Albert Charles Killeen MM

Police Constable 108

Paul Watts

Albert Charles Killeen 1919 Luton Riot Duty
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Years.

Albert Charles Killeen was born on the 2nd March 1889 at Hemel Hempstead.

His father Hugh Killeen married Ellen Creedon in 1872 at Farnham. They are believed to have had two children:
1. William Hastings born in 1874 at Aldershot.
2. Winfred Mary born in 1875 at Medway.
Sadly, Ellen died on the 6th July 1877 in Secunderabad, Madras, India.

His father then married his mother, Sarah Ann Swales, in 1881 at Bedford. They had four children two of whom died prior to the 1911 census:
1. Sarah Louisa born in 1882 at Kempston.
2. Hugh Bradshaw born in 1884 and died in 1908 at Hemel Hempstead.
3. Sidney John born in 1886 and died in 1909 at Hemel Hempstead.
4. Albert Charles.

In the 1871 census Hugh Killeen is recorded as living at Canterbury Barracks, Canterbury and is a soldier in the 2/16th Regiment Bedfordshire. By the 1881 census he is listed as being a widower and a Colour Sergeant living at the 33rd Brigade Depot, Kempston.

During the 1891 census Albert is living with his family at 4, Bury Road, Hemel Hempstead and his father is now a Sergeant Instructor of Volunteers. At the time of the 1901 census they have moved and are now living at 14, Church Street, Hemel Hempstead. His father is now a Sergeant at Mace.

His parents were still at the same address in the 1911 census, but Albert had moved and was recorded as lodging with the Creese family at 12, The Avenue, Merthyr Tydfil. His father was shown as an Army pensioner and still a Sergeant at Mace for the local Corporation.

Albert was employed as a Carpenter, but at the time of the 1911 census he had already applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary. He had attended Police Headquarters at Hatfield for a medical examination on the 1st November 1910 and was waiting to be told when he could join. He did not have long to wait as two weeks after the census he started his Police career.

Police Service.

Albert’s Hertford County Constabulary Form 3 Service Record has survived and shows the following information. He stated he had been born on the 2nd March 1889 at Hemel Hempstead. His height was 5 feet 9 ¼ inches, chest 36 inches, complexion, fresh, eyes brown and his hair dark brown. He said he could both swim and ride a pedal cycle and gave his next of kin as his father and mother of Church Street, Hemel Hempstead.

Albert started his Probationary training in C Division at Watford on the 20th April 1911. All Probationary training was carried out on Divisions at this time. He was Attested on the 23rd May 1911 at Watford and finally Appointed as Constable 108 on the 6th June 1911.

There is then a discrepancy in the records as General Order 18 of the 7th June 1911 announced that PC Killen 108 C was being transferred from C Division at Watford to G Division at Hatfield on a date agreed by the relevant Superintendents but his Service Record does not show that this happened.

Then General Order 21 of the 22nd June 1911 confirmed that Probationer PC Killeen 108 C was appointed on the strength of the Force on 23/11 per week from the 6th June 1911 inclusive making no reference to him being transferred.

In December 1911 he passed his Ambulance certificate, an important qualification which entitled him to wear a badge on his lower left tunic sleeve to show he was trained in basic First Aid.

General Order 1 of the 5th January 1912 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from 14th December 1911.

Albert was a keen sportsman and appeared in a photograph of the Watford Police Football Club of 1912-1913.

The Electoral Rolls of 1914 and 1915 list Albert as living in rooms at the Police Station 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 108 Killeen A.C. C Division who enlisted into the Grenadier Guards on the 25th March 1915.

Army Service During The War.

Albert’s Army Service Record has survived and from this and his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll the following is known: He enlisted as Private 23568 in the Grenadier Guards on the 24th March 1915 at Watford for short service for the duration of the war. He said his age was 26 years old and his address was King Street Police Station, Watford. He gave his trade as being a carpenter, he was not married and had not previously served in the Military.

His description was recorded as: Apparent age: 26 years. Height: 5 feet 9 ¼ inches. Chest max: 38 ½ inches expansion 2 ½ inches. He gave his next of kin as his father Hugh Killeen of 40, Church Street, Hemel Hempstead.

On the 25th March 1915 he joined the regiment at White City and was posted to the 4th Battalion. On the 10th February 1916 he passed a Course of Instruction as a First Class Machine Gunner and then on the 23rd May 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal.

On the 1st September 1916 he transferred to the 3rd Guards Brigade Machine Gun Company and was given a new Service Number of 201. A week later he embarked for service with the Machine Gun Company of the 3rd Guards Brigade in France arriving at Harfleur on the 10th Septembe1916.

On the 20th September 1916 whilst at the Machine Gun Corps Depot at Etaples he was transferred to the Machine Gun Company of the 1st Guards Brigade and the following day he joined the Company in the Field. On the 19th December 1916 he was appointed paid Lance Corporal.

On the 1st February 1917 he transferred to the Guards Machine Gun Battalion and a week later he was present with the Company. On the 1st July 1917 he was granted Class 1 Proficiency Pay at 6d per day and at the end of the month he was appointed paid Acting Corporal.

Support For Albert’s Mother.

On the 2nd June 1917 Albert’s father died at Hemel Hempstead. General Order 54 of the 23rd June 1917 was entitled The Police Reservists (allowances) Act 1914. It stated that at a meeting of the Standing Joint Committee held at Hatfield on the 15th June 1917 allowances were granted to dependents of six unmarried Constables who had enlisted in H.M. Army for the period of the war. Added in the margin was the remark “Mrs Killeen see General Order 85 of the 8th October 1917.”
General Order 85 of the 8th October 1917 referred to Order 54 of 1917 and announced: At a meeting of the Standing Joint Committee on 5th October 1917 a dependent allowance of 8/- per week was granted to Mrs. Sarah Killeen, the widowed mother of ex-PC A. Killeen late of the C or Watford Division, who enlisted in H.M. Army on the 25th March 1915 for the period of the war. The allowance will commence as from the 5th October 1917 inclusive and the first payment will be included in the C Division paysheet for the week ending 17th October.

Award of Military Medal.

Albert’s Army Service Record records that on the 28th August 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal. It was announced in the 9th Supplement of the London Gazette published on the 25th September 1917 – “His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to 201 Lance Corporal A.C. Killeen of the Machine Gun Guards (Hemel Hempstead).”

On the 1st November 1917 he was granted two weeks leave to the UK. On the 26th October 1917 he was confirmed in the rank of Corporal. Then on the 19th December 1917 he was appointed unpaid Lance Sergeant.

On the 12th March 1918 he was posted to Battalion Provost Sergeant. On the 6th July 1918 he was deprived of his Lance Stripe by the Officer Commanding for gambling with Private soldiers on the 3rd July. However, on the 1st September 1918 he was once again appointed unpaid Lance Sergeant.

He was granted a further two weeks leave to the UK from the 21st November 1918.
Then on the 8th January 1919 he was transferred to Shorncliffe for demobilisation.
On the 8th February 1919 he was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve on his Demobilisation at London. He gave his home address as 11, Broad Street, Hemel Hempstead.

Along with his Military Medal he was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Like every other soldier Albert was granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation and he would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. This would have entailed him having to undergo a medical examination to determine whether he was fit for Police duty. Albert was examined on the 22nd January 1919. The end of his leave period would have coincided with his date of re-joining of the Police.

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 108 Killeen A.C. C Division at Watford from 30th January 1919 on £2/10/0 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. Albert was re-attested on the 4th February 1919.

The Spring Electoral Roll of 1919 lists Albert as living at the Police Station, King Street, Watford but, by the Autumn Electoral Roll of 1919 and the Roll for 1920, he is recorded as living at the Police Station, St. Albans Road, Watford.

General Order 138 of the 24th June 1919 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £2/10/0 to £2/11/0 per week from the 6th June 1919.

Transferred.

General Order 161 of the 16th July 1919 instructed Albert that from the 17th July 1919 he was being transferred from C Division at Watford to G Division at Bricket Wood.

Hertfordshire Detachment To Luton Re Riots.

Albert was part of a detachment sent to Luton to help quell rioting between the 20th July and the 5th August 1919.

General Order 177 of the 9th August 1919 announced that the following extract from a letter received from the Head Constable of the Luton Borough Police under date 4th August 1919 was published for information.

“I desire to express to you my high appreciation of the members of your Force on detached duty here for the riot. They proved to be excellent fellows in every way, gave a splendid account of themselves when need arose and conducted themselves in a manner which was credit to any Police Force.”

The Chief Constable is very gratified to have such a good account of the services of the detachment and congratulates Inspector Wright and the Sergeants and Constables. An entry of service on Riot Duty will be made in each man’s record sheet.

To see the whole photograph go to the Mutual Aid category and the article Hertford County Constabulary Assist With Quelling Rioters.

General Order 110 of the 3rd July 1920 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 6th June 1920.

Transferred Again And Again And Again And ….!

General Order 46 of the 29th March 1921 instructed Albert that from the 8th April 1921 (his Service Record says the 6th) he was being transferred from G Division at Bricket Wood to G Division at Harpenden.

General Order 91 of the 9th June 1921 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 6th June 1921.

General Order 105 of the 5th July 1921 instructed Albert that from the 11th July 1921 (his Service Record says the 10th) he was being transferred from G Division at Harpenden to E Division at Aston.

General Order 187 of the 17th November 1921 instructed Albert that from the 18th November 1921 (his Service Record says the 12th) he was being transferred from E Division at Aston to E Division at Kimpton.

General Order 14 of the 23rd January 1922 instructed Albert that from the 30th January 1922 he was being transferred from E Division at Kimpton to B Division at Welwyn Garden City. Then General Order 18 of the 30th January 1922 informed him that the transfer was suspended until Monday 6th February 1922. Clearly that did not happen either as General Order 39 of the 18th March 1922 instructed Albert that it would be the 31st March 1922 that he would transfer to Welwyn Garden City.

General Order 139 of the 28th October 1922 instructed Albert that from the 6th November 1922 he was being transferred from B Division at Welwyn Garden City to B Division at Hertford.

General Order 103 of 26/05/1923 instructed Albert that from the 26th May 1923 he was being temporarily transferred from B Division at Hertford to B Division at Welwyn.

In Trouble? Maybe Not.

On the 14th July 1923 Albert, together with PC 7 Capon, PC 15 Geary and PC 254 English were brought up before the Chief Constable for the disciplinary offence of Neglect of Duty. It was stated that they did, without good and sufficient cause, omit promptly to carry out their duty as Constables by failing to apprehend a man found loitering with intent to commit a felony at Welwyn on the 6th July 1923. After consideration, the Chief Constable decided, on the 23rd July 1923, having fully gone into the circumstances, that the case was one where the officers should go through a course of instruction in their duties and no further action was taken against them.

General Order 196 of the 4th December 1923 instructed Albert that from the 7th December 1923 he was being transferred from B Division at Welwyn Garden City to B Division at Hertford. Assuming this was the reversal of his temporary transfer it had lasted almost seven months.

General Order 209 of the 31st December 1924 instructed Albert that from that date he was being temporarily transferred from B Division at Hertford to E Division at Stevenage, for plain clothes duty. No record has survived as to what Albert was needed for or for how long he was at Stevenage.

General Order 6 of the 21st January 1925 instructed Albert that from the 2nd February 1925 he was being transferred from B Division at Hertford to B Division at Hatfield. The Electoral Rolls of 1925 to 1927 list Albert as living at 4, Cecil Crescent, Hatfield.

A Royal Visit – Mutual Aid To Luton Borough Police.

General Order 156 of 14th November 1926 announced orders for an Inspector, two Sergeants and 18 Constables with regard to the visit of HRH The Prince of Wales to Luton on the 17th November 1926. Albert was listed as one of those detailed to attend. In command of the Hertfordshire contingent was Inspector G.T. Sharp of R Division who would act under orders as laid down by the Chief Constable of the Borough of Luton. The detachment was instructed to report at the Borough Police Station Luton at 9 a.m. The men were ordered to take the following dress and equipment: Great Coats 1925 issue, Cloth jackets 1926 issue, Dress trousers 1926 issue, Cloth helmets 1926 issue, Whistle and chain, Handcuffs, Pocket Book, Truncheon, Black woollen gloves and Capes.

The Electoral Rolls of 1928 to 1930 list Albert as living at 1, Lea Mead, Hatfield.

Transferred Twice More.

Albert had been transferred numerous times during his career and the reason for this was probably because he was a mature, respected and experienced officer and he was unmarried. This made it easier as there was no family to continually suffer disruption.

After nearly seven years Albert was transferred from B Division at Hatfield to C Division at Watford from the 17th December 1931. After less than a month he was transferred for the last time, remaining in C Division he was posted to Abbotts Langley.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Albert retired on the 5th June 1936 as a Constable on completion of his 25 years’ service. He received a pension of £241/3/3 per annum.

Marriage.

Albert married Agnes Georgina Cutler. Agnes was a spinster and retired school teacher of 95, New River Crescent, Palmers Green and they married on the 27th April 1938 at Palmers Green, Edmonton. Albert was shown as a retired Police Officer of 6, Wordsworth Road, Harpenden. As they married after he retired, she would not receive a pension from the Police on his death. They had no children.

In the 1939 Register Albert, who was recorded as a retired Police Constable, and Agnes together with her niece, Elizabeth May Searle, were listed as living at 19, Hillfield Road, Hemel Hempstead.

Albert Charles Killeen died on the 21st December 1970 at 19, Hillfield Road, Hemel Hempstead.

This page was added on 17/04/2020.

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