Private Charles Thomas Coles

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Charles Thomas Coles was born on 17th March 1895 in Norton-juxta-Kempsey, Worcestershire to gardener and Army Sergeant James Eade and Eliza Jane (nee Dilton).

James and Eliza had five children: James Eades born on 15th October 1880 in the East Indies; Ernest William born on 28th November 1884 in Nazimabat, the East Indies; Mabel Louisa born on 27th March 1887; Charles Thomas born on 17th March 1895 and May Coles born about 1897, all in Norton-juxta-Kempsey.

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family was back in the UK and lived in Norton Barracks, Norton-juxta-Kempsey. James was a Sergeant of the Worcestershire Infantry Regiment and Eliza was looking after their children: James, Ernest, Mabel and May. The family also comprised of general servant Annie Agnew. Eliza died in 1899 and was buried on 13th of October 1899 in Tooting Graveney, London. At the time of her death she lived at 42 Graveney Road, Streatham. James remarried Emily Olega Webb, on 16th April 1900 at Holy Trinity church, Upper Tooting, London. Both partners were widowed. At the time of the marriage James was working as a War Office clerk and lived at 42 Graveney Road. Emily Olega White lived at 62 Witton Road, Aston, Birmingham. Emily was born about 1850 Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies to sadler William Webb.

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at 42 Graveney Road. James was working as an army clerk and Emily was looking after her stepchildren: carpenter’s labourer Ernest; Mabel; Charles and May.

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 2 Kingston Villa, Park Road, Colliers Wood. The family comprised of army pensioner clerk James, Emily and May Coles. The accommodation had six rooms.

Charles Coles enlisted on 4th February 1911 in London into the “A” Company, 3rd Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment. At the time of his enlistment he resided in Merton, Surrey. He was a private with a regimental number 12376. He disembarked on 12th August 1914 to France.

Charles Coles
Les Gonards Cemetery Roll of Honour
Charles Coles Personal Headstone Inscription ©

Charles died of wounds received at the Battle of the Aisne in France. He passed away in the No 4 General Hospital in Versailles, France. He is buried at the Les Gonards Cemetery, Versailles. His grave reference number is: 1.30. The headstone bears the inscription: “Fight the Good Fight”. He was 19 years old.

Charles’ father James received £7 and 1d on 27th February 1915 and a further £5 on 19th May 1919 in Soldier’s Effects. Charles’ will was in favour of his stepmother Emily.

Charles was awarded the British War and Victory medals and the 1914 Star.

Born Norton, Worcestershire
Lived Streatham, London
Son of James of “Leith View”, Capel, Surrey and the late Eliza Jane Coles nee Dilton.
Regiment “A” Company, 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Number 12376
Date of Death 4th October 1914
Place of Death Aisne, France
Cause of Death Died of wounds
Age 19
Cemetery Les Gonards Cemetery, Versailles, France

Coles Family History

His father James was born about 1852 in Petersfield, Liss, Hampshire to postman William. James enlisted into the 61st Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot at 5PM on 15th January 1870 in Petersfield. He paid a bounty of £1. He was a private with a regimental number 1556. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a gardener. James was 5ft and 8inches tall, had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His military history sheet reads that he served in the UK from 18th January 1870 to 28th February 1871; in the East Indies from 1st March 1871 to 18th December 1884 and back in the UK from 19th December 1884 to 16th May 1896. James was transferred into the 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot on 15th July 1870. His new regimental number was 1483 and he was still a private. He was promoted to Corporal on 19th July 1873 and to Sergeant on 26th May 1876. He was transferred into the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot on 1st September 1876. His new regimental number was 755 and he was a Sergeant. James was transferred into the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot on 1st October 1880. His new regimental number was 2537. James was awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal on 1st October 1895. He was discharged on 16th of May 1896. He was in the Army for 26 years and 120 days.

James married Eliza Jane Dilton on 16th February 1877 at St Andrew’s church in Kurrachee, Bombay, India. At the time of their marriage the couple resided in Kurrachee, India. Eliza was born about 1859 in Ireland to Thomas Henry.

The Surrey, England, Electoral Register, 1832-1945 reads that Charles’ father James and stepmother Emily lived in Leith View, Capel, Dorking, Surrey in 1919.

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