The Oxfordshire Constabulary was formed as a result of the County and Borough Police Act 1856 in 1857. The headquarters was in New Road, Oxford.

The force was initially organised into three divisions with an all-ranks establishment of 87.

Conditions of service for a constable in a rural constabulary were hard. With the formation of the force, the first chief constable issued an instruction book covering the instructions and regulations as to how the force was to be governed. One of these stated that: 'Every constable, when his usual hours of patrol are over, will at once return to his own quarters to take necessary rest. Unless his services are required elsewhere, which he is specially to report, he will be expected to be found at his quarters until the hour for patrolling returns'. The hours of duty were normally nine hours per day, but split between four hours in the morning or afternoon, with five hours during the evening or night.

A monthly rest day was slowly introduced, but it was not until the Police (Weekly Rest Day) Act 1910 was put into operation on 1 November 1913 that a duty system incorporating a weekly rest day was introduced. Annual leave of up to seven days a year had also been introduced by this time.

When The Great War was declared on 4 August 1914, 17 police officers with previous military service and on military reserve were immediately recalled to the Colours. To cover the absence caused by this immediate loss of manpower, all rest days and annual leave were suspended.

In February 1915 superintendents were allowed to grant an occasional 24 hours leave to officers who could be spared, and by August 1915 weekly rest days were reinstated. However, annual leave entitlement was not restored until February 1919.

With the outbreak of war, workload for the police service increased with the introduction of the Deference of the Realm Regulations. The increase in workload was applicable to the Oxfordshire Constabulary as it was to all police forces. Although a separate police force under the overall control of the Standing Joint Committee, and the operation control of the chief constable, the force was subject to annual government inspections and also to national legislation and government advice covering police forces.

The force had established both a first police reserve of retired police officers retained on an annual payment and also a second police reserve of male occupants of the county who were willing to assist the Oxfordshire Constabulary in their duties. From 1914, with the introduction of the Special Constabulary Act 1914, some members of the second police reserve were sworn in as Special Constables, which gave them the full powers of a constable within the county of Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

During the course of the war, a further 36 officers volunteered for military service. Under the Police (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1915 officers given permission of their chief constable to join the military, remained a member of their force and were entitled to rejoin on the completion of their military service. This permission would only be given if the chief constable was satisfied he had sufficient resources to cover the absence of the officer. The role of the first police reserve and second police reserve, especially the Special Constables were important resources to meet this criteria.

Of the 53 officers who were either recalled to the Colours on the outbreak of war, or volunteered during the course of the war, nine officers were killed in action or died of wounds received.

The nine men who died were:

Albert Charles State was born in Cowley, Oxford in 1889.

He was one of ten children of William and Elizabeth State. In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the State family, with five children, were living in 33 Crescent Road, Cowley, Oxford. William was employed as a college servant. In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the State family, with nine children, were living in 10 Cricket Road, Cowley, Oxford. William was then employed as a work house assistant/labourer. Albert was at school.

On 5 June 1910 Albert, aged 21, was appointed Police Constable 87 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary and posted to the Bullingdon 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.

Between October and December 1914 Albert married Margaret E Smith in Oxford (recorded in Headington 1914 Oct-Dec Volume 3A Page 2211). Between July and September 1915 Margaret State gave birth to Elsie G State in Oxford (recorded in Headington 1915 Jul-Sep Volume 3A Page 1904).

On 15 January 1915 Albert resigned from the Oxfordshire Constabulary and joined Royal Army Service Corps.

On 25 November 1915 Corporal M/283723 Albert State, of 820 M.T. Company of Royal Army Service Corps, was killed while serving in Serbia. He is buried in grave reference B2 in the Chela Kula Military Cemetery in Nis, Serbia.

Arthur Henry Admans was born in Kentish Town, London, in 1893 to Walter and Jane Admans.

He was one of nine children. Walter originated from Kintbury, Berkshire, and although in the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Admans family were living in Ashdown Street, St Pancras, London, where Walter was employed as a gas labourer, he was an agricultural worker by trade.

By the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) the Admans family were living in Pudlicote, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, where Walter had returned to his initial trade in agriculture and was employed as a stockman on a farm, and Arthur, then 18 years old, was working as a poultry dealer.

On 18 November 1913 Arthur , aged 19, was appointed Police Constable 61 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. Following initial training at the Oxfordshire Constabulary headquarters in Oxford on 2 March 1914 he was posted to the Banbury (Rural) Division. On 20 July 1914 he was again posted, this time to Watlington.

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.

In November 1914 Arthur Admans was posted back to work in the Oxfordshire headquarters in Oxford where he remained until 4 January 1915 when he was posted to the Bullingdon Division, which was the Oxfordshire area around Oxford City, which was covered by Oxford City Police.

Like many young men Arthur Admans volunteered for service in the army and on 15 December 1916 he was released by the chief constable of Oxfordshire of the Oxfordshire Constabulary under the provisions of the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and was appointed to the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards as Guardsman 28672.

On 27 November 1917 Private 28672 Arthur Admans, aged 25, of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in action while fighting in France. He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on Panel 2 of the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, Nord, France.

Arthur was not the only one of the Admans' children killed in the war. His elder brother Walter (born 1890) was killed on 10 August 1916 while fighting with the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.

Arthur Henry Wilkins was born in Taynton, Burford, Oxfordshire in 1885. He was the son of Arthur and Mary Wilkins.

By the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) Arthur, aged 15, had left home and was living in the Dawes household at 21 Park Crescent, St Marylebone, London where he was working as a footman/domestic.

In November 1902 Arthur enlisted in the South Lancashire Regiment. He served in the Regiment until 9 January 1911 when he was discharged from the 1st Battalion, and placed on Reserve. At the time the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment were serving in India.

Arthur returned to Britain and on 28 February 1911, at the age of 25, he was appointed Police Constable 88 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford on 25 March 1911 he was posted to the Ploughleys Division at Bicester. He remained there until 30 August 1911 when he was posted to the Wootton North Division at Deddington, and on 4 November 1911 he was again posted, this time to the Chadlington Division at Chipping Norton.

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.

As Arthur was on reserve for military service he was immediately recalled to the Colours and on 4 August 1914 he rejoined the South Lancashire Regiment and was appointed to the 2nd Battalion.

In May 1915 Sergeant 6700 Arthur Wilkins, 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment was wounded while fighting in The Battle of Ypres and on 9 May 1915 he died of his wounds. He is buried in grave reference A13 and remembered with honour in the Divisional Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium.

Edward George Joines was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, on 5 November 1882.

He was one of eight children of Charles and Sarah Joines. In the 1891 Census (5 April 1891) the Joines family, with five children were living in Rock Hill, Chipping Norton. Edward was nine years old. His father; Charles was employed as a general labourer.

The Joines family, with five children at home, were still in Rock Hill, Chipping Norton at the time of the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901). However Edward, then 19 years old, had left home and was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery based in Hilsea Barracks, Cosham, Hampshire.

On 24 October 1908 Edward was discharged from the Royal Field Artillery and placed on Military Reserve. Prior to discharge he was serving in Lahore, India.

On 19 April 1909, at the age of 26, Edward was appointed Police Constable 64 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford on 14 June 1909 he is posted to the Ploughley Division at Bicester.

Between January and March 1911 Edward married Laura Mabel Winman in Bicester (registered Bicester 1911 Jan-Feb Volume 3A Page 1315). In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) Edward and Laura Joines are living in the police station in Market End, Bicester.

Between October and December 1911 Laura gave birth to her and Edward’s first child, a boy; Edward G Joines, who appears to have been named after his father (registered Bicester 1911 Oct-Dec Volume 3a Page 2011).

On 3 March 1913 Edward was transferred to the Wootton South Division at Woodstock, and between April and June that year Edward and Laura’s second child, a boy; William Joines was born (registered Woodstock 1913 Apr-Jun Volume 3A Page 2246).

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 Edward being on military Reserve as a result of his service with the Royal Horse Artillery, he was immediately recalled to the Colours and posted to the Royal Field Artillery.

On 17 August 1917 Sergeant 12614 Edward Joines while serving with 'B' Battery, 84th Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery was killed in action. He is buried and remembered with honour in grave reference 1. B. 39 in the Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Elverdinge, Leper, Belgium.

After his death Laura Joines returned, with her two children, to live with her family in Bicester and was last recorded as living in 5 Church Lane, Bicester.

Frederick George Beames Hake was born in Dorking, Surrey on 25 August 1889.

He was the eldest of three children of Frederick and Sarah Hake. His third Christian name, Beames, was his mother’s maiden name.

The 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) shows that the Hake family, with Frederick aged two, had moved to Chimney End, Leafield, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where his father was the Innkeeper of the Fox Inn.

In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) it would appear that Fredericks’s father could have died, as Sarah Hake had remarried. Her new husbands was Robert Rogers, and in the census Robert and Sarah Robers were living in 94 Islip Road, Oxford, with Sarah’s three children: Frederick, aged 12, Frank, aged ten, and Wilfred, aged six. Robert was a gardener.

At sometime before 1911, Frederick Hake joined the Royal Navy, as in the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) he is recorded as an Able Seaman in Portsmouth. Frederick Hake was discharged from the Royal Navy on 3 January 1913 and placed on Military Reserve.

On 13 January 1913 Frederick George Beames Hake was appointed Police Constable 103 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary and commenced his initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford. On 3 November 1913 he was posted to the Bullingdon 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.

Frederick Hake was on Reserve to the Royal Navy, and it would appear that the Navy anticipated the forthcoming activity as on 2 August 1914 Frederick was recalled to the Colours and returned to service in the Royal Navy. Army Reservists were recalled on 4 and 5 August 1914.

In late 1915 Frederick, while on leave from the Royal Navy, married Edith Elsie Stanley in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (registered Chipping Norton 1915 Oct-Dec Volume 3A Page 3229).

By May 1916 Frederick was a member of the crew of HMS Black Prince, an armoured cruiser, with a crew of 857. HMS Black Prince at that time was a member of the First Cruiser Squadron, and part of The Grand Fleet.

On 31 May 1916 HMS Black Prince was involved in the Battle of Jutland, which occurred in the North Sea off the Danish Coast.

It is not known how HMS Black Prince was sunk, with the loss of all hands, as it was not witnessed by other British ships, but that is what happened. Able Seaman 230875 Frederick George Beames was aged 26. He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on panel 13 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Harvey John Williams was born in Pewsey, Wiltshire in 1889.

He was one of five children of John and Mary Williams. John was employed as a railway labourer on the Great Western Railway. In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Williams family, with two children, were living in 144 Cottages, East Court Road, Burbage, Wiltshire,

In the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Williams family had moved to Knapp, Pewsey, Wiltshire. John was still employed on the Great Western Railway.

In August 1907, at the age of 18, Harvey enlisted in the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards.

Between October and December 1907 Harvey married Ellen Cooper in Oxford (registered Headington 1907 Volume 3A Page 1840). Between April and June 1908 Ellen gave birth to their first child, Percy Bernard Williams, (registered Headington 1908 Volume 3A page 1134).

On 29 August 1910 Harvey was discharged from 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, and placed on military reserve.

On 12 September 1910 Harvey, aged 22, was appointed a police constable in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. On 26 September 1910, following initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary in Oxford, Harvey was posted to Wootton North Division at Deddington. On 6 February 1911 he was posted to the Chadlington Division at Chipping Norton.

In the 1911 Census (2 April 1911) Harvey and Ellen, with their son Percy, were living in Churchill, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. It should be noted that Harvey completed the census by dropping his first name of Harvey and using his second name of John.

Between July and September 1911 Ellen gave birth to their second child, Leslie J Williams registered Headington 1911 Jul-Sep Volume 3a page 2141).

On 9 December 1912 Harvey was again posted to the Wootton North Division at Deddington.

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.

As Harvey was on military reserve he was immediately recalled to the Colours and rejoined the Coldstream Guards.

On 29 September 1915 Private 7416 Harvey Williams, 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action during the Battle of Loos. He is buried and remembered with honour in Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, Pas de Calais, France.

Henry Painter was born in Crawley, near Witney, Oxfordshire in 1888.

He was one of five children of John and Ellen Painter. His father was a farm labourer.

In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Painter family were living in Collage Row, Crawley. No trace could be found of John, Ellen or Henry in the 1901 Census.

In October 1909 Henry joined the Grenadier Guards and served with the 2nd Battalion until 24 October 1912, when he was discharged while serving in the Tower of London, and placed on Military Reserve.

On 9 December 1912 Henry, at the age of 24, was appointed Police Constable 6 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford on 6 January 1913 he was posted to Chadlington Division at Chipping Norton. He returned to the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters on 27 October 1913, before being posted to Henley on 10 November 1913. On 22 June 1914 he was again posted back to the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford.

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 being on Reserve following his service with the Grenadier Guards on 4 August, the day war was declared, Henry was recalled to the Colours and rejoined the Grenadier Guards.

On 14 January 1916 Lance Corporal 14498 Henry Painter, 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, died of wounds received in battle. He is buried in grave reference I. A. 174 in the Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, near St Omer, Pas de Calais, France.

Lewis Rhymes was born Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire in 1885.

He was the eldest of three children of Edward and Eliza Rhymes. Edward was an agricultural labourer.

In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1891) the Rhymes family, with two children, were living in The Lodge, The Village, Sarsden, near Chipping Norton. The family, then with three children were still residing in the Lodge Cottage, Sarsden at the time of the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901). Lewis was then 16 years old and employed as an agricultural labourer.

In 1903 Eliza died at the age of 39.

In July 1904 Lewis joined the Gloucestershire Regiment.

In 1907 Edward married Julia Sale in Chipping Norton (registered Chipping Norton 1907 Apr-Jun Volume 3A Page 1961).

In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) Lewis was serving with 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. His father; Edward, was living with his new wife and his two children in 5 Alexander Square, Chipping Norton.

On 23 August 1911 Lewis was discharged from the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment after seven years' service. He was placed on Military Reserve. He was initially employed by the Chipping Norton Gas Company.

On 2 April 1912 he was appointed Police Constable 79 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford, he was posted to the Bullingdon Division on 16 September 1912.

On 22 June 1914 he moved to the Ploughley Division at Bicester. This could have been connected with his marriage to Ellen which is registered as taking place between April and June of 1914 in Abingdon (Volume 2C Page 719).

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.

As Lewis was on military Reserve he was recalled to the Colours with effect from 4 August 1914 and rejoined the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment which was immediately mobilised for war and landed at La Harve on 13 August 1914.

On Christmas Day 1914 Private 7657 Lewis Rhymes of 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment died of wounds received while in action. He is remembered with honour and buried in grave reference 111.A.89 in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Boulogne, Pas de Calais, France.

Lewis’ wife; Ellen, went back to Chipping Norton to live with her mother and Lewis’ father in 5 Alexandra Square, Chipping Norton. In the spring of 1915 Ellen gave birth to Edwin L H Rhymes, a son his father never saw (registered Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire 1915 Apr-Jun Volume 3A Page 2136).

William Hunt was born in Bicester, Oxfordshire, in 1886.

He was one of eight children of William and Mary Hunt. His father was a general labourer.

In the 1891 Census (Sunday 5 April 1981) the Hunt family, then with four children were living in Backway, Market End, Bicester. William (Jnr) was the second eldest, and at that time the only son. By the 1901 Census (Sunday 31 March 1901) the Hunt family were still living in Market End, Bicester with eight children, three boys and five girls. William (Jnr) was then 15 years old and working as an agricultural labourer.

In 1905, at the age of 19 years, William joined the Dragoon Guards. In the 1911 Census (Sunday 2 April 1911) he is recorded as a Private in A Squadron 1st Dragoon Guards serving in Ambala, Punjab, India. His parents, with three children still at home, were living in 18 St John Street, Bicester.

On 28 December 1912 William was discharged from the King's Dragoon Guards after nearly seven years' service, and placed on Military Reserve. He returned to Bicester and initially found employment with the Bicester Gas Company.

On 1 April 1913 William was appointed Police Constable 105 in the Oxfordshire Constabulary. After initial training in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Headquarters in Oxford, on 16 May 1913 he was posted to the Bampton East Division at Witney, where he remained until 26 September 1913 when he was posted to the Chadlington Division at Chipping Norton. On 5 January 1914 he was again posted, this time to the Bampton West Division at Burford.

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 being on Military Reserve, as a result of his service in the Dragoon Guards, William Hunt was immediately recalled to the Colours and returned to the Dragoon Guards.

On 7 June 1915 Private 6192 William Hunt, 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, was killed in action. He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on Panel 60 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

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.