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  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 26th August 1915.  Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
07 May 1876
Bangalore, India
Charles Deschamps Randall was born in Bangalore, India, in about 1876, the son of Charles Randall and his first wife Julia (née Channing). Charles Randall snr. was born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, in 1843 (J/F/M St Ives), the son of Samuel Randall, a farmer. He joined the 45th Regiment (Nottinghamshire Sherwood Foresters) Regiment of Foot in London on 12 June 1860 aged 18, giving his occupation as baker. He served in India between 1864 and February 1868 and then from June 1868 to March 1878. Julia Channing was born in Madras, India, in 1886. Charles and Julia were married in Madras on 18 October 1871 and had five children: Amy b. Burma 1873, Charles b. Bangalore abt 1876, Florence b. Shorncliffe Kent 27 September 1878, Sidney William b. Petworth Sussex 2 July 1882 and Alice Maud M b. Petworth 10 February 1884. Charles, a colour sergeant, and Julia returned to England in March 1878 and in 1881 were living in Aldershot, Hampshire, with their children Amy (8), Charles (4) and Florence (2). Also in the household was Julia's sister, Mary Channing (15 b. East Indies). The family was living in Petworth, Sussex, when the two youngest children, Sydney and Alice, were born in 1882 and 1884 respectively. Julia died in 1886 (O/N/D Petworth). Charles married secondly Anna Hutton at Copford, Essex, on 22 April 1890 (A/M/J Lexden Essex). His wife was born in Birch, Essex, in about 1854 (bap. 12 February 1854), the daughter of John and Martha Hutton. Charles was discharged from the army on 5 May 1891 having served for over 30 years. In 1891 he and Anna (37) were living at The Cottage, Kindford, Petworth, with three of his five children, Florence, Sidney (8) and Alice (7). Charles' daughter Amy has not yet been traced after 1881 but his son Charles had joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1890 and was serving with 1st Battalion at Tregantle Fort, St German, Bodmin, Cornwall. He served overseas from September 1898. (See 'Military history'). Charles and Anna had two children, Frederick George b. 1891 and Gertrude b. 1893, who were both born in Petworth. They continued to live in Kindworth village where Charles was employed first as a relieving officer and later as both a relieving officer and registrar of births and deaths. Charles died on 6 December 1924; his home was at Myrtle Villa, Billinghurst, Sussex. His son Sidney William, an army pensioner, was one of his executors. Charles jnr., who had served overseas continuously since 1898, returned to England in November 1911 and was discharged from the Army the same month. His discharge address was Kindford, Billinghurst, Sussex, presumably his father's home. Charles then moved to Nottingham where he established a firm of insurance brokers; he lived in Beeston. His brother Sidney William attested in the Devonshire Regiment on 5 September 1896. He was 14 years 2 months old and gave his occupation as musician and was appointed bandsman on 5 January 1899. He served in the regiment until discharged on completion of service on 14 February 1919. He had served for 22 years 163 days: South Africa 17 October 1900-21 May 1913; Crete 8 January 1909-26 July 1909; Malta 27 July 1909-17 January 1912; Egypt 18 January 1912-24 September 1914 and France 4 November 1914-16 January 1919 and at home from January to his discharge in February. He married Gladys Constance Blower (34, spinster) in Bishopton parish church, Bristol, on 17 August 1925. Sidney's occupation was given on the marriage certificate as insurance official. His father's service record survives. He served for 30 years 328 days in the 45th Regiment: Home 12 June 1860-25 July 1864 (4y 42d); East Indies 24 July 1864-1 February 1868 (3y 193d); Abyssinia 2 February 1868-28 June 1868 (147d); East Indies 29 June 1868-22 March 1878 (9y 267d); Home 25 (sic) March 1878-2 September 1881 (3y 164d); Home 43 September 1881-13 September 1881(11d); Home 14 September 1881-5 May 1891 (9y 234d). He was appointed colour sergeant on 4 June 1869 but in December 1869 was held in confinement and after trial was reduced to private on 21 December 1869. He re-engaged on 24 August 1870, still in the rank of private, 'for such term as to complete 21 years service'. He was recorded on the 1871 census (military) as the regimental school assistant at HQ Fort St George, Madras; this was the year he marrried Julia Channing. He was promoted sergeant and then colour sergeant on 26 December 1876. Charles was discharged from the army on 5 May 1891.
He attended the Duke of York's School in Chelsea and then joined the Army. On leaving the army he became head of the firm of Randall and Co., insurance brokers, Long Row, Nottingham. He was district scoutmaster in the North Branch of the Boy Scouts Association. Member of Beeston Hockey Club.
09 Aug 1915
39
687352 - CWGC Website
Captain
  • DCM DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Randall enlisted as a drummer boy in the Sherwood Foresters at Fort Tregantle, Cornwall, on a Long Service Engagement (12 years with the Colours) on 12 July 1890. He was aged 14y 2m. On 18 June 1894, a month after attaining the age of 18 (12 May 1894), he was promoted to lance corporal. He was promoted colour sergeant on 26 August 1899, shortly before the battalion was drafted to South Africa where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (29 November 1900). He re-engaged at Rustenburg, South Africa, on 5 August 1902 for 'such further term as shall complete a total of 21 years service.' He was promoted sergeant major in March 1906 and discharged at Gosport on 19 November 1911, aged 35y 6m, on termination of the second period of his engagement. In addition to the DCM he had been awarded the Queen’s South African Medal Clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hills and the King’s South African Medal with two clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. Charles had served in the Army for 21 years 131 days: Home 12 July 1890-20 September 1898 (8y 71d); Malta 21 September 1898-20 November 1899 (1y 61d); South Africa 21 November 1899-7 September 1902 (2y 291d); China 8 September 1902-6 December 1906 (2y 5d); Settlement (sic) 7 December 1904-11 December 1906 (2y 5d); India 12 December 1906-1 November 1911 (4y 325d); Home 2 November 1911-19 November 1911 (18d) . On the outbreak of war in August 1914 he rejoined the regiment in the rank of sergeant major and was soon commissioned, first as lieutenant and then as temporary captain (6 November 1914). He served in the 9th Battalion which was raised in Derby in August 1914 as part of Kitchener's First New Army. After initial training the battalion moved to Belton Park, Grantham, followed by Division training at Witley and Frensham on 4 April 1915. The battalion was then drafted for the Gallipoli campaign. Charles left the UK for Galliopoli on the Empress of Britain and was in theatre by 23 July 1915. He was killed in action on 9th August 1915 leading 'C' Company in the attack on Ismail Oglu Tepe during the move inland from Suvla Bay. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.
Probate 23 November 1915: Probate was awarded to his father. Effects of £113 14s. Boer War veteran, Charles Deschamps Randall, entered the trenches at Cape Helles for the first time on 23rd July 1915. He described the conditions he found there in a letter to a friend which was published in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times on 10th September 1915 :- “There has been a dust-storm blowing all day. We each of us are a mass of flies, and these factors, together with the excessive heat and most abominable stench, turn one from food, drink, sleep and concentration of purpose. We have not had many casualties during our ten days in the trenches, but the exceptional conditions which prevail are much worse than actual fighting. The front line of trenches is nothing but a huge graveyard, and many hundreds of bodies still lie unburied. As these are a month old they make their presence felt in many respects. “We were putting our wire entanglements a few nights ago, and to do so had to crawl through countless bodies, but contact with these was infinitely preferable to exposing oneself to a Turkish bullet. “There is no “off time” on the Peninsula, and the firing goes on forever. I am pleased to say the men are splendid, although they have not been put to a very severe test of fighting yet. We have earned a great deal of praise from the powers that be. I am in command of C Company now, Major Fielding [1] being killed the second day while talking to me. Our next period will, I think, be hell, as I must ask you to notice the casualty lists.” Above item courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. The above letter was also published in the Nottingham Evening Post on Thursday 2 September 1915: ‘A Tragic Request. Capt. CD Randall’s last letter. In a letter written to Miss Fielding, of Normanton, Derby, a few days before his death in action and just received, Captain Charles Descheamp Randall, 9th (Service) Battalion Sherwood Foresters, gave some account of the conditions under which the campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula is being conducted, He wrote:- “There has been a dust storm blowing all day. We each of us are a mass of flies, and these factors, together with the excessive heat and most abominable stench, turn one from food, drink, sleep, and concentration of purpose ...” The concluding sentence of the letter is painfully tragic in view of what has happened since it was written. “Our next period will, I think be hell, so I must ask you to notice the casualty lists.” Captain Randall who saw service in South Africa with the 1st Sherwoods, resided at Beeston, and was head of the firm of Randall and Co., insurance brokers, Long-row, Nottingham.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive,co. uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 24 August 1915: ‘Notts. Hockey Player Killed. News has reached Beeston of the death in action of Capt. Randall, of the 9th Sherwood Foresters. Capt. Randall was an old army man who rejoined the service on the outbreak of war, and has won promotion rapidly since. A resident of Beeston, he was a well-known and popular player of the local hockey club, and his name figured on the roll of honour of the Notts. Hockey Association.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 25 August 1915: 'Captain CD Randall. Bnews has reached Beeston of the death in action of Captain CD Randall, of the 9th Sherwood Foresters. Charles Deschang Radnall was born in the army in India in 1877, when his father was colour-sergeant of H Company of the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. He was educated at the Duke of York’s school, and enlisted at 14 years of age as drummer boy in the 1st Sherwood Foresters. Early in life he had an ambition to become colour-sergeant of his father’s company. He served through the South African war as colour-sergeant, and was awarded the DCM. Afterwards he was for five years regimental sergt,-major of the 1st Sherwoods. He was an all-round athletic, good at cricket, football, and hockey, and for several seasons figured with the Beeston Hockey Club. He was also a fine boxer, and excelled as a swimmer and rifle shot. He founded and edited the regimental paper whilst with the 1st Battalion in India, and wrote breezy humerous articles for various military papers in India. He rejoined the army as sergeant-major at the outbreak of the present war, and was soon made first-lieutenant, and was afterwards promoted temporary captain of the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. His death was practically contemporaneous with that of Captain Black. Captain Randall held the position of District Scoutmaster in the North Branch of the Boy Scouts Association.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Charles' group of seven medals came up for sale in 2020. See website for description. (www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk)
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 26th August 1915.  Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Charles Deschamps Randall - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 26th August 1915. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Charles Deschamps Randall - Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Helles Memorial, Gallipoli (CWGC). Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Charles Deschamps Randall - Helles Memorial, Gallipoli (CWGC). Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918