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474014 (2202454) Company Sergeant Major
GEORGE PICKER
Royal Engineers
by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis, 1999

George Picker was born in 1882 and enlisted in the East Riding of Yorkshire Fortress Royal Engineers prior to the Great War of 1914 to 1918. During the Great War the East Riding of Yorkshire Fortress Engineers formed two field companies; the 529th and 530th. At the time that these companies were formed, Picker’s four-digit Territorial Force number would have been changed to his Royal Engineer Regimental Number of 474014. Picker would have been 32 years old at the outbreak of the war and was probably a senior non-commissioned officer. At the time he received his medal he was a Company Sergeant Major.

CSM Picker’s medal is the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal first introduced in June of 1908 by Army Order 128. The medal was awarded to non-commissioned officers and men of the Territorial Force who had completed 12 years service and 12 training camps. Service during the Great War counted double. A bar was awarded for further 12-year periods of service. Assuming that Picker enlisted when he was 18 years of age (in 1900), he would have earned the medal in 1912. His four years of service during the war would have counted as 8 years, and counting 1913 and 1919 to 1921, he would have received the second award bar as early as 1921.

There is no Medal Index Card on file in the Public Record Office to indicate that CSM Picker served in an active theatre of the war. His card may have been lost or he may never have been sent overseas. He remained in the Territorial Army after the war and was issued Army Number 2202454.

George Picker joined the Royal Engineers Association in 1924 and served the Association faithfully for 36 years, holding the office of Chairman of the Hull Branch for most of these years. Picker worked as an Assistant Superintendent at the General Post Office in Hull until his retirement. He died in 1960 at the age of 78 years. A copy of his death certificate is included in this record.