Edwards, Charles Walter (1899-1918)

Charles Walter Edwards was born in 1899, in Rochester, Kent. He first appears on the 1901 census aged 2, living at 6 Medway View, Wouldham, Kent. Charles was the youngest member of the family, which consisted of his father William (43) his mother Sarah (43) and 5 siblings Margaret (13) Harry (12) William (10) Gertrude (7) and Edna (6). Charles’ father is listed as a chalk (clay) quarryman. Unlike the Kent birthplaces of the rest of the family, Charles’ mother, Sarah, was born in Boston, Lincolnshire

The family has moved to 3, Sidney Road Borstal by the time of the 1911 census. Charles was now 12 and is listed as being at school. The only other siblings remaining in the household were Gertrude (17), an apprentice bookbinder, and Edna (16). At some point, Charles became a chorister at Rochester Cathedral.

Charles enlisted into the Lincolnshire Regiment in Chatham, Kent. Where he became a Private in the 10th Battalion. His regimental number was 42629. The 10th Battalion were active in various battles which saw their numbers drastically reduce. It is likely that Charles was active in the Battles of the Lys which took place between 9-29 April 1918. The last battle likely to have involved Charles is the Battle of Bailleul.

Charles died of his wounds in France and Flanders in the western European theatre of war on 16th Aril 1918, aged 19.  He is buried in Haringhe Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. This cemetery was which as a casualty clearing station was nicknamed ‘Bandaghem’ by the soldiers, reflecting its role in patching up the wounded. Eighteen other members of Charles’ regiment are buried here.

On his death, his effects of 8 pounds 4 shillings and 6 pence was paid to his mother (at the request of his father) as well as a 4-pound war gratuity.

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