Chater, William Charles. Died 14th Sep 1915

CHATER William Charles

11879, 6th Bn.Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry

Born in Rugby March Quarter 1894   35 Sun Street Rugby to Henry Alfred and Maria Chater (nee Tuckey) marriage took place January 26th 1885 St. Andrews Church Rugby

1901 census shows William age 7 living with brothers Henry 15, Frederick 13, Thomas 11, Albert 5 weeks and sister Emma age 10 living 32 Bridge Street Rugby

July 22nd 1915   6th Battalion Oxford & Bucks lands at Boulogne

Rugby Advertiser September 25th 1915

Towards the end of last week Mr and Mrs H.Chater, of 32 Bridge Street, Rugby, received the sad news that their son, Pte. William Chas. Chater, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, had died in hospital in France as the result of a wound in the head.

Two of his chums (A Rainbow and H Burnham) wrote expressing their regret that ” poor old Bill ” had been wounded, but it was at first thought he might recover, and would soon be sent to a hospital in England. However news of his death on September 15th was conveyed by Sergt. J.T. Milne, of the section to which Pte. Chater belonged. It appears from the letters received that he was wounded while on sentry duty on the night of September 10th.

” The wound was in the head ” wrote the sergeant, ” caused by a rifle bullet. He was bandaged up at once, and within half-an-hour was back behind the lines in hospital, where he received every possible attention . . . He was in my section and I can only say he was an excellent boy, and I am more than sorry to lose him.”

Writing subsequently of his death, Sergt. Milne says –” From what I gather, he had no pain, and had every possible attention and comfort, I hope it may be some small consolation to you to know that he died doing his duty. I shall miss him very much. He was such a good boy and always willing ” A army chaplain (Rev. Roger Bulstrode ) wrote on September 14th stating that every thing possible was being done.” His ward happens to be a beautifully – decorated chapel lofty and airy, and as well appointed as any English hospital .

He knew me yesterday, and seemed comforted by the thought that he was under what he called ” God’s roof ” .

Writing after private Chaters death the chaplain recounts the pathetic incident that shortly before he passed away deceased spoke to him of his invalid mother. He also says, ” I am told that the nature of your sons wounds was such that even if he had been spared, partial paralysis would probably have resulted, and he could certainly never have re-joined the Army. He has died a true soldier’s death and is at least spared the years of suffering that might have been his if paralysed.”

At the time he enlisted, pte. Chater was a painter in the L.& N.W. erecting shop where he was very popular amongst the men, by whom his loss is much deplored. A few weeks ago Mr Shaw the forman, received a bright and interesting letter from him, and when the news that he had died of wounds reached Rugby , the Union Jack at the Erecting Shop was hoisted half – mast as a mark of respect.

Buried: Merville Communal Cemetery



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