George Isaac William Kimpton was born on the 11th January 1894 at Aspenden and baptised there on the 1st April 1894.
His father, Allen Kimpton an agricultural labourer and a licensed victualler, married his mother, Kezia Ann Pett, although she was known as Ann. They had five children of whom one sadly died before the 1911 census:
- Rosa Mary born in 1878 at Buntingford.
- Louis Alef Pett born in 1888 and died in 1889 at Aspenden.
- Allen Charles Edward born in 1888 at Aspenden.
- Elizabeth Annie born in 1892 at Aspenden.
- George Isaac William.
During the 1881 census the family were living at the White Hart Public House, Aspenden and they were still in the village in the 1891 census. By the 1901 census they had moved and were now living at the Windmill Public House, Layston, Buntingford. George’s father died in 1905 at Layston. At the time of the 1911 census the family were living at Baldock Street, Layston and George was employed as a farm labourer.
Little is known about George’s life over the next three years except that he was employed as a Carman for a Mrs. Smith of Buntingford. Then he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.
As part of the process of applying to join the Police George underwent a medical examination on the 10th August 1914 by the Force Surgeon at Police Headquarters at Hatfield, to ensure he was fit enough for Police duties. He would also have been interviewed and then told to wait for a date of Appointment.
George’s Hertford County Constabulary Form 3 Police Service Record has survived and shows the following: He said he was born on the 11th January 1894 at Aspenden, his height was 5 feet 8 ¾ inches, his chest 35 ½ -37 ½ inches, complexion fresh, eyes brown, hair dark brown and he had tattoos on both forearms. He said he could ride a pedal cycle but could not swim. He gave his next of kin as his mother Ann Kimpton and later his wife Kate Kimpton.
George was Appointed as Constable 331 on the 12th October 1914 and started his Probationer training at Police Headquarters on £1/4/6 per week. On his 21st birthday on the 11th January 1915 his pensionable service commenced. He was Attested on the 20th January 1915 and on completion of his training he was taken on to the Roll and posted to a Division.
General Order 14 of 21st January 1915 confirmed George’s posting by announcing that he was one of 22 Recruit Constables who had been brought on the Roster for duty and were being transferred from Headquarters. He was shown as PC 331 Kimpton G. posted to C Division at Watford from the 22nd January 1915.
In May 1915 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.
General Order 139 of the 9th September 1915 announced the following: Police Constable 331 George Kimpton C Division having submitted an application to resign his appointment as a Constable in the Hertford County Constabulary, the resignation is accepted to take effect on 4th October 1915. Police Constable Kimpton will be paid up to and including 4th October 1915 and will be struck off the strength of the establishment as from that date.
There was no reference that he had left to join the Military or whether he had the consent of the Chief Constable to do so, a factor critical as to whether any Military service would count towards his Police pensionable service.
Army Service During The War.
George’s Army Service Record has not survived but some details were recorded in his Police Service Record, the National Roll of Honour and his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll so we know he enlisted on the 11th October 1915 as Lance Corporal P/2139 in the Military Mounted Police.
Two other Watford Police Constables, PC 162 Hunt and PC 323 Cook had resigned a few days before George and also enlisted in the Military Mounted Police as Lance Corporals P/2127 and P/2128, respectively.
His Police Service Record shows that he served on the Western Front as part of the British Expeditionary Force between the 2nd June 1916 and the 1st April 1920, whereas his Medal Roll says between the 2nd June 1916 and the 11th November 1919. This is clearly only an administrative date as many of the Hertfordshire Police soldiers who were in the Military Police have the same date, yet they all served for much longer.
Mention In Despatches.
George was Mentioned in Despatches as follows: Military Mounted Police 2139 Lance Corporal G.I.W. Kimpton was mentioned in a Despatch from Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE dated 16th March 1919, for gallant and distinguished services in the Field, I have it in command from the King to record His Majesty’s high appreciation of the services rendered. (signed) Winston Churchill Secretary of State for War. War Office, Whitehall S.W. 1st July 1919.
As well as the Certificate George was awarded an oak leaf device which was worn on the ribbon of his campaign medal.
After having served 4 years 6 months George was discharged as a Sergeant on the 21st April 1920.
George submitted an entry for the National Roll of Honour which reads: Kimpton, G. Sergeant Military Mounted Police. Volunteering in October 1915, he was drafted to the Western Front in June the following year, and served in various engagements, including those at the Somme and at Arras, Cambrai, Armentieres and Mount Kemmel. He was demobilised in April 1920 and holds the General Service and Victory medals. 1, Primrose Cottages, Hatfield.
Despite serving until 1920 George was back in the UK in May 1919 as he got married.
George married Kate Winifred Greenham on the 24th May 1919 at Christ Church Chelsea. George was recorded as a Corporal in the Military Mounted Police living at 1 Baldock Road, Buntingford. They had four children:
- Vera Mabel born in 1921 at Watford.
- Betty Joan born in 1923 at Watford.
- Jean W. born in 1926 at Watford.
- Michael John born in 1928 and died in 1938 at Hemel Hempstead.
George was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Like every other soldier George 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 underwent a Medical Examination on the 21st April 1920 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 70 of the 23rd April 1920 announced that George had been re-appointed to the Force. The entry read: The undermentioned having been released by H.M. Army, is re-appointed to the Force with effect from the date shown, inclusive: PC Kimpton G.I.W. R Division Headquarters 22nd April 1920 on £4/0/0 per week.
George was the last Hertfordshire Police Soldier to be discharged by the Army who then re-joined the Force. Having been away for 4 years 6 months the Chief Constable probably decided that he should undergo Probationer training again.
General Order 95 of the 20th May 1920 announced that George was one of six recruits to have completed their training and he was taken on the Roster for duty and transferred from Headquarters to C Division at Watford from the 19th May.
On the 21st May 1920 he was re-attested. The 1921 to 1927 Electoral Rolls list George and Kate Kimpton as living at 54, Cardiff Road, Watford.
General Order 174 of the 20th October 1921 and General Order 135 of the 25th October 1922 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 12th October 1921 and from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 12th October 1922, respectively.
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. George was to be on duty on a hired horse at Watford.
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 72 of the 19th April 1923 detailed George 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 138 of the 3rd August 1923 instructed George and a PC Briden to be on duty at the Tring Agricultural Show being held at Tring Park on Thursday 9th August 1923 as follows: PC 199 Briden A Division and PC 331 Kimpton C Division will ride hired horses. PC Briden will proceed to Tring reporting at 7 p.m. on 8th August and PC Kimpton will proceed to Tring on the morning of the 9th August and report himself to Sergeant 229 Lee at Tring Police Station at 8 a.m. They will return to their respective stations after the Show is over.
General Order 183 of the 5th November 1923 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 12th October 1923.
Parliamentary Elections 1923.
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. George was to be on duty on a hired horse at Watford.
General Order 117 of the 1st August 1924 detailed George, as the previous year, to be one of two Mounted Officers to Police The Tring Agricultural Show which was being held at Tring Park on Thursday 7th August 1924.
General Order 168 of the 25th October 1924 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 12th October 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. George was to be on duty on a hired horse at Watford.
General Order 43 of the 1st March 1925 detailed George 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 George 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.
General Order 106 of the 25th July 1925 detailed George to be one of two Mounted Officers to Police The Tring Agricultural Show which was being held at Tring Park on Thursday 6th August 1925.
The General Strike.
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. George was one of the first twenty named as he had a motor bicycle. There is no record that George was ever mobilised.
George’s Police Service Record shows that on the 7th June 1927 he was transferred from C Division at Watford to D Division at Hemel Hempstead. The 1928 to 1930 Electoral Rolls record George and Kate Kimpton as living at 53, Bennetts End Lane, Hemel Hempstead.
The 1939 Register lists Police Constable George I.W. Kimpton and his family as living at 53, St. Albans Road, Hemel Hempstead.
George should have retired on the 11th October 1939 on the completion of his 25 years’ service but with the outbreak of World War Two he remained in the Force. He finally retired as a Constable due to ill health on the 11th November 1943.
George Isaac William Kimpton died on the 20th January 1972 at St. Paul’s Hospital, Hemel Hempstead. His funeral was held at 2.30 p.m. on Friday 28th January 1972 at St. Mary’s Church, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead.