Charles C FULLER
Rank: Corporal
Number: 14593
Unit: 7th Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Date of Death: 25 September 1915
Age: 21
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Charles Fuller is known to have been born in Pendleton (now part of Salford) and the 1901 Census lists only one likely person - a seven year old boy still living in Pendleton.

When he enlisted into the army, he was living somewhere in Manchester, with his wife and child, although they had moved to 41 Sykes Street, Reddish by the autumn of 1915.

Senior British and French commanders had planned for some time for an attack near the mining town of Lens in northern France. The actual advance would take place north of the town around the village of Loos, after which the battle would become formally known. It was scheduled to start on 26 September and the Borderers' 7th and 8th Battalions would take part in the initial assaults.

They were in position by 10pm on the 24th. At 5.50am, there was a final "hurricane bombardment" of the German lines, followed by 40 minutes shelling with gas and smoke shells. The men then "went over the top". The 7th Battalion was on the right and, on the left, the 8th Battalion which included local man Ernest Baxter.

The Regimental History records that the men of the 7th  "Half smothered in their smoke helmets, they had to scramble over 250 yards of fire trench in which they were crowded, get through gaps cut in the wire and spread out to 400 yards of frontage." Their objective was Loos Road Redoubt - 200 yards away across No Man's Land. The Battalion piper, D Laidlaw, "strutted about on the parapet playing the "Blue Bonnets". He kept playing till he was wounded and won the first VC awarded to a Scottish Borderer in the Great War"

The smoke only covered the attack for its first 40 yards and, as the men appeared into the open, two enemy machine gun fire opened fire accounting for many casualties in both Battalions.

The 7th Battalion pressed on and took the Redoubt. Although no longer in proper communication with neighbouring units, the Battalion pressed on, taking objective after objective and came within half a mile of the main German second line defence system. They had advanced 1000 yards.

Meanwhile, the men of the 8th Battalion had lost direction and had joined other troops. They were quickly engaged in "mopping up" the German trench while the 7th Battalion pushed on.

Other Battalions from the Division pushed through and captured the village of Loos. All units now dug in for the night. Some time during the day, Charles had been killed. During the next day, whilst in the trenches, Ernest Baxter was killed, most probably by shellfire. Neither has a known grave and both are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Loos. Fighting in the area would continue until the middle of October - nearly 8000 British troops would be killed. Another 50000 were wounded. The 7th Battalion suffered about two-thirds of its number in casualties (dead and wounded). The 8th Battalion had fewer casualties. The Battle was a success - but a costly one.

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