Ernest Pond was born on the 27th October 1888 at Wandsworth and baptised on the 29th July 1894 at St. Faith, Wandsworth.
His father, Joseph Pond, married his mother, Mary Ann Harriet Lawrence in 1874 at Norwich. They had 15 children five of whom died prior to the 1911 census. The children were:
1. Joseph born in 1874 at Norwich.
2. Florence born in 1876 at Wandsworth.
3. Ellen born in 1878 and died in 1880 at Wandsworth.
4. Elizabeth born in 1880 at Wandsworth.
5. William born in 1882 at Wandsworth.
6. Wright born in 1884 at Wandsworth.
7. Alfred George born in 1886 at Wandsworth.
8. Charles and George (twins) born in 1887 at Wandsworth.
10. Rose born and died in 1891 at Wandsworth.
11. Arthur born and died in 1892 at Wandsworth.
12. Maud Ellen born in 1894 at Wandsworth.
13. John born and died in 1896 at Wandsworth.
14. Edith born in 1898 at Wandsworth.
During the 1891 census the family were living at 69, Warple Way, Wandsworth and Joseph was employed as a general labourer. By the time of the 1901 census they had moved to 31, Eltringham Street, Wandsworth and Joseph was still employed as a general labourer.
In the 1911 census the family were now living at 39, Ballantine Street, Wandsworth. Joseph was described as a pensioner and labourer. Only Maud and Edith were still at home Ernest had moved out and joined the Army.
Early Army Service.
Only his early Army Service record survives when on 11th November 1904 he enlisted in the Militia for 6 years as Private 4160 in the 4th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment.
The following information was recorded:
He stated he had been born in Wandsworth, London, his age was 18 years 1 month, his address was 31, Eltringham Street, Wandsworth, London, he was employed as a Porter by a Mr J. Nicholls 57a, New Kings Road, Fulham, Middlesex. He said he was not an apprentice, that he was not married, had no children, had never been sentenced to imprisonment and had never previously been in the Military.
He was medically examined at Kingston Upon Thames on 11th November 1904 and the following recorded:
Apparent age: 18 years, Height: 5 feet 8 ¼ inches, Weight: 124 lbs, Chest 34 ½ inches – expansion 2 inches, Complexion: fresh, Eyes: Blue, Hair: Dark brown, Identifying marks: Tattoo right forearm “Soldier Highlander”. His religion was Church of England.
He gave details of his next of kin as his father Joseph Pond, 31, Eltringham Street Wandsworth.
His Statement of Services shows that having enlisted on 11th November 1904 he served 49 days but then, contradictorily, shows that on 1st December 1904 he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery.
From other sources we know he signed up for short service of 12 years, with three years in the Colours and 9 in the Reserves. He served his 3 years as Gunner 21544 in the 8th Company, Royal Garrison Artillery and went into the Army Reserve on the 1st December 1907.
Little is known about what he did for the next three years but it is believed that he worked as a Carpet Cleaner before eventually joining the Police.
His Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know that Ernest started his Probationary Training in C Division at Watford on the 24th October 1910 At this time all training was carried out on Divisions as opposed to at Headquarters. He was Appointed as Constable 6 on 9th February 1911 and posted t to G Division at Harpenden.
In the 1911 census Ernest is recorded as lodging at High Street, Harpenden with the Bricknell family.
On the 1st November 1913 Ernest was transferred from G Division at Harpenden back to C Division at Watford.
Ernest married Florence Ada Norman in 1914 at Bedford. They had four children Ernest N. born and died in 1915 at Bedford, Douglas E. born in 1916 at Royston, Mary E. born 1921 at Hertford and Margaret J. born in 1929 at Watford.
There is no surviving record but as the following General Order shows Ernest in E Division and the press cutting states he was at Royston then, in all likelihood, he was posted to Royston shortly after his marriage.
General Order 118 of 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. Ernest is shown as PC 6 Pond E. E Division recalled to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 4th August 1914.
Army Service During The War.
Published on the 19th June 1915 in the Herts Advertiser:
Police Constables With The Colours
Three Harpenden police officers, viz: Pc’s Neville J. Reid, Hermon Rowlingson and Frank Potton have joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry. Another police officer from Harpenden who is with the colours is PC Wright, Grenadier Guards, who has been wounded. In addition, the following Hertfordshire constables who were formerly stationed at Harpenden are with the forces: PC Pond, R.G.A. joined from Royston, PC Ward, R.G.A. joined from Tring, PC Whippe, drill instructor at Bedford, joined from Hitchin district, PC Ernest F. Hawthorn, of Wheathampstead has also enlisted.
Ernest’s Medal Index Roll Card and Medal Rolls show that he landed in France on 10th August 1914 as Gunner 21544 with The Royal Garrison Artillery attached to 12th General Hospital. Records show that the 12th General Hospital was based in Rouen from 17th September 1914 until January 1919 although it was taken over by the American Army in June 1917. He was awarded the 1914 Star and the British War and Victory medals.
In the War Office Daily List No.5710 published on the 31st October 1918 Gunner 21544 E. Pond, Royal Garrison Artillery was shown as having been wounded. He was therefore entitled to wear a “Wound Stripe” as authorised under Army Order 204 of the 6th July 1916. The terms of this award having been met by his being named on this list.
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. Frederick was shown as:
PC 265 Pond E. E Division at Royston from 23rd January 1919 on £2/10/0 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.
Something of note in this Order is the change in his Warrant or Collar Number from 6 to 265. Prior to the outbreak of war, it was fairly common to issue the same Warrant Number to more than one individual providing they were posted to different Divisions so that the Divisional letter would differentiate between them. No record of an Order instructing that this should end and that Warrant Numbers should become unique has been found, but it was obviously issued simply by the fact of the number of returning Constables who were not given their old number, as someone else was already using it, and were issued with a new one.
In the Electoral rolls of 1919 and 1920 Ernest and Florence are listed as living at Kneesworth Street, Royston.
General Order 75 of the 21st March 1919 and General Order 31 of 12th February 1920 informed Ernest that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £2/10/0 to £2/11//0 per week from the 9th February 1919 and from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 9th February 1920 respectively.
The record is missing but Ernest must have been transferred from E Division at Royston to E Division at Bennington as the Electoral Rolls of 1921 to 1929 record Ernest and Florence as living at Stoopers Hill, Bennington. Stoopers Hill is no longer in use as a road name but it is believed to be what is now Town Lane.
General Order 23 of 14th February 1921 informed Ernest that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 9th February 1921.
General Order 62 of the 4th May 1926 announced that due to the General Strike The Emergency Regulations 1926 had been created and issued instructions for Superintendents:
The Following members of your respective Divisions will be warned individually by you that should the County Force be called upon by the Secretary of State under Regulations No. 26 and 27 to draft men elsewhere, they must be ready to proceed at short notice. Orders for equipment and clothing will be issued if and when necessary, but it will be well if the men recognize that they will require some sort of haversack. In all 72 Officers were named including PC 265 E. Pond of E Division, Bennington.
General Order 117 of 29th August 1926 concerned the Emergency Regulations 1926 and instructions for 50 Hertfordshire Police Officers to be on standby should the Secretary of State call upon the County Force to draft men elsewhere. The first 20 named would be required to proceed at 8 hours’ notice or less. These included officers from A,B,C and D Divisions and it would appear to qualify to be amongst the 20 you needed to have a motor bicycle available. Ernest was named amongst the 20 as he had a motor bicycle
General Order 140 of the 18th October 1926 declared that under the Emergency Regulations 1926 a detachment of the Hertford County Constabulary, consisting of an Inspector, three Sergeants and 36 Constables, was detailed for duty in the County of Derby as from 19th October 1926. Ernest was one of the Constables sent. Their orders were:
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 the 14th November 1926 reported:
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.
On the 20th August 1927 Ernest faced a charge of discreditable conduct in that at Knebworth on 1st August 1927 he did act in a manner likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the Force when interviewing the driver of a motor car to wit Mr. Reginald George Mundy. The Chief Constable dismissed the case due to Mr. Mundy not appearing.
Ernest retired as a Constable on pension on the 8th February 1936 having completed his 25 years’ service.
In the 1939 Register Ernest, who is shown as a Police Pensioner, and Florence are listed as living at 66, Bushey Grove Road, Bushey.
Ernest of 66, Bushey Grove Road, Bushey died on 21st March 1977 at Dacorum.