Private Charles Sparkes

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Charles Sparkes Birth Transcription Notice © findmypast.co.uk
Charles Sparkes Birth Transcription Notice © findmypast.co.uk

Charles Sparkes was born on the 21st or 22nd of September 1883 in Dorking, Surrey to butler Thomas William Sparkes and Fanny Sparkes nee Baker.

Charles’ father Thomas William Sparkes was born about 1847 to coachman Thomas Sparkes.

Charles’ mother Fanny Baker was born about 1841 in Spaldwick, Huntingdonshire to servant Thomas Baker and Mary Baker.

Thomas William Sparkes married Fanny Baker, by Banns, on the 17th of February 1874 at St Mary’s church, Bryanston Square in Westminster. Thomas William Sparkes was working as a servant and his father Thomas Sparkes was a coachman.

Charles Sparkes had three known siblings: William James Sparkes born in the 3rd quarter of 1874 in Huntingdon, Elizabeth Mary Sparkes born in the 4th quarter of 1875 in London and Caroline Sparkes born in the 3rd quarter of 1880 in Uckfield, Sussex.

At the time of the 1881 Census, Charles’ mother Fanny Sparkes was a patient at Huntingdon County Hospital in Brampton Road. Fanny was stated to be a butler’s wife.

At the time of the 1881 Census, Charles’ sisters Elizabeth Mary and Caroline Sparkes were staying with their grandmother Mary Baker’s family in Oak Yard, Huntingdon. The widowed Mary Baker was an annuitant.

Charles Sparkes Baptism Certificate © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes Baptism Certificate © ancestry.co.uk

Charles Sparkes was born on the 21st or 22nd of September 1883 in Dorking, Surrey and was baptised on the 25th of November 1883 in Westcott. At the time of the baptism the family lived in Westcott, Surrey and Thomas William was working as a butler.

Charles Sparkes School Admission Register 1889 © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes School Admission Register 1889 © ancestry.co.uk

The London, England, School Admissions and Discharges reads that Charles Sparkes was admitted on the 26th of August 1889 into Salters Hill School for Infants in Gipsy Road, Lambeth, London. The family lived at 12 Chalford Road in Lambeth. Previously Charles was attending school in Farncombe, Surrey. He was transferred into Salters Hill School on the 30th of August 1891.

Charles Sparkes School Admission Register 1891 © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes School Admission Register 1891 © ancestry.co.uk

The London, England, School Admissions and Discharges reads, that Charles Sparkes was admitted on the 31st of August 1891 into Salters Hill School in Gipsy Road, Lambeth, London. At the time of his admission Charles lived at 12 Chalford Road in Lambeth. Previously Charles was attending Salters Hill Infant School. He left Salters Hill School on the 21st of March 1898. His conduct was stated to be very good on the Salters Hill School admission and discharge record.

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 12 Chalford Road, St Mary, Lambeth in London. The household comprised of Fanny and her children: groom William James Sparkes, dressmaker’s apprentice Elizabeth Mary Sparkes and scholar Charles Sparkes.

Charles Sparkes 1901 Census © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes 1901 Census © ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, gardener Charles Sparkes was visiting his sister, dressmaker, Elizabeth Mary Sparkes at 45 Clive Road, Dulwich, London. Elizabeth Mary was a boarder of 69 years old Aaron Warren and his wife, 78 years old, Jane Warren. Aaron Warren was living on his own means.

Charles Sparkes enlisted on the 6th of June 1901 into the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Chatham Division. He was a private with a regimental number Ch/12476.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Charles Sparkes was a private of the Royal Marine Light Infantry on the 1st Class Cruiser HMS Bacchante stationed in Malta, Mediterranean. His religion was Church of England.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Charles’ sister, dressmaker, Elizabeth Mary Sparkes still lived at 45 Clive Road, Dulwich, in London. She is stated to be a “daughter” of 90 year old Jane Warren and 79 year old Aaron Warren, a police pensioner. Elizabeth Mary occupied two rooms and the Warren’s occupied four.

Charles Sparkes Deaths at Sea © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes Deaths at Sea © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour © ancestry.co.uk
Charles Sparkes De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour © ancestry.co.uk

Charles Sparkes died on the 22nd of September 1914 on the HMS Cressy in an action with submarine U9 in North Sea.

“Early on September 22nd 1914 the German submarine U9 under the command of Commander Otto Weddigen sighted the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue steaming MNE at 10 knots without zigzagging. Although the patrols were supposed to maintain 12-13 knots and zigzag the old cruisers were unable to maintain that speed and the zigzagging order was widely ignored as there had been no submarines sighted in the area during the war. HMS Aboukir was hit by a torpedo first and rolled over within half an hour of the attack. HMS Hogue was picking up survivors when she was hit by two torpedoes, sinking within 10 minutes. HMS Cressy had stopped to pick up survivors, but got underway, before she was hit by a torpedo and damaged. Shortly afterwards, a second torpedo hit her and she sank within 15 minutes. 837 men were rescued but 1459 were killed in total.”(http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Ships/HMSCressy.html)

Charles Sparkes Chatham Memorial Roll of Honour © CWGC.org
Charles Sparkes Chatham Memorial Roll of Honour © CWGC.org

Charles Sparkes is commemorated at the Chatham Naval Memorial on panel 7.

According to the London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965, Charles’ sister Elizabeth Mary Sparkes and his father Thomas William Sparkes resided at 45 Clive Road, Dulwich, London during the 1920s.

Born                       Dorking
Lived                       Dorking

Son of                    Thomas William and Fanny Sparkes of 45, Clive Road, Dulwich, London

Regiment                 Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Cressy

Number                    CH/12476

Date of Death           22nd September 1914
Place of Death          At Sea
Cause of Death        Killed In Action

Age                           30

Memorial                  Chatham Naval Memorial