Henry Camp

Police Constable 265 B

Paul Watts with thanks to Ian Curley and Brian Wingate

Henry Camp
The Herts and Essex Observer of 5th January 1918

Early Life.

Henry Camp was born on 5th May 1888 at Hertford and baptised on 24th June 1888 at Little Amwell. His father, also called Henry, was a Gardener who married his mother, Alice King, on 30th January 1881 at Hackney. They had six children 3 girls and 3 boys of which Henry was the second youngest. His older brother died aged 11 in 1894. The youngest, Arthur, went to sea and, as a Captain in the Merchant Navy, was awarded an OBE for bravery transporting food and supplies across the North Atlantic during WW2.

In the 1891 census the family are all living at Main Street, Hunsden but by the 1901 census they were living at Stanstead Lodge, Stanstead Abbotts. By the time of the 1911 census Henry had left home and his parents were now living at Filmer Cottage, Great Amwell, Ware.

Police Service.

Henry’s Police Service Record has not survived but from a number of General Orders we know the following.

General Order 27 of 19th July 1910 announced a number of pay rises and also the appointments of new Constables. One of these was PC 265 B Camp who was Appointed on the strength of the Force on 23/11 per week from 7th July 1910 inclusive. (Others mentioned in this order had pay rises which took effect from 30th June 1910 and whether erroneous or not it is this date which has been used for Henry Camp.)

General Order 43 of 5th December 1910 was a list of instructions regarding the visit of their Majesties the King and Queen to Brocket Park on 12th December 1910 and the following days. Amongst other officers, 2 Sergeants and 7 Constables were detailed at the disposal of Inspector Draper, for duty in the public ways, footpaths and roads surrounding the Park and with the Shooting Parties. PC 265 B Camp was one of these Constables. Those that were detailed to perform duty on the River Bridge and the public footpaths within the Park were instructed to keep people moving and were reminded that a right of way means a right of passage only and that no one had a right to stop on a right of way.

General Order 4 of 1st February 1911 announced a pay increase for a number of officers with effect from 12th January 1911 which included PC 265 B Camp whose pay went up from 23/11 to 25/8 per week. Pay increases were not automatic. Each officer had to apply for an increase, and this had to be supported by his Inspector and Superintendent until ultimately it was approved by the Chief Constable.

In the 1911 census Henry Camp, Police Constable was lodging at 27, Crown Terrace, Bishops Stortford with family by the name of Cocke.

General Order 46 of 17th July 1912 announced that PC 265 B Camp was awarded an increased rate of pay with effect as from 27th June 1912 from 25/8 to 26/10 per week.

General Order 125 of 29th July 1915 announced a further pay rise PC 265 B Camp this time from 28/0 to 29/2 per week from 30/06/1915. Clearly there had been another rise prior to this one but the record has not survived.

General Order 83 of 12th July 1916 announced that Order No/. 36 of 1914 regarding Bicycle Allowances was cancelled and a new one substituted. In it is recorded that PC 265 Camp of B Division stationed at High Wych would receive a Bicycle Allowance. This was keenly sort after by officers, particularly by those on detached beats such as High Wych, as they had to provide their own bicycle and the allowance, albeit a matter of a few extra pence per week, it went a long way towards the cost of maintaining it.

General Order 85 of 23rd July 1916 announced yet another pay rise for Henry Camp. This time from 29/2 to /29/9 per week from 30th June 1916. The fact that Henry was in regular receipt of pay increases and was working a detached beat is indicative that he was a respected officer who was carrying out his work well.

General Order 5 of 22nd January 1917 was entitled: “Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915. Enlistment in H M Forces. Reference Order No/. 148/1914 and Subsequent Orders on the Same Subject.”
It Stated:
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.
In accordance of the resolution of the Standing Committee dated 5th January 1917 the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent as required by the above Acts to the undermentioned Constables for the purpose of enlisting in H M Army.
1. PC 297 Kempthorne T.R. A Div Ware
2. PC 9 Emery A.C. A Div Ware
3. PC 139 Freeman A. A Div Hoddesdon
4. PC 265 Camp H. B Div High Wych
5. PC 299 Trussell H. B Div Bishops Stortford
6. PC 261 Wallen J. C Div Watford
7. PC 132 Wallman H. C Div Watford
8. PC 306 Hussey W.H. C Div Watford
9. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Div Watford
10. PC 320 Collett W.C. D Div Hemel Hempstead
11. PC 324 Bozeat W. D Div Great Berkhamsted
12. PC 266 Cripps W.P. E Div Baldock
13. PC 129 Burch S.G. E Div Stevenage
14. PC 300 Jones H.B. E Div Hitchin
15. PC 150 Darton W.C. F Div Welwyn
The Constables enumerated will be released from the Police Service as from Thursday 1st February 1917 inclusive and will be paid up to and including the 31st January 1917.

It was swiftly followed by General Order 8 of 25th January 1917 entitled: “Reference Order 5/1917”
It stated: The following Constables who are being released for military service are being granted leave of absence on 30th and 31st January 1917 Viz:
1. PC 297 Kempthorne T.R. A Div Ware
2. PC 9 Emery A.C. A Div Ware
3. PC 139 Freeman A. A Div Hoddesdon
4. PC 265 Camp H. B Div High Wych
5. PC 299 Trussell H. B Div Bishops Stortford
6. PC 261 Wallen J. C Div Watford
7. PC 132 Wallman H. C Div Watford
8. PC 306 Hussey W.H. C Div Watford
9. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Div Watford
10. PC 320 Collett W.C. D Div Hemel Hempstead
11. PC 324 Bozeat W. D Div Great Berkhamsted
12. PC 266 Cripps W.P. E Div Baldock
13. PC 129 Burch S.G. E Div Stevenage
14. PC 300 Jones H.B. E Div Hitchin
15. PC 150 Darton W.C. F Div Welwyn

Military Service.

His Army Service record has not survived but from his Medal Roll Index Card we can see that he served as a Gunner 205988 in the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery.

Research of the 15 above names has revealed that 12 of them joined the Royal Horse Artillery or the Royal Field Artillery with very close or even consecutive service numbers. They were 205951 Harry Wallman, 205952 William Hussey, 205953 Joseph Wallen, 205954 Arthur Mansfield, 205956 Wilfred Darton, 205981 Stephen Burch, 205982 Thomas Kempthorne, 205983 William Cripps, 205985 Alban Freeman, 205986 Herbert Trussell and 205987 Albert Emery.

The Army Service Records of many of the above have survived and all show that they originally enlisted on 10th December 1915 but were immediately placed in the Section B Army Reserve. As such they immediately resumed their Police duties awaiting mobilisation. Given from the above General Order that they all were mobilised at the same time it is safe to assume that, like the others, Henry Camp also enlisted on 10th December 1915 and was a Section B Reservist.

Similarly, it can be assumed that Henry Camp was initially posted to Woolwich for his basic training. The surviving Service Records also show that whilst at Woolwich many of the men became ill when there was an outbreak of Rubella to the point that on 7th March 1917 Alban Freeman died from “fever”. Having completed their training, the men were split up and posted to different Batteries.

The date of entry and which theatre of the war he fought in was not recorded but he clearly served on the Western Front as he was killed in action in France on 30th November 1917. He was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

In the Records of Soldiers Effects, it shows he was in L Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery at the time of his death. He had authorised his effects to go to his father Henry Camp.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show that Gunner 205988, Henry Camp of “L” Battery 15th Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery who died on 30th November 1917 age 29 was the son of Henry and Alice Camp, of Filmer Cottage, Amwell, Ware, Herts. He is Remembered with Honour on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.

In the records of the “Soldiers Died in the Great War” it shows: Gunner 205988 Henry Camp of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, who resided in Ware, Herts., having enlisted at Bishops Stortford, was killed in action on 30th November 1917 in France.

General Order 5 of 11th January 1918 stated: The Deputy Chief Constable regrets to announce that the following death has occurred. Gunner 205988 Henry Camp Royal Horse Artillery Killed in Action 30th November 1917. Ex-PC Camp 265 B Division Station High Wych joined the Hertford County Constabulary on 30th June 1910 and enlisted in H M Army on 1st February 1917.

The Herts and Essex Observer of 5th January 1918 reported on the death of Gunner H. Camp, a former Bishop’s Stortford police constable, who was killed in action. He was the son of Mr and Mrs H. Camp of Great Amwell and he had joined the Army in February 1917. He was a single man, aged 29. A member of the Herts Constabulary, he was stationed at High Wych, having previously served at Bishops Stortford.

On the 30th November 1918 The following announcement appeared in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
CAMP. In ever loving memory of our dear son, Gunner Henry Camp, R.H.A. late P.C. of High Wych, killed at Cambrai, November 30th, 1917. Deeply Mourned. There is a link Death cannot sever. Love and remembrance live forever. Filmer Cottage, Great Amwell, Herts.

The following was also published in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
Second-Lieutenant Noel Kay, writing to Mrs Camp of Filmer Cottage, Great Amwell, to acquaint her of the death in action of her son Gunner H. Camp, R.H.A. says: “He was one of the most efficient, hardworking and best respected gunners in my action and would have made N.C.O. I was standing just by his gun when he was unfortunately killed by a fragment of a shell which burst six yards away from us. He served his gun gallantly, to the very last and I hope it will be a little consolation to you to know that he died instantaneously, feeling no pain at all. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of one who so splendidly upheld the traditions of the battery.”
Second Lieutenant Noel Kay was himself killed on 5th July 1918.

This page was added on 24/12/2019.

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