Charles Frank Randall was born on the 19th February 1891 at Hatfield and baptised there on the 28th March 1891.
His father, Isaac Randall who was the Gate or Lodge Keeper at Hatfield Park, married his mother, Fanny Bilton on the 24th May 1880 at St. James’, Pentonville.
His father enlisted in the Army on the 26th November 1858 at St. Albans and served with the 81st Foot, including four years at Gibraltar and ten years in the East Indies. He was discharged as a Colour Sergeant after 21 years on the 30th March 1880.
They had eight children, all born in Hatfield, although one of whom sadly died before the 1911 census:
1. Emilie Persa born in 1881.
2. Helena Mary born in 1882.
3. Elizabeth Frances born in 1884.
4. George Hayden born in 1885. Enlisted in the Army Service Corps on the 4th November 1915 as Private SS/22019 transferring to the Labour Corps as Private 207910. Discharged on the 5th March 1919.
5. William Joseph born in 1887. Enlisted in the 1st Field Squadron Royal Engineers as Lance Corporal 26628. Killed in action on the 11th February 1916.
6. Edith Kate born in 1889 and died in 1890.
7. Charles Frank.
8. Harry born in 1892. Enlisted in the 1st Bn., Hertfordshire Regiment as Sergeant 265089. Killed in action on the 30th April 1918. Awarded the DCM.
During the 1891 census the family were recorded as living at Hatfield Park, Hatfield but the 1901 census listed them more accurately as living at Park Lodge, North Road, Hatfield.
Little is known about Charles’ life at this period other than he apparently worked as a Telegraphist and Porter. He then applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.
Charles’ Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know he started his Probationer training at E Division at Hitchin on the 1st April 1911. At this time training was carried out by a senior experienced Constable under the supervision of the Superintendent of the Division.
At the time of the 1911 census Charles’ family were still living at the Hatfield Park Lodge but Police Constables Charles Frank Randall and Harry Temple Wells were listed as lodging at 1, Cannon’s Gardens, Hitchin with a Mr. and Mrs. Currel.
At the end of his training Charles was Appointed as Constable 136 on the 4th June 1911, which was announced in General Order 15 of the 3rd June 1911 as: Probationer Randall E Division is appointed on the strength of the Force on 23/11 per week from 4th June inclusive. Oddly, General Order 21 of the 22nd June 1911 repeated the announcement the only difference being it included his Warrant Number as 136.
Transferred Or Maybe Not.
General Order 18 of the 7th June 1911 carried a vague instruction apparently informing Charles that he was going to be transferred from E Division at Hitchin to C Division to replace a man sent to Leverstock Green. The date of transfer to be arranged by the Superintendents concerned. It went on to give instructions about the cottage of the Constable sent to Leverstock Green in that if it was a cottage hired by County it was to remain unoccupied until required. If it was an “excess of rent” cottage it should be given up. There is no record that Charles was ever moved, and the following Orders still showed him as being at Hitchin.
General Order 1 of the 5th January 1912 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 23/11 to 25/8 per week from the 14th December 1911.
Transferred For Real This Time.
General Order 4 of the 6th January 1915 instructed Charles that he would be transferred from E Division at Hitchin to G Division at St. Albans on the 6th January 1915.
Resignation To Enlist.
General Order 58 of the 9th April 1915 announced Charles’ resignation: Police Constable 136 Charles F. Randall G having submitted an application to resign his appointment as a Constable of the Hertford County Constabulary, for the purpose of enlisting in the Coldstream Guards, the resignation is accepted to take effect on the 8th April 1915. Police Constable Randall will be paid up to and including the 8th April 1915 and will be struck off the establishment of the Force 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. Charles is shown as PC 136 Randall C.F. G Division who enlisted in the Coldstream Guards on the 9th April 1915.
Army Service During The War.
His Army Service record has not survived but from his Medal Index Roll Card, Medal Rolls and his Silver War Badge transcript show we know that Charles enlisted as Private 15965 on the 9th April 1915 in the Coldstream Guards. He landed with them in France on the 21st December 1915.
The Casualty List issued by the War Office on the 27th October 1916 announced that Private 15965 C.F. Randall Coldstream Guards was listed as wounded. He was entitled to wear a Wound Stripe as authorised under Army Order 204 of 6th July 1916. The terms of this award having been met by him being named in the list.
Charles received a bullet wound to his left arm and suffered nephritis and consequently underwent an amputation of his arm leaving only one third of the upper arm. He was discharged from the Army on the 16th June 1917. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals and a Silver War badge number 18993 which was issued on the 20th June 1917.
Published on the 7th October 1916 in the Hertford Mercury and Reformer under the headline County War Notes and News, Hatfield: Pte. Charles Randall, son of Mr. Isaac Randall, a former lodge keeper at Hatfield Park, has had to have his left arm amputated just below the shoulder. Before the war he was a clerk in the Herts Constabulary. His elder brother William, of the Royal Engineers, was killed by a stray shot while taking a walk behind the firing line early last year, and his two remaining brothers are both in the Army.
After recovering from his injury and he was demobilised Charles, like every other soldier, would have been granted 28 days leave. He would have used this time to explore the possibility of his re-joining the Police. He clearly would never have been able to carry out normal Police duties but, having apparently been working as a clerk prior to enlisting, that was something he would be able to continue to do. It is apparent that the Force Surgeon, who would have examined him, and the Chief Constable agreed.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 51 of the 18th June 1917 announced that the undermentioned Police Constables having been discharged from H.M. Army, are re-appointed to the Force:
PC 138 Wilcox A. on the 3rd June 1917 to C Division Watford on £1/10/11 per week plus 1 Good Conduct Badge, and PC 136 Randall C.F. on the 17th June 1917 to R Division Headquarters on £1/9/9 per week.
General Order 48 of the 17th June 1918 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 29/9 to 30/4 per week from the 4th June 1918/
Charles married Lilian Dorcas Taylor in 1918 at Hatfield. They had three children all born in Hatfield:
1. Spencer Charles in 1919.
2. Patrick James born in 1922.
3. Norman Ernest born in 1923.
The Electoral Rolls of 1919 and 1920 record Charles Frank Randall as living at St. Albans Road, Hatfield.
General Order 131 of the 7th June 1919 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £2/10/0 to £2/11/0 per week from the 4th June 1919.
Promotion To Sergeant.
General Order 7 of the 13th January 1920 announced that from the 1st January 1920 Charles was to be Acting Sergeant. It went on to say that Police Sergeant Randall would be employed on County Council work at Constabulary Headquarters, as additional Constable supernumerary to establishment.
General Order 2 of the 5th January 1921 confirmed that Charles would be promoted to the substantive rank of Sergeant from the 1st January 1921.
General Order 12 of the 15th January 1921 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/0/0 to £5/2/6 per week from the 1st January 1921.
General Order 76 of 11/05/1921 Police Sergeants Instruction of
Reference Order 47/1921
Charles underwent a Course of Instruction for Sergeants lasting a week at Headquarters, Hatfield starting on Monday 20th June 1921 at 9 a.m.
General Order 15 of the 25th January 1922 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 per week from the 1st January 1922.
Promotion To Inspector.
General Order 52 of the 16th April 1922 announced that from the 1st May 1922 Charles was going to be promoted to be Acting Inspector.
General Order 106 of the 15th August 1922 confirmed that Charles would be promoted to the substantive rank of Inspector from the 15th August 1922.
The Electoral Rolls of 1923 to 1930 list Charles Frank and Lily Dorcas Randall as living at Police Cottages, Hatfield.
General Order 90 of the 7th May 1923 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £310 to £320 per annum from the 1st May 1923.
General Order 123 of the 16th July 1923 announced that during the absence on leave of Superintendent and Chief Clerk G. Knight, DCC R Division from 16th July to 11th August 1923 inclusive Inspector C.F. Randall R Division will take charge and act as Chief Clerk. Inspector Randall will personally go through books, documents etc. with Superintendent Knight on 15th July 1923.
General Order 110 of the 14th July 1924 announced that during the absence on leave of Superintendent and Chief Clerk G. Knight, DCC R Division from 14th July to 11th August 1924 inclusive Inspector C.F. Randall R Division will take charge and act as Chief Clerk. Inspector Randall will personally go through books, documents etc. with Superintendent Knight on 13th July 1924.
In the Police Federation Election of Members to Serve on Branch Boards, held on the 17th October 1924, for R Division Inspector Charles Frank Randall was duly elected.
General Order 78 of the 16th May 1925 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £330 to £340 per annum from the May 1925.
General Order 99 of the 10th July 1925 announced that during the absence on leave of Superintendent and Chief Clerk G. Knight DCC R Division, from 13th July to 11th August 1925 inclusive, Inspector C.F. Randall R Division will take charge and act as Chief Clerk. Inspector Randall will personally go through books, documents etc. with Superintendent Knight on 12th July 1925.
General Order 68 of the 17th May 1926 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £340 to £350 per annum from the 1st May 1926.
Retirement And Life After The Police.
The record of his promotion to Superintendent has not survived but on the 18th February 1939, he retired as Superintendent and Deputy Chief Constable.
In the 1939 Register Charles F Randall a retired Police Superintendent Lilian D. Randall were listed as living at 7, Cranborne Road, Hatfield.
Charles Frank Randall died in 1954 at Hatfield.