Hertford County Constabulary

A step towards promotion in 1916

By Terry Askew

Arithmetic paper
Local taxation paper

I recently had the very good fortune to meet Dave Haynes, a resident of Ware, at a celebration event for the 20th anniversary of Hertford U3A. He indicated that he had some items which might be of interest to me, and very interesting indeed they turned out to be.

They date back almost 100 years, to December 1916, and are examination papers in respect of the subjects of Arithmetic and Local Taxation – time allowed one hour and 45 minutes respectively – as part of the process to give a Police Constable Second Class an opportunity to progress to Police Constable First Class. The papers were given to Dave Haynes by a colleague who used to be an inspector with Hertfordshire Special Constabulary.

Possibly suggesting wartime austerity, the examination papers appear to have been labouriously typed out (with one correction/deletion) and then reproduced using some sort of Roneo machine of those days (it is just possible to see a tiny hand alteration which suggests this).

One intriguing detail from the Local Taxation paper, was reference to a licence being required for a “Male Servant”. As it appears immediately after a question regarding gun licences. slightly with tongue in cheek, I hope that this did not imply that there was an ‘open season’ for shooting Male Servants in those more class-conscious days.

Being of the pre pocket-calculator generation, I could not resist the temptation of sitting the Arithmetic paper myself and, afterwards, wondering how some modern day shop assistants would fare (decimalisation aside).

Note: As the images are a little difficult to decipher, the papers have been transcribed and can be read through the file link below.

This page was added on 05/09/2012.

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