Charles Donald was born in Brighton, Sussex, England to Joseph Donald born 1841 and Frances Beeby born 1839. Frances had been married previously to John Whelan.
John and Frances married in India and had 4 children. Joseph was a regular soldier and the family moved around. Charles’ elder brother was born in Lucknow, India in 1876 followed by Bertha in Aldershot in 1879. The family then moved to Brighton, and then on to Wrexham, Wales where in 1881, Joseph was a Serjeant-Major of the Denbighshire Yeomanry. In 1891 the family had moved to Denbigh, Wales and Joseph is now Troop Superintendent. He died in 1892.
By 1901 Charles had moved to Rugby and in the Census taken that year was living as a Boarder at 30, Arnold Street, Rugby with William and Sarah Daynes. William was one of the earliest photographers of Rugby.
Charles married Alice Wilson on the 2nd of November, 1902 at St. Mary, Far Cotton, Northampton. Alice was the youngest child of Edward and Mary Ann Wilson, both born in Brixworth, Northamptonshire. In 1891 they were living at Kingsthorpe, Northampton, Edward was a Labourer.
They went on to have 3 children, all born in Rugby, Alice, born 1904, who sadly died in 1905, she was followed in 1907 by Charles and in 1909, by Frances Ruth.
In the 1911 census Charles and family are living at 16, Wood Street, Rugby. He is a Compositor working for Overs a letterpress printing company, and had worked for the firm started by G E Over for 16 years.
He became a member of the Rugby branch of the Typographical Society. He also joined the Oddfellows and served as Grand Officer of the Loyal Addison Branch in Rugby.
He joined the Army on 1st of August 1916 as Bombardier in the 262nd Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Siege Batteries were a relatively new method of land warfare. They were based on the Coastal Batteries and each platoon deployed 4 6” Howitzers, which could each fire a 100lb weight shell over a maximum distance of 6,000 yards.
Each platoon comprised 5 Officers and 177 Other Ranks. The guns were pulled by horses, 6 draught, and 80 heavy draught with 6 riding horses. The guns were set on wagons: 3 off 2-horse and 10 off 4-horse. 3 Platoons formed one Siege Battery.
Headquarters (HQ) was staffed as follows: 7 Officers, 137 Other Ranks 21 Riding Horses 5 Draught and 72 Heavy Draught Horses.
Charles died at Aldershot on the last day of 1916. He is buried at Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM