Charles SHARP
Rank: Private
Number: 17218
Unit: 20th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 8 May 1916
Age: 28
Cemetery: Citadel New Military Cemetery, Fricourt, Somme, France

Charles was born in Salford but was living at 50 Aberdeen Crescent, Edgeley, with his wife, when he enlisted into the army. He worked as a clerk for the Express Window Cleaning Company at its offices on Fountain Street, Manchester and joined up at one of the recruiting offices in the city centre.

The 20th Battalion was the fifth of the "Pals" units to be raised by the Manchester Regiment. Recruitment started at the beginning of November 1914 and Charles was amongst the first to join up. He was assigned to No. 2 Platoon in "A" Company. Some details of the men's recruitment and training can be found here.

Although Charles' date of death is officially recorded as being on the 8th, an examination of contemporary records suggest it was the following day. On the 8th, the Battalion was in reserve billets near the village of Morlancourt preparing to start another tour of duty in the trenches the following day. The Battalion's War Diary, written at the time, confirms that during the morning of the 9th, they took over a sector from the 2nd Warwickshires. They were in place by noon which would be consistent with newspaper reports that Charles was killed by a howitzer shell just outside his trench dugout during the afternoon.

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