Pusey, Robert, 183, Police Constable.

Paul Watts

PC 183 Robert Pusey

Early Life.

Robert Pusey was born in 1872 at Camberwell.

His father, William Pusey, was born about 1824 in High Wycombe. He married his mother, Mary Stewart Pusey, who was born about 1827 at Northleach, Gloucestershire, on the 2nd February 1851 at Farmington, Gloucestershire. William was a bachelor employed as a Post Office Clerk in London and Mary was a spinster from Farmington. It is believed that they had nine children:

1.    Charles William was born in 1853 at Lambeth and baptised on the 2nd February 1853 at St. Mary’s, Lambeth. William was shown on the baptismal record as being a Clerk in the Post Office and their address was Albert Place, Lambeth.

2.    John Edwin was born on the 30th September 1854 at Lambeth and baptised on the 5th November 1854 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. William was a Post Letter Carrier, and their address was Cassington Mews.

3.    William born was in 1856 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster and baptised on the 22nd February 1857 at St. Andrew’s, Islington. William was a Clerk, and their address was 19, Twyford Street.

4.    George was born on 13th September 1858 at Barnsbury, Islington and baptised on the 13th October 1861 at Islington. William was a Letter Sorter, and their address was Barnsbury Grove.

5.    Thomas was born on 11th October 1860 at Islington and baptised on the 13th October 1861 at Islington. William was a Letter Sorter, and their address was Barnsbury Grove.

6.    Kate was born in 1862 and died in 1864 at Hackney.

7.    Harry was born in 1864 at Barnsbury, Hackney.

8.    Mary Elizabeth was  born on the 3rd January 1868 at Islington Hackney baptised 23rd February 1868 at St. Mary Islington. William was a Sorter for the G.P.O. and they lived in Southgate Road.

9.    Robert.

At the time of the 1851 census William, a Post Office Clerk, and Mary were living at 13, St. Mary’s Street, Lambeth. In the 1861 census Mary and the children were listed as living at 13, Barnsbury Grove, Islington, whilst William, employed as a travelling G.P.O. Clerk was boarding with a colleague at 1, Court, 6, College Street, Rotherham.

By the time of the 1871 census the family were living at 9, Park Street, Camberwell and William was still employed by the General Post Office. During the 1881 census the family had moved again to 18, Parkhouse Street, Camberwell. William was a Sorter for the G.P.O. and Robert was a scholar.

By the time of the 1891 census Robert had left home and had joined the Army, his father, who was living on his own means, mother and sister were recorded as living at Albert Street, Crondall, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

Army Service.

Robert Pusey’s Army Service Record has survived and shows that he enlisted for short service of 7 years in the Colours and 5 years in the Reserves as Private 3500 in the 19th (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own) Hussars at London on the 13th August 1889.

The following was recorded: He gave his name as Robert Pusey and said he was 18 years 1 month old and he was born in Camberwell, London. He gave his trade as Barman and said he was not an apprentice, not married, had never been sentenced to imprisonment ad had never been in the Military before. He was medically examined on his enlistment and found to be fit for service in the 19th Hussars.

His description on enlistment was recorded as follows: Age physically equivalent to 18 years 1 month, height 5 feet 8 ½ inches, weight 128 lbs, chest 32 ½ inches, complexion fair, eyes hazel, hair brown, identifying marks scar left eyebrow, chest and right thigh and tattoo dots on left forearm.

He said his religion was Church of England and his next of kin was his father William Pusey of Eastbourne House, Fleet, Hampshire.

From his statement of service, it is known that Robert joined the Regiment in London on the day he enlisted and for his first 2 years 18 days of service he was stationed at Home. The 1891 census records him as being a Private in the 19th Hussars and living at the Cavalry Barracks, Aldershot, Hampshire. On the 13th August 1891 he was granted his 1st Good Conduct pay of 1d. per day.

To The East Indies.

On the 1st September 1891 he began his service overseas in the East Indies. On the 23rd September 1893 he was apparently assessed and continued to receive his extra pay. After 2 years 176 days he returned to Home service on the 24th February 1894.

After 200 days serving at home on the 13th September 1894 he returned to the East Indies. On the 10th August 1895 he was granted his 2nd Good Conduct pay of a further 1d. per day. On the 7th December 1896 he was apparently again assessed and continued to receive his extra pay. Then on the 31st January 1897, following 2 years 140 days overseas, he returned to Home service.

On the 3rd February 1897 he was transferred to the Army Reserve. It is believed he then applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Robert’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources it is believed he was Appointed in 1897 as Police Constable 183. He would have been posted to a main Police Station where he would have undergone his Probationary training, as was the policy at that time, by a senior experienced officer under the supervision of the Divisional Superintendent.

Recalled To The Army – Boer War.

It is clear from the following newspaper article that Robert had recently been posted to Tring when he was recalled. Published in the Leighton Buzzard Observer and Linslade Gazette on Tuesday 21st November 1899 under the headline What The Buzzard Hears: That, Police Constable Pusey, recently appointed to Tring and formerly of the Hussars, leaving to join the colours with his old regiment.

His Army Service Record shows that he was recalled to Army Service under special Army Order of 11th November 1899 and on the 13th November, he was apparently initially posted as a Private to the 13th Hussars. However, on the 2nd December 1899 he embarked for South Africa and on arrival served with the 19th Hussars and the South African Light Horse and Colonel Byng’s column.

Having served for 2 years and 71 days he returned home on the 10th February 1902.

He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal with clasps for Johannesburg, Belfast, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith and Laing’s Nek and the King’s South Africa medal with clasps 1901 and 1902.

Re-joining The Police And Marriage.

The exact date that Robert re-joined the Police is not known but his Army Service record shows that he was demobilised at Canterbury on the 23rd July 1902. However, the following indicates that he was released by the Army before that date as on the 15th July 1902 he was a Police Constable stationed in F Division at Hertford Heath.

On that date Robert Pusey aged 30 years, a bachelor and a Police Officer of Hertford Heath, married Charlotte Ann Green aged 28 years and a spinster of Brandesburton, Yorkshire at St. Mary’s Church, Brandesburton. His father was shown as William Pusey, late of the Civil Service and her father as James Green a labourer. In the 1891 census Charlotte was listed as being a domestic nursemaid at Belmont, Brocket Road, Hoddesdon the home of a William Foster a retired Madras Civil Servant. They had two children:

1.    Stanley Howard who was born on the 12th May 1907 at Hertford and baptised on the 7th August 1907 at Holy Trinity Church at Little Amwell. Robert was recorded as being a Policeman and living at Hertford Heath.

2.    Kathleen Thora who was born on the 30th May 1915 in Queensland, Australia.

Mounted Duties.

PC 183 Pusey

General Order 20 of the 8th October 1902 was an Order by the Chief Constable, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Smith Daniell, which reorganised the Mounted Police in Hertfordshire and stated that there would be permanent force of men comprising of a Superintendent, an Inspector, an Acting Sergeant and nine Constables. There would also be two Sergeants and ten Constables selected to form a Mounted Police Reserve. They would be utilised as Mounted Police on horses which would be provided for them when necessary. They would be provided with a complete mounted kit which they had to keep by them, and they had to parade in mounted order once in every month before the Superintendent who had to report their kit as complete and in good repair. Their saddlery would be kept at their Divisional Superintendents Station and the Superintendent’s Groom would be responsible for it being kept clean and in good order when not in use. It would be cleaned and stowed away by the Mounted Reserve man after use.

Superintendents were told to submit the names of Sergeants and Constables fit for this duty giving preference to Cavalry, Horse Artillery and Mounted Infantry men.

Robert was not included in the initial permanent force however, with his Military background, it would appear from the following that he was a member of the Mounted Police Reserve and later replaced a member of the permanent force.

The Electoral Role of 1904 lists Robert Pusey as living in Hertford Heath.

Mutual Aid To St. Albans City Police.

In 1904 the City of St. Albans had its own Police Force and on occasion they requested assistance from the much larger County Force. General Order 4 of the 6th February 1904 gave instructions to Hertford County Constabulary officers who were designated to Police the Parliamentary Bye Election in Mid Herts on Friday 12th February 1904. The main body of the Force were allocated to those areas of St. Albans which fell outside the limits of the City. A smaller Force of 23 officers and a Mounted Detachment of 16 officers, which included Robert riding a hired horse, were placed under the command of the St. Albans City Police Head Constable for duty within the City.

The Mounted Party in St. Albans were ordered to arrive at St. Albans at 12 noon and put up their horses at the Bell Inn Stables and Mr Reynolds Veterinary Stables Chequer Street respectively and will be under the orders of Supt Duke. Superintendent will arrange to hire horses as per standing agreements for 2 days:                                                C Division 4 horses,                                                                                                                                                                            D Division 1 horse,                                                                                                                                                                              E Division 4 horses,                                                                                                                                                                            F Division 1 horse.                                                                                                                                                                              The hired horses must be sound and accustomed to saddle work. If there is any suspicion of catarrh or lameness the horse must be rejected on the advice of a veterinary Surgeon.

Public Nuisance.

Published in the Hertfordshire Mercury on the 17th November1906 under the headline Fireworks In The Street. Let Off With A Fine: Alfred Miles was charged  with throwing fireworks about the streets on November 5th. PC Wood stated that at 8 p.m. on Monday night, November 5th, he was in Railway Street, when he saw the defendant let off several fireworks. Then he lit one at Mr. Dodson’s fish shop, and another he lit and threw in the bedroom window, and it fell on the bed where Mr. Dodson’s little child was sleeping. Mr. Dodson rushed upstairs and put it out in time to prevent any damage being done. PC Pusey corroborated. Supt Foster said that Mr. Dodson had been warned to attend but was on the sick list. He added that bills had been posted all over the  town warning people against letting off fireworks in the street, and although a good many people had to be cautioned, this case was so bad that he was obliged to take action. The Bench inflicted a fine of 10 shillings and informed the defendant that he might have caused very serious damage by his foolish action.


Published in the Hertfordshire Mercury on the 1st December 1906 under the headline Hertford Borough Sessions. Card Playing On Sunday: Edwin Walker, Leonard Wagstaffe and Alfred Game pleaded not guilty to card-playing on Riverside on Sunday, November 18th. PC Dean stated that on the Sunday evening in question he and PC Pusey caught the defendants playing cards under a gas lamp in the Folly at the bottom of Thornton Street along with other youths. He did not see the money, but heard it rattle as it passed from hand to hand. PC Pusey gave corroborative evidence. In answer to a question he said there were eight boys altogether. The defendants said there were some lads playing cards, but they were only looking on. PC Pusey, recalled, said that Walker had money in all his pockets. The defendants were convicted and fined 6s.6d. each.

A Drunk.

Published in the Hertfordshire Mercury on the 29th December 1906 under the headline Hertford County Sessions. Drunk and Disorderly: William Childs, of Hertford Heath, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on December 8th and plead not guilty.  PC Pusey stated that at 10.20 p.m. on December 8th he saw the defendant drunk and behaving in a very disorderly manner just below the Horse and Dray beer house at Hertford Heath. He had great difficulty in getting the defendant to go home. Defendant denied he was drunk, and said he shook hands with the policeman and bade him good night. He called his brother, Charles Childs, who said that defendant was at home all the evening until ten minutes to 10 and was perfectly sober. The case was dismissed.

Two Versions Of The Story Of An Indecent Drunk.

Published in the Watford Observer on Saturday 17th August 1907 under the headline Petty Sessions Wednesday: Before Mr. H.R.G. Craufaud (in the chair), Captain G. Walker and Mr. Spencer L. Holland. Tom White, of no fixed abode, was charged with exposing his person, at Tring, on the 8th inst., and further assaulting Police Constable Cherry whilst on duty at the same time and place. Defendant pleaded guilty to the assault.

Police Constable Pusey, of Hertford, a constable on special duty at Tring Show on Thursday, stated the facts of the case. Defendant had torn up all his clothes, except his shirt, and was dancing about the road by the Robin Hood. There was a crowd of about 2000 people which caused great inconvenience to the people and traps coming from the show. Defendant was very drunk. After his arrest he became very violent, and kicked witness furiously. Witness had difficulty in conveying him to the police station. Defendant was committed for 21 days’ hard labour.

Also published in the Herts Advertiser on Saturday 17th August 1907 under the headline Police Cases. A Shirt His Only Clothing: The extraordinary conduct at the Tring Show of a man named Tom White, of no fixed abode, brought him before the Justices Wednesday at Berkhamstead. He was charged with assaulting PC Pusey whilst on duty at Tring, and also with exposing himself. PC Pusey said he was on special duty at Tring on August 8th the day of the show. About six o’clock witness saw the defendant very drunk coming down the road, with only his shirt on. The defendant was also without boots, and there were crowds of people about at the time.

Witness took him into field out of sight of the people and endeavoured to secure a pair of trousers. The prisoner’s own trousers were torn into shreds and were strewn about the field. Witness managed to strap a jacket round the defendant’s body and arrest him. He became very violent and kicked witness. He had no boots on, or witness would have been seriously injured. After a struggle, the witness threw the man to the ground, and hand cuffed him. An old pair of trousers were obtained at the Police Station, and defendant was put into them. The affair happened just as crowds of people wore coming from the show grounds. Sentence inflicted was one of twenty-one days’ hard labour, for which the defendant said, “Thank you; I have been in prison for a week now.”

Another Drunk.

Published in the Hertfordshire Mercury on the 6th November 1907 under the headline Hertford County Sessions. Covered With Blood And Mud. Drunkenness: Edward Hudson, of Hertford Heath, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on January 3rd. He pleaded guilty. PC Pusey stated that he saw defendant covered in blood and mud at 3.45 p.m., and he had received complaints earlier that he had been fighting with another man for half an hour in the road. The Bench fined defendant 10 shillings. George Hornet was fined 7s. 6d. for a similar offence at the same time. The Constable said this man had his overcoat, coat and vest off.

Mutual Aid To Aylesbury Races.

General Order 12 of the 24th March 1908 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Aylesbury Races in Buckinghamshire on Thursday 2nd April 1908 reporting to Supt Pitson DCC of Bucks on the course at 12 noon. Unlike on previous occasions when the horses were ridden to Aylesbury and incurred an overnight stay, this time the horses were transported by rail from Hatfield and Watford and returned the same day. Dress: Cloth Jackets, overalls, white gloves, best cloth helmet, cloaks rolled, black sword belts.

The Assizes.

General Order 18 of the 13th June 1908 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Saturday 20th June 1908 parading at the Dimsdale Hotel Hertford at 11 a.m. as Judges Escort. The escort was required every morning until the conclusion of the Assizes. Swords with white belts would be worn but not drawn and Serge Jackets.

General Order 31 of the 22nd October 1908 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Thursday 3rd November 1908 parading at the Dimsdale Hotel Hertford at 11 a.m. as Judges Escort with instructions as before.

The Electoral Role of 1909 lists Robert Pusey as living in Hertford Heath.

The Assizes.

General Order 3 of the 30th January 1909 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Monday 8th February 1909 parading at the Dimsdale Hotel Hertford at 3 p.m. as Judges Escort with instructions as before.

Mutual Aid To Aylesbury Races.

General Order 9 of the 12th March 1909 once again announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Aylesbury Steeplechases in Buckinghamshire on Thursday 1st April 1909 reporting to Supt Pitson DCC of Bucks on the course at 12 noon. The arrangements were as the previous year.

The Assizes.

General Order 17 of the 23rd May 1909 announced that a Mounted Detachment of one Sergeant and five Constables, including Robert riding a Hertford horse, would perform duty at the Assizes at Hertford on Wednesday 2nd June 1909 parading at the Dimsdale Hotel Hertford at 10 a.m. as Judges Escort with instructions as before.


General Order 20 of the 18th June 1909 instructed Robert that he was to be transferred from F Division to A Division at Hoddesdon and to take up permanent Mounted Patrol. Robert was again tasked with performing Mounted Police duties at the opening of the Assizes in November 1909 and February 1910.

This photo shows the arrival of the Judge at the Assizes in 1910. The Mounted officers are, starting with the man nearest the Trumpeters and working left to right, PC 39 Francis Adams, PC 183 Robert Pusey, PC 148 Joseph Huggins, Sgt. 137 John Moles, PC 212 Samuel Lambert and PC 234 Harry Inwood.

The Electoral Roll of 1910 lists Robert Pusey as living at 10, Duke Street, Hoddesdon.

Annual Force Inspection.

General Order 5 of 7th February 1910 announced that the General Annual Inspection for 1910 would be undertaken by His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Captain H.T. Terry. The itinerary was:                                                    Thursday 17th February 1910 St Albans City Police at 3 p.m.                                                                                                    Friday 18th February 1910 A or Ware Division at Ware Police Station at 11 a.m. F or Hertford Division at Hertford Police Station at 12 noon.                                                                                                                                                    Saturday 19th February 1910 R or Headquarters Division at Headquarters at 11 a.m.

All men enrolled since last Inspection will parade at Headquarters at 10.30 a.m. except those serving in the A & F Divisions and will produce their journals.

Superintendents will arrange for Police to remain at outstations where necessary for duty and inform this office of the manner of the officers so detailed.

Dress: 1909 Tartan jackets and helmets, fine trousers, white gloves and usual appointments. Every officer in the Force is to be asked if he has any complaint or representation to make to his Majesty’s Inspector, in which case he or they with the Superintendent of Division and Sergeant of Section will parade as above at Headquarters. A number of officers were instructed to parade mounted including Robert at Ware at 11 a.m. on the 17th February 1910.

Puckeridge Hunt Races.

General Order 9 of 16th March 1910 gave instructions for a mounted detachment, including Robert riding the Hoddesdon horse, to perform duty at the Puckeridge Hunt Races on the 6th April 1910 which were being held at Cole Green Farm between Brent Pelham and Meesden. Robert was told to proceed to Buntingford on 5thApril and remain there on nights of 5th and 6th April.

Olympia International Horse Show 1910.

General Order 14 of the 11th April 1910 announced details of the duties for two mounted officers at the International Horse Show on June 6th to 16th 1910.

PC Pusey 183 A Division and PC Wright 20 C Division were selected as the two Constables to represent the Mounted Branch of the Force at the International Horse Show. It went on as follows:

PC Pusey 183 A will ride Brownie the brown mare now at Bishops Stortford. PC Wright 20 C will ride Polly the brown mare now in the C Division. Brownie is ordered into Headquarters Polly will remain at Watford until a few days before the show when she will be brought into Headquarters.

Two saddles and bridles will be selected. Superintendents will kindly inspect their saddles and bridles and send in the best for selection. As new long Mounted Police Staves and Buckets are about to be issued all wallets containing a long pipe for the ordinary truncheon are to be sent into Headquarters at once to be altered.

Superintendents will please report how many shoe cases they have with their saddlery.

Superintendents concerned to inspect the Mounted Uniform of PC Pusey and PC Wright unless their tunics, breeches and boots are in first rate order, a new kit must be supplied, this is urgent. Helmets also to be reported on. All white sword belts to be sent into Headquarters for inspection at once, two new belts to be ordered if necessary.

Proclamation of His Majesty King George V.

General Order 20 of the 8th May 1910 announced the following: On the occasion of the reading of the Proclamation of His Majesty King George V at Hertford on Tuesday 10th May 1910 at 11 a.m. by the High Sherriff of the County, the undermentioned force of Police will be detailed for duty in the Borough of Hertford to parade at Hertford Police Station at 10 a.m. Supt Foster in charge. F Division as many officers as can be spared. A Division 1 Supt, 1 Sergeant and 6 Constables. G Division 1 Sergeant and 6 Constables.

Mounted. One Sergeant and 4  Constables which included Robert riding on a Headquarters horse.

Dress. Mounted men: Tunics, swords with black belts and sword knots, white gloves. Dismounted men: Cloth jackets, capes, white gloves, capes will be left at Police Station if fine. Supt Foster will decide.”

Transferred Again.

General Order 22 of the 14th June 1910 instructed Robert that he would be transferred, as  soon as possible, from A Division at Hoddesdon to C Division at Watford and to perform ordinary duties although he would remain on the Mounted Reserve list. He was replaced at Hoddesdon and on Mounted Patrol by PC 20 Wright.

During the census of 1911 Police Constable Robert Pusey, his wife Charlotte Ann and son Stanley were recorded as living at 52, Gladstone Road, Watford. Unusually they had two lodgers living with them.

The Coronation of George V And Mary Of Teck.

General Order 19 of the 14th June 1911 ordered that one Sergeant, and 19 Mounted Officers would be available on the 22nd June 1911 to help Police the county on Coronation Day. Robert was detailed to use a Weights and Measures Horse and be available within C Division. During this period one of the County’s Policing responsibilities was the testing for accuracy of measuring and weighing equipment used by traders. To carry out these duties there were horses specifically allocated to the role.

The General Order went on to instruct: Superintendents are at liberty to detail the Mounted men ordered within their own Divisions to do ordinary other than Mounted Duty if they think fit. The Chief Constable is however, of opinion that on a day like Coronation Day, and with the crowd, one Mounted Constable is worth three on foot, and the Mounted Constable moreover will be in a position to go speedily to any part of the Division or County where any sort of disturbance may occur. As far as possible Territorial or Yeomanry Horses will be hired.

Resignation And Life After The Police.

The record has not survived but Robert resigned his Appointment as a Constable of the Hertford County Constabulary. Very possibly it would have been not long after Coronation Day as on the 20th September 1911 he left London aboard the S.S. Paparoa, a vessel of the New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd., bound for Brisbane, Australia. He was recorded as being a labourer and travelled 3rd class. The reasons for his resignation are not known other than he was perhaps looking for a better life, having family already in Australia.


Leaving his wife Charlotte Ann and son Stanley back in England Robert endeavoured to establish a new life for them all in Australia. He appears twice in the Electoral Rolls for 1913. Firstly, he is listed with no occupation as living in Auckland Villa, Tank Street, Brisbane, which may have been a boarding house, and secondly employed as a Stud Groom at Gatton College, Gatton, Queensland which was the Queensland Agricultural College.

On the 4th June 1914, Charlotte Ann and Stanley sailed from London aboard the S.S. Orsova, a vessel of the Orient shipping line, bound for Brisbane. She was recorded as being a housewife and they travelled 3rd class with the intention of living permanently in Australia. She and Robert were reunited. Their daughter was born in the following May.

In the 1919 Electoral Roll Robert was employed as a Stock Inspector and they were listed as living at North Gayndah, Wide Bay, Queensland. In 1943 they were on the Electoral Roll for 59, Ipswich Street, East Toowoomba, Queensland.

Charlotte Ann died aged 73 years on the 23rd July 1947 and Robert aged 80 years on the 24th May 1952, they are buried in the same plot at the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery, Toowoomba, Queensland.

This page was added on 03/11/2020.

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