Charles William Chettle

30411 Lance-Corporal, 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, DOW 9th July, 1917 in France.

Photograph of Lance-Corporal C.W. Chettle, following his death in July 1917. | Grantham Journal, 4th August 1917.
Photograph of Lance-Corporal C.W. Chettle, following his death in July 1917.
Grantham Journal, 4th August 1917.
Notice of the death of wounds, of L-Cpl Charles William Chettle on the 9th July 1917. | Grantham Journal 4th August 1917.
Notice of the death of wounds, of L-Cpl Charles William Chettle on the 9th July 1917.
Grantham Journal 4th August 1917.

Charles William Chettle is one of the men identified by Trevor Lewis as having been closely associated with Bottesford during the WW1 years, even though he was a native of Redmile. There is also a record that his place of residence had been Bottesford (Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919, Naval and Military Press Ltd).

Family background

Charles William Chettle was born in 1887 and baptised on the 24th April that year at Redmile, Leicestershire. In 1891, Joseph Chettle, a 54 years old agricultural labourer from Redmile, and Martha Chettle, 52 from Barrowby, lived on West Side Street, Redmile, with six children, William (aged 14, a farmer’s day boy), Rose (12), Samuel (10, also described as a farmer’s day boy), Gertrude (9), Mildred (6) and Charles (4, a grandson). It is not yet clear who Charles’ parents were. Presumably there was an older son who had married and left home before 1891 who was the father.

In 1901, Joseph and Martha were accompanied by Gertrude, Charles and Winifred, a grand-daughter aged 2. Samuel had let home and moved to Miller’s Hill Farm, near Muston Gorse, where he was a horseman. His wife was named Mary, and they had two infants Lilly and Emily. In 1911, Martha Chettle had become a widow, aged 70, described as a general dealer, accompanied in Redmile by Charles, now a domestic gardener aged 24, and Winifred, who was at school.

Charles William Chettle was married on the 30th June 1914 to Gertrude Judson.

Military service

Charles William Chettle enlisted in June 1916 at Melton Mowbray and became 30411 Lance-Corporal with the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He had previously been employed by the Duke of Rutland.

He died of his wounds on the 9th July, 1917, aged 30. His grave is at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France, and his memorial is at St. Peter’s, Redmile. On the 11th August, 1917, the Grantham Journal published this account: “Redmile – A Memorial Service was held on Wednesday evening week, in the Methodist Chapel, in memory of Lance-Corporal Charles William Chettle, who died on July 19th, from wounds received in battle. The service was conducted by the Rev. W. Hodgson, circuit minister, and was attended by the relatives of the deceased, members of the Chapel, and many friends and villagers. Deep sympathy for the widow and relations were expressed by all. Suitable hymns were included in the service.

Michael & Peter Doyle (Leicestershire and Rutland Soldiers Who Died 1914-1920) gave details of the circumstances, taken from the tersely written war diary of the Battalion: “ … the Battalion were in the front line. At 4.20pm Operational Order, Brigade number 213 received cancelling number 212. By the Operational Order the 9th Norfolks relieve the 9th Suffolks and we remain in trenches, this is owing to the fact that the Sherwood Foresters are finding a Guard of Honour to the King and Queen. Casualties, other ranks A Company 5 wounded, B Company 1 wounded.

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