Manton, William Ernest, 84, Police Constable, Sergeant.

Paul Watts

William Ernest Manton Re-joining The Police
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

William Ernest Manton was born in 1885 at Ampthill.

His father, William Henry Manton, married his mother, Jane Veal, in 1884 at Ampthill. They had three children all born in Ampthill.
1. William Ernest.
2. Hilda May born in 1893.
3. Agnes May born in 1896.

During the 1891 census William was living with his parents at Saunders Place, Ampthill and his father was employed as an Omnibus driver. In the 1901 census the family were still living at Saunders Place, Ampthill. William was working as an assistant in a Spirit Stores and his father was a Bus driver.

By the 1911 census the family had moved and were living at 1, Russell Rise, Luton and William’s father was employed as a labourer. William had left home and was working as a Brewer’s Storekeeper and lodging at 14, Old Park Road, Hitchin with the Orsman family.

Nothing further is known about William’s life until he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

William’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know that he was Appointed as Constable 84 on the 9th August 1914. His Probationer training would have been carried out at Police Headquarters at Hatfield at the end of which he was posted to C Division at Watford.

General Order 98 of the 9th June 1915 was entitled The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915:
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.

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. William is shown as PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division who enlisted into the 2nd Life Guards on the 12th June 1915 with PC’s 145 Abbiss and 319 Potter.

Army Service During The War.

His Army Service Record has not survived. The reference to him enlisting in the 2nd Life Guards above is thought to be accurate, particularly as he joined with two others. However, the only matching Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll reveal that William Ernest Manton joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as Gunner 197727 and served with the 521st Siege Battery. It is possible that he did serve in the 2nd Life Guards initially but then transferred. This is seen as even more likely as the three men listed above him in his Medal Roll are shown to have all initially served in the 2nd Life Guards. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.


William married Alice Maud Rowe in 1918 at Luton. There are no records of them having any children.

The Absent Voters Lists of 1918 and 1919 record William Ernest Mantle as Acting Bombardier 197772 Royal Garrison Artillery, as living at 14, Russell Rise, Luton.

Like every other soldier William would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. Part of that process would have seen him undergo a medical examination to determine whether he was fit enough to carry out Police duties. The end of his leave period would have coincided with the date of his re-joining the Police.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 15 of 14th January 1919 announced that nine Police Soldiers, having been released from H.M. Army, would be re-appointed to the Force. William was shown as PC 84 Manton W.E. posted to C Division at Watford on £2/7/0 per week from the 13th January 1919. Each officer had to be formally re-attested. The Superintendents concerned had to report to the Chief Constable when this had been done, with the date and place of attestation and before whom taken.

General Order 182 of the 20th August 1919 informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 per week from the 10th August 1919.

The Electoral Roll of 1920 lists William and Alice Manton as living at 69, Market Street, Watford.


General Order 82 of the 3rd May 1920 instructed William that from the 12th May 1920 he was being transferred from C Division at Watford to A Division at Ware and to occupy the house being vacated by PS 119 Digby. The Electoral Rolls of 1921 to 1923 record William and Alice Manton as living at 3, Park Road, Ware.

General Order 142 of the 19th August 1921 and General Order 109 of the 18th August 1922 both informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 10th August 1921 and from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 10th August 1922 respectively.

Transferred Again.

General Order 129 of the 22nd July 1923 instructed William that from the 1st August 1923 he was being transferred from A Division at Ware to B Division at Codicote and to occupy the house being vacated by Constable Gillett. The Electoral Roll of 1924 lists William and Alice as living at High Street, Codicote.

General Order 148 of the 16th August 1923 informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 10th August 1923.


General Order 28 of the 15th February 1924 announced that William had been Commended: At the Hertford County Petty Sessions held on 9th February 1924 the Chairman, F.W. Woodhouse Esq., complimented Constable 84 Manton B Division for the smart way in which he arrested William Sidney Bland on a charge of stealing a bicycle. The reports in the matter show that the Constable acted with initiative and the Chief Constable endorses the compliment of the Chairman of the Petty Sessions and directs that an appropriate entry shall be made in the Constable’s records of service.

General Order 149 of the 1st September 1924 informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 10th August 1924

Promotion And Transfer.

General Order 132 of the 14th August 1924 announced the results of the Promotion to Sergeant Examination taken on the 2nd February 1924. William was one of eleven successful candidates who qualified.

General Order 142 of the 25th August 1924 announced that from the 28th August 1924 William would be one of three Constables to be promoted to the rank of Acting Sergeant. With the promotion would have been an increase of pay to £5/0/0 per week.

The very next General Order No. 143 of the 26th August instructed Arthur that from the 4th September he was being transferred from B Division at Codicote to E Division at Baldock and to occupy the cottage to be vacated by Constable 56 Thompson. The Electoral Roll of 1925 lists William and Alice Manton as living at 2, Icknield Way North, Baldock.

General Order 41 of the 16th March 1925 instructed William that from the 25th March 1925 he would be moving house from the Police Cottage, Icknield Way, Baldock to 46, High Street, Baldock. The Electoral Rolls of 1926 to 1929 reveal that this was actually the Police Station in High Street East, Baldock.

General Order 140 of the 14th October 1925 informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/0/0 to £5/2/6 per week from the 28th August 1925. The record has not survived but the fact that William was awarded this increase means that he was also promoted to the substantive rank of Sergeant.

General Order 17 of the 26th January 1926 instructed William that he would attend a course of instruction for Police Sergeants at Headquarters Hatfield on Monday 1st February 1926 for one week. For some unknown reason William probably did not attend as General Order 33 of the 26th February 1926 told him to report at Headquarters Hatfield at 9 a.m. on Monday 1st March 1926 for the same course.

General Order 123 of the 7th September 1926 informed William that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 per week from the 28th August 1926.

Police Federation.

General Order 151 of the 4th November 1926 announced the following decision taken at the Joint Branch Board Meeting held at Constabulary Headquarters on 22nd November 1926. That Police Sergeant 84 Manton E Division be Vice Chairman and Assistant Secretary. Also, of decisions reached by the Sergeants Branch Board meeting held on the same day. Sergeant Lawrence was appointed Chairman and Sergeant Manton Secretary of the Sergeants Branch Board. Sergeant Manton and Sergeant Flower were elected as Delegates to attend the Central Conference to be held at the Civil Service Commission, Burlington Gardens, Old Bond Street, London on the 10th and 11th November 1926.

A Minor Blemish.

On the 17th October 1927 the Chief Constable cautioned William and a PC 343 Green failing to disclose evidence which was within their knowledge against a prisoner, David Osborn, charged with being drunk in charge of a motor car at Baldock on 5th October 1927.

The Final Transfer.

The record has not survived but the newspaper article below reveals that William was transferred from E Division at Baldock to C Division at Rickmansworth during April 1930. The Electoral Roll of 1930 lists William and Alice Manton as living at 179, High Street, Rickmansworth.

Retirement On Medical Grounds And Death.

On the 30th August 1931 William retired as Sergeant on a medical pension.

Published on 25th September 1931 in the Uxbridge and West Drayton Gazette under the headline Death of PS Manton: The death occurred on Tuesday week of PS William Manton (46), who came to Rickmansworth last April. He was taken ill shortly afterwards and had to go off duty in December. He returned to duty in June but after being at work for two weeks was again taken ill and never recovered.

William Ernest Manton of 179, High Street, Rickmansworth died on the 15th September 1931.

This page was added on 07/04/2020.

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