Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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Essex Police in the Great War

At the start of the great War Essex Police has about 400 Police Officers of which over a quarter joined the armed forces.

The gap was filled by the recruitment of Special Constables from men who were too old to qualify for Kitchener's New Army.

Recruiting for the new Special Constabulary was brisk and 6,000 men were quickly appointed. This number would grow to 10,000 by the end of the war.

The new Specials patrolled their locality and enforced regulations such as the blackout and security for war related matters. This often meant boring shifts of checking telegraph poles although it did include questioning any foreigners encountered in case they were spies.

They were provided with an armband and a truncheon and expected to work 4 hour shifts in addition to their normal employment.

The remaining regular police continued to enforce the non war regulations and investigate crime.