Wallen, Joseph, 261 and 96, Police Constable, Sergeant.

Paul Watts

Joseph Wallen Poliice Service Record
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

Joseph Wallen was born on the 30th November 1894 at Much Hadham and was baptised there on the 6th January 1895.

His father was Henry James Wallen. His mother, Sarah Matthews married her first husband, Alfred James Holt, in 1886 Ongar, Essex. They had a daughter, Alice Mary Holt, born in 1887 at High Ongar, Essex. Sarah was widowed in 1888 and married Henry on the 6th March 1892 at Woolwich. They had four children
1. James Henry born in 1892 at Much Hadham. Served as Driver 22790, 54th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Died of Influenza on 30th October 1918.
2. Joseph.
3. Hannah born in 1897 at Much Hadham.
4. Fred born in 1904 at Bishops Stortford. Served as Stoker 1st Class C/K 66966, H.M. Submarine P.32., Royal Navy. Died on 23rd August 1941.

Joseph’s father Henry enlisted as Driver 15839 in the Royal Artillery on the 2nd December 1870 and was discharged on the 1st December 1891. During the 1891 census he was recorded as living at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.

At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at Press Lane, Great Parndon, Epping, Essex and Joseph’s father was working as a horse keeper on a farm. By the time of 1911 census they had moved and were living at 57, New Town Road, Bishops Stortford. Joseph was working as a butcher’s boy and his father was a farm labourer.

Little is known about Joseph’s life during the next two years except that he worked as a steel grinder for Hoffman’s Manufacturing Company Works, Chelmsford and then he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary

Police Service.

Joseph’s Police Service Record has survived and contains many letters and reports.

His Hertford County Constabulary Form 2 outlining his Conditions of Service etc. has a declaration by the candidate:
Age: 20 on the 30th November. Place and date of birth: Much Hadham, Herts. 30th November 1894. Height: 5 feet 8 ¼ inches. Chest 36 – 37. Complexion: Fair. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Dark brown. Marks: Nil. Married or single: Single. Religion: Church of England. Nationality: British. Where and with whom last employed: Chelmsford Essex Hoffman’s HF Company. Occupation: Grinder. Duration of Service: May 1913. Date of Discharge: 10th August 1914.

I hereby declare that the above answers are in my handwriting and were inserted by me on the 8th Day of August 1914 and that they are true and full replies to the several questions above specified and that I have read the Conditions of Service, and, if appointed, I hereby agree to serve the Standing Joint Committee of the Quarter Sessions and the County Council as a member of the Constabulary of the County of Hertford, under the conditions before mentioned, and subject also to all Standing conditions now made, or hereafter to be made, in that behalf.
Signed, Joseph Wallen. 9 Grove Place Newtown Bishops Stortford.

Included were details of Referees:
1. W.G. Young Postmaster, Bishops Stortford known candidate from 23rd November 1908 to 26th November 1910.
2. F. French Butcher, Bishops Stortford 1910 – 1914
3. Henry Kent J.P. Bishops Stortford known to be respectable young man but not personally known.
I certify that the signatures of the above persons no.’s 1,2,3 are genuine and that their recommendations are worthy of confidence.
Signed, Arthur James Elderton Police Sergeant Herts Constabulary.

Dated the 23rd August 1914 is a report from Essex Police who made enquiries with Hoffman’s Manufacturing Company Works, Chelmsford:
“Sergeant Smart has seen Mr. Hoskins, the manager at the Works, and he stated that Wallen was employed as a steel grinder from 25th May 1913 to the 10th August 1914, and during that time his conduct was good, and he proved a good workman. The firm was sorry to lose Wallen and he only left because he desired to apply to join the Herts. Constabulary. Essex Police know of nothing prejudicial to his character.

Joseph was examined by the Police Surgeon G.A. Upcoll Gill on the 7th August 1914 who signed the following Certificate: 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. Subject to Dental Certificate.

A letter dated the 8th August 1914 from F.W. Mardon L.D.S. Eng. The Folly, Bishops Stortford stated: I have today extracted 2 bad teeth from J. Wallen and that he has made arrangements to have the other bad ones out.

His Hertford County Constabulary Form 3 Record Sheet has also survived and records the following: Name: Joseph Wallen. Age on joining: 19 9/12 years. Place and date of birth: Much Hadham, Herts. 30th November 1894. Height: 5 feet 8 ¼ inches. Chest: 35 inches to 37 inches. Complexion: Fresh. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Dark brown. Marks: Scar on right wrist.

He said his religion was Church of England and gave his next of kin as his father Henry Wallen of 9, Grove Place, Bishops Stortford. He said he could both ride a pedal cycle and swim,

He was Appointed as Constable 261 on the 11th August 1914 on £1/4/6 per week and started his Probationer training at R Division at Headquarters at Hatfield. He was in the 10th Training Class of Recruits with Sergeant 57 Cousins and Constable 20 Wright as his instructors. On the 24th August 1914 he was Attested when he was Approved of and Sworn in before J Lloyd J.P. and C.W. Gaussen J.P. at Hatfield.


On the 18th September 1914 on the completion of his training he was taken onto the Roster and transferred from R Division at Headquarters to E Division at Letchworth.

On the 6th December 1914 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 100 of the 9th June 1915 instructed Joseph that he was being transferred from E Division at Letchworth to D Division at Northchurch on the 12th June 1915.

Using a Form 118 Occurrence Report Joseph applied on the 19th August 1915 for an increase of pay to £1/5/8 per week having completed 12 months approved service on the 11th August 1915. General Order 144 of the 20th September 1915 informed Joseph that his request had been granted and he was to receive an increase of pay from £1/4/6 to £1/5/8 per week from the 11th August 1915.


General Order 149 of the 7th October 1915 instructed Joseph that he was being transferred from D Division at Northchurch to D Division at Hemel Hempstead on the 18th October 1915. General Order 162 of the 16th October 1915 instructed Joseph that his move to Hemel Hempstead was cancelled and instead he was being transferred to C Division at Watford on the 18th October.

On reaching the age of 21 on the 30th November 1915 Joseph’s Pensionable service commenced.

A Minor Blemish.

On the 7th August 1916 Joseph was admonished by the Deputy Chief Constable for sleeping on duty and omitting his Conference Point at 4.30 a.m. at the Pillar Box Kingsfield Road, Watford on the 5th August 1916. Seen by D.C.C.

General Order 5 of the 22nd January 1917 was entitled Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 Enlistment in H.M. Forces: 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. Five of these have been accepted provisionally by the Army Council for service in the Military Mounted Police. Further instructions with regard to these men will be issued as soon as received.
In accordance with 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 a further fifteen Constables for the purpose of enlisting in H.M. Army. Joseph was included in this group. 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.

General Order 8 of the 25th January 1917 referred to Order 5/1917 and announced that the same fifteen Constables who were being released for military service were being granted leave of absence on 30th and 31st January 1917.

Army Service During The War.

Joseph’s Army Service Record has survived and from this and his Medal Index Card and Medal Roll we know the following:

He enlisted on the 10th December 1915 at Watford 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.

Also in the Army service record of Arthur Mansfield are hand written notes, dated 1st February 1917, listing 4 names: Harry Wallman, Joseph Wallen, Arthur Mansfield and William Hussey stating that they are four Police officers having enlisted at Watford and would they be accepted together into the Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich. They were accepted and have consecutive service numbers.

The following was recorded. He said his name was Joseph Wallen, his address as the Police Station, Watford. He gave his age as 23 years, his trade as Police Constable, that he was not married and that he had never previously served in the Military.

His description on enlistment was recorded as: Apparent age: 23 Years. Height: 5 feet 9 ½ inches. Chest: 39 ½ inches 2 inch expansion.

He said his religion was Church of England and gave his next of kin as his father Henry James Wallen of 1, Thorley Street, Thorley, Bishops Stortford which was later amended to 146, South Street, Bishops Stortford.

His Medical History Army Form B178 recorded that he was examined at Watford on the 10th December 1915 and it noted the same information as his description on enlisting with the addition of his weight which was 160 lbs and his physical development was good. It later recorded that on the 2nd February 1917 he was classed as Category A and on the 18th October 1917 lower dentures were supplied.

Joseph was mobilised at Watford on the 2nd February 1917 and the following day posted as Gunner 205953 to the Royal Horse Artillery Depot at Woolwich. Of the fifteen men who were mobilised at the same time as Joseph one joined the Grenadier Guards and two others joined the Military Foot Police. The remaining twelve became artillery men. They were 205951 Harry Wallman, 205952 William Hussey, 205954 Arthur Mansfield, 205956 Wilfred Darton, 205981 Stephen Burch, 205982 Thomas Kempthorne, 205983 William Cripps, 205985 Alban Freeman, 205986 Herbert Trussell, 205987 Albert Emery and 205988 Henry Camp. Other than during their initial training there is nothing to say that they went on to serve together.

A letter dated the 14th February 1917 from Frank Richardson, Chief Constable City and Liberties Hereford to Inspector D. O’Connor County Police Office, Watford reported:
Re. Miss Mary Knill No. 2, Victoria Street, Hereford.
In reply to your letter of the 8th instant on this matter. I am writing to say, that the above named young woman is the daughter of very respectable parents. Her father has been in the employ of Messrs. Morgans Ltd., Wool Merchants of this City for the past twenty years, and nothing is known here prejudicial to Miss Knill or her parents characters.

On the 16th February 1917 Joseph was posted to R Battery, Royal Horse Artillery.


Joseph married Ethel Knill on the 3rd March 1917 at the Parish Church St. Michaels and All Angels. Watford. He was married at the same time and place as PC Arthur Mansfield. Joseph and Ethel had two sons:
1. Kenneth James born in 1919 at Berkhamsted.
2. Peter John Knill born in1928 at Hertford.

On the 7th March 1917 a letter, which has been damaged and is only partly readable, was sent from Gunner 205953 J. Wallen, Room 116, R Battery, 10th Brigade, West Square, Woolwich to Inspector in Charge “C” Division.
Sir, Re your memo 762 dated 17th February 1917. I beg to report (unreadable) of marriage March 3rd (unreadable) wife’s present address Holmsleigh, Park Avenue, Watford.
Notes had been later made in the margin to the effect that the marriage certificate had been produced and that an allowance had been granted from Police funds at 13/2 per week from the 3rd March 1917. This was in addition to an allowance of 12/6 per week granted by the Army.

In March 1917 during their training there was an outbreak of Rubella at the Woolwich Depot. Of the twelve men who were mobilised the Army Service Records of ten of them have survived. Of these records two, belonging to Darton and Kempthorne, show they were hospitalised for two weeks with the disease. Additionally, Alban Freeman died of fever on the 7th March which was almost certainly due to the same cause.

On the 16th November 1917 Joseph was posted as part of the British Expeditionary Force to France. On the 20th November, his wife notified that she was now living at 33, Salisbury Road, Watford. On the 21st November he was posted to Z Battery, 5th Brigade. On the 6th December 1917, his wife notified she was now living at 2, Victoria Villas, Victoria Street, Hereford her parents address.

On the 26th May 1918 Joseph was appointed a paid Acting Lance Bombardier and then on the 22nd July 1918 he was appointed paid Acting Bombardier. On the 1st January 1919 he was granted 14 days leave to the UK until the 15th January.

On the 11th February 1919, the Officer Commanding the 5th Brigade sent Army Form W3111 to the Police as Joseph had overstayed his leave. The form was returned by the Police stating that Joseph had left for Purfleet to be demobilised on the 11th February. On the 13th March 1919 he was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve on demobilisation at Woolwich.

His Descriptive Return of a Soldier Discharged or Transferred to the Reserve on Demobilisation Army Form D 400Z recorded: Name: Joseph Wallen. Unit: Z Battery, 5 Brigade. Regiment number: 205953. Rank on Discharge: Bombardier. Age on discharge: 24. Married or single: Married. Occupation: Police Constable. Address: 9, Burton Avenue, Watford Herts. When/where born: 30th November 1894 Much Hadham, Herts. Christian names of parents: Henry and Sarah. Date/place of enlistment: 10th December 1915 Watford.

His Statement as to Disability Army Form Z22 recorded: Unit: Z Battery, 5 Brigade. Regt.: Royal Horse Artillery. Regt. No.: 205953. Rank: Bombardier. Name: Joseph Wallen. Address: 9, Burton Street, Watford, Herts. Age last birthday: 24. First joined for duty: 10th December 1915 at Watford. I do not claim to be suffering from a disability due to my military service signed: Joseph Wallen. Dated: 11/02/1919 at Purfleet.

His Protection Certificate and certificate of Identity Army Form Z11 recorded: Name: Joseph Wallen. Regt. No. 205953. Rank: Bombardier. Record Office: Blackheath. Unit: Z Battery, 5 Brigade. Regt: Royal Horse Artillery. Pay Office: Blackheath. Address: 9, Burton Street, Watford, Herts. Theatre of war: France. Born: 1894. Medical category: A1. Place of re-joining in case of emergency: Woolwich. 28 day furlough granted. Issued: 13th February 1919 at Purfleet.

Awarded British War and Victory medals.

Like every other soldier Joseph 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.

Joseph wrote on the 12th February 1919 to the Chief Constable C Division Watford.
Sir, I beg to report that I was demobilised yesterday 11 Feb 1919 and am now prepared to re-join the Force at once, and am now awaiting your instructions.

On the 14th February 1919, The Superintendent and Chief Clerk at the Constabulary Headquarters at Hatfield wrote to the Superintendent C Division Watford stating: Re Ex PC 261 Wallen. Reference your memo dated 12th February 1919 forwarding application from the above named Police Soldier. Please inform ex-PC Wallen that notification will be sent him when to attend these Headquarters for Medical Examination and re-appointment.

Joseph was Medically Examined on the 28th February 1919.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 57 of 1st March 1919 announced that ten men, having been released from H.M. Army, would be re-appointed to the Force with effect from the dates shown. Joseph was shown as PC 96 Wallen J. posted to C Division at Watford on the 6th March 1919 on £2/7/0 per week. Each officer had to be formally re-attested and the Superintendents concerned had to report to the Chief Constable when, where and before whom this had been done. Joseph was re-attested on the 11th March 1919.

Something of note in this Order is the change in his Warrant or Collar Number from 261 to 96. 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.

An entry was made on Joseph’s Police Service Record stating: Period of Army Service from 1st February 1917 to 5th March 1919 to count as Police Service for pension purposes vide Standing Joint Committee Resolution 35 dated the 9th October 1914. He also received an increase in pay from £2/7/0 to £3/18/0 from the 1st April 1919 as part of a national award.

The Electoral Rolls of 1919 and 1920 list Joseph Wallen as living at 86, Queens Road, Watford.

On the 13th August 1919 Joseph requested an increase in pay to £4/0/0 a week. General Order 182 of the 20th August 1919 informed him that his request had been granted and he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 per week from the 11th August 1919.


General Order 82 of the 3rd May 1920 instructed Joseph that he would be transferred from C Division at Watford to D Division at Great Berkhamsted on the 12th May 1920 and to occupy the house vacated by ex-PC 238 Bedford. The Electoral Rolls of 1920 to 1924 lists Joseph and Ethel Wallen as living at 132, George Street, Berkhamsted.

The following General Orders and entries on his Police Service Record informed Joseph that he would receive increases in his pay on the 11th August of each year:
Service Record from £4/0/0 to £4/2/2 per week in 1920.
General Order 142 of the 19th 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.

Joseph passed the qualification for promotion to Police Sergeant on the 17th February 1923.

The following General Orders informed Joseph that he would receive increases in his pay on the 11th August of each year:
General Order 177 of the 22nd October 1923 from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week.
General Order 183 of the 5th November 1923 from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week.


General Order 191 of the 20th November 1924 instructed Joseph that from the 1st December 1924 he was being transferred from D Division at Great Berkhamsted to D Division at St. Albans. The 1925 Electoral Roll records Joseph Wallen as living at 44, Tess Road, St. Albans.

Promotion To Sergeant, A Pay Rise And A Transfer.

General Order 15 of the 23rd January 1926 informed Joseph that from the 24th January 1926 he was being promoted to the rank of Acting Sergeant on £5/0/0 per week. General Order 21 of the 29th January instructed him that from the 5th February 1926 he was being transferred from D Division at St Albans to C Division at Watford and to occupy the house being vacated by PS 262 Dean. The 1926 Electoral Roll records Joseph as living at 23, Clifford Street, Watford.

Joseph attended a week long Sergeants Refresher Class at Headquarters Hatfield starting at 9 a.m. on Monday 1st March 1926.

On the 24th January 1927 Joseph was confirmed in the substantive rank of Sergeant and General Order 18 of the 31st January 1927 informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/0/0 to £5/2/6 per week from that date.

General Order 22 of the 3rd February 1927 informed Joseph that he was to occupy a new Police Cottage at Whippendell Road, Watford. The 1927 to 1930 Electoral Rolls list Joseph and Ethel Wallen as living at 272, Whippendell Road, Watford.

Joseph was awarded an increase of pay from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 a week from the 24th January 1928.

Mounted Duty.

On the 23rd April 1928 Superintendent Maskell submitted the following report to the Chief Constable: Mounted Duty PS Wallen “C”. In accordance with instructions I beg to recommend the above named for mounted duty. He is 35 years of age and weighs about 13 stone, served in the Royal Horse Artillery during the war as a Bombardier. I am of the opinion that this officer should be considered for the mounted establishment.

On the 25th April, the report was endorsed: Sir, Supt Maskell recommends this man as a successor to P/Sgt Read for mounted duty. I suggest he shall come to Headquarters for an interview with a view to appointment to mounted establishment.

Other sources show that with the advent of motor cars the Mounted Section was disbanded in 1928.

Another Minor Blemish.

On the 24th January 1929 Joseph and Sergeant 313 Quarrie were both cautioned by the Chief Constable for failing on the 1st January 1929 to give instruction to a Constable concerning a Fatal Accident.

The following entries on his Police Service Record informed Joseph that he would receive increases in his pay on the 24th January of each year:
Service Record from £5/5/0 to £5/7/0 a week from 1929.
Service Record from £5/7/0 to £5/10/0 a week from 1930.
Service Record from £5/10/0 to £5/12/6 a week from 1931.

Another Blemish.

On the 22nd March 1933 Joseph and PC 89 Sherwood were reprimanded by the Chief Constable for failing without good and sufficient cause to attend a report of suicide on the 4th March 1933.


On the 23rd October 1933 Joseph was transferred from C Division at Watford to E Division at Letchworth.

Shots Fired.

Published on Wednesday 7th October 1936 in the Hull Daily Mail under the headline
Accused Of Shooting At Policeman: When Leslie MacDonald, aged 20, of Mattocke Road, Hitchin appeared at Hitchin Police Court today, it alleged that he fired three shots at a Police Sergeant during a struggle last night. He was accused of being in possession of housebreaking implements. Police Sergeant Wallen, of Letchworth, said that he became suspicious of MacDonald, who tried a shop door. When he went to take hold of MacDonald he said, “Take that,” and taking something from his pocket, fired a shot. “I closed with him,” said the Sergeant and we fell to the ground. “He kicked me on the ankle, breaking the skin, and also kicked me on the hand. A civilian came to my assistant and while I was on the ground more shots were fired. I got possession of the weapon, and took him to police station, where I found the weapon be an imitation revolver with the barrel bored through. It had 10 chambers seven chambers being loaded. Five had not been used. They had a small shot nipped at the end. While I was examining the revolver, Macdonald said, “That should kill you.” When asked to account for the possession of a pair of pliers and a recently broken key which were found his possession, Macdonald said, “I am a cowboy.” MacDonald was remanded in custody to Letchworth Sessions on Saturday, when, it was stated, further charges would probably be preferred again him.

Commendation And Injury On Duty.

On the 11th December 1937 Joseph was commended by the Chairman of Letchworth Petty Sessions, for his action in arresting Stephen Joseph Mockler, Joseph Christie and James Arthur Mills on a charge against the Larceny Act 1916 Section 26 (housebreaking and larceny) and for the manner in which the case was presented at Court. This was endorsed by the Chief Constable vide Order 169/37.

Joseph submitted a report on the 25th December 1937 to Superintendent E Division Hitchin: Sir, John Thomas Collins 6, Archers Way, Letchworth. I have to report that when arresting the above named at about 1.20 a.m. the 25th December 1937, he kicked me, on my right hand causing a swelling. Later on during the morning, the hand became painful, and as I bent my hand back a pain shot up my arm, and in consequence I visited the A/Police Surgeon Dr. Clay, who examined my hand, and stated no bones were broken, but bruised, and probably a nerve was hurt, which could cause the pain up my arm, and that it would be all right in a day or two.

Superintendent Arthur George Goodship submitted a report on the 6th January 1938 to the Chief Constable: Police Sergeant 96 Wallen Injured on Duty. I forward herewith a report by Sergeant 96 Wallen relative to him being injured whilst on duty at Letchworth at 1.20 a.m. 25 December 1937. In this case John Thomas Collins was creating a disturbance and was being arrested by the Sergeant when Collins kicked him on his right hand causing a swelling which necessitated medical attention by Dr Clay, Police Surgeon Letchworth, who reported that no bones were broken but the hand was bruised. Collins has been charged with Assault on Police and the case will be heard at Letchworth Petty Sessions on 8th January 1938. I respectfully recommend the injury be recorded as “injured on duty”

Factory Burglary.

Published on the 6th January 1939 in the Biggleswade Chronicle under the headline Factory Breaking Charge Against Stotfold Youth: Footprints in the snow outside a Letchworth factory gave the Police one of the clues on the evidence of which they went to Stotfold and arrested a 21 years old youth. Verdun Leslie Cooper of 54, The Avenue, Stotfold who was brought up in custody at Hitchin Sessions on Tuesday, was charged with factory breaking and larceny at Letchworth on Christmas Eve.

Joseph Kinsley, accountant to T.H. Dixon & Co., said that at 8 p.m. on December 24th he found that the bottom half of the stores room door had been forced open. A cabinet containing cigarettes and tobacco had also been forced open. Sidney Harold Mead, who is in charge of the stores at the factory, said that the cabinet had contained about £2 10s worth of cigarettes and tobacco. The door of the cabinet had been practically ripped off and most of the former contents had gone. Some money, in coppers, was also missing.

PS Wallen (Letchworth) said that at 9.10 p.m. on December 24 on entering the stores of Messrs. Dixon’s factory with Mr. Kinley he found one pair of wire cutters and a file lying near a sheet metal cabinet, the door of which had been broken open. He found that a small pane of glass of a lavatory on the east side had been broken and the catch had been pulled up, leaving the window unfastened. In the snow under the window were footprints leading from the window they had the appearance of having been made by rubber boots or Wellingtons.

On the Sunday morning, in company with Inspector Bozeat, witness went to Stotfold. At 54, The Avenue, Stotfold he saw the defendant and told him they were making inquiries about some cigarettes and coppers stolen from a Letchworth factory. Defendant said “I was at Radwell. I don’t know anything about it.” Witness asked him to turn out his pockets and from his trousers’ pocket he took 7 ½ in coppers. Witness said: “That looks like Dixon’s money.” Cooper then said; “That’s the money,” and made a statement admitting that, after going for a walk through Baldock he broke into the factory and took the goods and the money.

Prisoner produced a packet of cigarettes and said he had hidden the others in Mr. Smith’s shed near Stotfold Post Office. Witness went there with defendant, who unfolded a sheet and produced a rush bag containing several packets of cigarettes. Cooper was taken to Letchworth Police Station where he was charged. He made no reply. On this evidence, Cooper was committed for trial at the Herts Quarter Sessions. Prisoner’s mother was present in the Court, but when asked whether she wished to apply for bail for her son said, “No, Sir, I do not think I do.”

Published on the 10th February 1939 in the Hertford Mercury and Reformer under the headline 30 Defendants at Herts Quarter Sessions: Charges of house, shop and garage breaking comprised the majority of the cases at Hertfordshire Quarter Sessions at St. Albans on Monday. Nineteen cases, involving thirty defendants, were dealt with. His Honour Judge Sturges, chairman, presided in the first court, and the second court was presided over by Sir Joseph Priestley, K.C. acting deputy chairman. Bound Over for Factory Breaking. Arrested on Christmas Day, Verdun Leslie Cooper, a storekeeper, aged 21, stated to be of Stotfold, Beds, was bound over for two years for breaking into the factory of Messrs. T.H. Dixon & Co. Ltd. Of Letchworth and stealing 10/- and cigarettes and other articles valued £2. Sergt. Wallen, of Letchworth, said that Cooper was bound over for two years at Bedford Quarter Sessions on October 5 1938. The Probation Officer, Mr. Brookfield, said that the Salvation Army were prepared to take Cooper into their training farm colony. Commenting on the case, the Chairman, Sir Joseph Priestley K.C. said; “it appears that to bind over seems to do little of material value in keeping young men straight.”

In the 1939 Register Police Sergeant Joseph Wallen, his wife and sons and his mother were all recorded as living at 64, Pix Road, Letchworth.

Trying To Retire!

Joseph submitted a report on the 26th September 1940 to the Superintendent E Division applying to retire on pension having completed 25 years approved service.
On the 30th September Supt. Goodson E Division recommended to the Chief Constable “In view of the war conditions I respectfully recommend the resignation is not accepted.”

On the 9th October 1940 Supt. Goodson E Division recommended to the Chief Constable regarding a request by Joseph to be granted an interview with him: “The Sergeant has been in charge of the Letchworth Section since the absence of Inspector Calcutt on detached duty, since 25th May 1940 and is not doing any more than he was normally. The Sergeant deals with Letchworth the Inspector deals with Royston, Baldock, etc. Suggest the application for interview be refused.” The Chief Constable Captain S.M.E. Fairman replied to Supt. Goodson E Division on the 10th October 1940: “The Sergeant to be told that he has only been carrying on his normal duties as Sergeant and that if he had been intended to do Inspector’s duty he would have been given acting appointment to that rank. There is no need for an interview.”

Joseph submitted a report on the 29th October 1941 to the Superintendent E Division applying to retire on pension having completed 26 years approved service.
On the 2nd November Supt. Goodson E Division recommended to the Chief Constable: “In view of the war conditions and demands of the Force I respectfully recommend that the Sergeant be informed that his application cannot be accepted.” On the 3rd November Chief Constable Captain S.M.E. Fairman announced his decision: “Permission to retire cannot be granted but the Police Sergeant’s Pension will be secured and he will be granted the appropriate allowances.”

On the 5th February 1942 Joseph submitted a report to Supt. E Division regarding a request for payment of an account tendered by Letchworth Hospital for the cost of an x-ray after he suffered neuritis. After some clarification, the bill of £1/11/6 was paid from Police funds.

Joseph submitted a report on the 18th October 1942 to the Superintendent E Division applying to retire on pension on the 18th November 1942 having completed 28 years approved service. On the 19th October Supt. Goodson E Division reported to the Chief Constable: “I do not recommend this application.” His report was endorsed on the 20th October “Sir, I suggest the application be granted. Leonard William Whittenham Inspector. A further comment dated the 21st October said, “Sir, as far as I am aware this Sergeants health is satisfactory. I suggest the application be considered at a later date.” Signature unreadable. Finally, on the 22nd October Chief Constable Captain S.M.E. Fairman decided: “The Police Sergeant’s application will be considered at a later date.”

Finally, Retirement And Life After The Police.

Joseph retired on pension as a Sergeant on the 28th April 1943 apparently no longer medically fit and time expired. His pension was £195/10/9 per annum.

On the 6th December 1951, a request was made by the Letchworth Employment Exchange for a reference regarding Joseph Wallen of Stotfold Road, Arlesey. A Chief Superintendent replied on the 10th December: Joseph Wallen of Stotfold Road, Arlesey (Ex – PC 96). I am directed by the Chief Constable to acknowledge your letter of the 6th instant and to say that the above named served with this Force from the 11th August 1914 until the 28th May 1943 when he retired with the rank of Sergeant. His conduct during his service was exemplary.

Joseph’s pension file contains several addresses for him including The Cock Inn, Gamlingay, Beds. from the 12th October 1951 – 106, Stotfold Road, Arlesey, Beds. from the 28th June 1965 – 2, Bearwood Lane, Pembridge, Herefordshire and from the 8th May 1967 – 61, Garden Walk, Royston.

Joseph Wallen of Radwinter Road Hospital, Saffron Walden died on the 21st December 1987.

This page was added on 18/05/2020.

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