Charles Reginald Gartenfield was baptised on 3 March 1878 in Long Itchington. His father was Henry Goodrich Gartenfield, a police constable, who had married Charlotte Amelia Mary Ann Sullivan in Birmingham in 1872. In 1881 Charles was living with his parents in Long Itchington and elder brothers Henry and George. By 1891 Charlotte was a widowed nurse, living at 8 Chapel Street, Rugby. Charles R, aged 13, was a scholar at Ratcliffe Industrial School for Boys in Bath. (The 1857 Industrial Schools Act was intended to solve problems of juvenile delinquency, by removing poor and neglected children from their home environment to a boarding school.)
In July 1895 he joined the army, the Shropshire Light Infantry. He gave his age as 18 years 5 months, in fact he was a year younger. He was 5ft 6in tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light hair. The start of his service was troubled, as he was tied for various offences: striking a superior officer (1896), wilfully injuring property belonging to a comrade and using insulting language to his superior officer (1898) and drunkenness (1899). He served in India for 5 years and in 1904 applied to extend his service to twelve years. He returned to India for nearly four years and was then discharged on 12 Nov 1907, on termination of period of engagement.
By 1911 he was back in Rugby, boarding at 9 Lago Place. Aged 36 (actually 33) , he was a labourer at the B.T.H. works.
Sometime after the start of the war he was back in the army, this time in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He entered France on the 7 April 1915. Less than three weeks later he was killed in the second battle of Ypres.
Private Charles Reginald Gartenfield, service no. 3274, 1st Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment is listed on the Ypres, Menin Gate Memorial, panel 8. He was aged 37.
He is listed as Charles R Gartenfield on BTH memorial, but as C R Gardenfelt on Rugby Memorial Gates.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM