Harold Edgar Parker was born on the 6th March 1893 at Caythorpe, Lincolnshire and was baptised there on the 9th April 1893.
His father, Frederick Parker a game keeper and domestic gardener, married his mother, Emily Fanny Waldock, on the 30th March 1882 at Great Amwell. They had six children:
1. Edith Emily born in 1882 at Thundridge.
2. Florence May born in 1884 at Thundridge.
3. Ethel Maud born in 1885 at Thundridge.
4. John Frederick born in 1887 at Caythorpe.
5. Honora Mabel born in 1888 at Caythorpe.
6. Harold Edgar.
During the 1901 census the family were living at the Cottage, Caythorpe, Lincs. but by the 1911 census they had moved to Tull Cottages, Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts. Harold was employed as a grocer’s assistant.
Little is known about Harold’s life for the two years that followed but he then applied to join the Hertford County Constabulary.
Only a few pension documents from Harold’s Police Service Record have survived but from these we know he was appointed as Constable 302 on the 11th December 1913. There was a recruitment drive at the time to augment the strength of the Constabulary so that the Police Weekly Rest Day Act of 1910 could be implemented. He would have undergone his Probationer training as part of the new scheme of training new recruits at Police Headquarters, Hatfield, as opposed to the old system of being trained on Divisions.
On completion he was taken on to the Roster and posted to D Division probably, as a new recruit, to the Divisional Station at Hemel Hempstead. He had to wait until his twenty-first birthday on the 6th March 1914 before his service would count towards his pension.
General Order 6 of the 8th January 1915 informed Harold that he would receive an increased rate of pay from 26/6 to 25/8 per week from the 1st December 1915.
General Order 91 of the 3rd June 1915 was entitled Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Act, 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1915 and announced:
The undermentioned Police Sergeant and Constables being desirous of enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the war, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts.
1. Police Sergeant 81 Corney W. C Division
2. Police Constable 302 Parker H.E. D Division
3. Police Constable 312 Cattermole D.E. R Division
Police Sergeant 81 Corney and Police Constable 302 Parker and PC 312 Cattermole 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 Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the officers are enlisted in the Army, and the officers 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. Harold is shown as PC 302 Parker H.E. D Division who enlisted in the Army Service Corps on the 7th June 1915.
Army Service During The War.
Harold’s Army Service Record has not survived but from his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll we know the following: Harold Edgar Parker joined the Royal Army Service Corps as Private M2/104359 and was promoted to Corporal. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Like every other soldier Harold would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. Part of that process would have entailed having medical examination by the Force Surgeon at Police Headquarters, Hatfield to ensure he was still fit enough for Police duties. The last day of his leave would have coincided with the date of his re-joining the Police.
Re-joining The Police.
General Order 39 of the 12th February 1919 announced the re-appointments to the Force of eight Police Soldiers who had been released from H.M. Army. Harold was shown as PC 302 Parker H.E. posted to D Division at Hemel Hempstead from the 20th February 1919 at £2/8/0 per week. Each officer had to be formally re-attested. The Superintendents concerned had to report when this had been done showing the date and place of attestation and before whom taken.
General Order 77 of the 24th March 1919 instructed Harold that he would be transferred from D Division at Hemel Hempstead to G Division at St. Albans on the 25th March 1919.
Harold Edgar Parker, 26 years, a bachelor and a Policeman of Waverley, Folly Lane, St. Albans married Edith Ada Goodman on the 21st May 1919 at the Parish Church, Upton-cum-Chalvey, Eton. They had a son Frederick Jack born in 1923 at Hertford.
The record has not survived but by the time General Order 248 of the 18th December 1919 was published it was clear that Harold had been transferred again, this time to R Division at Headquarters. It is not known what role he undertook but he could have been a Clerk or an Instructor. The Order informed Harold that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/0/0 to £4/2/0 per week from the 1st December 1919.
The Electoral Rolls of 1920 to 1926 list Harold Edgar and Edith Parker as living at 10, Village, Hertingfordbury.
General Order 3 of the 5th January 1921, General Order 196 of the 9th December 1921 and General Order 167 of the 13th December 1922 all informed Harold that he would receive an increased rate of pay from £4/2/0 to £4/4/0 per week from the 1st December 1920, from £4/4/0 to £4/6/0 per week from the 1st December 1921 and from £4/6/0 to £4/8/0 per week from the 1st December 1922, respectively. In each case he was shown as still being stationed in R Division.
The Electoral Rolls of 1926 to 1929 record Harold Edgar and Edith Parker as living at 23, Village, Hertingfordbury so they had either moved a few houses, or the street had been renumbered. There is nothing to say that he had been moved from Headquarters.
Promotion And A Transfer.
The Electoral Roll of 1930 lists Harold Edgar and Edith Parker as living at 4, Police Cottages, Pirton Road, Hitchin. The records have not survived but, in all probability, he had been transferred to E Division at Hitchin on promotion to Sergeant.
Retirement And Life After The Police.
Harold retired as a Sergeant on the 6th March 1939 on completion of his 25 years’ service on a pension of £181/17/0 per annum.
In the 1939 Register Harold, an Office Receptionist, Edith and Frederick are listed as living at 2, Attimore Road, Welwyn Garden City.
Harold Edgar Parker of 2, Attimore Road, Welwyn Garden City died on the 28th March 1965 at the Queen Elizabeth 11, Welwyn Garden City. His funeral was held at 11.30 a.m. on Friday the 2nd April 1965 at Garston Crematorium.