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  • Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Stapleford Nottinghamshire
Charles Edward was the son of Edward Henry and Elizabeth Bend Watkin (née Atkin). His father Edward Henry was born in Stapleford in 1872, the son of Joseph and Ann Watkin (née Johnson), and baptised at Stapleford St Helen in March the same year. The family came from Stapleford, and in 1891 Joseph, an engine driver, and his wife were living on Nottingham Road with their children Edward an engine cleaner, Joseph a butcher, Lizzie, Mary and Helena. His mother Elizabeth Bend was also born in Stapleford, birth registered 1872 (J/F/M), the daughter of Charles and Emma Charlotte Atkin (née Bend) who were married at Stapleford St Helen in 1864. Emma Charlotte died in March 1879 (buried St Helen churchyard), less than a year after the birth of her youngest child in 1878. In 1881 Charles, a grocer, was living at 26 Nottingham Road, Stapleford, with his daughter Eliza (15), who was housekeeper to the family, and her four siblings. Edward and Elizabeth were married in 1895 and had four children who were born in Stapleford: Charles Edward b. 1896, Nevil Johnson b. 1899, Josephin Mary b. 1800 and Bernard b. 1902. In 1901 Edward, now a locomotive fireman, and Elizabeth were living at Branksome Villas, Nottingham Road, with their three children, Charles, Nevil and Josephine. The youngest child, Bernard was born the following year. The family had moved to 9 Lower Park Street, Stapleford, by 1911. Charles was a factory hand (lace industry) but his siblings were school age. Edward and Elizabeth were still living at 9 Lower Park Street when their son was killed in 1917. Edward died in 1934 and his widow in 1949. She was survived by her three children, Nevil, Josephine and Bernard.
1911 - factory hand (lace industry). 1915 - gave his occupation on enlistment as a lace hand.
09 Apr 1917
2939698 - CWGC Website
9 Lower Park Street Stapleford Nottinghamshire. Enlisted Ikeston, Derbyshire.
Lance Corporal
2/5th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2/5th Bn Sherwood Foresters. A Territorial Force battalion, it was formed at Derby on 16 October 1914 as a second line unit. Formerly part of 2nd Notts & Derby Brigade, 2nd North Midland Division, the formation became 178th Brigade, 59th (2nd North Midland) Division, in August 1915. The battalion moved to Ireland in April 1916 and stationed initially in Dublin and later at Curragh, then in January 1917 moved to Favont on Salisbury Plain. It was then transferred to the BEF France, landing at Le Havre on 26 February 1917. Charles' Army Service Record survives. He enlisted at Ilkeston, Derbyshire, on 15 November 1915 on a Short Service (Duration of War) engagement. He was 19 years 8 months old and 5'9" tall. Religion: Wesleyan Methodist. Charles was transferred to the Army Reserve and not mobilized until 24 January 1916; he was posted to the 2/5th Bn. Sherwood Foresters the following day. Qualified as a Lewis gunner (undated), Charles was promoted lance corporal on 16 February 1917, shortly before the battalion was posted to the BEF France. The battalion embarked at Folkestone on 26 February, disembarking Boulogne the same day. Charles was killed in action on 9 April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Arras (9 April-16 May 1917), and is buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France (grave ref. IV.B.2). The history of the cemetery indicates that Charles' grave was brought in to the cemetery from either the surrounding battlefields or burial grounds after the Armistice. Service: Home 24 January 1916-25 February 1917. BEF France 26 February 1917-9 April 1917. Charles qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Vadencourt British Cemetery (extract): ''Maissemy passed into British hands in 1917. It was captured by the enemy on the 21st March 1918 ... Vadencourt British Cemetery (called at first Vadencourt New British Cemetery) was begun in August 1917, by fighting units, and used until March 1918 ... These original graves are in Plots I-III. After the Armistice these plots were enlarged, and Plots IV and V made, by the concentration of graves from the surrounding battlefields and from a few small burial grounds. These scattered graves were mainly of April 1917, and March, April, September and October 1918, and many of them represented casualties of the 59th (North Midland) Division. [Two of the burial grounds are named and these included casualties killed in April 1917].' (www.cwgc.org)
Some records cite Watkins but he was registered Watkin. Additional Research by David Nunn. Charles' service record includes a War Office memo dated December 1917 to the OIC Infantry Records (Lichfield) requesting the return of any personal property to Charles' father at 9 Lower Park Street. The memo was annotated in manuscript, 'no effects.' However, in June 1919 his parents signed a receipt for their son's effects which comprised a photograph album, cap badge, keys on ring, religious book, handkerchief, wallet and correspondence.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Charles Edward Watkin - Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)