Rank: Private
Number: 52891
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 4 September 1917
Age: 42
Cemetery: Calais Southern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Charles was born in Ashton under Lyne about 1875. In later life, he was living in Denton at the time of the 1901 Census when he was working in Stockport's hat-making industry. By the Great War, his parents and sister, Polly, were living at 57 Vale Road, Heaton Mersey. His brother, Joe, lived at 190 Brinksway Road.

It's not known where Charles was living but, by now, he was married with five children. He had left the hatting industry and was working as a dyer at Melland & Coward Ltd, Heaton Mersey, until he enlisted into the army.

Charles' volunteered in February 1915 and his original service number, 3944, indicates that he joined one of the Regiment's Territorial battalions - probably the local 6th Battalion. After training, he went overseas as part of a large draft of troops in July 1916. Originally intended for the front line 6th Battalion, they were, in fact, reassigned to various Battalions who had suffered losses in the opening days of the Battle of the Somme. Charles will have been given the above service number when he was reassigned, although it is not known if he was immediately assigned to the 9th Battalion or if this came later.

In August 1917, Charles had a few days home leave and had only just returned to duty.

On 4 September, the Battalion was away from the front line and in training at Berthen (5 kilometres north of the French town of Bailleul). The Battalion's War Diary makes no reference to what happened but the following letter sent from the Battalion's chaplain to Mrs Robinson gives some details "I very much regret to have to tell you that your husband was killed on September 14th (sic) by a bomb during an air raid. I did not know your husband; he had been with us a very short time. I know he was at the service on Sunday last. He and five others killed at the same time were buried at Calais on September 7th."

It is unlikely that the Battalion training would have taken the troops to Calais so it seems probable that Charles and the others had been badly injured and had been evacuated to an army hospital on the coast where they had died.

His brother, William, is also commemorated on the Memorial.

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