Harold John Badcock


Harold John Badcock


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Second Lieutenant
Norfolk Regiment
4th Bn.


British War and Victory medals


VIII. D. 14.



UK Memorials

Hemel Hempstead Town Memorial, St John the Evangelist Church Memorial, Boxmoor

Pre War

Harold John Badcock was born on 28 February 1888 at Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, the son of Francis St John and Marian Badcock (nee Sparkes). He was one of six children and his father was the principal teacher at Boxmoor School.

On the 1891 Census the family were living at School House, St John's Road, Hemel Hempstead, where his father was a teacher at the Elementary School. His mother was also listed as a Teacher. They remained living at the School House in 1901 and Harold was then attending the school and his 18 year old brother Frank was also a teacher there.

His mother died in 1906 aged 49 and is buried in Heath Lane Cemetery, Hemel Hempstead. 

By the 1911 Census Harold had moved out of the family home and was living as a boarder at the home of Alfred and Rose Wesley at  59 Cranwell Road, Lincoln and employed as a Police Constable for the County Constabulary.  He later transferred to the King's Lynn Police Force and worked as Chief Clerk. 

His father remained at Boxmoor School House in 1911, working as the Head Teacher, and Harold's siblings Percy, Elsie and Dorothy were living with him, along with servant Lily Hoar. 

Harold married Hilda Gladys Frogley on 12 October 1915 at St Mary's Church, Hemel Hempstead. Her father was Superintendent of Police in Hemel Hempstead between 1892 and 1918. The wedding was reported in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette with a detailed description of the participants and description of the bride and bridesmaids' attire. 

His father died in 1917 and is buried in Heath Lane Cemetery, Hemel Hempstead. 

Wartime Service

Harold enlisted at the Drill Hall, Norwich on 7 July 1915 and applied for a commission which was quickly approved. He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant on 28 July 1915 and began his training with the Norfolk Regiment before being sent to the Front. He was granted leave to get married in October in Hemel Hempstead and after a short honeymoon he returned to his regiment in Norwich.  

He served in France from 30 September 1916 as 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment and joined the Battalion near Albert on 4 October. The Battalion moved to Montaubin soon after Harold arrived and were in front-line trenches on 16 October. He was initially recorded as missing in the war diary following an attack on 'Mild Trench' during the Battle of Transloy. Eventually after some months his body was recovered and his death was confirmed as killed in action at Bapaume on 18 October 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

He was initially buried at Beaulencourt Road Cemetery, near Bapaume, but when the graveyard was partially destroyed, most of the soldiers buried there were re-interred at Bancourt British Cemetery, five miles away. 

Additional Information

His widow, Mrs H G Badcock, 23 Herbert Street, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. ordered his headstone inscription: "FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH". Wrought iron gates in Boxmoor churchyard are dedicated to members of the Badcock family, including Harold. Probate was granted to Frederick Frogley, retired police superintendent, with effects of £150 17s. His pay owing of £23 7s 4d was received by the executor Frederick Frogley (his father-in-law).


Brenda Palmer
Jonty Wild, www.dacorumheritage.org.uk, wwwhemelatwar.org., www.hemelheroes.com.