 25th February 1895 at 40, Chapel Street, Hemel Hempstead.

Abridged version. Published on the 3rd March 1895 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline Suicide Of A Police Constable. Verdict Of Felo-de-se (Latin for “felon of himself”, it is an archaic legal term that denotes an illegal act of suicide).

On Monday afternoon it was reported that PC Pearman had been found in a bedroom with a severe wound to his throat and was quite dead. He had lived in the town for nearly twenty years, and in a few months could have retired on pension. Mr. W. Grover, Coroner, held an Inquest at the Hop Garland, Herbert Street, the same evening.

His wife Eliza gave evidence that her husband had died about 1.25 p.m. He had for the last seven years suffered from gout, and for the last two months it had been very bad in his hands and one of his feet. She said he was nearly mad with the pain from it and did not know what he was doing. He had been on duty continuously until the previous Friday night but on the Saturday he could do very little. On the Sunday he was worse and was in agony. The following day he was no better and she heard him fall in an upstairs back bedroom and went up with her son Alfred and found him lying on the floor on his stomach with blood pouring from his throat. There was a razor on the floor about a yard from the door.

She said they were due to have moved to Boxmoor the following morning and he had thought he would be all right by that time. He had never threatened self-destruction, but the previous day he said, “He could strike his foot with a heavy night duty stick and cut it off.” He had not left a note to account for why he had done it.

PS Domoney described the condition in which the body was found. He said he knew the deceased was afflicted with gout, as he had complained of pains in his stomach, and he had known him walk about at the old Police Station in great agony. He appeared dull at times, but he was generally a very reticent man. The deceased had not looked himself the last three or four mouths, had lost flesh and was very pale.

Mr. Catto M.D. examined the body and gave evidence of the injury. There was lengthy discussion between him and the Coroner as to whether the intense agony could have made him insane. Mr. Catto said that from the evidence given by the other witnesses, it was impossible for him to infer that the man was insane, and the Coroner agreed with him.

Superintendent Frogley said that a verdict of felo-de-se would mean depriving his family of his pension. The Coroner had pointed out at an early stage of the inquiry that he had received a communication from the Home Office calling his attention to the frequency of verdicts of temporary insanity in cases of suicide which were not justified by the evidence.

The Funeral.

Abridged version. Published on the 11th March 1895 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline The Hemel Hempstead Tragedy. Funeral Of The Deceased:
Nearly a thousand persons were assembled the Cemetery at Boxmoor on Saturday afternoon, to witness the interment of PC Pearman, whose untimely end we recorded last week. Doubtless a portion were attracted by that morbid curiosity that attends events of sensational character, but by far and away the major portion were present to testify their respect for the deceased, and their sympathy with his family in their sore trial.

It is many years since an Inquest has been held in this district in which the verdict of a jury has met with such openly expressed disapprobation that the verdict in this case, the universal opinion being that the inquiry was held within unseemly short time after the event, only just over five hours elapsing between the time of tile tragedy and the meeting of the jury; also that Dr. Steele, who had been his medical adviser for some years, should have been called as a witness in the ease. It is also stated an open secret, that several of the jurymen did not know the meaning of the words felo-de-se and that one of the jurymen was hard of hearing. The simple explanation of the verdict is, that the communication from the Home Office, referred to by the Coroner, Mr. Grover, frightened the jury.

The funeral cortege left the house of the deceased in Chapel Street, Hemel Hempstead, shortly after three p.m. The procession was headed by a body of police, numbering thirty-seven, including officers; then followed the full strength of the Hemel Hempstead Fire Brigade, in complete uniform, after which came the funeral car conveying the coffin, upon which was placed the helmet and belt of the deceased Constable, completely surrounded with beautiful wreaths of natural flowers, the mourners following in four coaches. The police and firemen lined the pathway from the gates to the chapel used for the Church of England service. The service was conducted by the Rev. E. J. Gallop, vicar of St. Paul’s, Hemel Hempstead, who also read the prayers at the grave. Blinds were drawn in the shops in the town and houses of the residents on the route to the Cemetery.

Help For The Family.

Published on the 11th May 1895 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline The Late PC Pearman:
The Standing Joint Committee reported that the death of PC Thomas James Pearman took place on the 25th February, at Hemel Hempstead. This officer committed suicide under the pressure of acute pain from gout. The Coroner’s jury brought in a verdict of felo-de-se. The late PC Pearman joined the force on the 13th August 1870 and had therefore served twenty-five years at the time of his death. He left a widow, who had since died, and ten children. A gratuity not exceeding in the whole the amount of one month’s pay for every completed year of approved service of the deceased Constable was sanctioned by the scale under the Police Act, 1890. PC Pearman was an officer of excellent character, never having had a bad entry against his name during the whole period of his service. The committee, upon the recommendation the Chief Constable, had awarded a gratuity of £131 12s, being the full amount authorised by the Act, to the children of the deceased Constable.

Early Army Service.

Charles’ Army Service Record has not survived but from other sources it is known that he served with the 16th (Queen’s) Lancers and in all probability, shortly after the death of his parents, he enlisted for short service of seven years in the Colours and five in the Reserves. There is no trace of him in the census of 1901 suggesting he may have been abroad. There is a Private 4152 C. H. Pearman listed in the Medal Rolls of the 16th (Queen’s) Lancers who served in the Boer War and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps for Paardeberg, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and Relief of Kimberley and the Kings South Africa Medal with clasps 1901 and 1902. The record states he was apparently invalided home.

On his discharge from the Army Charles applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Charles’ Police Service Record has not survived but General Order 43 of the 24th September 1902 announced that PC Pearman 11 is appointed on 23/11 per week from the 18th September 1902. From the following it would seem that Charles was posted to E Division at Hitchin. He would have under gone his Probationer training under the guidance of a senior experienced Constable whilst under the supervision of the Divisional Superintendent.


Charles married Janet Elizabeth Reader on the 17th March 1903 at Tring. Charles is shown as living in Hitchin. They had three children:
1. Jack born in 1904 at Hitchin Police Station. Served with the Hertfordshire Constabulary between 3rd March 1927 and 19th September 1956 and retired as Sergeant 113.
2. Thomas Charles born in 1905 at Hitchin Police Station.
3. Elsie Dora born in 1907 at Chipping.

General Order 13 of the 11th May 1903 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Inspector, an Acting Sergeant and eight Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Harpenden Races on Saturday 23rd May 1903. A PC Boldon in plain clothes at the stables of the Cock Inn was to look after the Constabulary horses and stables generally during the day of the Races.

General Order 24 of the 2nd June 1903 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from the 14th May 1903.

Change Of Role.

General Order 28 of the 22nd June 1903 informed Charles that, as soon as the Superintendent could arrange it, he was to be the Constable Groom at Hitchin and would now reside in the Police Station and that he was to be transferred from the Mounted Reserve to the ordinary Mounted Police.

The Assizes.

General Order 45 of the 12th November 1903 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Monday 16th November 1903 as Judges Escort at an hour to be stated by Supt. Foster in due course. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn and Serge Jackets.

General Order 3 of the 3rd February 1904 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on 6th February 1904 as Judges Escort at an hour to be stated by Supt. Foster in due course. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn and Serge Jackets.

Parliamentary Bye Election.

General Order 4 of the 6th February 1904 gave instructions to dozens of Police Officers regarding the policing of the Parliamentary Bye Election for Mid Herts on Friday 12th February 1904. Included in this was a mounted detachment of one Superintendent, an Inspector, two Sergeants and seventeen Constables. Charles was allocated a horse called Erith and detailed for duty at St. Albans. The Mounted Party in St. Albans were told to arrive at St. Albans at 12 noon and put up their horses at the Bell Inn Stables and Mr Reynolds Veterinary Stables in Chequer Street respectively and that they would be under the orders of Supt. Duke.

General Order 27 of the 17th October 1904 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 25/8 to 26/10 per week from the 29th September 1904.

The Assizes.

General Order 5 of the 27th January 1905 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on 4th February 1905 as Judges Escort at an hour to be stated by Supt. Foster in due course. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn and Serge Jackets.


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 Assizes.

General Order 21 of the 12th June 1905 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Friday 23rd June 1905 as Judges Escort at an hour to be stated by Supt. Foster in due course. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn and Serge Jackets.

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 Charles who rode the Hitchin horse for the whole period of the elections.

On Wednesday, the 17th January Charles was one of 14 Mounted Officers on duty in St. Albans. The following day he was one of 19 Mounted Officers on duty in St. Albans. On Friday 19th January he was one of 19 Mounted Officers on duty in Hertford.

On Monday, the 22nd the whole mounted Police Force in Hertford marched from Hertford to Watford or Hemel Hempstead as ordered. On Tuesday 23rd January he was one of 19 Mounted Officers on duty in Watford.

On the morning of the 25th, all of the Mounted Police were told to proceed from Watford to Hitchin by rail with horse boxes being arranged. He was one of the Mounted Officers on duty in Hitchin or elsewhere in the Division on the 26th January.

The Assizes.

General Order 2 of the 3rd February 1906 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Charles, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on 7th February 1906 as Judges Escort at an hour to be stated by Supt. Foster in due course. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn.


General Order 4 of the 8th February 1906 instructed Charles that he would be transferred as soon as possible from E Division at Hitchin to A Division at Chipping. The Electoral Rolls of 1907 to 1910 record Charles Henry Pearman as living at Chipping.

General Order 27 of the 17th October 1907 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 26/10 to 28/- per week from the 26th September 1907.


General Order 26 of the 13th July 1910 instructed Charles that he would be transferred on a date to be arranged by the Superintendent concerned from A Division at Chipping to A Division at Anstey.

General Order 36 of the 15th October 1910 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 28/- to 29/- per week from the 22nd September 1910.

During the 1911 census records Police Constable Charles Pearman, his wife and three children and a nephew were living at Anstey near Buntingford and the Electoral Roll of 1912 lists Charles Henry Pearman as living at Cheapside, Anstey.


The record has not survived but from the following newspaper articles and Orders Charles was clearly transferred at some time between 1912 and 1914 from A Division at Anstey to A Division at Wormley. In addition, the Electoral Rolls of 1914 to 1924 list Charles Henry Pearman as living at 3, Myddleton Cottages, Wormley.

A Gruesome Sudden Death.

Published on the 24th October 1914 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
On Friday, at the Woodman Inn in Wormley, an Inquest was held on Edward Hopkins (80), who lived in Wormley Wood, and had been found burnt to death on Wednesday of the previous week. Martha Derbridge, of Waltham Cross, stated that the deceased was her uncle. He was a fern seller and lived in a little hut in Wormley Wood. She had not seen him for two or three years, but he was in good health as far as she knew. Albert Rudd, of Wormley Wood, a schoolboy, said that he knew Hopkins well, and had seen him on Tuesday, October 13th, at 5pm, sitting beside his fire. He spoke to him, and he had said that he was alright. The old man was sitting on a bucket, leaning over the fire, which was burning brightly. Wallace James Rudd, father of the previous witness, said that he was in the habit of calling on the deceased night and morning. When he had called at 5.45 a.m. on Wednesday, 14th October, he got no answer and, on going to see what was up, found the old man burnt to death. He was lying face downwards over where the fire had been. Police Constable Pearman stated that when he went to the wood, he found the deceased lying face downwards with his hands burnt off to the wrists.
Dr. G. Smith Ward described the injuries sustained by the deceased. The stomach was burnt through and the hands were burnt off. He thought the old man must have had an apoplectic fit and had fallen over the fire. There were signs of apoplexy. The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had died from burns accidentally sustained following upon an apoplectic fit.

Theft Of Wood.

Published on the 19th December 1914 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
Mary Ann Clark (38) and Emma Wheeler (46), both of Wormley, were charged with stealing a quantity of wood, value 3 shillings, the property of Tom Goodwin, of Wormley, on 18th November. Alfred George Barker, of Wormley Bury Farm, a shepherd, said that at 4.30 in the afternoon he was cycling up from the common and, when near Pound Hill Close, he saw the defendants walking down the road, each wheeling a truck of wood. The witness did not know what sort of wood it was. The Clerk reminded the witness that he had signed a Statement giving a description of the wood, but Barker insisted that he could not say from what tree the wood was taken.

Police Constable Pearman said that he called at Mrs. Clark’s house on the 25th November and found both of the defendants there. The witness told them that he was making enquiries about some elm wood that had been stolen from a wood near Pound Hill Close. The defendants replied, “We did go to the wood you describe on Wednesday the 18th, but we only had some chips”. The witness searched the house but found no wood. Tom Goodwin, of Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, who trades in wood, said that he had bought a quantity on 16th November. It was elm wood, felled and heaped. On 26th November, he found that about 2 cartloads of this wood, to the value of 7s 6d each, were missing. The Clerk said “The witness did not suggest that the defendants had stolen two cartloads. He did not know what amount of wood could be placed in a ‘truck’.

Barker, recalled, said that he did not get off his bicycle so he could not therefore state how much wood the defendants had in their possession. The ‘trucks’ appeared to be Tate sugar boxes on wheels. Goodwin, continuing, said that two such boxes might possibly contain 4s worth of wood. The witness added, “I do not wish to press the charge. I know they are poor women”. Mr. Jessop, the Clerk, said, however, sharply “It is the same story every time. People institute proceedings and then when they appear say that they do not wish to press the charge. Their only care is to throw the responsibility on to someone else”. Mrs. Clark said that the wood consisted of a few little chips, and that they had no logs. The utmost value of the chips would be 6d. Mrs. Wheeler said that a few days after Constable Pearman’s visit, she saw Mr. Barker who told her to keep quiet and that no more would then be heard of the matter. The Chairman said that the Bench were convinced that the defendants had taken wood that did not belong to them and that they would each be fined half a crown or sent to prison for 5 days.

Isabel Gardiner (42), also of Wormley, was charged with a similar offence on 21st November, the value of the wood being placed at 2 shillings. Constable Pearman said that he went to see Mrs. Gardiner at her cottage and in reply to his enquiry respecting missing wood, she replied “Yes, I have some at the back of the house”. The witness took possession of the bags (produced) and the defendant said, “I have been twice to the wood”. Tom Goodwin said that he was shown the wood (produced) on 26th November and identified the logs as his property. This defendant was fined half a crown or 5 days.

Operating A Carriage Without A Licence.

Published on the 10th April 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
At Cheshunt Petty Sessions, George Vincent, of Wormley West End, butcher, was summoned for keeping a carriage without a licence during 1914. PC Pearman proved that in July 1914, he saw the defendant in possession of a trap, in respect of which he had no licence. He also saw him on other dates driving people about in the trap. Supt. Handley proved that in December last he saw the defendant, who said he had no licence, and that he only took some men to Broxbourne station on Saturdays. He had since taken out a licence for this year, but not for 1914. Fined 19s. 6d. or 14 days.

Theft Of A Diamond Ring.

Published on the 11th September 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
At Cheshunt Petty Sessions Edith Judd, aged 14, of High Road, Wormley, was charged with stealing a diamond ring, value £40, on July 15, the property of Clara Tongue. Arthur R. Tongue, of Manor Farm, Wormley, farmer, said that on August 21 he missed the diamond ring (produced) from the jewel drawer in a dressing table in his mother’s bedroom. He had last seen the ring some weeks previously. He spoke to the defendant, who had been in his employ as a day girl, about the loss, and she ultimately said: ‘I took it and was going to take it home and show it to my grandmother and bring it back the next day. I had a hole in my pocket, and I lost it on the way home.’ The ring belonged to his mother and was valued at £40.

PC Pearman, of Wormley, deposed to seeing the defendant respecting the ring. She said: ‘I did take it. About a month ago I was dusting a bedroom and in a drawer of the dressing table I saw the ring in a case, which I took to show my grandmother. I had a hole in my pocket, and I lost it on the way.’ The witness told her he was not satisfied with her story, and she said: ‘You will have to go a long way for it. I gave it to a man named Walter, a bargeman, when we went on a Sunday School treat to Rye House. The ring dropped out of my handkerchief, and he said if I didn’t give it to him, he would throw my hat in the water.’

Walter Goodey, of Walton Road, Ware, a barge builder, stated that on July 15 he was on a barge, and took some children from Cheshunt to Rye House. The defendant spoke to him at Rye House and he noticed she had two rings on her finger, and he asked her if she got them from a 6d. bazaar. She replied that the rings were not any good, and he asked her to give him one of them. She said: ‘If you can get it off you can have it.’ He tried but could not get the ring off. On the return journey to Cheshunt she took the ring (produced) off her finger and gave it to him. When he got home, he gave it to his wife, who wore it for some time. The Clerk (Mr F. C. E. Jessop): ‘She evidently did not know what a valuable present you were giving her.’ (Laughter) The witness added that his wife took the ring to a jeweller’s, and on ascertaining the value he gave the ring up to his master and it was eventually handed to the police.

Supt Handley deposed to receiving the ring from the employer of the last witness. The defendant pleaded guilty and said she did not know the value of the ring when she took it. The defendant’s grandfather said he was very sorry for what had happened. The defendant had always been a very good girl. The probation Officer (Mr. H. J. Andrews) said he was willing to keep an eye on the girl, and if necessary, to find a home in which she might be placed. The case was adjourned for a fortnight to enable Mr. Andrews to do as he suggested.

Drunken Assault.

Published on the 12th August 1916 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
George Madsen, 26, of Cadmore Lane, Cheshunt, and Oscar Andersen, 32, of Turners Hill, Cheshunt, both tomato growers, were charged with being drunk and disorderly at Wormley at 10:30pm on 30th July, and further with assaulting PC Pearman and Special Constables Cossey and Kemsey. PC Pearman said that when on duty in Wormley at 10.30 p.m. on 30th July, he had seen the two defendants cycling towards him from the direction of Broxbourne. As they had no lights, he called on them to stop. He then saw that they were drunk. Andersen rode by him on one side and Madsen, who tried to pass him on the other side, fell off his bike when it hit the kerb. When asked for his name and address, Madsen said that he was a German, he took off his coat, and then struck the Constable in the chest. At the same time, Andersen returned and proceeded to kick the Constable on the leg.

The Constable closed with the pair whilst at the same time calling for the assistance of the two Special Constables, Cossey and Kemsey. With their help, he forced the two defendants to the ground. Andersen struck Cossey in the face, giving him a black eye, and Madsen kicked him. Kemsey was also struck, and there was much difficulty in handcuffing the two men. A conveyance was obtained and, whilst being driven to Hoddesdon, Andersen slipped his cuffs, opened the door of the conveyance, and tried to get out saying that he would jump into the New River. It was only with much difficulty that the men were kept inside the conveyance. PC Pearman had to handcuff both of Madsen’s hands and then sit on him. Madsen said, “That is your British pluck, you English cur. I will stick you to the ground”. Both prisoners were very violent all the way to the police station.

Andersen, who spoke through an interpreter, said that he had been so drunk that he hadn’t remembered anything about the assault, but corroborative evidence was given by the two Special Constables. Andersen, in his defence, said that he and Madsen had had some drink and had then cycled to Wormley where they had each had two more glasses of beer, but he could not understand how such a small quantity had gone to his head. The Chairman said that perhaps the beer was rather strong in Wormley (there was much laughter in court!). Madsen said that he didn’t know whether he had been fighting a policeman or a lamppost (there was much more laughter in court!) He said that he had been absolutely lost when he had fallen off his bicycle, but that he was sorry for what had happened. Each prisoner was fined £2 or 25 days for the assaults, and 10 shillings or 7 days for the drunkenness. In addition, they were ordered jointly to pay 5 shillings for the hire of the conveyance.

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 19 of 21st February 1917 was entitled 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.

Charles’ 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 Charles had the consent of the Chief Constable then this supports the belief that he was a Section B Reservist.

From his Medal Roll Index Card, Medal Roll and the Silver War Badge Roll we know that Charles H. Pearman enlisted on the 1st March 1917 as Lance Corporal P/8281 in the Military Mounted Police. He landed in France on the 3rd April 1917 and served there until the 1st June 1918. He was Discharged from the Army on the 4th July 1918 under King’s Regulation 392 (xvi) Army Order 265 Sec. B. in that he was no longer physically fit for war service. He was 44 years old on his discharge. As well as his Silver War Badge, number 422274 issued on the 4th July 1918, he was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Charles’ Army Service number was P/8281, Constable Arthur Smith was P/8197 and Constable’s Archibald Burns, Thomas Stroud and Francis Bolter had consecutive Army Service numbers of P/8282 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 Charles 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 58 of the 2nd July 1918 announced that Charles having been discharged from the Army was re-appointed to the Force as PC 11 C.H. Pearman on the 5th July 1918 to A Division at Wormley on £1/10/11 per week.

General Order 61 of the 5th July 1918 was entitled The Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 The Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and stated that consequent on the release from the Army and re-appointment in the Force of Police Constable 11 Pearman and in order to comply with Government requirements, PC 294 Wise B. J. D Division Hemel Hempstead will be released for military service on 18th July 1918. In accordance with the resolution of the Standing Joint Committee dated 5th January 1917 the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent to Police Constable Wise to enlist in H M Army. Police Constable Wise is granted leave of absence from 11th to 17th July 1918 inclusive and will be paid up to an including 17th July 1918.

Good Conduct Badge.

General Order 78 of the 11th August 1918 announced that Charles had been awarded his 1st Good Conduct Badge on the 5th July 1918, which carried with it a 1d per day Good Conduct pay.

General Order 213 of the 17th October 1919 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/10/0 to £4/12/6 per week from the 6th October 1919.


General Order 1 of the 2nd January 1924 instructed Charles that from the 14th January 1924 he was being transferred from B Division at Wormley to C Division at Garston, to occupy a cottage being vacated by Constable 178 Lilley. In fact, owing to the inclement weather the move finally took place on the 11th February 1924.

General Order 168 of the 25th October 1924 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/12/6 to £4/15/0 per week from the 18th September 1924.

The Electoral Rolls of 1925 to 1927 list Charles and Janet Pearman as living at the Police Cottage, St. Albans Road, Garston, Watford.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Charles retired as a Constable on the 17th September 1927 on pension having completed his twenty-five years’ service.

The Electoral Rolls of 1928 to 1930 record Charles and Janet Pearman as living at either Oak Lodge, Mount Pleasant Lane, Bricket Wood or Gardeners Cottage Garston Lodge, Garston.

The 1939 Register lists retired Policeman Charles Pearman and Janet Pearman as living at Bridgend, Watford Road, St. Albans.

Charles Henry Pearman of 399, Watford Road, St. Albans died on the 19th January 1951. Probate was granted to Jack Pearman Police Sergeant.

Published on the 26th January 1951 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
Seventy-four years’ service with the Herts Constabulary by three generations of the Pearman family, are recalled by the death on Friday at 399, Watford Road, St. Albans, of Mr Charles Henry Pearman. Aged 76 years, Mr Pearman was the son of a policeman and the father of a policeman. He joined the Herts Police in 1902 after service with the 16th Lancers. While stationed at Hatfield he was a mounted policeman and trained horses for the force in a field on which now stands the Magistrates’ Court. For 12 years until 1923, he was stationed at Wormley. He retired in 1927 after 25 years’ service. His father, the late Mr. Thomas Pearman, also served 25 years as a Constable with the force. He died in 1895 while still serving. Mr C.H. Pearman’s son, Sergt. Jack Pearman joined the Constabulary six months before his father’s retirement in 1927 and has completed 24 years’ service. He is stationed at Herts Police Headquarters, Hatfield, and lives at Hertford Heath.
Mr Pearman leaves two sons and a daughter.

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