Albert Thomas Day was born on the 30th October 1895 at Whilton Locks, Northamptonshire. He was baptised on the 2nd February 1896 at Whilton.
His father, Joseph Cleaver Day married his mother, Martha Pitts, on the 3rd August 1892 at St. Matthew’s Church, Rugby. They had three children:
1. Ethel born in 1893 at Whilton.
2. Albert Thomas.
3. Florence born in 1899 at Berkhamsted.
During both the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family were living at 58, Kitsbury Road, Berkhamsted and Joseph was employed as a Railway Signalman. The exception during the 1911 census was Albert, who was employed as a brewer’s labourer, he was lodging at 26, Cannon Road, Watford with the Reeves family.
Little further is known about Albert for the next three years except that he worked as a Clerk for J. Dickinson Ltd. of Apsley Mills, Berkhamsted. Then after the outbreak of the war he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary, following the recruitment drive to replace all the Police Army reservists who had been recalled on the 4th August 1914.
Albert’s Police Service Form 3 Record Sheet has survived and shows the following: He gave his age on joining as 19 years and the place and date of birth as Whilton Locks, Northamptonshire on the 30th October 1895. His height was 5 feet 11 ½ inches, chest 35 – 36 inches, his complexion fresh, eyes grey and his hair dark brown. He said he could both ride a cycle and swim.
He stated his religion was Church of England and gave details of his next of kin as his father Joseph Day of New Road, Berkhamsted.
On the 8th August 1914 he was medically examined by the Police Surgeon who certified the following: I hereby certify that I have examined the above candidate as to his health and bodily strength and consider him fit for the Constabulary of this county. G.A. Upcott-Gill Surgeon.
Albert was Appointed as Police Constable 120 and commenced his Probationer Training at Police Headquarters at Hatfield on the 12th October 1914 on £1/4/6 a week. However, his pensionable service did not begin until he reached the age of 21 on the 30th October 1916.
On the 20th January 1915 Albert was Attested when he was approved and sworn in before C.W. Gaussen J.P. and Theo Bassett J.P. at Hatfield.
General Order 14 of the 21st January 1915 announced that 22 recruit Constables having been brought onto the Roster for duty were all being transferred on the 22nd October 1915 from Headquarters for duty at various stations. Albert was posted to B Division at Bishops Stortford. Nearly all of these 22 men were later to enlist themselves.
A Couple Of Minor Blemishes.
On the 3rd April and the 18th May 1915 Albert was admonished by the Chief Constable for parading 15 minutes late for duty at Bishops Stortford on the 31st March 1915 and being absent from his place of duty at Bishops Stortford for 40 minutes on the 18th May 1915 respectively.
General Order 98 of the 9th June 1915 was entitled The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and stated:
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.
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 120 Day A.T. B Division who enlisted into the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on the 10th June 1915.
Army Service During The War.
Albert was one of 23 Hertfordshire Police Officers who joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry who posed for a photograph in 1915 believed at Colchester. The officers were:
1. PC 308 F. Clarke
2. PC 93. F. Potton
3. PC 189 J.W. Clark
4. PC 312 D.E. Cattermole
5. PC 285 G.H. Sirett
6. PC 105 H.M. Armitage
7. PC 313 H.H. Quarrie
8. PC 120 A.T. Day
9. PC 315 W.J. Thurley
10. PC 10 E.A.V. Elkins
11. PC 35 A.W. Reid
12. PS 20 H. Wright
13. PC 233 W.J. Bethell
14. PC 121 F.W.E. Perry
15. PC 274 H. Rowlingson
16. PC 19 H.W. Carder
17. PC 217 O.V. Lake
18. PC 316 A.S. Brown
19. PC 305 G. Archer
20. PC 301 G.A. Allen
21. PC 7 A.G. Capon
22. PC 321 N.J. Reid
23. PC 314 A.W. Corne
The photo included a regular Army Sergeant Jeffrey Arthur Riches who was an instructor.
Albert’s Army Service Record has not survived but from his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Rolls the following is known:
Albert joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry as Private 2512 (later 105776 under re-organisation) he landed with them at Gallipoli and on the 16th November 1915.
He was later awarded with the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory medals. Having served for 3 years 9 months he was discharged on the 5th March 1919.
Like every other soldier Albert would have been granted 28 days leave. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. Part of this process would have involved him undergoing a medical examination to determine whether he was still fit enough for Police duties. Albert was re-examined on the 6th March 1919.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 66 of 9th March 1919 listed 4 Police Officers who, having been released from H.M. Army, had been re-appointed to the Force. Albert was shown as: PC 120 Day A.T. B Division at Bishops Stortford from 6th March 1919 on £2/7/0 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 7th March 1919.
His period of Army Service from the 10th June 1915 to the 5th March 1919 was deemed to count as Police Service for pension purposes Vide Standing Joint Committee Resolution 35 Dated the 9th October 1914.
Albert received a pay rise, awarded as part of a national increase, from £2/7/0 to £3/18/0 per week from the 1st April 1919.
A Minor Blemish.
Albert was reprimanded by the Chief Constable on the 12th May 1919 for omitting to attend two conference points at Bishops Stortford on night 17/18th April 1919.
General Order 129 of the 5th June 1919 informed Albert he was being transferred from B Division at Bishops Stortford to E Division at Hitchin on the 7th June 1919.
On the 6th November 1919 Albert 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 21 of the 5th February 1920 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 from the 12th October 1919.
The Electoral Rolls of 1920 list Albert as first living at 5, Victoria Road, Hitchin and then at 27, Bedford Street, Hitchin with the Abbiss family.
Albert Thomas Day aged 25 a Police Officer of Hitchin married Elizabeth May Tucker on the 1st January born 1921 at Bishops Stortford. They had three children:
1. Margaret Betty born in 1921 at Hitchin.
2. Gordon Cleaver born in 1924 at Hitchin.
3. Kathleen born in 1926 at Hertford.
General Order 171 of the 19th October 1921 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 12th October 1921.
The Electoral Rolls of 1922 and 1923 record Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at 16, Old Park Road, Hitchin.
General Order 131 of the 18th October 1922, General Order 183 of the 5th November 1923 and General Order 168 of the 25th October 1924 all informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 12th October 1922, from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 12th October 1923 and from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 12th October 1924 respectively.
Another Minor Blemish.
On the 19th September 1923 Albert was cautioned by the Chief Constable for using obscene language to another member of the force.
The 1924 Electoral Roll lists Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at 60, Lancaster Road, Hitchin/
General Order 182 of the 7th November 1924 informed Albert that from the 14th November 1924 he was being transferred from E Division at Hitchin to B Division at Letty Green. The 1925 and 1926 Electoral Rolls record Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at 22, Letty Green, Hertingfordbury.
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 General Strike.
General Order 62 of the 4th May 1926 concerned the Emergency Regulations of 1926 and instructions for 50 Hertfordshire Police Officers, made up of three Inspectors, seven Sergeants and 40 Constables, to be on standby should the Secretary of State call upon the County Force to draft men elsewhere at short notice. These included officers from A,B,C, D and E Divisions. Orders for equipment and clothing would be issued if and when necessary, but the men were advised that they would require some sort of haversack. Albert was one of the Constables named in the list. There is no record that Albert was called upon.
Qualification To Sergeant, Promotion And A Transfer.
General Order 12 of 19th January 1927 announced the results of the Promotion Examination for Constable to Sergeant held on the 18th December 1926. Albert was one of 23 successful candidates.
General Order 15 of the 22nd January 1927 then announced that from the 27th January 1927 Albert was being promoted to Acting Sergeant. This brought an increase of pay to £5/0/0 per week.
General Order 16 of the 22nd January 1927 unsurprisingly informed Albert that from the 3rd February 1927 he was being transferred from B Division at Letty Green to R Division at Headquarters to occupy the house vacated by Sergeant Calcutt. The Electoral Rolls of 1927 to 1929 list Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at the Constabulary Cottages, Hatfield.
Albert was awarded pay increases from £5/0/0 to £5/2/6 per week from the 27th January 1928 and from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 per week from the 27th January 1929,
On the 20th December 1929 Albert was transferred from R Division at Headquarters to C Division at Watford. The 1930 Electoral Roll lists Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at the Police Station St Albans Road, Watford.
Albert was awarded pay increases from £5/5/0 to £5/7/6 per week from the 27th January 1930, from £5/7/6 to £5/10/0 per week from the 27th January 1931 and from £5/10/0 to £5/12/6 per week from the 27th January 1932.
On the 31st March 1937 Albert was transferred from C Division at Watford to A Division at Buntingford. The 1939 Register records Albert and Elizabeth Day as living at the Police Station, High Street, Braughing.
There is a comment in the margin of Albert’s Record Sheet: “No street duty on account of war”, signed W.R. West Supt. but there is no explanation for this.
In Hot Water.
On the 27th June 1940 the Chief Constable reduced Albert to the rank of Constable with pay at £4/10/0 per week for knowingly making a false statement on a principal complaint together with execution of service received from Chief Constable Elgin in respect of a John George Murray of Coles Park, Buntingford, relating to an offence contravening Article 62 of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939.
A Final Transfer.
On the 8th July 1940 Albert was transferred from A Division at Buntingford to E Division at Stevenage. On the 27th June 1941 he was awarded an increase in pay from £4/10/0 to £4/12/6 per week.
Between the 26th February and the 1st March 1942, he was off sick with an injury to a hand which was recorded as an injury on duty. On the 27th June 1942 he was awarded a pay increase from £4/12/6 to £4/15/0 per week.
On the 1st August 1942 Albert was promoted to Sergeant again and received a pay increase to £5/0/0 per week. On the 30th October 1942 he was granted an allowance of £5/12/6.
Albert received four further pay increases beginning on the 1st August 1943 to £5/2/6, then from the 1st August 1944 to £5/5/0, then from the 1st April 1945 to £6/14/0 and finally from the 1st August 1945 to £6/17/0.
Retirement And Life After The Police.
On the 31st December 1945 retired as a Sergeant on pension on completion of his service on a superannuation of £238/2/5.
His Police Service Records shows that for a while he lived at Marine House, Fore Street, Beer, Devon.
On the 5th July 1976 Albert Thomas Day, a retired Police Sergeant of 14, Peagen Flats, Townsend, Beer, Seaton, Devon, died.