Charles Robert Lee was born in 1879 in Rugby and was baptised 20th Feb 1880 at St Andrews Church Rugby. He was the son of Mary Ann Lee (nee) Batchelor who was born in Rugby in 1859 and Henry Lee who was born 1857 in Derby and died circa 1880.
In 1881 he lived at 34 Railway Terrace Rugby, the home of his grandparents John Batchelor and Sarah Jane Batchelor (nee Brooks). Also at this address were his mother Mary Ann Lee and his brother Thomas Henry (who was born in 1877 in Derby), together with six of Mary Ann’s siblings.
In 1891 he lived at 18 Gas Street together with his mother Mary Ann who had now remarried James Barnett, a bricklayers labourer. His brother Thomas was living there too, together with two sons of James Barnett aged 3 and 3 months and Mary Ann.
Charles enlisted in the Coldstream Guards and served as Private No 876 in the 5th Battalion in the South Africa War. He served at the Belmont and Modder River and was wounded in eight places in his arm in the 2nd Boer War at Magersfontein on 11th Feb 1899. Following this he was partially disabled and received a pension.
In 1901 His mother Mary Ann was widowed again and a laundress. They lived at 11 Gas Street Rugby together with his brother Thomas (a brickmaker’s labourer and three step brothers, James Barnett born 1889, Frances Barnett born 1894 and Samuel Barnett born 1895. They had a lodger too, Walter Sansom born 1880 in Thornton Heath Surrey, a groom. Charles’ mother Mary Ann married Walter Sansom later that year.
On 13th August 1904 Charles married Elsie Rose Maltby, born in Daventry in 1882 and died in Rugby in 1944. The marriage was at St Andrews Church Rugby. They went on to have five children: Henry Thomas Lee born 1905, Winifred Lee born 1907, Rose Ann Lee born 1908, Daisy Lee born 1911 and Francis James Lee born 1912, all in Rugby.
He was a well known Rugby footballer and played for the Star New Bilton, Britannia, Rugby First, Northampton, Coventry and represented the Midland Counties.
He offered to rejoin his old regiment again in the First World War and served with the Coldstream Guards for eighteen months. He was admitted to the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby and died there following an operation on 6th September 1916. He is buried in Grave K279 at Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby together with his stepfather James Barnett. His stepbrother Samuel Barnett who died in the First World War on 25th September 1915.
Charles was awarded the Victory & British War Medals.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM