Sergeant Charles Henry Childs

© Royston Williamson 2015
Photograph courtesy of Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Charles Henry Childs was born in 1889 to Charles and Elizabeth of Little Amwell, Hertfordshire.

Charles’ father was born in November 1857 in Bethnal Green, London to Charles James, a policeman, and Mary Ann, both from Hertfordshire. In 1871, the family were living in Bethnal Green, London. Charles was working in the printing industry as a paper ruler. His mother, Elizabeth, was born in 1861 in St Johns, Hertfordshire and baptised in the same year in Hertford. Her parents were Robert, a labourer, and Ann, a laundress. In 1871, the family were living at Great Amwell, near Ware in Hertfordshire. Elizabeth had three sisters and two brothers. At the time of the 1881 Census, Elizabeth was a laundry maid for Philip Wroughton MP, of Wolley Park House, Chaddleworth, Berkshire.

Charles had four known siblings: Robert James, Thomas, George and Helen.

On 31st October 1904, Charles enlisted as a Private in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, the Royal Berkshire Regiment at Reading, for the term of 6 years. At the time of his enlistment he was living in Windlesham, Surrey and working as a gardener at Lightwater Grange, Bagshot, with his parents and siblings living nearby.

Charles was 5ft and 6 inches tall and weighed 119lbs. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and ginger hair. He was a member of the Church of England.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Charles was a Private of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Berkshire Regiment in Meerut, India.

He later re-enlisted into the 1st Royal Berkshire Regiment in Reading. By the time he re-enlisted, he was living in North Holmwood, Surrey. He disembarked on 27th August 1914 into the Western Theatre of War.

In March 1915, he married Maud Emily Salmons at St Anne´s Church in Bagshot. At the time of the marriage, Charles was a Corporal in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and living at Ling Cottage, Lightwater, Bagshot. At the time of the marriage, Maud lived at 39 Hart Road, Dorking. Charles’ sister, Helen Childs, was the couple’s witness.

Charles and Maud Emily had two children: Charles born in 1916 and Elizabeth born in 1918, both in Dorking.

Charles Henry Childs was killed in action on 2nd December 1917 in Belgium. His body was never found. His daughter Elizabeth Maud was born after his death.

CH Childs Tyne Cot Memorial © Ian Jones 2017
CH Childs Tyne Cot Memorial Panel
© Ian Jones 2017

By the time of his death Charles was a Sergeant of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’ (Royal Berkshire) Regiment. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Zonnebeke, Ypres in Belgium on Panel 105 to 106 and 162.

Charles Henry Childs Tyne Cot Roll of Honour ©
Charles Henry Childs Panel Listing ©

Charles left to his wife Maud £4, 2d on the 8th of April 1918, £4, 9s and 4d on the 11th of May 1918 and a further £22 on the 2nd of February 1920 in Soldier´s Effects.

Charles received the British War and Victory Medals and the 1914 Star.

Charles’ son, Charles, died in 1923, aged 7 years old, and was buried in Dorking Cemetery. Charles’ widow, Maud, continued to live in addresses in North Holmwood and Dorking, and died in 1974.

More details on Charles and his family

Born Little Amwell, Hertfordshire
Lived Dorking, Surrey
Son of Charles and Elizabeth Childs, Ling Cottage, Lightwater, Bagshot, Surrey
Husband of Maud E. Childs of 14 Brooklyn Terrace, North Holmwood, Dorking
Father of Charles and Elizabeth
Regiment 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Number 7873
Date of Death 2nd December 1917
Place of Death Passchendaele, Belgium
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Age 29
Memorial Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
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