Lance Corporal Charles James Grogan

Date of Birth c. 1887
Age at Death 30
Date of Death 11 April 1917
Service Number 32603
Military Service 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 13 Belvedere Cottages, Church Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Wimbledon Parish Church

Additional Information

Charles was born in Wimbledon in 1887 and was the son of Charles and Clara Grogan. The couple owned a laundry and both worked at the firm. They had four other children, three of whom sadly died in infancy. The only child to survive was a younger son, Frederick. During the first part of the twentieth century Charles Jr and his parents were living at 22 West Place, Wimbledon Common at the home of Clara Deacon, his widowed maternal grandmother. She was also a laundress – this area on the perimeter of the common held a number of laundries and drying posts were a common site across the open grassland.

By 1911 Charles Jr was working as a ledger clerk for a commercial waterproofs manufacturer. His brother was employed as an invoice clerk to a lime juice manufacturer. Their father died c. 1912.
On 21 September 1912, Charles Jr married Maud Carter at St. Mary’s parish church, Wimbledon. She was a former resident of 13 Belvedere Cottage, Church Road. Two years later the young couple had a son, Cyril Charles.

Following the outbreak of war, Charles enlisted as a private in the 7th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. His unit was sent to France in June 1915 and fought in the Battle of Loos in September that year. This was the first time that British forces had deployed poison gas – unfortunately changing wind direction blew much of the chlorine vapour back over British lines, with disastrous effect.

The 7th East Surreys took part in some of the major offensives of the First World War, including the Battle of the Somme (July – November 1916) and the Battle of Albert (1 – 13 July 1916.) They also fought with distinction at the Battle of Arras (9 April – 16 May 1917.) This was a lengthy offensive that saw British troops attacking German defences near the French town of that name. There were major advances on the first day of fighting, followed by stalemate. Charles died on 11 April as a result of wounds sustained during the fighting. He was one of 160,000 British troops killed during the battle and is buried at the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France. His name also appears on a monumental inscription at Wimbledon Parish Church.


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