“George” Gerald Loder Crouch was born on the 29th August 1894 at Hertford Heath. His birth was registered as Gerald Loder however, other records show that he used George as his first name.
His father, Charles Collingwood Crouch a Game Keeper and general labourer, married his mother, Elizabeth Loder in 1882 St George’s, Hanover Square. They had nine children:
1. Jessie Crouch Lode born in 1882 at London City (shown as Jessie Crouch in 1891 census).
2. Charles Joseph Henry born in 1883 at Hoddesdon.
3. Martha Mary Ann born in 1884 at Hertford Heath.
4. Madeline born in 1886 at Hertford Heath.
5. Robert William born in 1888 Hertford Heath. Served as Corporal 30836 Royal Garrison Artillery 1909 to 1919.
6. Emmie Eliza born in 1891 at Hertford Heath.
7. Gerald Loder.
8. Gladys born in 1892 at Hertford Heath.
9. Hilda Margery born in 1905 at Hertford Heath.
During the 1891 census the family were recorded as living at the Lodge, Ball Hill, London Road, Hertford, whereas in the 1901 census their address was recorded as Second Lodge, Balls Park, Hertford, which is probably the same address.
By the time of the 1911 census they had moved and were listed as living at 4, Priors Wood Cottages, Hertford Heath. George was recorded as working as a general labourer.
Nothing further is known about George until he applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary. He was one of many new recruits Appointed just after the outbreak of the war to replace the Officers, who as Army Reservists, had been recalled to their Colours.
George’s Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know that he was Appointed as Constable 330 in the Hertford County Constabulary on the 12th October 1914. His Probationer training would have been carried out at Police Headquarters at Hatfield.
General Order 14 of the 21st January 1915 announced that 22 Recruit Constables having been brought onto the Roster for duty, were being transferred from Headquarters for duty to their Divisions and Stations. George was shown as having been posted to D Division at Great Berkhamsted from the 22nd January 1915.
General Order 95 of the 4th June 1915 was entitled Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914, Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915 and announced that the undermentioned Police Constables being desirous of enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent for enlistment, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 105 Armitage H.M. D Division
2. PC 330 Crouch G.L. D Division
3. PC 183 Godfrey P.C. D Division
4. PC 35 Reid A.W. D Division
5. PC 288 Rolls G.J.W D Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will be paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay. The Superintendent D Division will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force, as 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. George is shown as PC 320 (clearly an error as he was 330) Crouch G. D Div. who enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps on the 7th June 1915.
Army Service During The War.
George’s Army Service Record has not survived but from his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Rolls we know the following. They show that a G.L. Crouch enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps as Private 59803. He apparently transferred fairly quickly to the Military Foot Police as Lance Corporal P14451 as he landed in France with them on the 17th November 1915. His Medal Roll records he served in France until the 11th November 1918, but this would appear to be purely an administrative date as he clearly remained much longer as he was not transferred to the Class Z Army Reserve until the 17th May 1919. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory medals.
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 112 of the 15th May 1919 was entitled Re-appointment to the Force and announced that the undermentioned having been released from H.M. Army are re-appointed to the Force with effect from date shown, inclusive:
PC 328 Smith S. C Division Watford from 22nd May 1919 on £2/7/0 per week.
PC 330 Crouch G. D Division Great Berkhamsted from 22nd May 1919 on £2/7/0 per week.
Each officer must be formally re-attested. Superintendents concerned will report to this office when this has been done, showing viz: Date and place of attestation and before whom taken.
Interestingly Constable Smith served in the Military Mounted Police and it would appear from this and research of other Military Police officers that they were retained in the Army after the Armistice far longer than ordinary soldiers.
General Order 179 of the 11th August 1919 informed George that from the 13th August 1919 he was being transferred from D Division at Hemel Hempstead to D Division at Tring. It is unclear whether he had actually been at Great Berkhamsted. The Electoral Rolls of 1920 to 1922 list George Crouch as living 37, Albert Street Tring.
General Order 235 of the 4th December 1919 and General Order 174 of the 20th October 1921 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 and from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 12th October 1921 respectively. There was another increase in 1920 but the record has not survived.
George married Elizabeth Mary Smith on the 29th August 1922 at Great Berkhamsted. They had a son John Loden born in 1923 at Berkhamsted.
General Order 131 of the 18th October 1922 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 12th October 1922.
The Electoral Roll of 1923 shows George as living at 21, Akeman Street, Tring.
General Order 177 of the 2nd October 1923 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 12th October 1923.
General Order 114 of the 15th July 1924 was entitled Rent Allowances Reference Order 54/1922 and announced that the scale of Rent Allowances set forth in the Order had been confirmed, except that in the special cases shown in the schedule appended the allowances will be increased as from 29th June 1924. George was shown as PC 330 Crouch G. D Division from 11/5 per week to 12/6 per week. The Statutory deduction of 3/6 per week in the case of a Constable as prescribed by Police Regulations No. 65 (IV) would continue to apply in each case.
General Order 168 of the 25th October 1924 informed George that he would receive increased rates of pay from £4/8/0 to £4/10/0 per week from the 12th October 1924.
The Electoral Rolls of 1924 to 1927 list George Loder and Elizabeth Mary Crouch as living at Western Road, Tring.
The record has not survived but as the Electoral Rolls of 1928 to 1930 list George Loder and Elizabeth Mary Crouch as living at Park Lane, Broxbourne it can be confidently assumed that George had been transferred from D Division at Tring to B Division at Broxbourne at some time between the end of 1927 and early 1928.
A Spot Of Bother.
On the 14th July 1934, the Chief Constable severely reprimanded George for failing to take action over an urgent telephone message received at 12.45 a.m. on the 18th June 1934.
The 1939 Register records Police Officer Gerald Loden Crouch his wife Elizabeth Mary, son John Loden and sister Emmie Elizabeth Crouch as living at Police Cottage, Park Lane, Broxbourne.
Retirement And Death.
George retired as Constable 330 on the 31st January 1952 after completing 38 years’ service on a pension of £336/13/4 per annum.
“George” Gerald Loder Crouch died on the 13th May 1953 at Hertford.