Charles Bend was one of five men named on the Bottesford War Memorial who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during WW1 – Charles Pacey, Arthur Gilding, Frank Raithby, Robert Turlington Noble Page. All five emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s. None would survive.
Born in Bottesford in 1891, the son of Mary and Rueben Bend, Charles, with his brother George emigrated on the SS Corsican out of Liverpool on 5th March 1911. The family story is that they caught the train to Liverpool from Bottesford Station and then onwards to Canada. They both took up farming occupations in Saskatchewan. Charles volunteered in the scramble for enlistment in Edmonton, Alberta on the 20th August, 1914, recruited to the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers.
Charles then transferred to the newly established base training camp at Valcartier, Quebec where 32000 troops assembled in 6 weeks ready for embarkation to England on 3rd October 1914.
He saw active service with the 1st Battalion of the CEF and was rapidly promoted in the field to: Corporal – 14/5/1916; Lance Sgt – 21/7/16; and Sergeant – 17/9/16. His was a record of promotion and decoration as described in the Grantham Journal.
In the Battle of Passchendaele, on the morning of the 6th November 1917 at 6.30 am 548 men of the 1st Battalion, CEF went into action. By 7.45 am the same morning 257 survived. Charles Bend did not and the Grantham Journal reported in graphic detail the circumstances of his loss.