Charles had been born in Stockport and, before the war, still lived in the town, with his wife, Martha Hannah, at 37 Swann Street, Portwood.
He enlisted at Stockport, probably just after war was declared in August 1914 and went overseas in January 1915. He is reported to have died of wounds, but it is not known when he suffered them. It is comparatively unusual for soldiers who died of wounds not to have a known grave as they were usually treated away from the battle area. However, there were still many whose graves were destroyed by shellfire over the course of the war. For others, details of the location of graves were simply lost. In such circumstances, they are commemorated, like Charles, on a Memorial to the Missing.
By the time the Imperial War Graves Commission was collating its casualty information in the early 1920s, Martha had remarried, to a Mr Johnson, and was living at 1A Fletcher's Court, John Street, Hillgate, Stockport.