Edward Thomas Batchelor
Edward Thomas BatchelorView full burial details
in the cemetery
EDWARD BATCHELOR: 1879 – 1943
Edward Thomas Batchelor was born on 4th September 1879, the fourth child of George and Sarah Batchelor (nee Richardson). Both his parents were born in Northchurch, as was Edward himself and his older siblings, William, Arthur and Fred.
At the time of the 1891 census the family was living in the High Street, Northchurch. Edward was then 10 years of age. Also living with the family was Samuel Allen, who was13 years old. Samuel was born in London and is described as “grandson.” George’s occupation is noted as carpenter. William and Fred were agricultural labourers, Arthur was a gardener and the 13 year old Samuel was also a labourer.
The 1901 census tells us the family was still living in Northchurch, but now in Bell Lane. Edward’s oldest two brothers, William and Arthur had moved on. Edward was 21 and by this time working as builder’s labourer.
The next documentary record in which Edward features is the 1911 census. Edward was 21 years old. He was still working as a builder’s labourer, but he had moved out of the family home in Northchurch and was lodging at 27 High Street, Berkhamsted, the home of George and Eliza Norwood and their 12 year old daughter.
Edward is noted in the 1939 Register as still living at 27 High Street. By then the only other occupant was Eliza Norwood who was then a widower. The probate records show that although Edward died in hospital in Hemel Hempstead, his address at time of death remained 27 High Street. Edward, on leaving his parents home by the age of 21, lived for the rest of his life at 27 High Street.
He also remained a batchelor, both by name and also literally. He never married. He is described in the 1911 census as “single”. The 1939 Register recorded an individual’s marital status by means of a letter “S”, “M”, “W” or “D” –single, widowed, married or divorced. Noted against Edward’s name is the letter “S” – single.
He remained a building labourer throughout his working life. The 1939 register records that his occupation was then still builder’s labourer.
Edward probably had little difficulty in finding work in the building trade in Berkhamsted. There had been a large expansion of housing in the west of the town following the sale of the Kitsbury Farm estate, albeit that was before Edward’s time. However builders were again active in the west of the town in the first decade of the twentieth century. In 1902 work started on Shrublands Avenue and there was further work on Cross Oak Road. Queens Road was built and development started at Sunnyside on the east side of the town. Building slowed significantly during the First World War, but accelerated in the 1920s with the construction of council housing in Swing Gate Lane and also at Gossoms End. During the 1930s further council housing was built at Highfield Road. Houses were also built for the first time north of the railway line by private enterprise following the sale of the Ashridge estate.
Edward should have served in the forces during the First World War. In January 1916 the Military Service Act 1916 became law. This required all single men aged between 18 and 41 to enlist and in January 1916 Edward was 35. (In May 1916, further legislation extended this to include married men and in 1918 the upper age limit was extended to 51.) However no service record is apparent for Edward, although he may have served and the record has since been lost.
Alternatively he may have been exempt from conscription. The 1916 Act provided for certificates of exemption to be issued by tribunals if it was in the national interest for someone to continue in the work in which he was habitually engaged instead of being employed by the military. Certificates were also issued if conscription would cause exceptional financial, business or domestic hardship, cases of ill health or conscientious objection.
Unfortunately we cannot now know whether such a certificate was granted to Edward. Due to the sensitive issues that surrounded compulsory military service during and after the First World War, only a small minority of the tribunal papers survive. In the years that followed the end of the war, the Government issued instructions to the Local Government Boards that all tribunal material should be destroyed, except for the Middlesex Appeal records and a similar set for Lothian and Peebles in Scotland.
Edward died on 14th May 1943 without leaving a will. His effects were valued for the purposes of probate at £4,902 8s 2d. William Thomas Batchelor, licensed victualler and Charles James Batchelor, civil servant were granted letters of administration to his estate.
No relatives have been linked to Edward Thomas Batchelor