Albert Wilcox

Police Constable 138, Sergeant.

Paul Watts

Albert Wilcox Re-joining The Police
Herts Police Historical Society

Early Life.

Albert Wilcox was born on the 27th September 1868 at Ward End, Warwickshire and baptised on the 11th September 1870 at St. Margarets, Ward End.

His father, John Wilcox had a varied career of working as a labourer at a railway carriage depot, on  a farm, with timber and at a market garden. He married his mother, Mary Norris, in 1861 at Birmingham. They had seven children all born at Ward End:

  1. Alfred Henry born in 1858.
  2. John Frances born in 1860.
  3. Thomas born in 1864.
  4. Mary born in 1866.
  5. Albert.
  6. Elizabeth born in 1872.
  7. Gertrude born and died in 1879.

During the 1871 and 1881 census returns the family were living at Ward End, Aston, Warwickshire. By the time of the 1891 census they had moved and were living at Clyde Villas, Malthouse Lane, Aston, Warwickshire but, Albert had left home and had joined the Army.

Early Army Service.

Albert’s Army Service Record has not survived but the 1891 census shows that he was a Lance Sergeant serving in the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards and living at Chelsea Barracks, London. On leaving the Army Albert applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.

Police Service.

Albert’s Police Service Record has also not survived but from other sources we know he started his Probationer training at C Division at Watford probably in January 1894. His training would have been carried out by an experienced senior Constable under the supervision of the Divisional Superintendent.

Marriage.

During his training Albert married Ellen Harrod in 1894 at Watford. They had five children:

  1. Ethel born in 1895 at North Mymms.
  2. John born in 1896 at North Mymms.
  3. Donald born in 1898 at North Mymms.
  4. Albert Edward born in 1899 at North Mymms.
  5. Harry born in 1902 at Bishops Stortford.

On the 3rd March 1894 Albert was Attested as Constable 138 an occurrence that was published on the 10th March 1894 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline Watford Divisional Sessions, A New Constable: Albert Wilcox was sworn in as a Police Constable for the County.

Transfer.

The record has not survived but from the following it is clear that Albert had been transferred from C Division at Watford to G Division at Welham Green.

On the 28th April 1895 Albert’s daughter, Ethel, was baptised and the record shows he was a Police Constable living at Welham Green.

Fire.

Published on the 26th October 1895 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline North Mymms, Haystack on Fire: On Saturday afternoon, about 5.30 in North Mymms Park a haystack became ignited through overheating. PC Wilcox assisted by a gamekeeper quickly extinguished the flames by throwing water on them. The stack, which is the property of Mr. C. Honour was very little damaged as it was so thick the flames did not spread.

The 1900 Electoral Roll lists Albert Wilcox as living at Welham Green.

Another Transfer.

Again, the record has not survived but as the 1901 census records Ellen Wilcox and children Ethel, John, Donald and Albert as living at the Police Station, Back Street, Thundridge, Ware it is safe to assume that Albert had been transferred to A Division at Ware. However, Albert does not appear in the 1901 census. No Army Service Record could be found for him but the following shows he was clearly recalled to the Army, as a Reservist, because of the Boer War.

Army Service During The Boer War – Re-joining The Police And Promotion To Sergeant.

It is believed that 7073 Lance Sergeant Albert Wilcox was recalled to the Colours on or about the 14th May 1900 and served with the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, possibly as a Drill Instructor as his name does not appear in the Medal Rolls. From the Coldstream Guards Discharge Book Albert is shown as having been discharged on promotion to the rank of Sergeant of Police on the 20th April 1901.

General Order 18 of the 11th April 1901 announced that on Friday 19th April 1901 Acting Sergeant Wilcox 138 A would return from the Army for duty in Ware.

General Order 22 of the 9th October 1902 announced that Albert’s Boer War Army Service would count towards his Police pensionable service as follows: Under the provisions of the Police Reservists Act 1902 the Police Authority for the County has decided that the Army Service of those Police who were called upon to re-join the Colors as Reservists during the late war shall count as approved service for Pension or gratuity under the provisions of the Police Act 1890. This order affects Sergeant Wilcox 138 B Division service with Regiment 340 days.

Transferred Twice!

General Order 26 of the 5th June 1901 instructed Albert that, as soon as it could be arranged, he was being transferred from A Division at Ware to A Division at Stanstead Abbots and to reside in the Police Cottage with strong rooms.

However, the St. Michael’s Church of England Infants School, Bishops Stortford attendance register dated the 23rd October 1901 shows that Albert’s children Ethel, John and Donald were at the school and living at Chantry Road, Bishops Stortford, which suggests that Albert had been moved again to B Division at Bishops Stortford.

This assumption is supported when, on the 7th April 1902 Albert’s son Albert joins his siblings at the school and they are still shown as living at Chantry Road. Furthermore, the baptismal record for Albert’s son Harry, dated 31st August 1902, shows Albert as a Police Sergeant living at Pleasant Road, Bishops Stortford.

General Order 20 of the 6th May 1903 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/10/4 to £1/11/6 per week from the 16th April 1903.

General Order 13 of the 11th May 1903 announced that the Harpenden Race Meeting was fixed for Saturday 23rd May 1903. To Police the event the Deputy Chief Constable Superintendent J. Reynolds would be in charge assisted by Superintendent Frogley, Inspectors Hyatt and Martin and 13 Sergeants of which Albert was one. There would be 104 Constables together with 41 Metropolitan officers and a plain clothes officer from Luton Borough Police. There would also be a mounted detachment of ten officers.

General Order 17 of the 5th May 1904 announced that the Harpenden Race Meeting was fixed for Saturday 21st May 1904. The arrangements for the Policing of the event, which included Albert, were identical to 1903.

Transfer.

The record has not survived but at some time between the 5th May 1904 and the following General Order Albert had been transferred from B Division Bishops Stortford to D Division Hemel Hempstead.

General Order 7 of the 18th April 1905 announced a disciplinary matter as follows: Constable Keen 209 D having been proved to be insolent and insubordinate to Sergeant Barron in presence of Sergeant Wilcox and having failed to substantiate charges of drinking in public house, brought by him against Sergeant Barron, has rendered himself useless and unfit to remain in the Force. He will be paid up to this day inclusive.

Murder.

General Order 17 of the 5th August 1905 announced in a very understated fashion that a PC Bolton had been commended by the Chief Constable regarding the Hemel Hempstead murder. The full details, including  Albert’s part in the incident, are too lengthy to repeat here but the full account can be read in “Whybourn, Esther Emma”  by visiting Crime and Incidents – Murder and Manslaughter on this site.

The 1906 Electoral Roll lists Albert Wilcox as living at 6, Christchurch Road, Hemel Hempstead.

General Election.

General Order 1 of 1st January 1906 instructions are given to dozens of Police officers in connection with the General Election of January 1906. Voting was carried out over several days and schedules were drawn up detailing where and when officers would perform duty. The following excerpts refer to Albert.                                          Schedule C                                                                                                                                                                                  Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Western or Watford Division on Tuesday 23rd January 1906. Div.     Rank   No.    Name                     Station                            Place for Duty                                                                            D         SGT    138     Wilcox A                Hemel Hempstead       Hemel Hempstead                                                      Schedule D                                                                                                                                                                                Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Northern or Hitchin Division on Thursday 25th January 1906.  Div.      Rank   No.    Name                     Station                            Place for Duty                                                                           D         SGT    138     Wilcox A                Hemel Hempstead       Hitchin

General Order 2 of the 13th January 1906 gave further instructions for the Policing of the Parliamentary Election St. Albans Division as follows: The following party of Police are detailed for duty in the City of St. Albans under the Head Constable (agreement under Police Act 1890) to report at the City Police Station on Tuesday 16th January 1906 at 3 p.m. armlets to be worn. There then followed a list of one Inspector, two Sergeants including Albert, twelve Constables and four Mounted Constables.

Violent Poachers Shots Fired.

Published on the 10th February 1906in the Hertfordshire Mercury: Charles Smith, alias Sells, 24, greengrocer, and Horace Harrison, 25, labourer, both of Boxmoor, were indicted for night poaching, being armed with a gun, on land in the occupation of Lieutenant Colonel Dudley G. Ryder, at Bovingdon, on December 17th, in company with Leonard Smith, who was not yet in custody: Charles Smith pleaded guilty, and Harrison not guilty. Mr. Grubbe appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. J.H. Murphy defended Harrison. Mr. Grubbe, in opening the case for the prosecution, said that on December 16th three men, the two prisoners and one other man who was not in custody, went at 11 p.m. to the house of a labouring man named Lee and asked him if he could let them have some cartridges. This was about a mile and a half from the scene of the affray. The man refused to give them any, but eventually sold a dozen cartridges to them. The gamekeeper of Colonel Ryder was Mr Stratton, and he was going into his house at one o’clock on the Sunday morning, December 17th, when he heard two gun shots in a wood two miles away. He went at once to the cottage of the under keeper, Bunting, and arranged for him to find the policeman, Downing, who was in the neighbourhood, and the three men met at three o’clock at the top of Box Lane, which was near the wood from which the sound of shooting proceeded.

At four o’clock there came two more shots from the wood called Coleshill Wood. The three men went down to the wood and after waiting a little time they heard some men pushing through the wood towards them. They waited and saw three men come out of the wood, and two of them were the prisoners and the third was Smith’s brother. They followed the men, and overtook the prisoner Smith, who was armed with a stick and struck the policeman a severe blow across the chest. When the other two men came up they managed to secure Smith, who was handcuffed and searched. A pheasant was found upon the prisoner, and as they were moving off with the other two men returned and began throwing stones. One of them said “I’ll shoot you, if you do not let that man go”. He did not suggest that Harrison was the man with the gun, but he was one of the men who insisted upon the keepers letting Smith go. The keepers were struck again and again with sticks, and the man with the gun, whichever it was, levelled it at the policeman and the keepers and threatened to fire. The keepers then put Smith in front of them and they did not fire. Smith said, “Shoot the bastards”. They did not shoot, but they continued to throw stones, one of which struck Smith a severe blow in the eye and brought him down. Smith then said, “You have hit me, don’t fire, or you’ll shoot me”. Smith struggled and kicked and continued his threats and the other men kept on throwing stones and using sticks.

Finding at length they were getting the worst of it they took the handcuffs off Smith and let him go and he re-joined the other two men. When Smith got back to his friends they heard him say, “Now shoot the bastards”, and as the men were going away both barrels of the gun were fired at the gamekeeper and the policeman, and the latter was hit, but fortunately not injured. Bunting, however, had been seriously injured by the stones, a severe wound having been inflicted on his head.

Early on Sunday morning Stratton went to the police, and in company with PS Wilcox and other policemen proceeded to the house were Smith lived and found him in bed with a black eye and bruises on the wrists, showing that he had had handcuffs on recently. He was taken to the police station, and Harrison was afterwards arrested, but in answer to the charge made no reply. The other Smith had left the neighbourhood. Empty cartridges were that day picked up where the affray took place which corresponded with the cartridges in possession of Lee, who had sold similar ones to the prisoner Harrison.

Lee was called and deposed that the three men visited his house on Saturday night and that Harrison bought a dozen cartridges of him for a shilling. The gamekeepers, William Stratton and John Bunting, bore out the statements of counsel, as also did the Constable, Downing, who produced his overcoat showing the shot marks. PS Wilcox produced the gun and created considerable laughter by pointing it at the Judge, who quickly told him to put it down. In cross-examination he admitted that he did not find any signs of blood or feathers about Harrison.

During the cross-examination of this witness there was a sharp passage at arms between Mr. Murphy and the Judge. Counsel became somewhat angry with the Sergeant because he did not mention in his evidence that he found a cartridge on Harrison which did not correspond with those found on the scene of the affray and those that were sold by Lee to Harrison, and he accused the witness of suppressing this information. The Judge objected to the use of this word and said that the witness was entitled to courtesy, and when he learned counsel used the word suppressed he was hardly courteous to the witness, who was only carrying out his duty. It was a phrase that might easily be misunderstood by the Jury. It might be thought that he kept back the information for an unfair reason. The Sergeant afterwards explained that he produced the cartridge in question at the Police Court but was told by the Magistrates’ Clerk that it had nothing to do with the case, and hence it was not mentioned in the depositions. It was not considered by the Magistrates to be material to the case.

Dr. Herbert Love, assistant to Dr. Russell Steele, stated that he attended to the gamekeeper Bunting, and described his wounds. The prisoner Smith was called and stated that Harrison was with him and his brother on the night in question and said that Harrison bought and paid for the cartridges. They then all three went in the direction of Bourne End. His brother had a double barrelled gun, not the one produced that day. They went into the woods and shot some pheasants. Mr. Grubbe, “Did you shoot any?” “Yes, six.” “Did Harrison shoot any?” “I cannot say. I had had a drop of drink.” When they were coming out they were met by the keepers and the policeman, and the handcuffs were put on him. The other two run away, but they came back to within about forty yards. He was hit with a stick not with a stone. He never heard the other man say anything. He was only handcuffed about three minutes. What the police said about his having been handcuffed a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes was not true. As soon as the keepers and the policeman saw his mates coming back, they let him go. When he re-joined the other two him brother had the gun. Mr. Grubbe, “What did you do with the pheasants?” Witness, “Chucked them away.” Mr. Murphy asked no questions of the witness. This closed the case for the prosecution.

Mr. Murphy called no witnesses but spoke at length in defence of Harrison. He contended that there was not a word in evidence against his client and pointed out that it was an unusual course to call one of the prisoners who had pleaded guilty to give evidence for the prosecution, and it showed a weakness in the case for the prosecution. Whatever had been the inducement held out to Smith to give evidence against Harrison, it was clear that the prosecution had not got much in return. Smith was obviously anxious to shield his brother as well as himself by bringing Harrison into the case. He pointed out the significance of the fact that nothing was found on Harrison and having spoken upon the seriousness of cases where the wrong person was convicted, he expressed the belief that the jury would give him the benefit of the doubt and acquit him of any complicity in the crime. The Judge having summed up the case at length, in the course of which he clearly pointed to the guilt of Harrison as well as the other prisoner, the jury found them guilty, and they were sentenced to nine months’ hard labour each.

General Order 11 of the 2nd May 1906 informed Albert that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/11/6 to £1/12/8 per week from the 12th April 1906.

A Possible Transfer?

Based purely on the following newspaper articles it is possible that Albert had been transferred again from D Division at Hemel Hempstead to D Division at Markyate.

Sudden Death.

Published on the 25th August 1906 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline A Lonely Death, A Stricken Man Sleeps in the Open, An Extraordinary Story: An inquest was held on Monday at the Union Workhouse, Hemel Hempstead, before Mr. W.J. Pickin, Deputy Coroner, and a Jury, of whom Mr Frank P. Johnson was chosen Foreman, upon the body of a man who was brought into the institution the previous day, under circumstances shown in the evidence. Henry Edgar Simons said he was a farmer and the tenant of Cell Park Farm, Markyate. On Saturday evening, about 6 o’clock, he heard that a man was lying n Cell Park under a tree near the road. He saw him that night about 8.30, and fetched PC Baker and asked him to remove him. PC Baker and Sergeant Wilcox went to the spot together. At first, they thought the man was drunk and asked him to get up and go away as they did not want him lying there. He replied that he had hurt his back and could not walk. Witness told the Sergeant that it was best to let him stay there the night, he was about a quarter of a mile from Markyate, as witness thought he would not commit any damage, although he believed then that deceased was shamming illness. They had such a lot of tramps there. They covered him up and left him.

On Sunday morning, about 10 o’clock, witness went to the spot again, and saw deceased just in the same position. He then noticed that he looked very ill. The Police and Dr. Edwards of Markyate. Were also there, and the latter advised his removal to the Hemel Hempstead Union Infirmary. A covered van was procured, and the Constable took him there. On Saturday night deceased stated that he hurt his back carrying sacks. PC Samuel Baker, stationed at Markyate, stated that about 9.15 on Saturday evening he was on duty in the High Street, Markyate, in company with Sergeant Wilcox, when the last witness asked them to go and remove a man who was lying in Cell Park. They went to the place where the man was lying under some trees, a short distance from the High Road, the Park being separated from the road by a stone wall about four feet in height. The man was asleep. They woke him up and asked him to go away; he said he had hurt is back and could not walk. He did not appear to be ill. Deceased asked them to let him stop the night, and he would go in the morning after he had had a rest. He said he came from Settle in Yorkshire and was going to London and came there at five o’clock that evening. Mr Simmons agreed to his lying there for the night, and they threw his coat over him and left him.

On Sunday morning, about eight o’clock, Sergeant Wilcox and himself went again to Cell Park and found deceased lying in the same place asleep. They woke him up and he appeared to be very ill. They fetched the Doctor and Mr. Peter Lacey a Guardian. He did not then complain of feeling ill and ordered his removal to the Hemel Hempstead Union Infirmary. The Doctor gave witness a bottle of milk and brandy to give him on the way. After the Doctor had seen him he told deceased where he was going to take him, and he replied, “I don’t care where you take me.” On the way to Hemel Hempstead, in reply to an enquiry, deceased stated that he had been lying where they found him since the previous Thursday and had nothing to eat for two days. Witness asked his name and the only reply he received was, he thought, “Albert.” He did not complain of any pain. He drank about a pint of the cocoa in cups. He was about 5 ft. 7 in. in height, very thin; he had beard and moustache and was from 45 to 50 years of age. Edwin Trowell, Master of the Union Workhouse, said he admitted deceased the previous day at 11.40. He was then almost unconscious. Witnesses sent for the Doctor at once and the Matron attended to deceased until he died forty minutes after admission. He looked a typical tramp, had no money on him and was from 45 to 50 years of age. His body was very dirty. Witness gave a list of his clothing and small articles found, including the tramps’ usual tin, fork etc.

Dr. Russell Steele said he was called to the Workhouse Infirmary the previous day at 12 o’clock and went at once and saw deceased immediately after his admission. He died shortly afterwards. He examined the body and found no marks of violence; it was very dirty and much emaciated and was too far gone for treatment. He appeared to be an ordinary tramp. The cause of death was heart failure accelerated by privation and exposure. The Jury returned a verdict accordingly. Superintendent Frogley, who was present at the inquest, stated that he had a photo of deceased taken as a matter of precaution.

Antisocial Behaviour.

Published on the 6th October 1906 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline Markyate, Obscene Language: At the Markyate Petty Sessions on Friday, William Andrews, a Militia Reservist, of Flamstead, was summoned for using obscene language on September 15th. His mother appeared and pleaded guilty on her son’s behalf. Sergeant Wilcox stated that about 10 p.m. on the Saturday in question he was near Friar’s Wash when he heard someone shouting and found Andrews making use of obscene language to his two friends. He was shouting at the top of his voice, and witness had never heard a man swear so much before. When witness spoke to him he said he was sorry and promised that it would not occur again. A fine of 10s including costs was imposed and a week was allowed for payment or in default seven days’ imprisonment.

General Order 12 of the 3rd July 1907 instructed a detachment of Hertford County Constabulary Police officers to perform duty at the St. Albans Pageant between the 15th and 20th July 1907 as follows: The undermentioned party of Police will perform duty in the City of St Albans under the orders of the Head Constable (under agreement Police Act 1890). Lead by Superintendent W.J. Turner, there were two Inspectors, four Sergeants, including Albert, and 40 Constables and Inspector G. Reed in plain clothes and a detachment of Mounted officers.

Dress: Fine trousers, serge jackets, (tartan jackets to be taken for night wear), capes, serge helmets, white gloves, armlets and usual appointments including ambulance bandages.

Two Sergeants and 10 PC’s of the above party will parade at the City Police Station St Albans on 11th July 1907 at 11 a.m. for duty, the remainder at 11 a.m. on 15th July 1907. Lodgings and subsistence will be provided by the City Authority for the whole period. Application for railway fares and other expenses incurred, if any, whilst on duty, al to be submitted as soon as possible after completion of duty in the City. Any man reported for any offence will be dealt with by the Chief Constable on returning to his station. Any man reported for drinking on Licensed Premises or being found under the influence of drink during his tour of duty will be summarily dismissed the force.

Assault On Police.

Published on the 19th October 1907 in the Herts Advertiser under the headline From Bed to Police Cell, A Saturday Night Fracas: The Hemel Hempstead Magistrates at Wednesday’s Sessions inquired into a disturbance which took place outside The Plume of Feather’s, Markyate on Saturday last. Walter Godfrey, of Markyate, and Arthur Potton, of Flamstead, were charged with assaulting PC Baker while in the execution of his duty. Both prisoners pleaded not guilty. Mr E.M. Austin, of Luton, on behalf of Potton at the outset raised a technical objection to the procedure. The fracas, he said, took place at 10 o’clock, and Potton was not arrested until 2 o’clock in the morning when he was fetched out of bed. He maintained that there was no “continuous pursuit” of prisoner between the time of the occurrence and the arrest, and that therefore to arrest without a warrant was illegal. Under those circumstances he contended that the Justices had no Jurisdiction. If they convicted the conviction would be quashed on appeal. The Bench, after hearing PC Baker’s evidence, held that there was continuous pursuit, and therefore overruled the objection. A note of the objection was, however, taken. PC Baker said that last Saturday night, about 10 o’clock, he was in London Road, Markyate, when he saw a number of young men standing outside The Plume of Feathers. One of them was using very bad language and wanted to fight. He spoke to the one who was making the noise and asked him to go home. Godfrey intervened and struck witness a severe blow between the eyes. Witness caught hold of him and both fell to the ground. While they were down, Godfrey struck him several times. Potton then came forward and struck witness over the left eye, cutting open the flesh. Witness drew his staff which was immediately snatched away. His helmet was also taken off and he afterwards found it over the hedge of an adjoining field. During the struggle both men got away. Witness obtained the assistance of PS Wilcox and went in search of prisoners. They searched Godfrey’s house at 10.30 but he was not there. They then went on to Flamstead and searched Potton’s house at 1.30 a.m. they found him in bed. The delay was caused by the inquiries necessary to find out where Potton lived. PS Wilcox charged prisoner with assaulting witness and he replied that he was there, saw the scrimmage, but did not strike witness. Witness then conveyed him to Markyate.

Godfrey could not be found on Saturday night, and was arrested on a warrant at Houghton Regis on Wednesday. In cross examination witness said he was certain his cut was not done by a stone in the road. He did not call upon Potton to pull Godfrey off. PS Wilcox, who went with the last witness to Markyate, said they reached Potton’s house at one o’clock, whereas Baker said the time was 1.30. Mr Austin urged that there were discrepancies in PS Wilcox’s and PC Baker’s evidence in the matter of times and asked the Bench whether they believed PC Baker’s evidence. He urged, too, that PC Baker was mistaken in thinking it was Potton who hit him when he was on the ground. There was a crowd of young fellows around, and he submitted that Baker could not see who it was who came from the side and struck him. He asked why PC Baker had not brought an independent witness. Godfrey asked PC Baker whether he had been watching him for half an hour before the occurrence. This the officer denied, and also that he struck Godfrey on his head with his truncheon. Potton, in the box, said he saw PC Baker and Godfrey struggling on the ground. He did not strike the officer; in fact, he did not get close to him at all. When the scrimmage was over, he walked home to Flamstead. PS Wilcox and PC Baker knocked at his front door about two o’clock. He opened it and the Sergeant told him he should arrest him for assaulting Baker. He told the officer he was quite innocent. Eventually the Bench decided to adjourn the case for a week to enable fresh witnesses to be called if possible. Bail was granted to Potton who found a surety.

The Result Of The Case.

Published on the 26th October 1907 in the Herts Advertiser: The Bench heard all the evidence in this case again plus evidence from new witnesses who supported Potton’s claim that he had not assaulted PC Baker. The Bench retired to consider their decision. On re-assembling the Chairman said Godfrey was convicted of assault on the Police. In the case of Potton, the Bench were inclined to consider the doubt which had been thrown upon his presence there that night and they dismissed the case against him. The Bench wished it to be thoroughly understood that they were determined to put down any disturbance similar to this which had taken place at Markyate, in which the Police were assaulted. They looked upon assaults on the Police in a most serious light. Godfrey would have six weeks’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Demotion And A Transfer!

General Order 31 of the 29th October 1907 announced a major turning event in Albert’s career as follows: Sergeant Wilcox having been reported for inefficiency as an Officer is reduced to the rank of Constable on £1/9/2 per week from 31st October inclusive and will be transferred to Watford for duty. The reasons for this abrupt decision have not survived.

Despite the above the 1908 Electoral Roll still listed Albert Wilcox as living at 83, High Street, Markyate but the 1910 Electoral Roll shows him as living at 7, Smith Street, Watford.

General Election.

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 C                                                                                                                                                                                 Return of Officers and Men detailed for duty in the Mid or St Albans Division Tuesday 25th January 1910.              Div.      Rank   No.    Name                    Station                    Place for Duty                                                                                  C          PC      138     Wilcox A                Watford                 St Albans                                                                                        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      138     Wilcox A                Watford                 Watford

Royal Visit.

General Order 43 of the 5th December 1910 were instructions regarding a Royal Visit as follows: Their Majesties the King and Queen will visit Brocket Park on 12th December 1910 and following days. Inspector Draper C Division will be in charge of the Police detailed for the above duty. His duties so far as the Parliamentary Elections are concerned will be performed by Inspector Domoney. Sergeant Hagger 171G will assist Inspector Draper. Sergeant Hagger’s election duties on 15th December will be performed by Sergeant Steel 12G. The following Constables will be at Brocket Park early on the afternoon of 12th December and will remain there for duty at the House until their Majesties departure. A list of six Constables then followed which included Albert. Mounted Officers were detailed to escort their Majesties from the railway station, Hatfield to Brocket Hall on 12th December and on their return journey to Hatfield Station. Other Officers were detailed for duty and were at the disposal of Inspector Draper for duty in the public ways, footpaths and roads surrounding the Park and with the Shooting Parties. One or two of the Constables on duty at the House were to assist the Constables on the public footpaths when the duck shooting took place. Sergeant Berry 98C was to perform duty in plain clothes during the Royal visit and was to be in communication with Supt. Spencer of the Household Police.

The 1911 census records that Police Constable Albert Wilcox, wife Ellen and children Ethel, John, Donald, Albert and Harry were living at 7, Smith Street, Watford. The Electoral Rolls up to 1915 show that he was still living there.

Army Service During The War.

On the 4th August 1914 on the outbreak of War Albert was 46 years and 54 days old but he did not let his age prevent him from volunteering. No Army Service Record for Albert has survived, and it has not been possible to identify whether he was awarded any medals, but it is possible that he served at home as a Drill Instructor.

Re-joining The Police.

General Order 51 of the 18th June 1917 announced that Albert had been discharged from H.M. Army and re-appointed to the force on the 3rd June 1917 to C Division at Watford on £1/10/11 per week plus one good conduct badge.

General Order 95 of the 4th November 1917 announced that Albert had been awarded a 2nd Good Conduct Badge on the 31st October 1917.

Retirement.

General Order 4 of the 6th January 1919 announced that Albert, having submitted an application to resign, the Chief Constable, in accordance with the provisions of the Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 hereby gave the necessary permissions to retire on pension without a medical certificate. Albert, having completed 25 years’ service on 2nd March 1919, would be paid up to that date inclusive and struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force on the same day.

General Order 81 of the 1st April 1919 announced that Albert was granted a pension of £85/13/5 per annum from the 2nd March 1919.

Albert Wilcox died aged 59 in 1926 at Watford.

This page was added on 03/07/2020.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *