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  • Memorial, St Andrew' church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
Person Details
Charles Leonard was the son of Harry Arnold and Caroline Arnold nee Freeborough. Harry Arnold was born in Blaby, Leicestershire. Caroline Freeborough was born in South Willingham, Lincolnshire, in 1861 (J/A/S Louth) the daughter of James and Jane Freeborough; she was christened in South Willingham on 13 October 1861. Harry, who was a police constable, was living in South Willingham in 1881 and he and Caroline probably married in June 1883 in Chapel Allerton, West Yorkshire. According to the information provided on the 1911 Census when they had been married for 27 years, they had had six children of whom only five had survived childhood. Their five surviving children were: Emma Josephine b. 1884 (J/A/S Nottingham), Charles Leonard birth registered 1886 (J/F/M Nottingham), Horace b. 1887 (O/N/D Nottingham), Wilfred b. 1890 ('Wilfrid', J/A/S Nottingham) and Fred b. 1900 (O/N/D Nottingham). All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1891 Harry (33), a police constable, and Caroline (29) were living at 43 Woodhouse Street, Sneinton, with their four children Emma (6), Charles (5), Horace (3) and Wilfred (9 months). The family had moved to 185 Pym Street East, St Ann's, by 1901. All five of Harry and Caroline's children were still living at home: Emma (16) a lace curtain cutter, Charles (15) a butcher, Horace (13) an errand boy, Wilfred (10) and Fred (6 months). By 1911 Harry and Caroline had moved to South Devon where he was a police constable. They were living at Cotlas House, Modbury, with their youngest son, Fred (10). Charles and Horace have not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. Emma Josephine had married John Thomas Stevenson in 1909 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1911 was living at 107 Trafalgar Street, Radford, with her husband, who worked for an assurance company, and their son Frank Arnold (9 months). Wilfred had married Selina Morley in 1910 (A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living with her parents, John and Elizabeth Morley, and three of her siblings at 64 Corporation Road, Nottingham. They had two children, Stanley W. b. 1911 (d. 1911) and Wilfred b. 1 April 1916. Wilfred served in the war in the Rifle Brigade (S/3618 Sergeant) and was killed in action on 12 July 1916 (Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery). When the CWGC record was compiled Charles' parents were living in Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincolnshire. Both Charles and Wilfred are commemorated on the parish memorials in St Andrew's church, Donington-on-Bain.
He was a butcher in 1911
27 May 1918
32
1438328 - CWGC Website
280996
Nottingham
Private
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Charles died when the transport ship SS Leasowe Castle was torpedoed by a German submarine in the Mediterranean while on passage from Alexandria to the UK. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Chatsby Memorial, Egypt. This account by a local resident was posted on the Woodborough village website. 'The Hussars had been fighting in the Middle East and they were returning to France where they were to be re-formed as a machine gun company. Their new title was to be the South Notts Machine Gun Battalion. They were sent to Alexandria, Egypt and had received orders to embark on a transporter ship called the "Leasowe Castle" on 23th May 1918 ¹. On 27th May, the ship was struck by a torpedo with devastating results. A very detailed account of the fateful journey may be read in the historical records of the South Notts Hussars Yeomanry by G. Fellows. The "Leasowe Castle" was one of a convoy of six transporters and they were accompanied by a number of destroyers. The weather was good, the sea was calm and a brilliant moon shone in the night sky. At 1.30 am on May 27th 1918 when the ship was about 104 miles from Alexandria, the "Leasowe Castle" was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side. The engines were immediately stopped. The troops mustered to their stations, rolls were called, boats lowered and rafts flung overboard. The Japanese destroyer "R" stood by, while the remainder of the convoy continued on their journey at full speed. We are informed that perfect order was maintained on board, the men standing quietly at their stations as if on parade, while those detailed for the work assisted in lowering the boats. Lifeboats were launched in the course of forty five minutes and the rescue attempt continued smoothly. The "Leasowe Castle" remained fairly steady, though sinking a little at the stern, with a slight list to port. All of 'B' (Warwickshire Yeomanry) Company of the Battalion went over the port side and were picked up in the water. About 1.45am. HM sloop "Lily" appeared having turned back from the convoy to assist in the work of rescue. She ran her bows up to the starboard side of the "Leasowe Castle" and made fast, so that troops were able to pass quickly on board. Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer put up a smoke screen for protection. Suddenly about 3.00am a bulkhead in the aft part of the ship gave way, and with a loud noise the "Leasowe Castle" sank rapidly. The "Lily" had a narrow escape, as the hawsers connecting her with the sinking ship were cut with an axe just in time.'
Charles is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour and memorial at St Andrew's church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father Harry was his legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Memorial, St Andrew' church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
    Charles Leonard Arnold - Memorial, St Andrew' church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
  • Roll of Honour, St Andrew's church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
    Charles Leonard Arnold - Roll of Honour, St Andrew's church, Donington-on-Bain, Louth, Lincs. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.