Private Charles Harding

Charles Harding © Dorking Advertiser
Charles Harding © Dorking Advertiser

Thank you to Jane Anthony for this research.

Private Charles Harding was born in Brockham and lived his entire life there. He was the second son of Frank and Sarah Harding of Burland Cottages, Root Hill there were nine children in that family of whom 7 were still living in 1911. By 1911 his father, who had previously worked on a farm had been dead for 7 years. Root Hill Farm was a family farm and his grandfather was the principal farmer. He was educated at Brockham School and worked as a stockman before enlisting on 7 September 1914 at Reigate. He was the first person from Brockham to join up. He served in France from 10 July 1915 until his death 21 November 1915.

His captain in a letter home wrote that he was killed by a bursting shell while at his post, and died shortly afterwards. After expressing sympathy for their loss he went on to say that he always carried out his duties and worked cheerfully and well despite all the hardships and discomforts.


Mr. and Mrs. F. Harding, of Burlap Cottage, Brockhamhurst, were informed on Friday last that their second son, Private Charles Harding, 7th Battalion Queen’s, died two hours after being wounded in action in France on the evening of November 21st. The news was conveyed in a letter from the Captain of the Company, who expressed his deep sympathy with the parents in their bereavement. The next morning a letter from Private G. Cooper, Brockham Pits, confirmed the sad intelligence. Private C. Harding was a young man of great promisel at the open air recruiting meeting on Brockham Green shortly after the outbreak of war he was the first to step forward and volunteer his services in defence of his King and country; others quickly

Charles Harding Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser


followed his example, among them being Private A. Luff, who was recently at home after being wounded in the trenches. Private C. Harding was in his 21st year, and went to the front last July. His last letter home was received on November 17th; he write most cheerfully, though as he said the wet and mud were awful, he also added how grateful he was to the many kind friends in Brockham who sent him such welcome parcels. His elder brother Frank, who enlisted about the same time, left for France in June. Their father, Mr. Frank Harding, is unfortunately blind and earns a little by basket-making. Mrs. Harding has a brother who will compete 21 years’ service in the Navy in January next, and two step-brothers in the Army, one in Egypt and the other at the present time billeted in Redhill.

Charles Harding Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser

He was aged 20 when he died and was buried at Dernancourt Community Cemetery; Dermancourt was main dressing station for that part of the trenches. Unusually on his headstone as well as giving his parents names and address the headstone also includes the wording “Native of Brockham and Betchworth Surrey”


Born Brockham, Surrey
Lived Brockham, Surrey
Son of Frank and Sarah Ann (nee Duffell) of Root Hill, Brockham
Brother of Frank Harding
Regiment 7th Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number G/2201
Date of Death 21st November 1915
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Died of wounds
Age 20
Cemetery Dernacourt Communal Cemetery, Somme, France

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