For King and Country

Person Details

WHITE, Charles William


Name: Cookham Bellringers Sutton Road, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7929
RBWM Ref: WM149
Name: Holy Trinity Bell Ringers Sutton Road, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7926
RBWM Ref: WM150
Name: Cookham School Lane, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7925
RBWM Ref: WM151

Person Details

Place of birth: Hayes, Middlesex
Gender: Male
Date of death: 02/10/1916
Place of death: Thiepval, Somme, France
Manner of death: Killed in action
Age at death: 22
CWGC Ref: 820878
TWGPP Ref: 136782
Address: Halls Corner Cookham

Military details

Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 6th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Rank: Private
Service Number: 1283


Father George WHITE
Mother Annie WHITE
Brother Robert WHITE

Additional information

Charles White was born in 1894 in Hayes. His father was called George and had been born in Barnes in 1866 and worked as a domestic gardener. He had married Annie and they had another son Robert in 1909 in Cookham. They lived at Halls Corner, on the corner of School Lane and Sutton Road in Cookham village which was their address in the 1911 census. By this time Charles was working as a gardener and was also a bellringer at Holy Trinity Church.
Charles joined the Princess Charlotte of Wales (Royal Berkshire Regiment), 6th Battalion which was formed in Reading in September 1914. They landed in France in July 1915. The battalion then formed part of the July offensive starting off the Battle of the Somme and continued in operations through the summer. At the end of September they were involved in actions at the Schwaben Redoubt. This was a warren of dugouts and bunkers which was briefly in British hands in July but had since been captured. The Berkshires were initially "Brigade Reserve" but joined the assault on 29th September. Weather conditions were appalling, and the battalion record for October 2nd states: "Battalion holding the line. At 7am the enemy made bombing attacks against the junction of Schwaben Redoubt and the battalion Front line, chiefly against the battalion on our left. Battalion bomber sent up to cooperate and succeeded in driving the enemy back and re-taking the portion of the line on our left which they had gained." It is assumed that Charles died on that day. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Thriepval memorial which lists the missing from the Battle of the Somme with the names of all those who died prior to 20th March 1918 and who have no known grave. Memorial reference: Pier and Face 11 D. He is commemorated on the 3rd bell in the belltower in Holy Trinity Church, Cookham as he was a Bellringer and on the Oxford Bellringers Memorial.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund