Human, Horace William, 73, Police Constable.

Paul Watts

Horace William Human c.1933

Early Life.

Horace William Human was born on the 13th September 1891 at Hemel Hempstead.

His father, Alfred Human a bus driver and conductor married his mother, Selina Hawes on the 23rd October 1881 at Gaddesden. They had eight children all born in Hemel Hempstead:

  1. Susan Jane born in 1882.
  2. Ethel May born in 1884.
  3. Alfred John born in 1887.
  4. Horace William.
  5. Amy Maud born in 1894.
  6. Reginald George born in 1896.
  7. Sidney George born in 1898. Served as Private 48451 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
  8. Beatrice Selina born in 1901.

At the time of the 1891 and 1901 census returns the family were living at 4, Alma Road, Hemel Hempstead. Suring the 1911 census they were shown as living at 11, Alma Road, Hemel Hempstead and Horace was employed as a butcher.

Little is known about Horace’s life over the next three years other than his father died in 1912 at Hemel Hempstead. Then he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Horace’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know he was Appointed as Constable 73 on the 10th August 1914 on £1/4/6 per week. He would have undergone his Probationer training at Police Headquarters at Hatfield. At the completion of his training he would have been Attested and taken on to the Roster and posted to a Division. It is believed that he was posted to F Division at Hertford.


Published on the 4th September 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: At Hertford Borough Sessions on Thursday, John Wright, 37, of The Folly, and William Lawrence, 29, of 4, Davies Street, greengrocers, were summoned for obstructing the highway in Maidenhead Street by leaving a barrow therein for an unreasonable time and preventing people passing along. The defendants said they never left the barrow. PS Palmer stated that at 9 p.m. on Saturday he received complaints about the defendants and kept observation on them. He saw them remain outside Walker’s Stores hawking fruit for a quarter of an hour. Lawrence was serving fruit and Wright pushing the barrow. They were obstructing the street, which was very full of pedestrians. Lawrence had previously been cautioned and told that he was not allowed to stand in the street with a barrow. The defendants admitted that they were up and down the street, but thought they were doing no harm in selling a bit of fruit.  PC Human corroborated the Sergeant as to the obstruction of the road and footpath. Supt. Pear said he had frequently received complaints from the shopkeepers in Maidenhead Street that they could not transact their business inside on account of the shouting outside. The defendants were fined 5 shillings each.

General Order 133 of the 18th August 1915 informed Horace that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/4/6 to £1/5/8 per week from the 10th August 1915.


Police Constable Horace William Human of Hertford married Mildred Ellen Howlett on the 9th October 1915 at St. John’s West Ealing. They had two daughters both born in Watford:

  1. Ida A. born in 1922.
  2. Joyce Ethel born in 1926.

General Order 105 of the 9th September 1916 informed Horace that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/5/8 to £1/6/10 per week from the 10th August 1916.

General Order 124 of the 18th November 1917 was a list of 16 Constables, including Horace, who had signified their desire to sit the examination for promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. The necessary examination papers were prepared and forwarded to the Superintendents concerned. The examination was held in accordance with the rules laid down in Order 192/1915.

General Order 137 of the 21st December 1916 announced the result of the Examination for Promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. Horace was not one of those that qualified. He would have had to re-sit the exam but the record of when has not survived.

General Order 77 of the 10th September 1917 informed Horace that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/6/10 to £1/7/5 per week from the 10th August 1917.

Army Service During The War.

Horace’s Army Service Record has survived and from this we know the following: William enlisted on the 10th December 1915 at Hertford and on the 11th December 1915, he was transferred to Section B Army Reserve and returned to his Police duties. This was part of what was known as the Derby Scheme. Thousands of men around the country including dozens of Hertfordshire Police Officers enlisted under the scheme. The Hertfordshire Officers mainly enlisted between the 9th and the 11th December 1915. Every Section B Reservist was issued with an individually numbered Khaki Armlet with a red Crown displayed on it which was to be worn on the upper left arm to demonstrate they were a Reservist and were waiting to be mobilised.

The following was recorded: He gave his address as Sele Grange Lodge, North Road, Hertford, his age as 24 years 2 months and his trade as Police Constable. He said he was married and had never served in the Military before.

His description on enlistment was recorded as: Apparent age: 24 years 2 months. Height: 5 feet 10 ½ inches. Chest: 40 inches 5 inch expansion. Distinctive marks: 4 vaccination marks left arm. He gave his next of kin as his wife Mildred Ellen Human of 11, Alma Road, Hemel Hempstead.

On the 23rd April 1918 Horace was one of fifteen Hertford County Constabulary Police Constables who were Mobilised at the same time. Five joined the Coldstream Guards and ten, including Horace as Guardsman 32195, joined the Grenadier Guards. They were given consecutive Army Service numbers. The others were 32193 William Sturman, 32194 Charles Spencer, 32196 James Childs, 32197 Frederick Futter, 32198 George Reed, 32199 Thomas Abrathat, 32200 George Cooling, 32201 Leonard Wackett and 32202 George Berry.

Other than perhaps their initial training there is no evidence to show that they served together. The end of the war arrived before Horace could be posted overseas and consequently, he did not receive any medals. On the 16th January  1919 he was transferred to the Army Reserve. On the 31st March 1920 he received his final discharge.

His Statement as to Disability Army Form Z11 recorded: Unit: Guards Depot. Regt.: Grenadier Guards. Regt. No.: 32195. Rank: Guardsman. Name: Horace William Human. Address: 11, Alma Road, Hemel Hempstead. Age last birthday: 29. Date first joined for duty: 24th April 1918 at Caterham. Medical category: A1. I do not claim to be suffering a disability due to my Military Service, signed: Horace William Human. Dated 20th December 1918 Guards Depot Caterham Barracks.

Like every other soldier Horace 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 would have had to have undergone a Medical Examination 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 5 of 6th January 1919 listed 13 Police Soldiers who having been released from H.M. Army were re-appointed to the Force with effect from the dates shown. Horace was shown as PC 73 Human H.W. of F Division at Hertford on 2nd January 1919 on £2/7/0 per week. Each officer had to be formerly re-attested. Superintendents concerned had to report to the Chief Constable when this has been done, showing the date and place of Attestation and before whom taken. The 1919 and 1920 Electoral Rolls list Horace and Mildred Human as living at 28, New Road, Hertford.

General Order 20 of 19th January 1919 was entitled Allowances to wives of Police Soldiers. It announced that the Chief Constable had considered the position of each individual Police Soldier under the new scale of pay and found after taking into consideration the total income of the family from allowances, including the value of the soldier’s food and clothing, that in 16 cases the families were in a worse financial position then they would have been had the man remained in the force. These cases were put before the Standing Joint Committee and they authorised extra payments, with effect from 1st July 1918. PC Human H.W. F Division was awarded £0/0/5 extra per week with £0/11/0 to be paid retrospectively with the allowances for the week ending 22nd January 1919.

Hertfordshire Detachment To Luton Re Riots.

Horace was part of a detachment sent to Luton to help quell rioting between the 20th July and the 5th August 1919.

General Order 177 of the 9th August 1919 announced that the following extract from a letter received from the Head Constable of the Luton Borough Police under date 4th August 1919 was published for information.

“I desire to express to you my high appreciation of the members of your Force on detached duty here for the riot. They proved to be excellent fellows in every way, gave a splendid account of themselves when need arose and conducted themselves in a manner which was credit to any Police Force.”

The Chief Constable is very gratified to have such a good account of the services of the detachment and congratulates Inspector Wright and the Sergeants and Constables. An entry of service on Riot Duty will be made in each man’s record sheet.

Horace William Human 1919 Luton Riot Duty

To see the whole photograph go to the Mutual Aid category and the article Hertford County Constabulary Assist With Quelling Rioters.

General Order 182 of the 20th August 1920 informed Horace that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 per week from the 10th August 1920.


General Order 46 of the 29th March 1921 instructed Horace that from the 6th April 1921 he would be transferred from F Division at Hertford to C Division at Croxley Green and to occupy the house being vacated by PC 204 Hagger. The 1921 to 1928 Electoral Rolls record Horace and Mildred Human as living at 252, New Road, Rickmansworth. In 1925 a George Berry, possibly PC 303, was also listed as living there.

The following General Orders all informed William he would receive an increase of pay on the 10th August of the year shown:                                                                                                                                                                             General Order 153 of the 31st August 1921 from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week.                                                             General Order 121 of the 10th September 1922 from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week.                                                    General Order 148 of the 16th August 1923 from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week.                                                            General Order 149 of the 1st September 1924 from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week.

Minor Blemish.

On 14th April 1927, the Chief Constable fined Horace £1/0/0 for failing to attend a 1 a.m. Conference Point at Copthorne House, for attending a 2.15 a.m. Conference Point at Croxley Hall Farm at 2.28 a.m. thereby being 13 minutes late and for making an incorrect entry in his journal all on the night of 2/3 April 1927.


The record has not survived but the 1930 Electoral Roll lists Horace and Mildred Human as living at 2, Watton Road, Ware which was the Police Station, so he had clearly been transferred to A Division.

Noisy Steam Lorry.

Published on the 30st January 1931 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: William George Tant, 8, Merville Street, Bow was summoned for using a steam lorry which made an excessive noise at Ware, on December 16, 1930. Frederick William Barker, 181 Burdett Road, Bow was also summoned for permitting the use of the lorry. PC Human proved the case and defendants were fined 10 shillings each.

Horace appeared in a large group photograph of Police Officers taken in 1933 outside Hertford Grammar School, the reason why the photograph was taken is unknown.

Another Transfer.

Again, the record has not survived but the following newspaper articles show that at some time Horace was again transferred this time to B Division at Welwyn.

Car Accident.

Published on the 28th July 1939 in the Hertford Mercury under the headline Welwyn Police Court. Farmer Fined for Careless Driving: An accident on Brickwall Hill, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, on June 22, resulted in Gerald Angell, a famer, of ‘Whitby’, Ashwell near Baldock, being summoned for driving without due care and attention. Angell pleaded not guilty. PC H.W. Human, of Welwyn, said he visited the scene of the accident, where he took certain measurements. Angell made a statement to witness in which he was alleged to have said that at 8.15 p.m. on June 22 he was driving his sister’s car from Hatfield towards Welwyn. His speed was 13 – 20 mph and there was a lorry travelling north in front of him. The driver gave him the signal to overtake and whilst he was overtaking the lorry moved into the centre of the road, causing him to collide with a car which was travelling at a ‘terrific rate’. If the car had been travelling at a normal speed the accident could have been avoided. The driver of the lorry, Martin Maddock, of 10 Camperdown Avenue, Burradown, Dudley, Northumberland said he was overtaking a car and put out his hand to show his intention to do so. Ernest Wallack, of Finchdale Abbey Hotel, near Durham, said he was driving towards London at a speed of between 50 and 60 mph. Coming down the hill he saw the car overtake the lorry which was passing another vehicle. He had to drive over a stone kerb on to a grass verge to avoid a head on collision. Angel, on oath, said that the driver of the lorry gave him the ‘all clear’ signal. He commenced to overtake when he was forced by the lorry coming out into the middle of the road, to go over slightly into the traffic lane on his offside. When he saw the car driven by Wallack he kept going as he thought there was room for both cars. Wallack’s car was ‘wobbling’ a little over from its nearside. Angell was fined £2/0/0 with £6/1/0 costs. He was allowed 28 days in which to pay.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Published on the 18th August 1939 in the Hertford Mercury under the headline Police Retirements: Two members of the Hertfordshire Constabulary who have been stationed in the Welwyn district, are retiring after 25 years’ service. They are PC H. Human, who, before going to Welwyn nine years ago, was at Ware, Croxley Heath Green and Hertford, and PC W.J. Thurley who had been stationed in Welwyn Garden City for four years following service at Watford and Hertford.

Horace retired on the 9th August 1939.

In the 1939 Register recorded as living at 10, Heathbrow Road, Oaklands, Welwyn are Horace Human who is employed as a Store Detective and his family.

Horace’s wife Mildred died in 1954 at Chichester and in 1955 he married Elizabeth J. Smith at Hatfield.

Horace William Human died aged 66 in 1957 at Hatfield.

This page was added on 03/06/2020.

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