Private Charles Henry Elson

Date of Birth c. 1891
Age at Death 24
Date of Death 25 September 1915
Service Number G/1645
Military Service 8th Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 18 William Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial St. Andrew's Church, Wimbledon

Additional Information

Charles was born in Wimbledon c.1891. He was the son of gardener, Jesse Elson and his wife Emily. The couple had at least ten children, two of whom died in infancy. The older children were ( in order ) Alfred, William, Arthur, Robert and Walter. Charles also had three younger siblings who survived into adulthood – Sidney, Emily and Bessie.

In 1901 Charles and his family were living at 26 William Road, South Wimbledon. By this stage, his 14 year old brother, William, was employed as a gardener’s help – possibly working alongside his father.

By 1911 the Elson family had moved down the road to No. 18 William Road, a six room house which presumably offered more space. Arthur was working as a milkman, William was a vegetable gardener, Robert was a Grocer’s assistant, young Sidney was a butcher’s assistant and Charles, now aged 18, was working as a greengrocer.

Charles volunteered for military service in 1915. He became a private in the 8th battalion, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Raised at Guildford in 1914 as part of General Kitchener’s 3rd army, the battalion spent time training at Aldershot and was sent to France on the 31st of August.
Tragically he was killed less than a month later – the battalion fought at the Battle of Loos. This was the first major engagement involving the new British army and involved a mass attack on German defences near Artois. Charles was killed on the first day of the battle and is commemorated at
St. Andrew’s Church in Herbert Road, Wimbledon.


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