Research and Text by Brian Roote
Charles was born in Caterham to Charles and Ruth Jane Gardner who married in Hampshire in 1873 and moved to Caterham. Father Charles died on 4 March 1886 and was buried in Caterham Cemetery. Ruth then married Albert Williams in 1887. The family lived at 24 Adison Road, Caterham. Both parents worked at The Asylum in the laundry and Charles worked as a gardener also at The Asylum.
Charles enlisted at Guildford in 1914 and after a short stint in the Queens moved into the Machine Gun Corps and went to France on 1 June 1915. He was killed as the result of a tragic accident on 27 September 1918 when the train in which he was travelling to come home on leave was involved in a crash and Charles was one of those badly injured. He was taken to a base hospital in Rouen where he died and was buried in St Sever Cemetery. His medal card is endorsed ‘killed by accident’. His brother Albert also fell in 1915 serving with the Hampshire Regiment and is on the Menin Gate Memorial.
His effects after the war were £16.8s.7d plus War Gratuity £22 which went to his mother.
He is remembered on the Asylum memorial in St Mary’s Church, Caterham, and on St Mary’s Church memorial itself.