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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Charles Eric Wakefield Speller


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I'm trying to piece together some information on the above man - he is one of the men on the Scottish Widows memorial which I'm researching and he is their first casualty of the war.


He died in Birmingham in December 1914 and is listed as being in a Cavalry Reserve Regiment.

I notice the grave registration report on the CWGC site has his date of death as 6th October 1914 - is that likely to have been an error?

Basically, where do I go from here? Is there anything further I can hope to find out about him and the circumstances of his death?

Thanks in advance.

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Soldiers Died in the Great War has the same December date:

Name: Charles Eric Wakefield Speller

Birth Place: King's Heath, Birmingham

Residence: Moseley

Death Date: 22 Dec 1914

Death Place: Home

Enlistment Place: Birmingham

Rank: L Corporal

Regiment: Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line

Battalion: 3rd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry

Regimental Number: 16549

Type of Casualty: Died

Theatre of War: Home

This from the Long, Long Trail site:

3rd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry
Formed August 1914 at Canterbury, Kent. Trained men for the 3rd and 6th Dragoon Guards, Northamptonshire Yeomanry
Surrey Yeomanry and Sussex Yeomanry.
Was absorbed into new 6th Reserve Regiment early in 1917 (see below)

I can't find a Medal Index Card or Roll which might mean he didn't serve overseas.

He's here in the 1911 Census:

Name: Charles Evetar Speller

Age in 1911: 14

Estimated birth year: abt 1897

Relation to Head: Son

Gender: Male

Birth Place: Kings Heath, Bham

Civil Parish: Kings Norton

County/Island: Worcestershire

Country: England

Street address: Harley House, 79 Reddings Rd, Moseley

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: school Boy

Registration district: Kings Norton

Registration District Number: 383

Sub-registration district: Kings Norton

ED, institution, or vessel: 37

Household schedule number: 43

Piece: 17860

Household Members:

Name Age

Charles Speller 49

Marion Speller 28

Matilda Speller 57

Irene Speller 20

Freda Speller 18

Naomi Speller 16

Charles Evetar Speller 14

Donald William Speller 4

Kenneth Roy Speller 2

Mary Cole 16

There doesn't appear to be service records and I can't explain the grave registration anomaly..


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His death certificate might be a good place to start.

Speller Charles E W 19 Farnham 2a 209 Dec 1914

It appears he didnt die in Birmingham.

Put my money on falling of his horse in Aldershot

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