Private Charles Henry Letts
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Charles Henry Letts was born on the 17th of October 1881 in Dorking, the son of George William and Harriett (nee Squires). He was baptised on the 11th of December 1881 at St Martin’s Church, Dorking. At the time of his baptism his family lived in Howard Road and George was working as a miller.
On the 29th of October 1888 Charles was admitted into the St Martin’s Church of England School (boys). At the time of his admission the family lived in Howard Road. He left the school on the 28th of June 1895.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 12 Howard Road, Dorking. George was still working as a miller and Harriett was at home. The household further comprised of their children: hairdresser’s assistant Frederick, Edith, Ellen, Charles, Mary and Florence, along with and George’s nephew Arthur William Letts.
At the time of the 1901 Census, George and Harriett lived at 5 Howard Road in Dorking. The household further comprised of their children: printer’s compositor Charles, dressmaker Mary, Florence and a boarder, schoolteacher, Harry G. Carter.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 28 Howard Road. All the children apart from Charles had left home. He was still working as a printer. Harriett stated that she had given birth to nine children of whom seven were still alive. The accommodation had six rooms.
Charles Letts enlisted in Ealing, Middlesex into the 1/8th Battalion the Middlesex Regiment. He was a Private with regimental number 6549. At the time of his enlistment he resided in Redhill, Surrey.
At the time of his death he was part of the 17th Battalion, the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment. His regimental number was G/4113.
Charles Letts was lost in a fierce enemy attack on the 3rd of January 1918. He was last seen at his post, facing towards the enemy.
Charles died of wounds on the 21st of February 1918 as a prisoner of war in Germany.
He was buried at Bouchain Communal German Extension and later re-buried at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. His grave reference number is XVI.F.5. His body was identified by a certified report and a cross. The headstone reads “For the Glory of God”.
Charles was well known in Dorking as he was a pianist in the St Martin’s Men’s Class and also had frequent engagements in the Redhill District, where prior to joining the Army he was employed as a compositor at the Athenaeum.
He received the British War and Victory medals.
Charles left to his father George Letts £154, 9s and 10d in Probate.
George also received £12, 11s and 1d on the 28th of August 1918 and a further £8, 10s on the 17th of November 1919 in Soldier’s Effects. Charles’ parents lived at 28 Howard Road, Dorking.
Letts Family History
Charles’ father George William Letts was born in the 3rd quarter of 1850 in Dorking, Surrey to miller John Letts, born about 1812 in Coulsdon, Surrey and Mary Ann Letts born about 1815 in West Hoathly, Sussex. He was baptised on the 8th of September 1850 in Dorking. At the time of his baptism the family lived in Betchworth, Park Gate.
His mother Harriett Squires was born in the 4th quarter of 1847 in Stokeinteingnhead, Devon to labourer Samuel Squires, born about 1816 in Ashburton, Devon and Sarah Squires, born about 1816 in Ilsington, Devon. Harriett was baptised on the 17th of October 1847 in Stokeinteingnhead.
George and Harriett married in the 2nd quarter 1870 in Dorking.
Charles had seven known siblings: William G, born about 1871; Harriett, born about 1873 ; Frederick J. born about 1873; Edith E. born about 1876; Ellen born about 1879; Mary A. born about 1887 and Florence K. born about 1889, all in Dorking.
At the time of the 1871 Census, the family lived at Reigate Road, Betchworth, Park Lodge. George was working as a miller and Harriett was looking after their son William. The household further comprised of a lodger, miller Henry Letts.
At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived in Howard Road, Dorking, comprising of George and Harriett and their children Harriett; Frederick; Edith and Ellen. The household further comprised of a boarder, ironmonger’s assistant, Alexander Phillips.
Son of George William and Harriet Letts of 28 Howard Road, Dorking
Regiment 17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Date of Death 21st February 1918
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Died of Wounds in German hands
Cemetery Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France