On Thursday 1st March 1900 Britain and its subjects celebrated across the world when the news arrived of the relief of the South African fortress Ladysmith. London went literally mad with joy, and throughout England the scenes witnessed have no parallel in the memories of this generation.
This included Cambridge where a large bonfire was built and ignited in Market Hill by University students and the wild celebrations resulted in numerous complaints of theft and damage. The celebrations persisted over the next few days and the Cambridge Borough Police were determined to put a stop to it and asked surrounding Police Forces for assistance.
Published in the Cambridge Daily News on Monday 12th March 1900 under the headline In Readiness: Extra Police Drafted into the Town. Though to all appearance the celebration of the relief of Ladysmith is at an end, the police made ample provision on Saturday for any further demonstration. It would seem they are tired of humouring noisy crowds and looking on with good natured toleration at town and gown eccentricities, for they imported into Cambridge a squad of extra police from various large towns on Saturday, while the County Constabulary also furnished a complement. There was no occasion for the foreign police to show their prowess, however, as no disturbance of any sort occurred. The strange faces of the stalwart visitors caused a good deal of curiosity, but neither on Market-hill, nor in the vicinity of the Mayor’s house. were they called upon to anything which the Borough Constabulary could not have performed unaided.
The Hertford County Constabulary sent a contingent of Officers which was announced in General Order 5 of the 10th March 1900 as follows: At the Request of the Chief Constable of Cambridge Boro Police the undermentioned party of Police is detailed for duty at Cambridge to parade as soon as possible at the Boro Police Station Cambridge:
Supt and DCC J. Reynolds (to assist Chief Cons), Sgt. Clark 126B, Sgt. Perry 108F, PC Walton 79A, PC Freeman 198A, PC Alton 21B, PC Penny 78B, PC Creek 19C, PC Young 100C, PC Turner 32D, PC Angell 118E, PC Dew 151E, PC Davis 39E, PC Wade 188E, PC Eldred 205E, PC Gray 170E, PC Ebling 142E, PC Huckle 136F, PC Milton 160F, PC Hagger 171R, PC Clark 1R.
Dress: Overcoat, Tunic, Leggings, Woollen Gloves, Night Belt Cape and usual appointments.