Charles was born in 1880, the son of George (a farmer’s carter) and Alice Elliott (nee Karn) and became a gardener. At the time of his enlistment in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) on 16th October 1916 the family lived at Winkford Farm Cottages. Albert went to France in February 1917, transferred to the Labour Corps and died of pneumonia in hospital at St. Pol on 3rd June 1917.
There is an additional inscription on Charles’ headstone placed by his family, it reads “He is sacred high in our memory and to God we can leave the rest”. Charles was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Charles’ cousin, Albert, served in the Royal Army Service Corps and was killed in an accident in May, 1919, shortly before he was discharged.
At the beginning of the war, some units had a Pioneer Corps to build and maintain bridges, canals, railways, ammunition dumps etc. Organisation was haphazard and not co-ordinated until the formation of the Labour Corps in 1917. Labour Battalions were often not considered as separate units and men who died are often commemorated under the original infantry unit. Few records of the Labour Battalions survive.