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Name Howard Claude Charles
Date/Place of Birth 2 Jun 1890 / 192 Lavender Hill, Battersea, Surrey
Parents' Names Richard Charles; Sarah (nee Well)
Father's Occupation/Location Railway Goods Agt, L&NWR Co.
Father's Death/Incapacity Heart Disease
Admitted to AO 15 May 1901 (Aged 10)
Admission No 5466
Left OWS&AO Dec 1906 (Aged 16)
Occupation/Residence Railway Dining Saloon Attendant, Reading, Berks
Enlistment Location St Paul's Churchyard. Middx
Service/Rank/Number Army; Rifleman; S/309
Battalion/Regiment 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade
Killed/Death 26 Nov 1915 (Aged 25)
Country/Memorial/Cemetry Belgium; Essex Farm Cemetery
Memorial Reference I.R.8
Campaign Medals Victory Medal; British War Medal
Howard Claude was born to Richard and Sarah Charles on 2 June 1890 at Lavender Hill in South London. Howard’s father died in 1900 and Howard was admitted to the Orphan Working School on 15 May 1901, aged 10, together with his younger brother, Ronald. Howard left the School at the unusually late age of sixteen, in December 1906. The 1911 Census shows him living in Deptford and working as a Dining Saloon attendant for a railway company. Howard volunteered for military service at St Paul’s churchyard and joined 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Rifleman Charles was despatched to the Western Front on 19 May 1915 and was killed in action six months later, on 26 November. He is buried in the Essex Farm Cemetery, a few miles outside Ieper (formerly Ypres) in Belgium. The cemetery commemorates the deaths of 1,200 First Word War servicemen and is where the famous war poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ was written. At the time of Rifleman Charles’ death his mother Sarah was living at 29 Elm Lodge Avenue, Reading, Berks.

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