George Thomas Sharp was born on the 7th April 1891 in Maulden, Bedfordshire.
His father, George Sharp, married Sarah Sinfield, on the 25th December 1846 at Maulden. she died at the beginning of 1881 aged 58 years. George then married Jane Sears on the 18th October 1881 at Wheathampstead.
Jane already had a daughter Flora Annie born in 1875 at Wheathampstead however, she and George went on to have five more children, four girls and a son all born in Maulden, they were: Alice Maud born in 1882, Lizzie born in 1884, Ada born in 1885, Rachel born in 1887 and George Thomas.
In the 1891 census George senior was a Licensed Victualler and gardener living at the Dog and Badger, Hall End, Maulden. They are still there in the 1901 census and George senior was still the Publican. Sadly, he died in 1903 aged 78 years. During the 1911 census George junior has left home and joined the Army leaving his mother and sister Racheal living at End Common, Harpenden.
Early Army Service.
His Army Service Record have survived and record the following details:
George enlisted on the 17th May 1909 in London as Private 14369 in the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards for a short service of 3 years with the Colours and 9 in the Reserve.
He stated he was born in Maulden, Ampthill, Bedfordshire and he was 18 years 1 month of age and worked as a farm labourer. He stated he was living with his family, that he was not an apprentice, was not married, had never been sentenced to imprisonment and had never been in the military.
On the same day, he was examined and the following recorded:
Apparent age: 18 years, Height: 5 feet 10 ¼ inches, Weight: 150 lbs, Chest: 38 inches expansion 2 ½ inches, Complexion: Fair, Eyes: Blue, Hair: Light brown, Identifying marks: 2 scars on right thumb and 1 on right shin.
He said his religion was Church of England and his next of kin were his mother Jane Sharp of Cravells Road, Harpenden, half-sister Annie Sayers of 36, West Street, Dunstable, sister Alice Kirby of Sleaford End, Maulden Beds, sister Ada Burgoyne of Hall End, Maulden, and two other sisters Elizabeth and Rachael Sharp who lived with their mother.
On the 20th May 1909 he joined at the regiment at Caterham Barracks, Caterham, Surrey. On the 9t November 1909 he was awarded a 3rd Class Certificate of Education.
During the 1911 census Private James Powell 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards was living at Blenheim Barracks, Marlborough Lines, Aldershot. With him here was James Thomas Powell who would later be Police Constable 304 of the Hertford County Constabulary although there is no evidence that they knew each other.
On the 17th May 1912 he transferred to the Army Reserve on completion of 3 years’ service which was spent entirely at ‘Home’. He had clearly planned ahead as almost immediately he joined the Police.
His Police Service Record has not survived but from other sources we know the following:
He started his Probationary Training at R Division at Headquarters in Hatfield on the 28th May 1912. He was Appointed as Constable 280 on the 25th September 1912 and posted to C Division.
On the 5th August 1913 he was temporarily transferred to R Division at Headquarters before returning to C Division on the 1st December 1913. Then on the 1st April 1914 he was again posted to R Division at Headquarters. It is believed that during these periods he was assisting with the instruction of new recruits.
George married Mary Elizabeth Johnson on the 1st June 1914 at Market Harborough they had a son John E. born in 1920 at Hatfield.
On the 29th May 1914 he was posted to G Division at Bricket Wood.
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. George is shown as PC 280 Sharp G.T. of G Division recalled to the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards on the 4th August 1914.
Army Service During The War.
George was Mobilised on the 5th August 1914 and a week later landed in France with 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. On the 15th November 1914 he was promoted to Corporal and then nine days he was appointed Lance Sergeant.
Then on the 27th December 1914 he suffered a gunshot wound to his jaw whilst near Bethune and three days left France on Her Majesty’s Hospital Ship St. David. On the 31st December 1914 he arrived at the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London we he stayed for the next 40 days.
On the 11th January 1915 Sergeant 14369 G. Sharp, Grenadier Guards was listed as wounded on the Casualty List issued by the War Office. He was entitled to wear a Wound Stripe as authorised under Army Order 204 of the 6th July 1916. The terms of this award having been met by his being named in this list.
On leaving Hospital he was posted to the 5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards and on the 4th September 1915, he was appointed Acting Sergeant with the 5th Battalion and then on the 30th November 1915 he was promoted Sergeant.
On the 4th June 1916 he returned to France with the 2nd Battalion. Nineteen days later he joined the 7th Entrenching Battalion. On the 16th September 1916 he re-joined the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards and the next day he was appointed Acting Battalion Quarter Master Sergeant.
On the 4th October 1916 he was awarded the Military Medal with authority from the Guards Division Routine Order 380, para 1603. It was Gazetted on the 8th December 1916, Sergeant 14369 G. Sharp Grenadier Guards Gazette No. 29854. Page 12052 – Military Medal. His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to this Officer.
On the 14th October 1916 he reverted to Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion.
Distinguished Conduct Medal.
On the 17th August 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal with authority from the Guards Division Routine Order 682, para 2916.
Distinguished Conduct Medal Citation.
14369 Sergeant G. Sharp, Grenadier Guards (St Albans) (London Gazette 26th January 1918). For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack upon the enemy’s line. When his platoon was held up by very heavy rifle and machine gun fire from a concrete blockhouse, he collected a few men and rushed the position, killing the hostile gunner and enabling our advance to continue. Twenty of the enemy were captured in this stronghold entirely owing to his able dispositions and the splendid dash and gallantry with which they were carried out.
Published on the 24th November 1917 in the Hertfordshire Mercury:
A Double Medallist of Park Street.
Sergeant George Sharp of Park Street, near St Albans, is the proud possessor of the D.C.M. and the Military Medal. He was in the Herts County Constabulary for two years and before being called up was stationed for two months at Bricket Wood. He belongs to the Grenadier Guards. At the outbreak of war, he was in the Reserves and re-joined the Colours in August 1914, and immediately proceeded to France. He was wounded in the battle of the Somme and was lying in a shell hole for some time, but when he had recovered somewhat from the shock he found that all officers had been killed and he led his company into a severe engagement and was recommended for the Military Medal. In September last he captured a German ‘pill-box’, killed three of the enemy and took 20 prisoners for which he has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
On the 2nd September 1917 he was appointed Acting Colour Quarter Master Sergeant 2nd Battalion. From the 13th October 1917 he had ten days leave in the UK.
On the 19th March 1918 he was serving with the 1st Battalion and then on the 11th May 1918 he was ordered to proceed to England as an Instructor the following day and to report to the Brigade Major of the Brigade of Guards. He relinquished his rank and resumed as a Sergeant.
He arrived in the UK on the 16th May 1918 Returned and was posted as Sergeant to the 5th Reserve Battalion. On the 8th June 1918 he was appointed paid Acting Colour Quarter Master Sergeant 5th Battalion, until the 12th July 1918 he reverted to Sergeant 5th Battalion.
On the 13th January 1919 he transferred to Class B Army Reserve
On Army Form Z22 Statement of Disability the following was recorded when he was examined at Aldershot on 15th December 1918:
Unit: 1st Battalion Grenadier guards, Regimental No. 14369, Rank: Sergeant, Name: Sharp George Thomas, Permanent address: 5, New Villas, Park Street, St. Albans, Age: 27, Date joined up: 17th May 1909 at London.
Where served, for how long, in what capacity: France, 29 months, Guardsman, Injury: Gunshot wound to face and loss of teeth 27th December 1914, Treated: St Bartholomew’s Hospital London, Injured before enlistment: No, Hospitals treated at before enlistment: None.
Name of National Health Approved Society: Heart of Oak, Employer: Chief Constable Herts Constabulary, Industrial Group and occupation: Group 35 Police Constable.
Diagnosis: Bullet wound to left side of face teeth knocked out and jaw splintered.
Present Condition: Wound quite healed. No teeth have been provided. No disability in chewing. Some loss of sensation to side of mouth.
Was disability due to service in the present war: Yes.
Is disability stable: Yes.
Re-examine in 12 months: No.
Degree of disability: Nil when teeth are provided.
As well as the Distinguish Conduct Medal and the Military Medal George was awarded the 1914 Star and British War and Victory medals. He also applied for and received his Clasp and Roses
Like every other soldier George would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation and he would have used this time to reapply to join the Police. He would have had to have undergone a Medical Examination by the Force Surgeon to ensure that, despite his wounds, he was still fit enough for Police duties. Having passed this, he would have been re-Appointed on the day following his date of Discharge from the Army.
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 280 G. Sharpe G of R Division at Hatfield on the 31st December 1918 on £2/9/0 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. George resumed his career at Headquarters as an Instructor of new recruits.
The 1919 Electoral Roll lists George and Mary as living at Station Terrace, Park Street, St. Albans.
General Order 145 of the 2nd July 1919 informed George that he would receive a special increase of his pay for good services performed from £2/9/0 to £2/10/0 from the 3rd July 1919. Then General Order 213 of 17th October 1919 informed him that, following a National Pay Rise, he would receive a further increase in his rate of pay from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week backdated to the 25th May 1919.
Promoted To Sergeant.
General Order 214 of the 15th October 1919 announced that George was to be an Acting Sergeant. The Electoral Rolls of 1920 to 1928 record George and Mary as living at the Police Cottages, Hatfield.
The record is missing but a year after his promotion to be an Acting Sergeant he was promoted to the substantive rank of Sergeant on the 15th October 1920. General Order 181 of the 5th November 1921 informed him that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/2/6 to £5/5/0 per week from the 15th October 1921.
General Order 143 of 4th November 1922 announced that at the Police Federation Joint Board Meeting held at Constabulary Headquarters Hatfield on 27th October 1922 it was decided that PC 203A Reed would be appointed Chairman, that PS 21A Herbert would be appointed Secretary and that PS 280R Sharp would be appointed Vice Chairman and Vice Secretary.
General Order 157 of the 18th November 1922 and General Order 183 of the 5th November 1923 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/5/0 to £5/7/6 per week from the 15th October 1922 from £5/7/6 to £5/10/0 per week from the 15th October 1923 respectively.
At the Hertford County Constabulary Police Federation Elections held on the 17th October 1924 six Inspectors, six Sergeants and six Constables were duly elected to serve on the Hertford County Constabulary Branch Boards. Sergeant 280 George Thomas Sharp was chosen to represent R Division.
General Order 168 of the 25th October 1924 George was informed that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £5/10/0 to £5/12/6 per week from the 15th October 1924.
General Order 178 of the 6th November 1924 announced that at the Police Federation Joint Branch Board meeting held at Constabulary Headquarters Hatfield on 31st October 1924 it was decided that Inspector A. King would be appointed Chairman and that Police Sergeant 280 Sharp would be appointed Secretary.
Promoted To Inspector.
General Order 202 of the 11th December 1924 announced that from the 18th December 1924 George would be promoted to be Acting Inspector.
General Order 128 of the 5th September 1925 announced that at the Police Federation Joint Branch Board meeting held at Constabulary Headquarters Hatfield on Friday 31st July 1925 it was decided that A/Inspector Sharp R Division be Appointed Returning Officer for the ensuing 12 months.
General Order 165 of the 25th December 1925 announced that from the 18th December 1925 George would be promoted to the substantive rank of Inspector. This was immediately followed by General Order 166 of the same day which informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £310 to £320 per annum from the 18th December 1925.
General Order 136 of the 13th October 1926 announced that at the Police Federation Joint Branch Board Meeting held at Constabulary Headquarters on 29th July 1926 it was decided that the date of the annual elections be 18th October 1926 and that Inspector Sharp R Division be appointed Presiding Officer.
General Order 156 of 14th November 1926 announced orders for an Inspector, two Sergeants and 18 Constables with regard to the visit of HRH The Prince of Wales to Luton on the 17th November 1926. In command of the Hertfordshire contingent was Inspector G.T. Sharp of R Division who would act under orders as laid down by the Chief Constable of the Borough of Luton. The detachment was instructed to report at the Borough Police Station Luton at 9 a.m. The men were ordered to take the following dress and equipment: Great Coats 1925 issue, Cloth jackets 1926 issue, Dress trousers 1926 issue, Cloth helmets 1926 issue, Whistle and chain, Handcuffs, Pocket Book, Truncheon, Black woollen gloves and Capes.
General Order 2 of the 3rd January 1927 informed George that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £320 to £330 per annum from the 10th December 1926.
The record has been lost but George was promoted to Superintendent which would have meant a transfer. The 1930 Electoral Roll records George and Mary as living at 30, Lord Street, Hoddesdon so it is possible that this is when and where he was moved to.
Retirement And Life After The Police.
On the 30th September 1937 George retired on pension as a Superintendent.
In the 1939 Register listed as living at 20, Bearton Avenue, Hitchin are George who is recorded as being a retired Police Superintendent and an ARP Controller at Hitchin and his wife Mary.
Mary died on the 31st May 1950 at Hitchin. George married Louisa May Dickinson (nee Powis) in 1951 at Hitchin.
George Thomas Sharp of 1, Lancaster Avenue, Hitchin died on the 24th August 1956 at Lister Hospital, Hitchin.