Charles Henry Wakelin was born to Edward Wakelin (b 1856) and his wife Sarah in the second quarter of 1891 in New Bilton Rugby. He was baptised on 12 November 1893 again in New Bilton.
In 1901 the family, which included older brother William aged 19 (working as a Domestic, Under Boots), was living at 69 Victoria Street New Bilton and Charles’s father worked at the Cement Works as a Labourer.
In 1911 Charles was a boarder at 39 Pennington Street New Bilton, the home of Mr Albert George Hall (Greengrocer) and family. He worked as a trimmer at “Iron and Brass Works”. His father and mother lived at 69 Victoria Street New Bilton, and they had had 4 children, none of whom were at home that day.
Charles enlisted in Rugby into the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and arrived in France on 13 July 1915. His medal card shows he fought in the Balkans and in 1917 the Regiment fought at the following battles:
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The First Battle of Passchendaele.
Lance Corporal Charles Henry Wakelin (3290) was killed in action on 26 July 1917. He was aged 26.
He was buried at Crump Trench British Cemetery, Fampoux
Grave Reference: I. B. 2.
An article appeared in the Rugby Advertiser of 4th August 1917:
Another Rugby Footballer Killed
Followers of the Rugby Football Club will hear with regret of the death in action of Lance-Corpl Charlie Wakelin, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Lance-Corpl Wakelin, who was 26 years of age, was the youngest son of Mr Wakelin, of Warwick Street, and he was killed on July 26th by a trench mortar. He was a promising footballer, and played scrum half for Rugby 2nd. He and his brother, W Wakelin (who played for the 1st XV), also played for Newbold- on-Avon. Lance-Corpl Wakelin was an ex-member of the 1st Rugby Co. Boys’ Brigade.
Charles’s father Edward died in the third quarter of 1921.
In August 1921 it was announced that arrangements had been made by the Salvation Army to conduct relatives of fallen soldiers to their graves in France and Belgium and Adjutant Bristow, the local officer, was the contact for any persons in the Rugby district who desired to avail themselves of this offer. Assisted passages could be granted in necessitous cases.
Each week specially chosen Salvation Army officers conducted groups of relatives of the fallen from their home towns in various parts of the country across the Channel to the war cemeteries and back again.
Sarah Wakelin, Charles’s mother, went to France via train on one of these arranged visits, along with eight other women, all from New Bilton, Rugby.
Source: http://www.ww1wargraves.co.uk/ww1_cemeteries/pilgrimage_france_belgium.asp on Wednesday 19th October 1921.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM