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On The Home Front
The People and Parish of North Mymms 1939-45

Published by the North Mymms Local History Society

Chapter Two - The Special Constabulary

Chapter Three - The War Comes Home - Parish Bomb Damage

The Special Constabulary
The North Mymms Special Constabulary 1939

Note: The following are the personal reminiscences of Dick Colville, recorded at the October 1987 meeting of the North Mymms Local History Society.

In August 1939, I was sworn in as a volunteer in the Hertfordshire Special Constabulary and was issued with a cap, an armband, a truncheon and a jacket and lapel-badge.

A month or two later came a greatcoat and, about the end of 1939, a tunic and trousers and raincoat. In 1942 a pair of boots. That was how it went on.

We were probably doing duties two or three times a week in the evening, three-hour sessions, sometimes down to two hours and occasionally as long as four hours.

We had all sorts of things to do, but our main aim was prevention and maintenance of public order.

A Halifax Bomber came down near Bolton's Farm and I think I was on duty for that from two o'clock in the morning with Mr William Nash, Ruth's father. There was another plane came down in Frederick's Wood near Colney Heath and we were on duty making sure nobody came and stole the bits.

Normally we patrolled round Welham Green, Waterend and Bell Bar. Our particular section did not normally come into Brookmans Park, we never came across that.

The Special Constabulary
The North Mymms Specials outside the Brookmans Park Golf Club house
I have a photograph of the special constabulary of Welham Green and Brookmans Park taken in 1940 outside the Brookmans Park Golf Club House.

I know most of the Welham Green people but not the others except Mr Titmuss from Bell Bar and Frank Hardy who lived at Woodside.

We were given an emergency first-aid kit containing two bandages. There was an occasion when there was a bomb down at Marshmoor. Happened about six-o'clock in the morning. I went down there until about eight o'clock until some of the war reserve constables from Hatfield took over. I went home and had some breakfast then cycled off to St.Albans.

Of course we were then working on Saturday mornings and it wasn't until long after the war we were relieved of Saturday work. In the evenings and during the weekends we had to do our special constable duties.

There were no street lights at the time and I remember standing outside The Swan at Bell Bar (where Mr Greenleaf use to live) on one of our patrols when lo and behold there were two cars coming down the road. The first one stopped and it was Mr WML Escombe, the Special Police Superintendent. In the second was Mr CC Berger the Special Police Inspector, and Mr Berger ran slowly into the back of Mr Escombe's car and there were very strong words as a result!

Personal reminiscences of Dick Colville, recorded at the October 1987 meeting of the North Mymms Local History Society.


On The Home Front - The People and Parish of North Mymms 1935-45
Index - On The Home Front
Chapter One - A Message From The Vicar
Chapter Two - The Special Constabulary
Chapter Three - The War Comes Home - Parish Bomb Damage
Chapter Four - The Auxiliary Fire Service
Chapter Five - Children in the Parish
Chapter Six - Keeping Busy on the Home Front
Chapter Seven - The North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital
Chapter Eight - The Secret Visitors
Chapter Nine - Church and People
Chapter Ten - Epilogue
Chapter Eleven - People
Bibliography
North Mymms Parish Magazine
Crockford's Clerical Directory 1939
Who's Who 1988
North Mymms Auxiliary Hospital 1940-46: A brief description by H.M.Alderman
Who Was Who (various years)
Note: Many thanks are due to Dick Colville and Leslie Abbott for allowing their reminiscences of the war years in the parish to be published. Also to Mr Colville for allowing the essay by his wife Dorothy to be reproduced. The North Mymms Local History Society

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