Albert Edward William Clarke was my great grandfather on my fathers side of the family. He served with the Northamptonshire Constabulary from 1 December 1899 until he retired on 6 October 1931.
On joining the force he was described as a native of Welton, Northamptonshire and during his service he served at Kettering, Oundle, Paulerspury, Daventry, East Haddon, Northampton, Pottersbury and Naseby. On retirement he held the rank of Sergeant and was described as having an exemplary character.
The 1901 census shows Albert, aged 24, living alone at Police Station House, London Road, Kettering. His occupation is shown as Police Constable. The 1911 census shows Albert living with Louisa at Factory Road, Potterspury, Paulerspury. His occupation is given as Sergeant of Police.
The photo above is a postcard sent by Albert on 7 June 1911 to Mrs A E Clarke (my great grandmother), Police Station, Pottersbury, Stony, Stratford, Bucks. On the back it reads: ‘Dear Lou Hope you are all well pleased to say I am alright, not quite as busy as on Monday. I do not know yet if it will be Sunday or Monday we shall leave here with love to you all. Ted’.
I also have a book of common payer given to Albert by Louisa. At approximately 5cm by 9cm I can barely read the writing but on the inside front cover it says ‘From Lou, to Albert, Xmas 1889. In loving memory of the past’.
Albert is remembered at St Martins Church, Welton by a plaque that records that he and a number of other local men carved the pulpit.
His retirement was reported in local newspapers and stated he had ‘repeatedly been called for duty when royalty had visited the county at Althorpe and Castle Ashby in 1907 when the present King and Queen, Prince and Princess of Wales, visited there. During the last three hunting seasons the Sergeant has been in charge of the police who were on duty at Naseby Hall and Thornby Grange when the Duke and Duchess of York and Princess Elizabeth were in residence.’
At the time of his death it was reported that he ‘knew personally both the present King and Queen and the late King George and Queen Mary, for during his police service he was called upon to undertake the duty of guarding their Majesties. This was when King George and Queen Mary stayed at Althorpe several years ago and when the present King and Queen were at Naseby Hall and Thornby Hall as Duke and Duchess of York.’