Charles Thomas Bathurst Hodgskin was born on the 10th August 1881 at East Dulwich, Surrey.
His father, Richard Hodgskin, was a carpenter and builder. He married his first wife, Cordelia Clark in 1850 and they had five sons. Sadly only one, Richard Alfred John, survived beyond infancy. Cordelia died aged 42 in 1869.
Richard then married Harriet Platt on 31st August 1869 at St Andrew’s Church in Lambeth. They had twelve children of whom eight died in their infancy before 1911. Only Alfred John, born in 1871 at St Saviour, Elizabeth Harriet, born in 1874 at St Saviour, Charles Thomas Bathurst and George Herbert, who was born in 1886 at Camberwell survived to adulthood. George was an Aircraft Structural Mechanic first class in Royal Navy during WW1.
In the 1881 census the family were found to be living at 11, Arnott Road, Camberwell. On the 15th July 1889 Charles was registered as attending Goodrich Road School and living at 3, Landells Road, Southwark. The school records show that Charles was still at the same address on the 6th January 1891 but by the time of the 1891 census they had moved to 3, Malvern Terrace, Camberwell.
Ten years on during the 1901 census the family were living at Brightwell Road, Watford but without Charles as he had joined the Army and was in South Africa.
Early Army Service.
His Army Service Record has not survived but from the Boer War Medal Rolls and some Police records we know the following. He served 6 years 340 days as Gunner 5588 in Royal Horse Artillery going into the Army Reserve on the 27th February 1908. The Boer War Medal Rolls show him as Acting Bombardier 5588 in the 1st Pr. Maxims (Pom Poms) Royal Artillery and he was awarded the Queens South Africa medal with Clasps for 1901 and 1902, Cape Colony and Orange Free State .
Before he had even entered the Army Reserve, he had joined the Police.
His Police Service Record has also not survived but from General Orders and another source we know that he started his Probationary training on 30th January 1908 at C Division at Watford. He would have been on leave prior to entering the Army Reserve which is why the dates overlap. Before joining the Army, he had been employed as a labourer. At some point during his training Charles would have been Attested but he was not actually Appointed as Police Constable 139 until the 2nd July 1908.
General Order 23 of 28th July 1908 announced that PC Hodgskin 139 C was appointed on 23/11 per week from 2nd July 1908.
Charles married Florence Gertrude Smith in 1909 at Watford. There is no record of them having any children.
General Order 21 of 24th June 1909 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay with effect from 3rd June 1909 from 23/11 to 25/8 per week.
With his experience in the Royal Horse Artillery it is perhaps unsurprising that Charles was used as a Mounted Police Officer on occasion as the following Orders show. They also reveal that he had been transferred to F Division at Hertford.
General Order 5 of 7th February 1910 announced that the General Annual Inspection for 1910 would be undertaken by His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Captain H.T. Terry. The itinerary was:
“Thursday 17th February 1910 St Albans City Police at 3 p.m.
Friday 18th February 1910 A or Ware Division at Ware Police Station at 11 a.m.
F or Hertford Division at Hertford Police Station at 12 noon.
Saturday 19th February 1910 R or Headquarters Division at Headquarters at 11 a.m.
All men enrolled since last Inspection will parade at Headquarters at 10.30 a.m. except those serving in the A & F Divisions and will produce their journals.
Superintendents will arrange for Police to remain at outstations where necessary for duty and inform this office of the manner of the officers so detailed.
Dress: 1909 Tartan jackets and helmets, fine trousers, white gloves and usual appointments.
Memo: As to carriages if required will be sent in due course.
Every officer in the Force is to be asked if he has any complaint or representation to make to his Majesty’s Inspector, in which case he or they with the Superintendent of Division and Sergeant of Section will parade as above at Headquarters.
The undermentioned officers will parade mounted:
At Ware 11 a.m. 17th February 1910
Sergeant Moles A
PC Pusey A
PC Briden B
At Headquarters at 11 a.m. 19th February 1910
Supt Reed Headquarters
PC Lambert R Headquarters
PC Seward R Headquarters
PC Inwood G Headquarters
PC Hodgskin F Headquarters
PC Huggins C Headquarters
PC Wright C W and M horse
PC Adams D
Dress – Full”
The W and M horse was the Weights and Measures horse. At this time the Police had the responsibility for checking the weights and measures of local traders and there were two horses dedicated for the use of the responsible officers.
Proclamation of His Majesty King George V.
General Order 20 of 8th May 1910
“On the occasion of the reading of the Proclamation of His Majesty King George V at Hertford on Tuesday 10th May 1910 at 11 a.m. by the High Sherriff of the County.
The undermentioned force of Police will be detailed for duty in the Borough of Hertford to parade at Hertford Police Station at 10 a.m.
Supt Foster in charge.
F Division as many officers as can be spared.
A Division 1 Supt, 1 Sergeant and 6 Constables.
G Division 1 Sergeant and 6 Constables.
Sergeant Moles 137 A on Ware horse.
PC Pusey 183 A on Headquarters horse.
PC Burns 249 B on Bishops Stortford horse.
PC Hodgskin 139 F on Hertford horse.
PC Lambert 212 R on Headquarters horse.
PC Burns to come into Hertford on Monday 9th inst. Supt Foster to arrange for stabling.
Mounted men: Tunics, swords with black belts and sword knots, white gloves.
Dismounted men: Cloth jackets, capes, white gloves, capes will be left at Police Station if fine. Supt Foster will decide.”
Charles was also tasked with performing identical duties at St Albans on 12 May 1910 at 12 noon.
General Order 20 of 31st May 1910
“The undermentioned Mounted Detachment will hold themselves in readiness to form an escort for the Right Honourable Lord Alverstone Lord Chief Justice of England G.C.M.G. Justice of the High Court of Justice from 19th June until conclusion of the Assizes.
Sergeant Moles 137 A on Ware horse
PC Inwood 234 G on St Albans horse
PC Maxsom 1 E on Headquarters horse
PC Lambert 212 R on Headquarters horse
PC Hodgskin 139 F on Hertford horse
PC’s Maxsom & Inwood will be at Headquarters from the afternoon of 18th June and will return there each evening. The remainder will return to their stations each evening. Supt Foster will make arrangements for the outstationed horses and the men forming the escort will be under his immediate orders from 19th June until after the Assizes. Swords with black belts and sword knots will be worn but not drawn. Dress: Mounted tunics winter helmets white gloves. The DCC will submit a roll giving names of men who performed duty at the Assizes other than witnesses as soon as Assizes are over”.
General Order 38 of 27th October 1910 instructed Charles to perform identical duties to form an escort for the Right Honourable Sir William Grantham Knight, Justice of the High Court from 7th November 1910 until conclusion of the Assizes.
General Order 3 of 7th January 1911 instructed Charles to perform identical duties to form an escort for the Honourable Sir Thomas Townsend Buckmill, Knight, Justice of the High Court of Justice and one of the Justices of our Lord the King, from 10th February 1911 until conclusion of the Assizes.
On The Move.
General Order 6 of 17th February 1911 informed Charles that he had been transferred from F to D Division at Apsley.
The 1911 census shows that Charles’ parents are now living at 46, Holywell Road, Watford whilst he and his wife were living at 68, Weymouth Street, Apsley End.
General Order 19 of 14th June 1911 instructed:
“The undermentioned Officers will be mounted on 22nd June 1911
(The coronation of George V and Mary of Teck as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Empire took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 22 June 1911)
Name Horse Place of Duty
Sergt Moles 137 A Ware Horse Within Division
PC Wright 20 A Hired Horse Hitchin
PC Bethell 233 A Hired Horse Hertford
PC Briden 199 B Bishops Stortford Horse Within Division
PC Pusey 183 C W & M Horse Within Division
PC Hair 167 C Hired Horse Within Division
PC Huggins 148 C C Division Horse (if
available if not hired) Within Division
PC Grainge 151 C Hired Horse Within Division
PC Sweetland 111 C Hired Horse Within Division
PC Stroud 255 C Hired Horse Within Division
PC Carpenter 27 G St Albans Horse St Albans City 6 p.m.
PC Stevens 61 D Hired Horse Within Division
PC Adams 37 D D or Hired Within Division
PC Maxsom 1 E Hired Horse Within Division
PC Winterbourne 50 E Hired Horse Within Division
PC Inwood 234 G Hired Horse Hitchin
PC Allen 62 F Hired Horse Hitchin
PC Hodgskins 139 D Hired Horse Within Division
PC Lambert 212 R Hired Horse St Albans City 6 p.m.
PC Burns 249 G Hired Horse Within Division
Superintendents are at liberty to detail the Mounted men ordered within their own Divisions to do ordinary other than Mounted Duty if they think fit. The Chief Constable is however, of opinion that on a day like Coronation Day, and with the crowd, one Mounted Constable is worth three on foot, and the Mounted Constable moreover will be in a position to go speedily to any part of the Division or County where any sort of disturbance may occur. As far as possible Territorial or Yeomanry Horses will be hired”.
General Order 28 of 25th April 1912 informed Charles that he would receive an increased rate of pay with effect as from 4th April 1912 from 25/8 to 26/10 per week.
The 1913 Electoral Roll shows Charles still living at 68, Weymouth Street but by 1915 he had been transferred again as he is now listed on the Electoral Roll as living at 57, High Street, Markyate.
General Order 118 of 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 139 Hodgskin C.T.B. D Division recalled to the Royal Horse Artillery on 4th August 1914.
Army Service During The War.
From his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Rolls we can see he was still Gunner 5588 in the Royal Horse Artillery having landed in France with them on the 6th October 1914. Later awarded 1914 Star, British War and Victory medals as well as Clasp and Roses issued 24th April 1920.
Back home the families had not been forgotten as can be seen by General Order 20 of 19th January 1919 entitled, “Allowances to wives of Police Soldiers”.
It announced that the Chief Constable had considered the position of each individual Police Soldier under the new scale of pay and found after taking into consideration the total income of the family from allowances, including the value of the soldier’s food and clothing, that in 16 cases the families were in a worse financial position then they would have been had the man remained in the force. These cases were put before the Standing Joint Committee and they authorised extra payments, with effect from 1st July 1918. PC Hodgskins D Division was awarded £0/2/5 extra per week with £3/8/8 to be paid retrospectively with the allowances for the week ending 22nd January 1919.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 100 of 23rd April 1919 announced that having been released from H.M. Army PC 160 Hodgkins C .T. B. had been re-appointed to the Force at C Division at Watford on 1st May 1919 on £2/11/0 per week. He had to be formally re-attested and his Superintendent had to report when this has been done showing date, place of attestation and by whom sworn.
There is one thing of note in this Order which is the change in his Warrant or Collar Number. Prior to the outbreak of war, it was fairly common to issue the same Warrant Number to more than one individual providing they were posted to different Divisions so that the Divisional letter would differentiate between them. No record of an Order instructing that this should end and that Warrant Numbers should become unique has been found, but it was obviously issued simply by the fact of the number of returning Constables who were not given their old number, as someone else was already using it, and were issued with a new one.
General Order 108 of 12th May 1919 announced that PC 150 Hodgskin C.T.B. of C Division Watford was transferred to C Division at King Street Police Station (as Groom) from the 16th May.
The 1919 Electoral Roll lists Charles as living at 62, Neal Street, Watford and then the Electoral Rolls from 1920 to 1923 list him and Florence as living at Police Station Kings Street, Watford.
General Order 138 of 12th August 1921 and General Order 109 of 18th August 1922 notified Charles that he was to receive an increased rate of pay from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from 5th August 1921 and from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from 5th August 1922 respectively.
Retirement On Medical Grounds.
General Order 122 of 14th July 1923 announced:
“Retirement – Physically unfit
The undermentioned Constable has been certified medically unfit for further Police Service by the Constabulary Staff Surgeon.
PC 160 Hodgskin C.T.B. C Division service 15 years 38 days.
Constable Hodgskin will be paid up to and including 8th August 1923 and his name struck off the establishment of the Force on that date”.
General Order 178 of 23rd October 1923 announced that Charles had been awarded a pension of £70/7/10 per annum from 9th August 1923.
After The Police.
The 1930 Electoral Roll lists Charles and Florence Hodgskin as living at 1 Sunshine Homestead, Chenies Road, Chorleywood. They are still there at the time of the 1939 Register. Charles’ occupation is recorded as being a gardener.
Charles Thomas Bathurst Hodgskin of 47, Fort Road, Hythe, Kent died on the 4th April 1962 at Willesborough Hospital Ashford.