Perry, Frederick William Edward, 121, Police Constable, Sergeant.

Paul Watts with thanks to Nigel Beeton

Frederick William Edward Perry 1915
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

Frederick William Edward Perry was born on the 1st October 1887 at Springfield, Essex.

His father, Frederick William Perry, served as Police Sergeant 130 in the Hertford County Constabulary between the 17th October 1899 and the 16th October 1914. He married his mother, Charlotte Elizabeth Perry (a 2nd cousin) on the 25th November 1886 at Great Totham, Essex. They had six children:
1. Frederick.
2. Arthur Stanley born in 1889 at Springfield, He was an Able Seaman Royal Navy pre WW1 and then Ship’s Corporal ( Naval Police) in WW1 he also served in the Metropolitan Police as a Constable.
3. Dorothy Elizabeth born in 1892 at Northchurch.
4. Harry born in 1893 at Hemel Hempstead.
5. Florence Lilian born in 1896 at Markyate.
6. Edward born in 1906 at Bishops Stortford.

During the 1891 census the family were recorded as living at New Road, Northchurch, Berkhamsted. By the time of the 1901 census they had moved and were living at 6, Christchurch Road, Hemel Hempstead.

The 1905 Electoral Roll lists Frederick William Perry as still living at 6, Christchurch Road, Hemel Hempstead but the 1906 to 1908 Electoral Rolls record him as living at Pleasant Road, Bishops Stortford.

Early Army Service.

Frederick’s early Army Service Record has not survived but from his Police Service Record we know that from the age of 17 years he was a member of the 1st (Hertfordshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment. He served for 3 years being discharged in December 1907.

During this period, he was employed as a motor driver for the Bishops Stortford Gas Company. Clearly though he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, and he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

His Service Record or Form 3 Record Sheet contains the following information:
Age on joining: 20 9/12 years. Place and date of Birth: Springfield Chelmsford 1st October 1887. Height: 5 feet 9 ¾ inches. Chest: 36 inches. Complexion: Fresh. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Light brown.
He stated that he could both ride a pedal cycle and swim and gave his next of kin as his father Frederick Perry.
He was medically examined on the 2nd July 1908 and the Police Surgeon’s Certificate states: I hereby certify that I have examined the above candidate as to his health and bodily strength and consider him fit for the Constabulary of this County. Signed Lovell Drage Surgeon.

On the 10th July 1908 Frederick started his training at Hitchin Police Station on a salary of £1/1/7 per week. At this time all training was carried out on Divisions and not at Headquarters. He was Attested on the 12th August 1908 at Hitchin being approved and sworn in before: F. Delme Radcliffe J.P. and H.L. Salisbury Hughes J.P. at Hitchin.

In December 1908 he 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.

He was finally appointed on the 28th January 1909 as Police Constable 121 remaining at Hitchin. This was announced in General Order 5 of the 2nd February 1909 which said: PC Perry 121 E is appointed on 23/11 per week from 28th January 1909.

General Order 26 of the 18th August 1909 informed Frederick that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from 29th July 1909.


On the 9th October 1909 Frederick was transferred from E Division at Hitchin to C Division at Watford.

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 excerpt refers to Frederick.
Schedule B
Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Northern or Hitchin Division on Friday 21st January 1910.
Div.    Rank No.      Name               Station              Place for Duty
C        PC 121          Perry F W E      Watford            Hitchin
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
C       PC 121           Perry F W E      Watford             St. Albans
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
C         PC 121         Perry F W E      Watford              Watford

On the 9th February 1911 Frederick received a further increase of his pay to £1/6/10 per week.

During the 1911 census Frederick was listed as living at the Section House, Police Station, King Street, Watford whilst the rest of is family were living at 80, George Street, Sunnyside, Berkhamsted.

Transferred Again.

Being a single man, it was easier to move him, when the need occurred, than a married man with a family so on the 5th September 1911 Frederick found himself being moved again from C Division at Watford to A Division at Ware


Frederick was commended by the Chief Constable for stopping a runaway horse and brougham at Ware on 12th February 1912.

On the 1st October 1912 Frederick received another increase in his pay to £1/7/5 per week.

A Couple Of Minor Disciplinary Matters.

On the 4th December 1912 Frederick was disciplined by the Chief Constable for firstly omitting a conference point at 5 a.m. on the 30th October 1912 for which he was fined 5/- and secondly for visiting licensed premises while on duty for the purposes of obtaining liquor at 8.50 p.m. on the 28th November 1912 for which he was fined 10/-.

Frederick received two awards of pay, firstly from the 4th June 1913 it was increased to £1/8/- per week and then on the 28th January 1914 it was increased to £1/9/2 per week.

General Order 11 of the 17th January 1915 announced the result of the Examination for Promotion to the Rank of Police Sergeant which had been held at Hatfield on 5th December 1915. Frederick was one of twenty-five successful candidates listed.

General Order 32 of 27th February 1915 informed Frederick that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 29/2 to 29/9 per week from the 28th January 1915.


General Order 85 of 24th May 1915 announced two resignations:
The undermentioned Police Constables having submitted applications to resign their appointments as Constables in the Hertford County Constabulary for the purpose in enlisting in H.M. Army, the resignations are accepted to take effect on 26th May 1915:
PC 121 Perry F.W.E. A Division
PC 7 Capon A.G. F Division
Both Constables will be paid up to and including 26th May 1915 and shall be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.

Military Service During The War.

General Order 118 of the 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable, 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered for military service. Frederick is shown as PC 121 Perry F. A Division who enlisted in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on 27th May 1915.

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

Frederick’s Army Service Record has not survived but from his Medal Index Card, Medal Rolls and his later Royal Flying Corps Service Record we know the following:

He joined the 3/1 Hertfordshire Yeomanry as Private 2381. He landed with them in Egypt on 22nd October 1915. On the 13th February 1917 he transferred as Private M/204725 to the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC).

Whilst still in Egypt he then transferred as a Cadet Pilot in Training in the Royal Flying Corps which shortly afterwards became the Royal Air Force.

Service In The Royal Air Force.

The following is from the Royal Airforce Museum website:
In 1918 Cadets progressed through several phases to qualify for their Pilot’s Wings.
At the Cadet Wing pupils received basic military training during a two-month course which included drill, physical training, military law, map reading and signalling using Morse code.
Once completed they moved on to the School of Military Aeronautics to begin a two-month course of military training and ground instruction. The topics covered included aviation theory, navigation, map reading, wireless signalling using Morse code, photography and artillery and infantry co-operation. The students were also taught the working of aero engines and instruments and basic rigging.
The next phase involved flying at a Training Depot Stations (TDS). Cadets were expected to complete a minimum of 25 hours elementary flying training – both dual and solo – on Avro 504 aircraft logged over three months. Thorough ground instruction was also provided. This achieved, student pilots received the grade ‘A’.
Cadets remained at the same TDS for the second phase of their instruction. This two-month course included a further 35 hours flying time with a minimum of five hours on a modern ‘front-line’ type of aircraft. Student pilots also had to demonstrate proficiency in cross-country and formation flying, reconnaissance work and gunnery. Successful Cadets were graded ‘B’ and commissioned.
Students completed their training at specialist schools which taught them the skills they would need to survive in combat. The courses varied in length and content according to the operational role selected (e.g. fighter, army co-operation, bomber or maritime). On completion, student pilots were graded ‘C’ and permitted to wear their Pilot’s Wings.
In all, by 1918, it took about eleven months for an individual to qualify as a Pilot.
Frederick’s RAF Service Record has survived and shows the following:
On the 18th February 1918 Frederick was Commissioned as a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the Middle East South West Area. On the 26th March 1918 he was Appointed as a Flying Officer.

On the 29th May 1918 he was posted to No. 28 Training Squadron at Castle Bromwich and on the 18th June 1918, he arrived home.


Frederick married Elsie Kate King on the 18th July 1918 at Luton. They had three children:
1. Elsie Margaret born in 1919 at Hertford.
2. Anthony Robert born in 1921 at Hitchin.
3. David Edward born in 1924 at Hitchin.

He gave Elsie as his next of kin at an address of 50, High Street, Dunstable.

On the 4th August 1918 he joined No. 37 Training Depot Station (TDS). On the 19th October 1918 he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Chisledon, Wiltshire following an aero accident. He was discharged on the 29th October returning to No. 37 TDS.

On the 20th November 1918 he attended the Royal Navy College at Greenwich, possibly on a navigation course. On the 12th December 1918 he was posted to the HQ 7 (Training) Group undergoing instruction in flying the Avia.

On the 12th January 1919 he was posted to No. 36 TDS at Purfleet Dispersal Centre and the following day he was transferred to the unemployed list.

Frederick flew the following types of aircraft:
1. DH.6 – The Airco DH.6 was a British military trainer biplane used by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Known by various nicknames, including the “Clutching hand” and “Skyhook”.
2. Avro – the Avro 504 was used as a trainer in the First World War.
3. B.E.2c – The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 was a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane and the B.E.2c was a major redesign.
4. B.E.2e – was again a major redesign of the B.E.2.
5. Martinsyde – Martinsyde was a British aircraft manufacturer between 1908 and 1922 who manufactured several different types. Which type was flown by Frederick was not recorded.
6. R.E.8 – The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 was a British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War.

Frederick was awarded the 1914-15 Star (issued by the RASC) and the British War and Victory medals (issued by Air Ministry). He had applied on 26th August 1921 for the 1914-15 Star and at the time gave his home address as 5, Huntingdon Road, Stevenage, Herts.

Re-joining The Police.

Like every returning Serviceman Frederick would have been granted leave on his demobilisation and he would have used this time to arrange to re-join the Police. As part of this process he would have needed to have a Medical Examination to determine whether he was still fit enough for Police duties. Frederick was seen by the Force Surgeon on the 22nd January 1919.

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 121 Perry F.W. A Division at Hoddesdon from 30th January 1919 on £2/11/0 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. Frederick was re-attested on the 6th February 1919.

Frederick’s period of Military Service from 27th May 1915 to 29th January 1919 was allowed to count as Police Service for Pension purposes vide. the Standing Joint Committee Resolution No. 35 dated the 9th October 1914.

Promotion And A Transfer.

General Order 63 of the 6th March 1919 announced Frederick’s promotion to Acting Sergeant from the 6th March 1919 and an increase in his pay to £2/16/- per week.

General Order 73 of 18/03/1919 informed Frederick that following his promotion he was being transferred from A Division Hoddesdon to F Division Hertford on the 15th March 1919. There was obviously some cause for a delay as General Order 77 of 24th March 1919 repeated the order but amended the date to the 1st April 1919. The 1919 Electoral Roll records Frederick and Elsie Perry as living at 37, Ware Road, Hertford.

On the 1st April 1919 Frederick also received an increase in his pay to £5/-/- per week.

A year later General Order 49 of the 12th March 1920 confirmed that Frederick would be promoted to the substantive rank of Sergeant from the 6th March 1920.
The next General Order informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/2/0 to £5/2/6 per week from the same date.

Another Move And A New Role.

General Order 87 of the 12th May 1920 informed Frederick that on the 17th May 1920 he was being transferred from F Division at Hertford to C Division at Watford and to occupy the cottage vacated by PS 126 Prior at 10, Souldern Street, Watford. Then General Order 89 of the date announced that Frederick would assume the duties of Detective Sergeant at Watford, with effect from 18th May 1920, and be stationed at King Street Police Station.

Yet Another Move.

Frederick was transferred again on the 27th October 1920 from C Division at Watford to E Division at Stevenage. The Electoral Rolls of 1921 to 1923 list Frederick and Elsie Perry as living at 5, Huntingdon Road, Stevenage.

General Order 42 of the 21st March 1921 informed Frederick that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 per week from the 6th March 1921. On the 6th June 1921 Frederick attended a one week course of instruction for Sergeants held at Headquarters, Hatfield.

General Order 50 of the 14th April 1922 informed Frederick would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/5/0 to £5/7/6 per week from the 6th March 1922. The Electoral Rolls of 1923 to 1927 listed Frederick and Elsie Perry as living at 14, Walkern Road, Stevenage.

General Order 76 of the 21st April 1923 informed Frederick that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/7/6 to £5/10/0 per week from 6th March 1923. He received his final pay increment on the 6th March 1924 when he was awarded £5/12/6 per week.

On Monday 8th March 1926 Frederick attended another one week Refresher Course of instruction for Sergeants held at Headquarters, Hatfield.

The Last Moves.

On the 28th June 1927 Frederick was transferred from E Division at Stevenage to A Division at Much Hadham. The 1928 to 1930 Electoral Rolls record Frederick and Elsie Perry as living at the Police Station, Much Hadham.

Then on the 23rd November 1931 Frederick was transferred for the final time from A Division Much Hadham to E Division at Hitchin.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

On the 27th January 1934 Frederick retired on pension on completion of his 25 years’ service receiving £181/17/- per annum.

In the 1939 Register Frederick, a County Court Bailiff and retired Police Sergeant, Elsie and their children are listed as living at 106, Bedford Road, Hitchin. His Service Record also shows that from the 15th October 1956 they were living at 112, High Street, Henlow.

Frederick William Edward Perry of The Birches, 44, Hitchin Road, Shefford, Beds. died on the 7th September 1978.

This page was added on 22/03/2020.

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  • Hi Nicholas,
    I happened to see this also when researching the Perry family tree. Fred (nickname Billy) was my great uncle, brother of Robert (Bob) Perry.
    It would be lovely to connect and search more of our family history. I can be found on LinkedIn / Facebook with the same name, located now in Australia.

    By Lee Garwood (19/02/2023)
  • It was fascinating to read this potted history of my grandfather, Fred Perry.

    Nicholas Perry

    By Nicholas Perry (09/07/2020)