Albert Edward Taylor was born on the 5th December 1882 and baptised on the 31st July 1885 at Wood Green, Middlesex.
His father, William Taylor married his mother, Susanna Elizabeth Wisbey, in 1872 at Saffron Walden. They had ten children, the eldest four were all born in Newport, Essex and the other six were all born in Wood Green, they were William born in 1873, Henry born in 1875, Frederick born in 1877, John born in 1878 and died in 1880, Annie born and died in 1880, Sarah Elizabeth born in 1882, Albert Edward, David born in 1885, Arthur born in 1886 and Ada born in 1888.
During the 1891 census the family were living at Finsbury Cottages, Finsbury Road, Tottenham, Middlesex. William was employed as a Carman throughout his life.
At the time of the 1901 and 1911 census the family were still at the same address although it was recorded differently as Finsbury Cottage, 8, Clarence Road, Wood Green, Middlesex. Albert was missing from the 1901 census having joined the Army.
Early Army Service.
Albert’s Army Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know he enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers probably In October 1899 and, as was common, for short service of three years in the Colours and nine in the Reserves. He does not appear in the 1901 census which suggests he was serving abroad.
The 3rd Battalion, having been in Dover, embarked for Malta on 1st December 1898, then moved to Crete, then Gibraltar in 1900, and Egypt in 1901, before being posted to the Bermuda Garrison from 1903 to 1905. It is not known if Albert spent all his time in the 3rd Battalion but there are no entries in the Boer War Medal Rolls that match.
If Albert did spend all his service in the 3rd Battalion, then he would have had to extend his service. It is known that after eight years he went into 1st Class Army Reserve on the 4th October 1907.
After leaving the Army Albert apparently worked as a Porter before applying to join the Police.
His Police Service Record has also not survived but from other sources we know that he started his Probationary Training in ‘C’ Division at Watford on the 26th September 1910. At this time all training was undertaken on Divisions rather than at Headquarters.
General Order 1 of the 5th January 1911 announced that PC Taylor 195 ‘B’ Division stationed at Hatfield was placed on the strength of the Force on 23/11 per week from 22nd December 1910. In the 1911 census Police Constable Albert Edward Taylor, age 28 born Wood Green, was recorded as boarding with the Emerton family at Church Street, Hatfield.
Albert of Hatfield Park, Bishops Hatfield married Lilian Steward of 8, Finsbury Cottage, Wood Green on the 30th April 1913 at St Michael’s Church, Wood Green. They had a daughter, Margaret Eva born in 1914 at Watford.
On the 7th November 1913 Albert was transferred from ‘G’ Division at Hatfield to ‘C’ Division at Watford.
General Order 118 of the 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable, 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered for military service. Albert is shown as PC 195 Taylor A.E. ‘C’ Division recalled to 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on the 4th August 1914.
Army Service During The War.
If Albert had originally enlisted for short service then his twelve years would have expired in October 1911 so why he was recalled to the Colours is a bit of a mystery, and without his Service Record it is likely to remain so.
The 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers was a Reserve unit which in August 1914 was in Hounslow, they remained in the UK throughout the war later moving to Dover.
It is possible that Albert was a Drill Instructor ad it is possible that he changed Battalions but unfortunately there are at least three Albert Edward Taylors in the Royal Fusiliers and it has not been possible to positively identify one of these as being the right one.
Like all soldiers Albert would have been granted 28 days leave when he was demobilised. He would have used this time to arrange his re-appointment to the Police. He would have had to have had a Medical Examination with the Force Surgeon in order to determine that he was still fit enough for Police duties. The last day of his leave would have coincided with his re-appointment.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 23 of 25th January 1919 listed 25 Police Officers who having been released from H.M. Army had been re-appointed to the Force. Frederick was shown as:
PC 308 Taylor A.E. ‘C’ Division at Watford from 30th January 1919 on £2/11/0 per week.
Each officer had to be formerly re-attested. The Superintendents concerned had to report to Headquarters the date and place of Attestation and before whom taken.
Something of note in this Order is the change in his Warrant or Collar Number from195 to 308. Prior to the outbreak of war, it was fairly common to issue the same Warrant Number to more than one individual providing they were posted to different Divisions so that the Divisional letter would differentiate between them. No record of an Order instructing that this should end and that Warrant Numbers should become unique has been found, but it was obviously issued simply by the fact of the number of returning Constables who were not given their old number, as someone else was already using it, and were issued with a new one.
In the Electoral Rolls of 1919 to 1925 Albert and Lilian are listed as living at 6, Elfrida Road, Watford.
General Order 11 of the 17th January 1920 and General Order 3 of the 5th January 1921 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 22nd December 1919 and from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 22nd December 1920 respectively.
General Order 54 of the 26th March 1923 reported that the Chief Constable had fined Albert 10/- for failing to attend his 11.15 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. Conference Points at King Street Police Station, Watford on 17th March 1923.
General Order 159 of the 12th October 1924 reported that the Chief Constable had reprimanded him for Neglect of Duty in that he, by general inefficiency, failed in his duty as a Constable to detail a man who he might reasonably suspected of having committed a felony.
General Order 165 of the 23rd October 1924 informed Albert that he would be transferred on the 3rd November 1924 from ‘C’ Division at Watford to ‘A’ Division at Wareside to occupy the house vacated by ex-Constable Hair.
Retirement On A Medical Pension.
General Order 38 of the 10th March 1925 reported that the Chief Constable, having regard to the physical condition of Constable Taylor, as shown by Medical Examination, severely reprimanded him in lieu of dismissal with regard to two Disciplinary Offences involving drinking alcohol on duty.
The very next General Order announced that Albert would take retirement having been certified medically unfit for further Police Service by the Constabulary Staff Surgeon. He would be paid up to and including the 18th March 1925 and his name would be struck off the establishment of the Force on that date.
In the 1939 Register living at 1, Southwold Road, Watford are Albert, Lilian and Margaret Taylor. Albert is employed as a Printers Packer.