The Berkshire Constabulary was formed in 1856, with a Headquarters based in Reading near Abbey Gateway.

The Constabulary covered the whole of the County of Berkshire with the exceptions of the towns of Reading, Windsor, Maidenhead, Wallingford and Wantage which appointed their own police forces.

By 1914 only Reading and Windsor retained a separate police force, the remaining towns had been amalgamated into the Berkshire Constabulary.

In April 1856 the initial establishment of the force was 101 (one chief constable, six superintendents, 12 sergeants and 82 constables). The population of the county was 120,847.

By 1910 the establishment of the force had gradually increased to 235 (one chief constable, nine superintendents, seven inspectors, 31 sergeants and 187 constables). With the introduction of the Police (Weekly Rest Day) Act 1910, which increased a constable's entitlement of one rest day per month to one rest day per week, an increase of 40 men were required, which brought the establishment of the force in 1914 to 275.

On 16 April 1910 the Standing Joint Committee, and the Secretary of State approved the chief constable's recommendation of the formation of a First Police Reserve, consisting of retired inspectors, sergeants and constables, to be retained on an annual fee. In 1911, the Secretary of State advocated to all chief constables the formation of a Second Police Reserve who were unpaid volunteer members of the public who would assist the police when called upon. The Special Constabulary Act 1914 empowered chief constables to appoint members of the Second Police Reserve as Special Constables. They would be sworn in and have the full powers of police constables within their police area, and adjoining areas. They remained unpaid. They were issued with warrant cards, a baton, a whistle and a badge.

By April 1912 the First Police Reserve for Berkshire Constabulary consisted of two inspectors, 12 sergeants and 57 constables.

By 1914 the Second Police Reserve totalled nearly 4,00 of which 1,356 had been sworn in as Special Constables.

On 4 August 1914 when war was declared the strength of the Berkshire Constabulary was 273 regular officers. It was the largest of the three county constabularies. At the outbreak of war, a total of eight me, who had previous military service before joining the police, were immediately recalled to The Colours. During the course of the war a further 90 men volunteered to serve. Members of both the First and Second Police Reserves were called upon to cover their absence and to assist in the increase of workload brought about by the Defence of the Realm Act and Regulations.

In his quarterly report to the Berkshire Constabulary Standing Joint Committee on 19 October 1914 the Chief Constable Lt.-- Colonel A.F. Poulton reported that on the outbreak of war duties of the police were increased out of all proportion to the size of the force. 45 First Police Reserves were recalled for full-time police duties.

At the conclusion of the war the chief constable produced a report for the Standing Joint Committee entitled 'Special Report on the Work of the Regular Force and Special Reserve for the County of Berkshire during the Great War 1914-1919'.

At the conclusion of the war the chief constable produced a report for the Standing Joint Committee entitled 'Special Report on the Work of the Regular Force and Special Reserve for the County of Berkshire during the Great War 1914-1919'.

The 12 men who died were:

Alfred Frederick William Davis was born in Reading on 8 June, 1895. He was one of six children of Alfred and Emily Davis. In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Davis family were living in Station Road, Warfield, Bracknell, Berkshire, with five children. Alfred Davis (Snr) was employed as a storeman.

By the time of the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) Alfred (Jnr) was 15 years old. The Davis family were still living in Station Road, Bracknell and there was one additional child. Alfred was working in a corn store, where it would appear that his father was also working, as he is listed as ‘Store Keeper to Corn Merchant’.

In 1911 Alfred, at the age of 16 years, joined the 4th Battalion (Territorials) of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He served for two years and was discharged on 1 November 1913 when, although still only 18 years of age, he was appointed Police Constable 219 in the Berkshire Constabulary.

On 19 January 1914, after initial training at the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, Alfred was posted to the Abingdon Division and stationed in Abingdon Borough.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Like many young men, Alfred volunteered to serve in the military, and on 19 June 1915, at the age of 20, he was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915, and was posted to The Royal Berkshire Regiment as Private 201519.

On 20 June 1918 Alfred then Corporal 201519 in 2nd/4th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment was killed in action during the final part of the Somme offensive. He had just celebrated his 23rd birthday.

Alfred is remembered with honour and buried in grave reference A17 in the Marteville Communal Cemetery, Attilly, Aisne, France.

Alfred Mark Thompson was born in Sunninghill, Berkshire in 1892.

He was one of six children of George and Ann Sophia Thompson. In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Thompson family, with two children, were living in Laburnan Cottages, New Road, Sunninghill, Berkshire. George Thompson was employed as a domestic gardener/servant. In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Thompson family, then with four children, including Alfred, had moved to New Road, Winkfield, Berkshire.

In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) the Thompson family, with two children, including Alfred (18 years old) had moved to East Lodge, Winkfield Manor, Berkshire.

On Monday 3 April 1911 Alfred Mark Thompson was appointed Police Constable 78 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters, in Reading, in June 1911 he was posted to the Reading Division, and stationed at Spencers Wood.

On 18 May 1914 Alfred was transferred within the Reading Division and posted to Calcot.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Between October and December 1915 Alfred Mark Thompson married Daisy E Butler (registered in 1915 in Bradfield Volume 2C Page 1023).

Like many young men Alfred volunteered for military service, and was released by the Chief Constable of Berkshire Constabulary under the provisions of The Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 on 30 November 1915 for military service. He was appointed Gunner 69713 in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

On 24 August 1916 Gunner 69713 Alfred, aged 24, of 94th Seige Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds received while serving in France. He is buried in grave reference II.D.8 and remembered with honour in the Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Tréport, Seine-Maritime, France.

Arthur Frank Wheatcroft was born in Blockley, Worcestershire, on 23 March 1889.

He was the eldest of seven children of Frank and Mary Wheatcroft. Frank was employed as a farm hand. In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Wheatcroft family with two children were living in Paxford, Worcestershire. In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the family (with six children now) were living in Westfield Farm House, Woodhouse Lane, Quorndon, Leicestershire where Frank was employed as a farm bailiff.

In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) the family had moved to Coxlands, Stanford Dingley, Berkshire. Six children were at home, including Arthur who was employed as an under cowman on a farm. Arthur’s younger brother George was recorded as a Police Constable living in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, having joined the Berkshire Constabulary on 1 February 1911.

On 1 April 1913, Arthur, aged 24, was appointed Police Constable 213 in the Berkshire Constabulary. His brother, George, was Police Constable 71. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters, on 31 May 1913 he was posted to Farringdon.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Like many young men both Wheatcroft brothers volunteered for military service.

On 1 December 1915 Arthur was released by the Chief Constable of Berkshire under the provisions of The Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and was appointed a Private in The Royal Berkshire Regiment.

George was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the provisions of The Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 on 15 December 1915 and was appointed a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

On 16 August 1917 Private 203770 Arthur 1st/4th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action. He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on Panels 105 to 106 and 162 in the Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

George survived the war and was discharged from military service on 1 February 1919 and returned to police service in the Berkshire Constabulary.

Charles Henry Goodchild was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 23 March 1887. His mother was Emily Goodchild. In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) Charles was living with his grandparents in Ipswich Road, Grundisburgh, Great Bealings, Ipswich, his mother was working as a servant in a boys' boarding school in Ipswich.

On 8 July 1903 Charles enlisted in the Suffolk Regiment. In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) he is recorded as a Lance Corporal in H Company and Regimental Staff of 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment of Infantry, Mustapha Pasha Barracks, Alexandria, Egypt.

On 11 October 1911, after eight years' service, Charles was discharged from the Suffolk Regiment and placed on Military Reserve until 1 October, 1915.

On 1 November 1911 he was appointed Police Constable 101 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training at the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading on 22 January 1912 he was posted to the Maidenhead Division and stationed in Maidenhead Borough.

Between April and June 1914 Charles married Laura Ashley in Maidenhead (registered Maidenhead 1914 Apr-Jun Volume 2C Page 1006).

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

On 5 August 1914, due to being on Military Reserve, Charles was recalled to the Colours, and posted to 2nd Battalion of Suffolk Regiment. The Regiment was mobilised for war almost immediately and landed at Le Harve on 17 August 1914 and as part of the British Expeditionary Force and was immediately involved in battles.

Late in 1914, Charles' wife; Laura Goodchild gave to birth to their daughter Dorothy L Goodchild in Maidenhead (registered Maidenhead 1914 Oct-Dec Volume 2C Page 750).

On 29 June 1915, having been wounded in Battle, Private 6594 Charles Henry Goodchild of 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment died from his wounds. He is buried and remembered with honour in grave reference VII B 53 in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Boulogne, France.

It is not known if Charles ever saw his daughter.

Charles Warman was born in Beenham, Berkshire on 20 September 1893.

He was one of nine children of William and Jane Warman. His father was a butcher by trade.

In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) Charles, aged 17, was still living at home in The Green, Beenham. He was working on a farm.

On 2 February 1914, at the age of 20, Charles was appointed PC 119 in the Berkshire Constabulary. Prior to joining he was employed as a gardener in Woolhampton. He had no previous military experience.

On 6 May 1914, after completing his basic training at the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, Charles was posted to Maidenhead Division, to work in the town of Maidenhead.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

On 1 December 1915 Charles was posted to Wantage. While at Wantage he volunteered to join the Army.

On 27 December 1916 Charles was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary, under the provisions of The Police (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1915 and appointed to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).

On 1 August 1917 Private 87576 Charles Warman, 46th Company, Machine Gun Corps was killed in action at the Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on Panel 56 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Francis Brinyon Hewett was born in Inkpen, Berkshire on 24 July 1894.

He was the fifth of eight children on Thomas and Ellen Hewett. Francis’ middle name was the same as his father’s. Thomas was a Police Constable in the Berkshire Constabulary, and at the time of Francis’ birth was the Police Constable at Inkpen, where he was stationed at the time of the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891).

By the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) Thomas had been promoted to Sergeant and the Hewett family were living in the village of Appleton, which is northwest of Abingdon. The family were still there at the time of the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April, 1911). Francis was then 16 years old and working as a gamekeeper.

In July 1912 Francis joined the Royal Navy where he served until 31 October 1913 as an officer’s steward in HMS Pembroke, a shore-based establishment in Chatham, Kent.

On 1 November 1913 Francis followed his father into the Berkshire Constabulary when he was appointed Police Constable 144. He was 19 years old. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, on 12 January 1914 he was posted to the Windsor Division and stationed at Cumberland Gate, performing duty within Windsor Great Park, part of the Windsor Royal Estate.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Like many young men Francis volunteered for military service, and on 31 May 1915 he was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and again joined the Royal Navy.

On 30 December 1915 Officer’s Steward 1st Class L/3763 Francis Hewett died when HMS Natal sunk, following an internal explosion while at anchor in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland. From a crew of 721 a total of 390 naval personnel were killed or drowned as a result of the explosion, which occurred in the rear of the ship. The Admiralty court-martial into the cause of the explosion concluded it was an internal explosion possibly due to faulty cordite. Francis’ body was not recovered and he is remembered with honour on panel 12 of the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent.

Frank Henry Brown was born in Shottesbrook, Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1889. He was the youngest of seven children of Henry and Mary Brown, who originated from West Berkshire. In the 1881 Census (Sunday 3 April 1881) the Brown family were living in Yateley, Hampshire where Henry Brown was a farm bailiff. Between 1881 and Frank’s birth in 1889 the Brown family had moved to Shottesbrook near Maidenhead in Berkshire.

By the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) Henry Brown had died, and Mary, now 47 years is living with Frank, then aged two, and three other children in White Waltham Lane, Shottesbrook, Maidenhead, Berkshire and was working as a laundress. By the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) Mary, then 57 and working as a church and school cleaner, was living with Frank, then aged 12, in Chambers Lane, Shottesbrooke.

In 1908 Frank enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards and in the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) is living in Ramilies Barracks, Aldershot. His mother, Mary, remains living in Shottesbrooke with her 14-year-old grandson. She is working as a housekeeper to a ladies governess.

On 17 May 1911 after three years' service Frank was discharged from the Coldstream Guards and placed on Reserve for nine years.

On 18 May 1911 Frank is appointed as Police Constable 58 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training at the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading in June 1911 he is posted to the Reading (Rural) Division, and station at Three Mile Cross.

While at Three Mile Cross Frank met Daisy Plumb, a housemaid in The Grange at Arborfield, Berkshire.

Daisy Plumb was the daughter of Luke Plumb, who in the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) was a Police Constable at Theale, Berkshire and in the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) he was a Police Sergeant, stationed at Shinfield, and was probably Frank’s supervisory sergeant.

It is possibly for this reason that Frank was transferred to Beenham, Berkshire, on 17 March 1913, just prior to his marriage to Daisy Plumb in the spring of 1913 (registered Wokingham, Berkshire 1913 Apr-June volume 2c page 840).

In the Spring of 1914 Frank and Daisy had their first child, Leslie F Brown (registered Maidenhead, Berkshire, 1914 Jan-Mar volume 2c page 723).

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and the Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Due to his previous military service Frank was immediately recalled to the Colours and returned to the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards as Guardsman 7858.

In late 1915 Frank and Daisy’s second child, Eric B Brown was born (registered Maidenhead, Berkshire 1915 Oct-Dec volume 2c page 663). It would appear that as Frank was away serving in the Coldstream Guards, that Daisy went to stay with her mother-in-law in Shottesbrooke as the child’s birth was registered in Maidenhead.

On 9 October 1917 while serving with the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, Frank, then Lance Corporal 7858, was killed in action in the Battle of Passchendaele. He is buried and remembered with honour in the Cambrai East Military Cemetery, Nord, France in grave reference Sp Mem 1.

George William Bennett was born in Bray, Berkshire in 1886. He was one of two children of George and Christina Benett. His father was a plate layer on the Great Western Railway.

In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the family lived in 3 Boyn Terrace, Bray, Berkshire, and had only moved to Laurel Cottage, Bray by the time of the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901).

On 1 January 1907 at the age of 21, George was appointed Police Constable 83 in the Berkshire Constabulary. He had previously been employed as a gardener in Wellington College, Crowthorne.

After initial training at the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters, in Reading, on 22 March 1907 he was posted to the Newbury Division and stationed at Thatcham.

On 16 October 1909 he was awarded ten shillings by the Berkshire Constabulary Standing Joint Committee for the act of bravery of stopping a runaway horse in Thatcham.

On 11 March 1912 he was transferred to the Wokingham Division, initially for duty within the town of Wokingham, and then on 1 May, 1912, he was posted to Crowthorne, also within the Wokingham Division.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and the Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

George, like many young men, volunteered for military service and on 24 November 1915 he was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the provisions of the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and was appointed Private 17397 in the Coldstream Guards. His place of enlistment was Wokingham.

On 8 September 1917 Private 17397 George Bennett, 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action during the Battle of Passchendaele. He has no known grave and is Remembered with honour on Panel 9 of the Tyne Cot Memorial to The Missing, Zonnebeke, Belgium.

George Anton Eales was born in Stratfield Turgis, Hampshire on 27 December, 1886. He was the eldest of six children born to George and Ann Eales. At the time of the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Eales family, then consisting of five children, were living in 3 Model Cottages, Seaford Road, Wokingham, Berkshire. George Eales (Snr) was employed as a general labourer.

In 1905 George Anton Eales, at the age of 18, enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, and at the time of the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) was with the 19th Battery, Royal Field Artillery in Olpherts Barracks, Cawnpore, India. His parents, with their three youngest children, were living in Warfield Street, Warfield, Berkshire where George Eales (Snr) was working a Farm Carter.

On 4 November 1911 George was discharged from the Royal Field Artillery after six years and 109 days' service. He was placed on Military Reserve.

On 1 January 1912 George Anton Eales was appointed Police Constable 25 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, on 11 March 1912 he was posted to the Newbury Division and stationed at Thatcham. On 20 November 1912 he was posted to Boxford, which was still on the Newbury Division.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

On 5 August, 1914 George, as a result of being placed on Reserve when he was discharged from the Royal Field Artillery, was recalled to the Colours and rejoined the Royal Field Artillery.

On 15 April 1917 Gunner 61777, while serving with 'A' Battery, 252nd Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, George was killed in action.

He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on Bay 1 of the Arras Memorial which is situated in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle in the western part of the town of Arras, France.

George Penstone Gould was born in Holyport, Berkshire on 23 May 1889. He was the son of a local policeman; Thomas Gould, and his wife Sarah. Prior to Holyport, Thomas had been the local policeman in Binfield, Berkshire.

In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Gould family were still living in Holyport, Bray, Berkshire. There were then four children in the family, with George being the youngest.

By the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) Thomas and his family had been moved and were living in Remenham, Berkshire. Henry was now one of six children. The youngest was Leslie, born in 1900. George was then 11 years old.

On 1 October 1910 George was appointed Police Constable 24 in the Berkshire Constabulary. At this time his father had retired from the Berkshire Constabulary, and the Gould family were living in 1 Market Place, Henley, Oxfordshire. Prior to his appointment George had been working as a plumber for Waldren and Cox, builders of Henley.

After initial training at the Berkshire Headquarters in Reading, on 2 January 1911 George was posted to the Reading (Rural) Division and stationed at Spencers Wood.

In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) George was lodging with the Lowe family in the Post Office at Spencers Wood. Thomas and his family were still living in 1 Market Place, Henley, Oxfordshire. The last of their eight children had been born while Thomas was the local policeman at Remenham.

In May 1911 George was posted from Spencers Wood to Faringdon in North Berkshire.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Like many young men, George Gould volunteered for military service in The Great War, but in order to join up he had to resign as a police constable, which he did on 1 May 1915. On 19 May 1915 The Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 received the Royal Assent. The Act enabled serving police officers to volunteer for military service, and providing their Chief Constable certified that had sufficient resources to cover the absence of the officer, the officer could be appointed to the military, and their absence would still count as police service. George would have been retrospectively covered by the Act providing his Chief Constable approved with his resignation to join the military.

George was appointed as Private 17707 in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on 1 May 1915. After basic training he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, in France on 5 October 1915.

On 28 October 1916 George Gould, then Lance Sergeant 17707 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action in one of the Battles of The Somme. He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on Pier 11 Face D of Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Picardy, France. This memorial commemorates 72,191 men killed in Battles of The Somme.

Ralph Rowland was born in Stoke, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire in 1892.

He was the eldest of eight children of Francis and Frances Rowland. His father was employed as a gamekeeper. In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Rowland family were living in the Keepers Lodge in Letton, Shipdham, Norfolk. They were still there in the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911). Ralph Rowland was 19 years old, and like is father, employed as a gamekeeper.

On 1 February 1913 Ralph was appointed Police Constable 147 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, on 1 April 1913 he was posted to the Windsor Division and stationed at Ascot.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

Like many young men Ralph volunteered for military service and on 1 December 1915 he was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the provisions of The Police (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1915 for military service, and he was appointed to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

On 26 April 1917 Corporal 69716 Ralph was admitted to a military hospital having been wounded in action. On 28 April 1917, aged 25, Ralph died of wounds. He is buried and remembered with honour in grave reference II D 71 in the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.

Raymond Edward Offer was born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire in 1894.

Although registered as Raymond Edward, he was known as Edward. He was youngest of four children of Edwin and Lucy Offer. Edwin Offer was a employed as a blacksmith.

In the 1901 Census (Sunday 5 April 1901) the Offer family were living in Twelve Acres, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. The Offer family were still living there at the time of the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911). Edward (Raymond) Offer was then 16 years old and the only child still living at home. Edward was working as a gardener and his father was still a blacksmith.

In 1914 military tension was rising in Europe. On 4 August Germany invaded Belgium as a means of accessing and invading France. Due to Germany’s refusal to retreat from the invasion Britain had no option but to declare war on Germany, and The Great War, later also to be referred to as World War One, commenced.

On 8 August 1914 Edward was appointed Police Constable 111 in the Berkshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Berkshire Constabulary Headquarters in Reading, on 27 November 1914 he was posted to the Windsor Division and stationed at Clewer. The Borough of Windsor was not part of the Berkshire Constabulary, having its own Windsor Borough Police Force.

Like many young men, Edward volunteered for service in the military, and on 1 December 1915 he was released by the Chief Constable of the Berkshire Constabulary under the provisions of The Police (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1915 and was appointed initially to the Life Guards, and subsequently to the Household Battalion, which was an infantry battalion formed from reserves from the Household Cavalry and the Royal Horse Guards.

On 30 July 1917 Corporal 98 Raymond Edward Offer, Household Battalion, died of wounds received while in battle. He is remembered with honour and buried in grave reference II B 11 in St Nicolas British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Information on this page found and verified from researching archived police records and newspapers plus from entries on the following websites: Find My Past, Ancestry, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Forces-war-records.