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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

William Benjamin Charles POW notts & Derby


thecharlesboy

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Hi my first post so prob doing it all wrong sorry.

I have been researching my Grandads story off and on for years now without getting very far.

I came across this wonderful site yesterday and after spending all day immersed in incredible stories thought I would put my bitty tale out there. If anyone has any gems of knowledge to put me on track that would be great.

The short tale as was handed don as I know it:

My Grandad William Benjamin Charles was born in Nelson Road, Normanton, Derbyshire, England in 10.05.1901.

Being a short built man/boy he enlisted in the Notts & Derby Reg Sherwood Foresters at a young age app lying about his age

While in service he was captured and because of his obvious age was made to work on a pig farm.

While working on the pig farm he always thought he would be be killed so he hid his watch in a wall on the farm, but when released he forgot it.

On his return his Mum had spent all his wages so he left and went to Crumlin, Monmouthshie to work in the pits.

He must have joined the Monmouthshire reserves as I have a great pic of him with a mate with the welsh dragon on his cap and some ribbons on his chest.

He was tragically killed just before my dad was born so never went back to find his watch and all stories, medals if any have have vanished.

So that was the tale that has left me wondering. I did come across a medal card of a W B Charles who was in both those regiments with the No 122759 but the date on the bottom dosent make sense.

Any way brill site will carry on digging, the stories must be told.

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122759 Cpl W B Charles was also a Pte 356 in Monmouthshire's according to N&D list, as you mentioned.

What date does not make sense? I presume you mean his date of entry into theatre. His 6 digit number and his age would probably mean a joining date from 1916 on. I would not think he was a 4 digit TF man who had his number changed but it is possibly. I presume his records did not survive.

After years of researching the N&D, I am always wary of family stories :)

Welcome and the best of luck in your research.

Steve M

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Thanks Steve yep I know what you mean about family tales. but the facts I do know was that he was born in 1901 and that he served in the war and had a ribbon bar on his uniform on the photo I have in my hand. As I said he was killed just before my dad was born jn 1931 so the pow tale looks like it might just have to stay that, a family tale.

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Could it be that they found he was underage and they sent him, either to base at Calais or Home. He may well have worked on a pig farm until old enough to serve overseas.

I have at least a couple of underage lads - one killed before his mum could get him out and the other sent back to Calais. He may have gone to the front aged 17 in 1918. After 21st March the army needed every man it could get hold of.

S

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Thats interesting. Would it of been possible to have been made a corporal if that had happened and is it also possible to tell what medals he got from the photo i have of his ribbon bar?

Cheers thanks for your interest

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thats interesting. Would it of been possible to have been made a corporal if that had happened and is it also possible to tell what medals he got from the photo i have of his ribbon bar?

Cheers thanks for your interest

Attached is the medal bar if anyone could work out what they were that would be great.

post-73058-0-26927300-1308271322.jpg

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