George Arthur Cooling was born on the 16th November 1891 at Fulbeck, Lincolnshire.
His father, Arthur Charles Cooling an agricultural labourer and an ironstone miner above ground, married his mother, Elizabeth Pycroft on the 10th October 1887 at Fulbeck. They had six children all born in Fulbeck. Sadly, one died before the 1911 census:
- Mabel Annie born in 1888.
- Harold born in 1890.
- George Arthur.
- Albert Edward born in 1894 served as Lance Corporal 8525 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment and died of wounds in 1915 France.
- Charles William born in 1896.
- Sidney born in 1900 and died in 1901.
In the census returns for 1891, 1901 and 1911 the family are recorded as living at Fulbeck. The 1901 census shows that they lived in the Workhouse Yard, and the 1911 census shows George was employed as a gardener.
George later applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary and a substantial number of documents have survived in his Police Service Record which give a significant insight to his life.
His Hertfordshire County Constabulary Form 1, completed at Hatfield Police Station on the 8th August 1914, indicates that he was the 69th applicant of 1914 and it outlines his Conditions of Service etc. and has a declaration written by himself which shows his address as Pendley Manor Gardens, Tring, his age as 22, his occupation as gardener and that he was unmarried. The following certificate was completed: I have this day measured George A. Cooling a candidate for employment in the Herts County Constabulary and certify that his measurements are: Height 5 feet 8 ½ inches. Chest deflated: 35 inches inflated 36 ½ inches. Signed: Henry Ongar Inspector Herts. The candidate will write a brief account of his employment since leaving school: “Started work on leaving school on a farm and remained in that occupation for four years. After that period I commenced gardening and have remained at that up to the present time.”
In a letter dated the 8th August 1914 from George to the Inspector Hatfield Police Station he said: Dear Sir, Saturday last the 8th instant I came to Hatfield Police Station to apply for an occupation in that force. I passed the Doctor’s examination but when I filled in the application form only stated occupation that I had previously followed viz farm work and gardening and I did not state the name and addresses of my employers because I was not sure at the time where the two gentlemen were residing. My first situation was at a farm at Fulbeck under a Mr. Casswell, Fulbeck Heath near Grantham, Lincs. Duration of service 2 years and after that with his father, Mr. Tom Casswell, Pointon House, Folkingham, Lincs. 2 years’ service. After that period I resumed work again for the first named gentleman for another two years. He has since gone abroad. From that time I commenced gardening service 27 months under Mr. Fane Esq. Fulbeck Hall near Grantham, then 15 months under Sir John Ramsden Byram Hall, Ferrybridge, Yorks. Head Gardener Mr. G. Taylor. After that I came under Mr. J.G. Williams, Pendley Manor, Tring whom I have served since October last. I trust Sir you will approve of my explanation for not stating these addresses on the form of application. I remain Sir yours obediently (signed) George Arthur Cooling.
His Hertford County Constabulary Form 2 Conditions of Service etc. completed on the 17th August 1914 contains a Declaration of Candidate as follows: Age: 22 years. Where and when born: Fulbeck Lincs. 16th November 1891. Height 5 feet 8 ½ inches. Chest: 35 – 36 ½ inches. Complexion: Fair. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Fair turning dark. Marks: None. Married or single: Single. Religion: Church of England. Children: None. Nationality: English.
Benefit Society: Loyal Farm Friendly Fulbeck Lincs. Where and with whom last employed: Mr. J.G. Williams Pendley Manor Tring. Occupation: Gardener. Duration of service: 10 months. Whether rejected from any cause by any other Constabulary Force: No. I hereby declare that the above answers are in my handwriting and were inserted by me on the 17th day of August 1914 and that they are true and full replies to the several questions above specified, and that I have read the Conditions of Service, and, if appointed, I hereby agree to serve the Standing Joint Committee of the Quarter Sessions and the County Council as a member of the Constabulary for the County of Hertford, under the conditions before mentioned, and subject also to all Statutory conditions now made, or hereafter to be made, in that behalf. George Signed: Arthur Cooling. Address: Pendley Manor Gardens Tring.
The Form 2 included details of persons recommending George:
- J.G. Williams, Pendley Manor Tring, October 1913 – August 1914.
- H.R.G. Crawford, Albury Tring, October 1913 – August 1914.
- G. Taylor Byram, Ferrybridge Yorks., September 1912 – October 1913.
- V.F. Willson, J.P. Western, Rauceby Hall, Grantham, from birth – May 1922.
I certify that the signatures of the above persons, No.1 and 2 are genuine and that their recommendations are worthy of confidence. Also, that I know the candidate, and I consider him in every way eligible for employment in the Hertford County Constabulary. Signed: PS Herbert John Baldock, Tring Police Station, 24th September 1914.
It also included details of his medical: I hereby certify that I have examined George Arthur Cooling as to his health and physical strength and consider him fit for the Constabulary. Signed: G.G. Upcott Gill Surgeon at Hatfield 8th August 1914.
A letter dated the 4th September 1914 letter from the Superintendent And Chief Clerk advised George that currently there were no vacancies and not to give up his job and he will be contacted again when a vacancy arises.
A letter dated the 1st October 1914 from the Superintendent and Chief Clerk told George: With reference to your application to join the Hertford County Constabulary, I am directed by the Chief Constable of Herts., to inform you that he will interview you at this office at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday 3rd October 1914 providing you are prepared to attend here entirely at your own expense. I shall be glad to hear whether you propose to attend at the time mentioned. Please bring your birth certificate with you.
George replied by letter dated the 2nd October 1914 stating he would attend.
A further letter dated 4th October 1914 from the Superintendent and Chief Clerk headed: “Application to Join Constabulary” and informed George: I am directed by the Chief Constable of Herts. to inform you that he has selected you to fill a vacancy in this Force. Please attend this office at 10 a.m. on Monday 12th October 1914. You will be required to commence a course of training on that date.
George was Appointed on the 12th October 1914 Constable 125 and commenced his Probationer training at Police Headquarters, Hatfield on £1/4/6 per week. His description was recorded as previously given above. In addition, he gave his next of kin as his father A.C. Cooling and stated that he could ride a pedal cycle but could not swim. At the end of his training he was Attested on the 20th January 1915 at Hatfield and taken onto the Roster and posted to A Division at Hoddesdon.
General Order 14 of 21st January 1915 confirmed George’s posting by announcing that he was one of 22 Recruit Constables who had been brought on the Roster for duty and were being transferred from Headquarters. He was shown as PC 125 Cooling G.A. posted to A Division at Hoddesdon from the 22nd January 1915.
Serving A Child Alcohol.
Published on the 27th February 1915 in the Hertfordshire Mercury: At Cheshunt Petty Sessions John Wetmore, of the Old Highway Tavern, Rye Park, (Hoddesdon) was summoned for selling intoxicating liquor in an unsealed vessel to a child under 14 years of age, and Margaret Hammond, of Rye Park, was summoned for sending the child for the liquor. Wetmore pleaded guilty, and the defendant Hammond, owing to a family bereavement, did not appear. PC Cooling said that on January 29, at 1.10 p.m., he was in the Old Highway Road, Rye Park, when he met a little girl, apparently about 10 years of age, carrying a jug. He asked what was in it, and she replied “Stout.” From what she told him he took her back to the Old Highway Tavern, when he saw the defendant, Wetmore. He said to him, “Are you aware you are committing an offence by supplying a child under the age of 14 with intoxicating liquor?” and the defendant replied, “I did not think the Act was in force very much just now.” The witness afterwards saw Mrs. Hammond, who admitted sending the little girl for the stout, as she was not feeling very well. Wetmore was fined 10s. and costs, or 14 days, and Mrs. Hammond 2s. 6d., or three days.
In March 1915 George 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.
On the 11th August 1915 George submitted a report to the Superintendent A Division, Ware entitled: “Application to be allowed to get married”. I most respectfully beg to apply to be allowed to get married on the 18th October 1915 to Miss Annie Rawding Glendaragh, Caterham, Surrey. I can produce bank book with a deposit of £20. I am also free from any debt whatever. Trusting this will meet with your approval. There was a comment added that he had produced a bank book showing a credit exceeding £25.00. there were no objections.
A letter dated the 14th August 1915 from Surrey Police at Caterham to the Chief Constable of Herts. was entitled: “Re Miss Annie Rawding.” I have the honour to report that I have this day made enquiries at “Glendaragh” Whyteleafe Road Caterham, re the above named, who is a Lady’s Maid to Mrs. Reeve, wife of Captain Reeve of the Grenadier Guards Dept., Caterham. I saw Captain Reeve who informed me that he has known Miss Rawding since she was a little girl, that for the past 3 years she has been in his service as Lady’s Maid and he states he cannot speak too highly as to her character, which has been in every way most satisfactory, since he has known her. Her father is Coachman to Capt. Reeve at his seat in Herts. and has been employed as such for the past 30 years. I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant signed: S. Shinner A/Insp.
General Order 149 of the 7th October 1915 instructed George that he was being transferred from A Division at Hoddesdon to D Division at Northchurch on the 18th October 1915.
George married Annie Rawding on the 18th October 1915 at Leadenham. They had two sons:
- Raymond born in 1918 at Northchurch. Served as Lance Sergeant 921421 135th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery and was a Japanese Prisoner of War in Malaya he died in 1945 as a result of aerial activity whilst a POW (captured in Singapore in 1942)
- Geoffrey born in 1923 at Northchurch.
In a report dated the 28th October 1915 George requested an increase in pay. It was approved once it was established that he had passed his Ambulance Certificate and General Order 175 of the 7th November 1915 confirmed to him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/4/6 to £1/5/8 per week from the 12th October 1915.
In a report dated the 18th October 1915 George requested another increase in pay. It was approved and General Order 126 of the 26th November 1916 informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/5/8 to £1/6/10 per week from the 12th October 1916.
General Order 124 of the 18th November 1916 was a list of 16 Constables, including George, who had signified their desire to sit the examination for promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. The necessary examination papers were prepared and forwarded to the Superintendents concerned. The examination was held in accordance with the rules laid down in Order 192/1915.
General Order 137 of the 21st December 1916 announced the result of the Examination for Promotion from Second Class to First Class Constable. George was one of those that qualified having taken the exam on the 25th November 1916 in the office of his Superintendent.
In another report dated the 22nd October 1917 George applied for a further increase of pay. The increase was approved and General Order 94 of the 4th November 1917 informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £1/6/10 to £1/7/5 per week from the 12th October 1917.
Army Service During The War.
George’s Army Service Record has survived and from this we know the following: George enlisted on the 10th December 1915 at Berkhamsted and on the 11th December 1915, he was transferred to Section B Army Reserve and returned to his Police duties. This was part of what was known as the Derby Scheme. Thousands of men around the country including dozens of Hertfordshire Police Officers enlisted under the scheme. The Hertfordshire Officers mainly enlisted between the 9th and the 11th December 1915. Every Section B Reservist was issued with an individually numbered Khaki Armlet with a red Crown displayed on it which was to be worn on the upper left arm to demonstrate they were a Reservist and were waiting to be mobilised.
The following was recorded: He gave his address as Police Cottage Northchurch, his age as 24 years 1 month and his trade as Police Constable. He said he was married but had never served in the Military before.
His description on enlistment was recorded as: Apparent age: 24 years 1 month. Height: 5 feet 9 inches. Chest: 37 ½ inches 1 ½ inch expansion. Distinctive marks: Vaccination 4 left arm. He gave his next of kin as his wife Annie Cooling of the Police Cottage, Northchurch.
His Medical History Army Form B178 recorded that he was examined at Watford on the 19th April 1918 and it noted the same information as his description on enlisting with the addition that he said he was born at Fulbeck Lincs., his weight was 140 lbs., his hair brown, complexion fresh, eyes blue and his physical development was good.
On the 23rd April 1918 George was one of fifteen Hertford County Constabulary Police Constables who were Mobilised at the same time. Five joined the Coldstream Guards and ten, including George as Guardsman 32200, joined the Grenadier Guards. George was posted to the 13th Company, 1st (Provisional) Battalion. They were given consecutive Army Service numbers. The others were 32193 William Sturman, 32194 Charles Spencer, 32195 Horace Human, 32196 James Childs, 32197 Frederick Futter, 32198 George Reed, 32199 Thomas Abrathat, 32201 Leonard Wackett and 32202 George Berry. Other than perhaps their initial training there is no evidence to show that they served together.
A report dated the 25th May 1918 from Superintendent Hassell, Hemel Hempstead was sent to the Deputy Chief Constable entitled Police Officers Enlisting in H.M. Army: RanK: PC. No.: 125. Name: Cooling, George A. Regiment: Grenadier Guards. Company or Battery: 13th Company. Regimental No.: 32200. Military Station: Guards Depot, Caterham, Surrey. Date when Army pay commences: 16th April 1918. Name of wife: Annie Cooling. Address of wife: Police Cottage, Northchurch Berkhamsted. Number of children: Nil. Nearest relative: Annie Cooling (wife).
The end of the war arrived before William could be posted overseas and consequently, he did not receive any medals. On the 13th January 1919 he was transferred to the Army Reserve. On the 31st March 1920 he received his final discharge.
His Statement as to Disability Army Form Z22 records: Unit: Grenadier Guards. Regiment: 1st Provisional Battalion. Regt. No.: 32200. Rank: Guardsman. Name: George Arthur Cooling. Address: Northchurch, Berkhamsted, Herts. Age last birthday: 27. First joined for duty: 23rd April 1918 at Hertford. Medical category: A1. I do not claim to be suffering from a disability due to my Military Service, signed George A. Cooling. Examined: Aldershot 15th December 1918.
Like every other soldier George would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation and he would have used this time to apply to re-join the Police. He would have had to have undergone a Medical Examination by the Force Surgeon to ensure that he was still fit enough for Police duties. Having passed this, he would have been re-Appointed on the day following the date of the end of his leave period.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 5 of 6th January 1919 listed 13 Police Soldiers who having been released from H.M. Army were re-appointed to the Force with effect from the dates shown. George was shown as PC 125 Cooling G.A. of D Division at Northchurch on 2nd January 1919 on £2/7/0 per week. Each officer had to be formerly re-attested. Superintendents concerned had to report to the Chief Constable when this has been done, showing the date and place of Attestation and before whom taken. The 1919 to 1924 Electoral Rolls list George and Annie Cooling as living at New Road, Northchurch.
In relation to George’s re-Appointment two reports have survived. The first one undoubtedly refers to the reply received from the Grenadier Guards following a request for his character whilst in the Army and it states: Re Chief Constable report 73/1919 Re. PC 125 Cooling G.A. Copy of Character “Very Good”. For original letter see papers of PC 280 Sharp G.T. (unfortunately PC Sharpe’s complete Service Record has not survived). The second report reads: Ref. Order 23/1919 Re. PC 125 Cooling. This man was sworn in at Great Berkhamstead on 15th January 1919 before H.R.G. Crauford Esq., and Sir Chas. Hadden, see original letter with papers of PC 329 Smith F.R. (again PC Smith’s complete Service Record has not survived).
In a report dated the 15th October 1919 George applied for a further increase of pay. The increase was approved and General Order 235 of the 4th December 1919 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £3/18/0 to £4/0/0 per week from the 12th October 1919.
Published on Saturday 20th December in the Buckinghamshire Herald under the headline Wiggington Publican and Wife Heavily Fined: At Berkhamsted Petty Sessions Wednesday, William Harries, licensee of the Cow Roast public house, Wigginton, and his wife, Mary Ann Harries, were fined £5 for being in possession of an army mop and broom, £5 each for receiving 15 2lb. army loaves, and Mr. Harries a further £5 for purchasing a pair of army boots. The goods were stated have been received from members the R.F.A. at Halton Camp. Notice of appeal was given.
General Order 250 of the 19th December 1919 was entitled The Army Act 1881, Section 156. (Penalty on purchasing from soldiers regimental necessaries, equipments, stores, etc.) Rex. V. William Harris and Sarah Annie Harris and announced that: At the Great Berkhamstead Petty Sessions on 17th December 1919, the Chairman of the Bench H.R.G. Crauford, Esq., Complimented PC 215 Kemp and Police Constable 125 Cooling D Division, on the manner that they had carried out their duties in this case.
In a report dated the 13th October 1920 George applied for a further increase of pay. The increase was approved from £4/0/0 to £4/2/0 per week from the 12th October 1920.
In a further report dated the 12th October 1921 George applied for an increase of pay. The increase was approved and General Order 174 of the 20th October 1921 informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 12th October 1921.
Another report dated the 13th October 1922 saw George apply for a further increase of pay which was again approved and General Order 157 of the 18th November 1922 announced that it would rise from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 12th October 1922.
George’s report regarding a pay increase to his Superintendent dated the 20th May 1923 was slightly different in that he applied for a Special Increment of Pay Under Police Regulations 1920 stating: Having complied with articles 2 and 3 of Para: 43 Order 166 of 1920 I respectfully ask you to recommend me to the Chief Constable for a special increment of pay. I have completed 8 years’ service in Herts Police Force. The report was endorsed by his Superintendent to the Chief Constable: Sir, This Constable is a zealous and intelligent officer he is reliable and discharges his duties in an efficient manner, he has passed the examination for promotion to the rank of sergeant. I have previously recommended him for promotion to the rank of Sergeant. He fully complies with the requirement of Para 43 Order 166/1920 and I recommend his application. Signed: H. Wright A/Supt. D Division. The pay increase was approved and George was awarded an additional 2/- per week to £4/8/0.
George submitted a report dated the 17th October 1923 Report to the Superintendent D Division entitled Acetylene Gas Bicycle Lamp stolen from Ellesborough Nr. Aylesbury Bucks. The report read: On Wednesday 17th October 1923 at 3.20 p.m. I visited Berkhamsted Police Station read informations etc. and returning later to my station Northchurch, and I saw a man with a bicycle lighting an acetylene gas lamp. I noticed he answered the description of a man wanted by the Bucks Police Aylesbury Case No. 39 Police Gazette dated 15/X/23 for stealing an acetylene gas lamp. I examined the lamp and found it corresponded with the description of the one mentioned in above case. I questioned the man about it, but he denied having stolen it and said “I bought it four months ago in London,” I told him I was not satisfied with his explanation and should take him to Berkhamsted Police Station and detain him for the owner to identify the lamp. When I arrived at the Police Station I again examined the lamp and found it had recently been covered with black paint and the make of same was not visible, and I removed some of the paint and found it was a Powell and Hanmer as described in the case. I again questioned the man and he denied stealing it, but later admitted that he took the lamp from off a bicycle near a large house near Aylesbury. He gave his name as Walter Henry Stanley Swanson of 53, College Place, St. Pancras, London. Swanson was afterwards handed over to PC 114 William King of the Bucks Police Aylesbury.
A letter dated the 22nd October 1923 from the Chief Constable Major Henry Mayne Buckinghamshire Police to the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire read: Dear Sir, I have to write and thank you for the assistancce rendered to this Force by Police Constable 125 G. Cooling of the Herts Constabulary, who, on an information circulated from Aylesbury, arrested on 17th inst. at Northchurch, a pedlar named Walter Henry Stanley Swanson, of 53, College Place, St. Pancras, N.W.2, who had stolen an acetylene gas lamp, value 17/-, at Ellesborough on the 5th inst. Police Constable Cooling attended at the Aylesbury Police Court on the 20th inst. To give evidence and the prisoner was bound over in £5 for 6 months.
Subsequently on the 24th October 1923 Superintendent and Chief Clerk, Deputy Chief Constable George Knight wrote to the Superintendent D Division referring to the above letter and requested a report from PC Cooling and comments from the Superintendent.
On the 26th October 1923 Acting Superintendent H. Wright, D Division replied: Sir, Constable 125 Cooling – Detection of offences. Reference CC 11316/23. In accordance with the above, I have to submit herewith a report by Constable 125 Cooling, stationed at Northchurch. It appears that on Wednesday 17th October 1923 at 3.30 p.m. the above named Constable visited Gt. Berkhamsted Police Station to read information, Police Gazette etc. He noted the description of a man wanted by the Bucks Police, Aylesbury for stealing an acetylene gas lamp (see Police Gazette 15th October 1923, case No. 39). On returning to his station, the Constable saw a man (who answered the description of the wanted man) lighting a lamp which corresponded with the one stolen. The Constable questioned the man about the lamp, and he denied having stolen it and stated that he had bought it in London. Not being satisfied with the man’s explanation he took him to Berkhamsted Police Station and communicated with the Bucks Police at Aylesbury; the man then admitted stealing it and gave the name of Walter Henry Stanley Swanson of 53, College Place, St. Pancras, London, and was afterward handed over to Bucks Police and was brought before the Aylesbury Bench on 20th October and Bound Over for 6 months. The action taken by Constable Cooling in the case shows intelligence and the interest which he takes in his work, especially as the lamp had been disguised by paint.
In response on the 31st October 1923 Deputy Chief Constable George Knight passed on the Chief Constables instructions to read the contents of the letter from the Chief Constable of Bucks to PC Cooling and inform him that it would be placed on his file.
In a report dated the 23rd October 1923 George applied for another increase of pay. The increase was approved and General Order 190 of the 24th November 1923 informed him that it would be £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 12th October 1923.
General Order 1 of the 2nd January 1924 instructed George that from the 14th January 1924 he would be transferred from D Division at Northchurch to E Division at Datchworth and to occupy the cottage being vacated by Constable 213 Gray. In the end owing to inclement weather the move was suspended, initially until the 28th January 1924. Eventually it took place on the 11th February 1924.
Promotion An Increase In Pay And A Transfer.
General Order 189 of the 20th November 1924 announced that George was being promoted on the 20th November 1924 to be Acting Sergeant on £5/0/0 per week. General Order 191 of the same date instructed him that from the 1st December 1924 he was being transferred from E Division at Datchworth to E Division at Hitchin. The 1925 to 1930 Electoral Rolls list George and Annie Cooling as living at 35, Lancaster Road, Hitchin.
A Blow To His Promotion.
On the 15th February 1925 George was deprived of the rank of Acting Police Sergeant and reverted to the rank of Constable with effect from 16th February 1925 by the Chief Constable. This was because whilst at Hitchin on 10th February 1925 he, knowing that Constable 161 Samuel James Wackett was in an unfit condition to carry out any duty he may have been called upon to perform, did endeavour to shield him from disciplinary action.
Constable 161 Wackett resigned. He was the brother of PC 115 Leonard Wackett who had joined the Police and also served in the Grenadiers Guards with George.
Superintendent Prior, E Division reported to the Chief Constable on the 5th April 1926 that George had been admitted to No. 17 Bed, Luke Ward, Guy’s Hospital, London on 4th inst. for treatment and operation if required for an internal complaint. Other than he had several Xrays and no surgery there is no further record of what this entailed.
George submitted a report on the 11th January 1928 to the Superintendent E Division stating that on the 28th December 1927 he had slipped on snow outside the Adam and Eve PH, Bancroft, Hitchin whilst walking to work and suffered a pain and swelling to his left groin which did not get better. On the 7th January 1928 he was examined by Dr. W.P. Grellett who said he needed surgery. He requested permission to enter Hitchin Hospital on 24th January 1928 for this. His request was supported by Acting Superintendent Henry Herbert who also asked for it to be recorded as an injury on duty. This was agreed by the Chief Constable.
George submitted a report on the 10th April 1928 to the Superintendent E Division requesting that he be considered for the vacancy as an additional Constable at Tewin Water. This request was apparently unsuccessful as there is no record of a move there.
On the 1st May 1930, the Superintendent E Division reported to the Chief Constable that George’s son had been examined by Dr. Grellett who was of the opinion that he was suffering from Diphtheria and that George should remain temporarily off duty.
A Very Minor Blemish.
On the 6th December 1930 Superintendent Herbert reported to the Chief Constable that George had reported ¾ hour late for duty on 5th December 1930, at Hitchin. George was due on duty at 6 a.m. but failed to report until 6.45 a.m. He submitted a report stating he had forgotten to set his alarm clock and had overslept and that he very much regretted the occurrence. Superintendent Herbert stated that he was not aware of any previous occasions when George had been late and had no reason to doubt his statement. He had warned him for the future.
George applied on the 16th October 1931 for a Special Increment of Pay stating: Having completed seventeen years’ service in the Hertford County Constabulary on the 13th October 1931, I respectfully apply for 1st Special Increment of Good Conduct and Efficiency Pay. The report was endorsed: Granted first special increment of good conduct and efficiency pay @ 2/6 per week as from 12 Oct. 1931 inclusive. Signed George Knight Chief Constable.
Then on the 16th October 1936 George applied for a further Special Increment of Pay stating: Having completed twenty-two years’ service in the Hertford County Constabulary on the 13th October 1936, I respectfully apply for 2nd special Increment of Pay. The report was again endorsed: Granted second special increment of good conduct and efficiency pay @ 2/6 per week as from 12 Oct. ’36 inclusive. George Knight Chief Constable.
In the 1939 Register Police Constable George Cooling and his family were recorded as living at 35, Lancaster Road, Hitchin.
Looking Forward To Retirement.
On the 7th August 1939 George submitted a request to the Superintendent E Division to be allowed to retire on pension having completed 25 years service on the 11th October 1939.
General Order 116 of the 16th August 1939 announced the retirements on Pension of one Police Sergeant and six Constables. Having all submitted applications to resign their respective appointments in the Hertford County Constabulary on 11th October 1939, on pension, the resignations had been accepted. George was one of the Constables. They would all be paid up to and including the 11th October 1939, and their names struck off the establishment of the Force on that date. Of course, before he had a chance to retire World War 2 started.
A Change Of Plan.
George submitted an application on the 30th September 1939 to the Superintendent E Division to reside in own house, stating: I respectfully report that I shall have completed 25 years service in the Hertford County Constabulary on 11th October 1939. I submitted an application to retire on Pension on that date. This application was granted vide Force Order No. 116/1939 and has since been cancelled vide Force Order 151/1939. Consequent upon my impending retirement I purchased a seven roomed cottage, No. 48, Lancaster Road, Hitchin, which premises I have had vacant for the past five months during which period the cottage has been re-decorated throughout, and owing to failing health I had hoped to take a rest. I do not wish to let the house to a tenant. I respectfully ask that the Chief Constable favourably consider application for me to reside my own house and receive an allowance for same on contingencies.
On the 1st October 1939 Acting Superintendent Goodson E Division to the Chief Constable: I respectfully submit herewith an application by Constable 125 Cooling, stationed at Hitchin, to reside in his own house at 48 Lancaster Road Hitchin. The Constable was due to retire on 11th October 1939. He now resides in a County owned house at 35, Lancaster Road, Hitchin. The Constable’s health is not good, but he states he is desirous of continuing in the service as long as possible. Constable Cooling is attached to the office staff at Hitchin and deals with Aliens and Local Taxation in additional to general office work. He is a conscientious worker and would be difficult to replace from this Division. I respectfully recommend that his application be granted and that Acting Sergeant 107 Newcomb, who is being removed to Hitchin, vide Force Order 158/1939, be allowed to occupy the house which would be vacated by Constable Cooling, and the house occupied by Constable 296 Barker, which is rented at 18/- per week be given up.
On the 3rd October 1939 Superintendent and Chief Clerk, Deputy Chief Constable A. Camp replied: Constable 125 Cooling. Permission will be given for Constable 125 Cooling to reside in his own house, provided he is willing to let it in the name of the Chief Constable. If the Constable is agreeable to this, the tenancy will cease immediately the Constable retires from the Force, and he will be allowed rent at the rate of 15/- per week. Please report further.
On the 5th October 1939 George responded: I respectfully report that I am willing to let the cottage, 48, Lancaster Road, Hitchin in the name of the Chief Constable.
On the 11th October 1940 George submitted a report to the Superintendent E Division requesting: Having completed 26 years approved service in the Hertford County Constabulary on 11th October 1940, I respectfully apply for my pension to be secured. The application was approved.
On the 8th July 1941 George applied to the Superintendent E Division requesting: Application for Increase in Rent Allowance. I respectfully ask the Chief Constable for an increase in rent allowance from 15/- to £1 per week on the following grounds: 1. The rates have increased during the past two years. 2. War Damage Insurance @ £1/17/6 per year. These items make a big demand upon me and I would further wish to point out that being in receipt of the 12 ½ % increase, having completed 26 years service in the Force, I am not receiving the increase War Duty allowance of 5/- per week as paid to other members of the Force of the same rank.
Superintendent Goodson submitted a report on the 11th July 1941 on behalf of four officers to the Chief Constable: Rent Allowance. PS 7 Capon – Royston. PC 325 Reed – Hitchin. PC 296 Barker – Hitchin. PC 125 Cooling – Hitchin. I respectfully submit herewith applications from the above named members of this Division, for an increase in allowance for Rent to a rate of £1 per week, on the grounds of increase in Rates and payment for War Damage Insurance. I respectfully recommend the matter receives favourable consideration.
The Chief Constable’s made these notes to the Deputy Chief Constable:
- None of these applications show the exact increase in rates. War Damage Insurance appears to be less than 1/- per week, whereas the increase asked for are upwards of 5/- per week.
- Sergeant Capon was permitted to live in his own house as a special privilege, therefore I do not feel in the least that any expenses connected with it are my concern.
- Constable Reed should know that the Secretary of State has doubtless considered in general such cases as his. If he feels unfit to continue duty he should ask to see the Staff Surgeon.
- I feel that it would be probably be better to let these men go on pension.
Signed S.M.E. Fairman and dated 13th July 1941.
On the same day the Chief Constable replied to the Superintendent E Division:
These men were granted a special privilege to reside in their own houses, in some cases to the detriment of other officers. None of these applications show the exact increase in rates. War Damage Insurance appears to be less than 1/- per week, whereas the increases asked for are upwards of 5/- per week. Sergeant Capon was permitted to live in his own house as a special privilege therefore I do not feel in the least that any expenses connected with it are my concern. If hs is dis-satisfied he can move back into the Police Quarters. Constable Reed should know that the Secretary of State has doubtless considered in general such cases as his. If he feels unfit to continue duty, he should ask to see the Staff Surgeon. Please inform these men accordingly, and report when done. S.M.E. Fairman Captain Chief Constable.
Finally on the 5th August 1941 Inspector F. Futter on behalf of the for Superintendent E Division reported to the Chief Constable: I respectfully report in accordance with the above that the Officers concerned have been informed as to the contents of Memo CC 15900/41.
George submitted a report on the 6th September 1941 to the Superintendent E Division regarding his Income Tax Demand. He stated: I respectfully report that I have received a demand for Income Tax for the year April 1940 to April 1941, in which it is shown that the amount of pay received from the Constabulary is £307. This is £22 in excess of the amount I received during the year. I respectfully ask if I may be supplied with the figures as notified to the Income Tax authorities relative to my pay.
George received a complete breakdown of his earning from the Deputy Chief Constable showing his total income as £286/12/8 and advice that he should communicate with the Inspector of Taxes giving the figure in order to obtain re-assessment.
George was recorded as being on leave between the 27th June and the 9th July 1942 and the 28th August and the 10th September 1943.
Finally Retirement And Life After The Police.
General Order 139 of the 7th June 1944 announced that Police Constable George Arthur Cooling 125 E Division, who has completed 29 years 7 months approved service has submitted an application to retire on pension on the grounds of ill health. Police Constable Cooling will be paid up to and including 28th June 1944, and his name struck off the establishment of the Force on that date. George received a pension of £165/2/5 per annum.
On the 15th August 1944 George wrote to the Chief Constable requesting: Sir, I respectfully ask if you will kindly forward me a written testimonial as to my character etc. whilst serving for 29 years and 7 months in the Hertford County Constabulary, I may require to use same in the near future. I am glad to say I am feeling much better in health and trust you are keeping fit & wishing you every success should you apply for the post of Chief Constable. There is no record of a reply.
General Order 85 of the 20th October 1958 announced: Ex-Constable G. Cooling age 66 of 48, Lancaster Road, Hitchin died on the 11th October 1958. Constable Cooling was appointed on the 12th October 1914 and retired on the 28th June 1944.
His funeral was held at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday 15th October 1958 at Tilehouse Street Baptist Chapel, Hitchin.