Charles PRICE
Rank: Private
Number: 62061
Unit: 15th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 22 October 1917
Age: 34
Cemetery: Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Charles is thought to have lived all his life in the Stockport area until he joined the army. In the late 1860s, his father, also called Charles, married Lucy Dawson at St Mary's Church, Cheadle. It's not known how many children they had, but Charles was born in 1883.

The 1901 Census records that Charles, senior, was then aged 54 and was working as a bricklayer's labourer. Lucy was 52 and a cotton operative, as was their 17 year old son.

By the time of the Great War, Charles, junior, was working for Clay's of Cheadle. This was a bleachworks and a major local employer. He had also married Ethel (believed to be Ethel Duxbury who married a Charles Price in 1905, at St Augustine's Church, Brinksway). They lived at 18 Carmichael Street, Edgeley with their two children.

Charles' service number indicates that he was conscripted into the army at the end of 1916 or in early 1917. He is known to have been on leave in September 1917, although it has not been possible to establish if he had already served abroad or if this was a period of leave before going on active service. Certainly, whilst he was back at home, he took up teaching at the Church Sunday School on Brinksway as he had before he enlisted.

At the time of his death, he was attached to the 105th Company, Machine Gun Corps. The Company, which fought at Brigade level, used heavy Vickers machine guns that required a six-man team to operate. Two carried the equipment, two the ammunition and another two as "back-ups". It was a quiet day and the four battalions of the Brigade were near the Belgian village of Boesinghe, just to the north of Ypres (now Ieper). His comrades in the 15th Cheshires spent the evening working in carrying parties bringing duckboards up towards the front line to make tracks.

At some point during the day, Charles was wounded (most probably by shrapnel). He would then have been evacuated from the front line area to a field hospital based 10 kilometres away at Poperinge. Military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life but without success and he died two days later.

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