Albert Shambrook was born in 1885 at Gustard Wood and baptised on the 28th June 1885 at Wheathampstead.
His father, Joshua Shambrook an agricultural labourer, married his mother, Sarah Hale in 1872 at St. Albans. The 1911 census shows they had ten children, all born in Gustard Wood, of whom four died before 1911, but only the following have been identified:
- Mary born in 1873.
- Martha born in 1875.
- William born in 1875.
- Caroline born in 1878 and died in 1888.
- Frederick Daniel born in 1883.
During the 1881 and 1891 census returns the family were recorded as living at Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead. During the 1901 census Albert’s parents had moved and were living at Ayot Green and Albert was staying with his brother William and his wife at 159, High Street, Willesden, Hendon, Middlesex and he was employed as a Mechanical Engineer.
Little is known about Albert’s life during the next seven years until he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.
Albert’s Police Service Record has not survived but it is known from General Order 3 of the 21st January 1908 that he was Appointed as Police Constable 263 in C Division on £1/3/11 per week from the 13th January 1908.
He would have undergone his Probationer training at a main Police Station, which for Albert would appear to have been Rickmansworth, by a senior experienced Constable under the supervision of his Superintendent.
General Order 26 of the 19th August 1908 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/3/11 to £1/5/6 per week from the 30th July 1908.
The 1910 Electoral Roll records Albert Shambrook as living at Kings Street Police Station, Watford.
General Order 2 of 13th January 1910 gave instructions to dozens of Police officers in connection with the General Election of January 1910. Voting was carried out over several days and schedules were drawn up detailing where and when officers would perform duty. The following excerpt refers to Albert: Schedule A Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Eastern or Hertford Division on Wednesday 19th January 1910. Div. Rank No. Name Station Place for Duty C PC 263 Shambrook A Rickmansworth Broxbourne
Schedule B Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Northern or Hitchin Division on Friday 21st January 1910. Div. Rank No. Name Station Place for Duty C PC 263 Shambrook A Rickmansworth Knebworth
Schedule D Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Western or Watford Division 27th January 1910. Div. Rank No. Name Station Place for Duty C PC 263 Shambrook A Rickmansworth Sarratt
General Order 8 of the 9th March 1910 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/5/8 to £1/6/10 per week from the 10th February 1910.
Albert married Lillian Aylward on the 15th May 1910 at Rickmansworth and they had a daughter Margaret born on the 13th June 1913 at Watton at Stone and baptised on the 13th August 1913 at Croxley Green.
General Order 17 of the 14th May 1910 instructed Albert that from the 19th May 1910 he was being transferred from C Division at Rickmansworth to E Division at Preston.
The 1911 census shows Police Constable Albert Shambrook and his wife Lillian
as living at Crunnells Green, Preston, Hitchin and the 1912 Electoral Roll lists them at the same place. However, although the records have not suvived, it is possible, because their daughter was born in Watton at Stone, that Albert had been transferred there.
Albert’s wife Lillian died in 1914 at London.
Again, the records have not survived but from the following General Orders it is clear that Albert had been transferred from E Division, either from Preston or Watton at Stone, to C Division at Abbots Langley.
General Order 20 of the 2nd February 1915 informed Albert, who is shown as being in C Division, tat he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/9/9 to £1/10/4 per week from the 13th May 1915.
General Order 55 of the 3rd April 1915 instructed Albert that he was being transferred from C Division at Abbots Langley to C Division at Swillett, Chorleywood from the 12th April 1915.
Albert married for the second time to Esther (shown as Hester on several records) Sarah Whittle on the 10th April 1915 at Ayot St. Peter. There is no record of them having any children.
General Order 11 of the 3rd February 1916 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/10/4 to £1/10/11 per week from the 15th January 1916.
General Order 13 of the 3rd February 1916 announced Albert’s resignation as follows: Police Constable 263 Albert Shambrook C Division having submitted an application to resign his appointment as a Constable in the Hertford County Constabulary the resignation is accepted to take effect on 16th March 1916. Police Constable Shammbrook will be paid up to and including the 1st March 1916 and will be struck off the strength of the establishment as from that date.
There was no reference that he had left to join the Military or whether he had the consent of the Chief Constable to do so, a factor critical as to whether any Military service would count towards his Police pensionable service or his dependents would receive an allowance to make up the difference between his Army pay and his Police pay.
Army Service During The War.
Albert’s Army Service Record has survived and shows he was provided with the following report from the War Office, London. It was dated the 19th April 1916 and entitled: (Herts) Wheathampstead Police Constable and addressed to the Area Commander, Chelsea.
It stated: You are hereby authorised to arrange the examination by Medical Board of the bearer Mr. Albert Shambrook 2, Cosy Cottages, New Marford, Wheathampstead who, if classified as fit for Kite and Balloon Section Cat. 1 Gp. 3 should be despatched with Army Form B.178 (Medical History) to London, with orders to report himself to the Director of Education, The Polytechnic 309 Regent Street W. immediately on arrival. If this man is Class B Army Reserve his documents should be at once forwarded to the Chief Recruiting Staff Officer, Central Recruiting Depot, Whitehall, London, SW. This form is not valid unless counter-signed by Mr R. Mitchell Director of Education, The Polytechnic, London and presented within 14 days of the above date, provided that the bearer has not been ordered to present himself for Service with the Colours from the Army Reserve on an intervening date. Signed: H. Sturgis Major for Director of Recruiting. Counter-signed: Robert Mitchell Director of Education The Polytechnic London.
He was provided with a letter from The Chief Recruiting Staff Officer, New Scotland Yard, Whitehall. Dated the 26th April 1916 it stated: The bearer Mr. Albert Shambrook 2, Cosy Cottages, New Marford, Wheathampstead, Herts. is recommended for acceptance in the Royal Flying Corps. Signed Robert Mitchell Director of Education The Polytechnic Regent Street W. N.B. This form is only valid on date of issue.
Albert enlisted on the 26th April 1916 at the Central London Recruiting Depot Whitehall SW as Air Mechanic 2nd Class 26879 Kite Balloon Section, Royal Flying Corps. The following was recorded: He said he was born at Wheathampstead, Herts., his address was Cosy Cottages, New Marford, Wheathampstead, Herts., his age was 32 years and his trade was Police Constable. He said he was married but had not served in the Military before.
His description on enlistment was recorded as: Age: 32 years. Height: 5 feet 11 inches. Chest: 38 ½ inches 3 ½ inch expansion. He gave his next of kin as his wife Hester Shambrook of 2, Cosy Cottages, New Marford, Wheathampstead, Herts.
Albert joined at South Farnborough and posted to the Royal Flying Corps. On the 18th July 1916 he arrived in France and on the 1st September 1916 he was appointed Air Mechanic 1st Class.
On the 23rd September 1917 Albert was compulsorily transferred to the 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment as a Private but retained his present rate of pay but was not given a new service number.
On the 14th May 1918 he was temporarily transferred to the Military Foot Police and appointed as Lance Corporal P/15738. On the 9th January 1919 he returned to the UK and on the 6th February 1919 he was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve on demobilisation at Aldershot.
His Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity Army Form Z11 recorded: Name: Shambrook Albert. Regt. No.: P/15738. Rank: L/Cpl. Record Office: Aldershot. Regiment: Military Foot Police. Pay Office: Woking. Address: The Folly, Wheathampstead, Herts. Theatre of War: France. Year born: 1882. Medical category: B1. Place of re-joining in emergency: Aldershot. Granted 28 day furlough. Issued: Wimbledon on 10th January 1919.
Albert was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
Re-joining The Police?
Like every other soldier Albert would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation and he would normally have used this time to apply to re-join the Police. He would have had to have undergone a Medical Examination by the Force Surgeon to ensure that he was still fit enough for Police duties. Having passed this, he would have been re-Appointed on the day following the date of the end of his leave period.
However, there is no record of Albert having applied to re-join the Police. A final document from his Army Service Record entitled, First Award Soldier, may be an explanation as it shows: Name: Shambrook Albert. Regiment: Military Foot Police. Date of discharge (Demob): 6th February 1919. Regt. No.: P/15738. Address: The Folly, Wheathampstead, Herts. Rank for pension: Class 5. Age on discharge (Demob): 37. Nature of disability code: 12. Rheumatism – Aggravated. Degree of disability: 20% – Bonus to 2nd September 1919. Weekly rate: Five and sixpence to 2nd September 1919.
The 1919 Electoral Roll lists Albert and Hester Shambrook as living at The Folly Wheathampstead, but 1923 to 1927 records them as living at 30, Applecroft Road, Welwyn Garden City.
Albert Shambrook of 12, Abingdon Road, Finchley, Middlesex died on the 17th May 1928 at Well House Lane, Barnet.