Charles was born 15 August 1894 in Newton Flotman, Norfolk. His mother was Alice Eliza Brighton and she was unmarried. His sister Ethel Alice Brighton was born in 1898 and Martha Eliza in 1900. He was baptised in Newton Flotman Church.
In 1901 he lived with his sisters and mother at his grandparents’ home in Front Street Newton Flotman. In 1902 Alice married Samuel White, a widower, who was older than she was and had several children from his first marriage who were still living at home.
Charles therefore had several stepbrothers and sisters as well as a half -brother and a half- sister.
His stepbrothers and sisters were
Egbert White born 1881
Eva White born 1883
Grace White born 1886
Sidney White born 1888
Nora White born 1889
Reginald White born 1892
Ralph White born 1897
His half- sister was Celia White born 1904 and his half- brother Alfred John White born 1908.
In 1911 Charles aged 16 years was living with the family in Saxlingham Thorpe and working as a farm labourer.
Charles became a private in the Norfolk Regiment. His service numbers were 1673 and 200101. It is not known when he enlisted but he went to the Balkans on 9 August 1915.
Charles was in the 1/4th Territorial Battalion Norfolk Regiment and as soon as war was declared on 5th August 1914 they were mobilised. They spent the next few months training in Essex and Suffolk. In July 1915 they embarked on S.S Aquitania from Liverpool to the Dardenelles. They arrived there on 9 August 1915. Charles was part of this as the medal roll index states that he entered the war on 9 August 1915 and he served in the Balkans.
The countryside in which they were fighting was difficult with high hedges, deep ditches and forest in the background which gave cover for snipers. There was also a problem with a lack of water for the troops. By September the number of men in the Battalion fit to fight had been reduced to 376 with 218 in hospital, many suffering from dysentery. In November there was a great blizzard in the area and by December the number of fit men had gone down to 170.This was due to illness and the adverse weather and living conditions. On 15 December the Battalion retreated and left for Egypt.
There they remained during 1916 defending the Suez Canal. In 1917 they were involved in fighting in Palestine which resulted in the taking of Jerusalem on 9th December 1917. They remained in Palestine during 1918 and in September of that year moved northwards ending up in Beirut in November 1918.
He left the army on 4 April 1919 but there are no other details of his service available.
In 1923 he married Emma Susannah Revell who was born on 18 June 1891 in Hempnall.
In 1939 he was living with his wife Emma in Rosary Road, Hethersett. He was working as a Norfolk County Council roadman. They do not seem to have had any children.
Emma died in 1968.
Charles died 15 February 1988. At the time of his death he was living at Carleton House Residential Home, East Carleton.
His step brothers Ralph and Reginald White were both killed in the war.
England & Wales, Birth, marriages, death index 1837-2005
British Army Medal Roll Index cards 1914-1920
1939 Register – www.findmypast.co.uk
UK Census collection
Norfolk Electoral Rolls, Absent Voters List, Saxlingham Nethergate
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1858-1995
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Newton Flotman
The History of the Norfolk Regiment. Vol.II. – F. Loraine Petre. Norwich: Jarrold and Son Ltd. The Empire Press
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