Ward, Herbert, 267 and 57, Police Constable.

Awarded Military Medal.

Paul Watts with thanks to Kitty Moores

Herbert Ward
Herts Police Historical Society

This is another story of two brothers who were both members of the Hertford County Constabulary as well as soldiers in the First World War.

Early Life.

Herbert Ward was born on the 10th November 1886 at High Wych and baptised there on the 5th December 1886. Herbert’s brother Edwin became Constable 261.

Their father, Arthur Ward, married their mother, Alice Baldock on the 28th October 1876 at High Wych. Alice already had a daughter, Harriet Baldock born in 1875 at Sawbridgeworth and sadly died in 1893 at Bishops Stortford. She was shown in the 1881 census as Harriet Ward. Arthur and Alice went on to have nine children, all born in High Wych, who were:
1. Arthur George born in 1877
2. Kate born in 1879
3. Thomas William born in 1881 served as Gunner 88581, 121st Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery and who died of wounds in France on 23rd April 1917
4. Edwin born in 1884
5. Herbert
6. Ernest born in 1889
7. James born in 1891
8. Alice Emily born in 1895
9. Frances Annie born in 1898

During the 1881 census the family are recorded as living at Grooms Cottage, Sawbridgeworth and Arthur is employed as a Groom. By the time of the 1891 census they had moved to Redricks Lane, Sawbridgeworth and Arthur is now a Stockman.

In the 1901 census the family are listed as living at Vicarage Lodge, High Wych and Arthur is shown as working as a Foreman of a Dredger. In the 1911 census they are living at the same address, but Arthur is now a Carpenters Labourer and both Herbert and Edwin had left home, joined then left the Army and were now both in the Police.

Early Army Service.

His Army Service Record has not survived but from his Police Service Record we know that he served as Gunner 21042 in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He enlisted on the 11th October 1904 for short service of 3 years in the Colours and nine in the Reserves. He was discharged to the Reserves on the 25th October 1906. His period as a Reservist expired on the 10th October 1916.

On leaving the Army he probably returned to live at home whilst he worked as a labourer for John George at Stonards Farm, Sawbridgeworth, but it was not long before he joined the Police.

Police Service.

Herbert’s Form 3 Police Service Record has survived and shows the following:
He stated he was born on the 10th November 1886 at High Wych, he was 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall, his chest was 36 inches, his complexion fresh, his eyes blue and his hair dark brown. He had tattoos on both forearms. He said that he could ride a bicycle and swim and that his next of kin was his father, Arthur Ward, of Vicarage Road.

Herbert had a medical examination with the Force Surgeon on the 8th June 1910 to determine whether he was fit enough for Police duties. Clearly, he was as he started his Probationary Training at C Division Watford on the 3rd November. All training was undertaken on Divisions rather than at Headquarters at this time.

He was Attested on the 3rd January 1911 at Watford and was Appointed Constable 267 on the 9th February. He remained stationed at Watford. General Order 9 of the 28th February 1911 reiterated his Appointment by announcing that PC 267 Ward was appointed on the strength of the Force on 23/11 per week from 9th February 1911.

General Order 8 of the 27th February 1911 apparently instructed Herbert that he would be transferred as soon as possible from Watford to Ware but by the 1911 census Police Constable Edwin Ward, his wife Esther and brother Police Constable Herbert Ward are listed as living at 117, St. James Road, Watford. Herbert was never posted to Ware.

General Order 29 of the 12th September 1911 informed Herbert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from 24th August 1911.

In December 1911 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 23 of the 30th March 1912 ordered Herbert to transfer from C Division at Watford to G Division at Harpenden. He moved on the 10th April 1912.

On the 2nd July 1914 Herbert was transferred again from G Division at Harpenden to D Division at Tring.


On the same day as his transfer Herbert married Elizabeth Sarah Coker at Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. They had two children Herbert E. born in 1913 at Aylesbury and Arthur John born in 1921 at Tring.

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. Herbert is shown as PC 267 Ward H. D Division recalled to the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 4th August 1914.

Army Service During The War.

Herbert’s Medal Index Roll Card, Medal Rolls and a transcript from award of a Military Medal tell us the following:
Gunner 21042 Herbert Ward landed in France on the 10th August 1914 with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was initially attached to Stationary Hospitals. He served 4 years 6 months on the Western Front between the 19th August 1914 to the 19th February 1919.

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.

Herbert was awarded the 1914 Star and the British War and Victory medals and whilst attached to the 9th Battery, Royal Field Artillery in 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal – Gazette date 16.07.1918.

Like every other soldier Herbert was granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police and he had a medical examination on the 30th January 1919 to determine whether he was still fit enough for Police duties. The end of his leave would have coincided with his date of re-joining.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 26 of 31st January 1919 listed 4 Police Officers who having been released from H.M. Army had been re-appointed to the Force. Hebert was shown as:
PC 57 Ward H.D Division at Tring from 19th February 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. Herbert was re-attested on the 26th February 1919.

Something of note in this Order is the change in his Warrant or Collar Number from 267 to 57. 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.

The Electoral Rolls of 1919 to 1922 list Herbert and Elizabeth as living at 4, White House Terrace, Western Road, Tring.


General Order 36 of the 20th February 1920 announced:
Rex V. James McLaughlin Shopbreaking and Larceny at Tring.
At the Hertford Assizes on 13th February 1920, Airforce Mechanic Class 2 James McLaughlin, Royal Air Force, was bound over to be of good behaviour for 6 months on a charge of Shopbreaking and stealing 24 pairs of ladies gloves from a shop at Tring during the night of 26/27th January 1920. The apprehension of this man and the recovery of the whole of the stolen property was due entirely to the vigilance displayed by Police Constable No. 57 Herbert Ward, D Division, stationed at Tring, in stopping and searching the prisoner owing to his bulky pockets. The Chief Constable hereby commends Police Constable 57 Ward and orders that an appropriate entry shall be made in the Constable’s record.

General Order 44 of the 6th March 1920 and General Order 23 of the 14th February 1921 informed Herbert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from 9th February 1920 and from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 9th February 1921 respectively.

General Order of the 9th September 1922 instructed Herbert that he would be transferred on the 26th September 1922 from D Division at Tring to D Division at Kings Langley, to occupy the house vacated by PC 4 Eames. The 1929 to 1930 Electoral Rolls list Herbert and Elizabeth as living at Watford Road, Kings Langley.

Another Commendation.

Hebert was commended again by both the Chief Constable and the Chairman of Hemel Hempstead Petty Sessions in 1927 for the help he provided in the case of Police v. J. Williams.

On the 20th January 1930 Herbert was transferred from D Division at Kings Langley to F Division at Codicote.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Herbert retired as a Constable having completed his 25 years’ service on the 18th April 1936 on an annual pension of £145/9/7.

It is believed that when he retired Herbert ran the Beehive Public House, Rebourn Road, Hemel Hempstead. However, by the time of the 1939 Register Herbert, a Gate Keeper and Police Constable retired, and Elizabeth are shown as living at 184, Belswain Lane, Hemel Hempstead.

Herbert died on the 16th May 1963 at home at 71, London Road, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead aged 76 years a Police Constable (retired).

This page was added on 18/02/2020.

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