Were hero coppers given a raw deal by chief constable?

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A FORMER top cop is taking on a more unusual investigation compared to the crimes he used to tackle in his time on the force.

Terry Cox, who is a former superintendent in with Hertfordshire Constabulary, is also a keen historian, and he needs the public’s help to get to the bottom of a tale from the Great War.

He said: “During the course of the Great War, 85 police officers from Hertfordshire fought in the armed forces, nine of whom were killed.

“Members of the Hertfordshire Constabulary Great War Society have researched the history of many of these volunteers and one story comes up again and again.

“The Chief Constable in 1914 was Major Alfred Letchworth Annie Law, a strong- minded man as befitted those times, and it is said he forbade constables and sergeants to volunteer for service during the Great War.

“Those who went against his wishes were not re-employed upon their return from the front. Allegedly McMullens, the Hertford brewers, were so affronted by this treatment of returning local heroes they offered a pub to every man who lost his job. A wonderful story, but is it really true?

“The mystery deepens when you realise that in 1915 Major Law, a Boer War veteran himself, returned to the army and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before returning to the force in 1918.

“Could such a man really have turned away his former colleagues in arms?

“I have been in contact with the McMullen family who can find nothing in the company records but state that their grandfather was an active supporter of the army and the giving of pubs to former police officer ex-soldiers sounds like exactly the sort of thing he would have done.”

Anyone with information can contact Terry at HertsGreatWar@aol.com or via Hertfordshire Constabulary: Terry Cox, c/o Corporate Communication, Police HQ, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6XF.