Charles Luke Hallett Croce di Guerra

Police Constable 3 St. Albans City Police

Paul Watts

Charles Luke Hallett 1926
Herts Poice Historical Society

Early Years.

Charles Luke Hallett was born on 3rd February 1893 at Ash, Somerset and baptised on 5th Marsh 1893 at Ash.

His father, Henry John Hallett, married his mother, Louisa Cox in 1890 at Yeovil. They had eight children:
1. Marjorie Elizabeth born in 1891 at Ash.
2. Charles Luke.
3. Henry John born in 1895 at Ash.
4. Fred Arthur born in 1897 at Butleigh, Somerset. Served as Gunner 125816 in the Royal Garrison Artillery and in the 1939 Register he is shown as a Police Sergeant in Bristol.
5. Nora Louise born in 1900 at Butleigh.
6. Edith Susan born in 1902 at Butleigh.
7. Eileen Mary born in 1904 at Butleigh.
8. Kathleen Alice born in 1909 at Butleigh.

During the 1901 census the family are listed as living at Broad Moor, Butleigh, Somerset. Henry senior was shown as a working as a carter on a farm. By the time of the 1911 census they are recorded as living at Butleigh Hill, Butleigh. Henry senior was now shown as a farm labourer, but Charles had left home and was recorded as working as a domestic groom and was a boarder at Back Street, Clophill, Bedfordshire.

Police Service.

Charles’ Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources it is known that he was Appointed on the 27th November 1914 as Police Constable 3 in the St. Albans City Police.

The minutes of the Watch Committee for the St. Albans City Police record that of the 35 strong Force four men were immediately recalled as Army Reservists and two others, PC’s Benn and North, were seconded to the Army as Drill Instructors, six new recruits were taken on as replacements. Charles must have been one of those six. Eventually by 1915, twelve men had enlisted for military service with another 16 married men enlisting as Section B Reservists.

Army Service During The War.

Charles’ Army Service Record has survived so we know he enlisted and was Embodied on the 11th December 1915 at Luton for four years’ service in the United Kingdom as Private 2215 in the Territorial Force of the 2/1st Northants Yeomanry. He enlisted with PC Edmond John Bennett who was Private 2116.

The following was recorded: He stated he lived at Butleigh Hill near Glastonbury, Somerset and he was willing to be attested into Northamptonshire Yeomanry. He gave details of his next of kin as his father Henry John Hallett of Butleigh Hill.

He was Medically Examined the same day at Northampton and the following recorded: Declared age: 22 years. Occupation: Policeman. Height: 6 feet ½ inch. Chest: 38 inches 2 ½ inch expansion. Physical development: Good. Eyesight: Left 6/6 Right 6/6.

Charles was keen to transfer though as shown in the details recorded below on Army Form B. 241.

Descriptive return of Soldier at present stationed at Retford who is desirous of being transferred from the 2/1st Northants Yeomanry Regiment at Scarborough to the Military (Mounted) Police Corps ‘E’ Area Northern Command for the purpose of employment as a Military Policeman.
Regiment and Battalion: 2/1st Northants Regiment. No. 146139. Rank and name: Lance Corporal Hallett C.L. Date of Attestation: 11th December 1915. Period for which attested: Duration of War. Age: 24 years 62 days. Height: 6 feet. Chest: 41 ½ inches 1 ½ inch expansion. Where born: Ash, Somersetshire. Marital status: Single. Character: Good.

On the 1st June 1917 Charles was transferred to the Military Police Corps and appointed Lance Corporal P/10826 in the Military Mounted Police.

On the 4th February 1918 he embarked at Southampton and the next day disembarked at Le Havre as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Then on the 17th February 1918 he was Posted to General Headquarters in Italy.

He remained there until the 16th March 1919 when he was transferred to Wimbledon for demobilisation. On the 14th April 1919 he was Disembodied on demobilisation at Aldershot. He gave his home address as Budleigh Hill near Glastonbury, Somerset.

On demobilisation Charles was supplied with a Protection Certification and Certificate of Identity, Army Form Z11. This showed:
Name: Charles Luke Hallett. Regimental No: P/10826. Rank: Lance Corporal. Record Office: Woking. Unit: 48th Division. Regiment: Military Mounted Police.
Pay Office: Woking. Address for pay: Budleigh Hill near Glastonbury Somerset. Theatre of War: Italy. Born: 1893. Medical category: A1. Place for re-joining in emergency: Hounslow. Granted 28 days furlough. Date and place of issue unreadable.

Like every returning Soldier Charles was granted 28 days leave and he undoubtedly would have used that time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. He would have had to have passed a Medical Examination to determine whether he was still fit to carry out Police duties.

Re-joining The Police.

There are no records which show exactly when Charles resumed his Police career, but it normally would have coincided with the expiation of his 28 days leave.

However, from the following letter, dated the 16th April 1919, which Charles sent to the Military Police Corps at Aldershot we can see that it was probably not long after his return from Italy:
I hereby acknowledge the receipt of Certificate of Disembodiment and also to notify my change of address, which is as follows Charles Luke Hallett, 47, Lattimore Road, St. Albans.

Award Of The Croce di Guerra.

Published in the London Gazette in issue 31345 Page 6206 dated the 15th May 1919 was the announcement that Acting Lance Corporal P10826 Charles Luke Hallet Military Mounted Police attached to 48th (South Midland) Division has been awarded the Croce di Guerra by the Allied Powers for distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign.

In another letter dated the 21st November 1919 Charles replied to the Military Mounted Police:
I hereby acknowledge to have received the Diploma Croce Da Guerra granted for service in Italy.

It appears that initially Charles only received a certificate or Diploma. The issue of a medal was established in 1922 and in the photograph, dated 1926, he can clearly be seen to be wearing it. As well as the Croce Da Guerra he was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Also clear in the photograph is that Charles had been promoted to Sergeant.

The Electoral Rolls of 1919 and 1920 list Charles as living at 47, Lattimore Road, St. Albans, and those of 1921 to 1929 at 1, New Dalton Street, St. Albans. In the 1930 Electoral Roll he is shown as living at 63 Dalton Street St. Albans.

Marriage.

Charles married Hilda Joan Carter in 1933 at Bridgwater, Somerset. They had a daughter, Ruth born in 1934 at St. Albans.

Policeman Charles L. Hallett is recorded in the 1939 Register as living at 65, Brampton Road, St. Albans with his wife and daughter.

Retirement And Life After The Police.

Charles witnessed the amalgamation of the St. Albans City Police into the Hertfordshire Constabulary on the 1st April 1947 but chose to retire on the 31st July 1947 on pension as a Sergeant.

Charles Luke Hallett of Malt House Cottage, Tisbury, Wiltshire died on the 12th February 1966 at The Infirmary, Salisbury.

This page was added on 16/03/2020.

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