Gunner Charles Wilson Royal Field Artillery

Written by Karen Day
First Published

Introduction

Charles was the son of Frederick Wilson a brickyard worker and stepson of Mary J Wilson (nee Waddingham). Born in Burton Stather in 1864 Charles was an Ironstone worker prior to signing up and the family address given was The Brickyards, Burton Stather, Doncaster. He had a brother older by just one year called George Frederick Wilson and an older Stepsister, Hetty Waddingham. According to his Short Service Attestation and medical he was 5'9" of fresh complexion with brown hair and brown eyes.

Royal Field Artillery

The three field gun Brigades (CXXIII [123], CXXIV [124] and CXXV [125]) were war raised units, as part of Kitcheners New Army (K4). Originally raised for the 31st Division but when this was broken up they joined the artillery reserve then, by April 1915, became Divisional Artillery to the 37th Division.

The 124th originally consisted of A, B, C and D Batteries, each with 4 x 18 Pounders. Charles was a member of C Battery; they went to France with the then 37th Division at the end of July of that year. This corresponds with Charles’ Army Records showing him departing for Le Harve on the 30th July 1915 and disembarking there a day later on the 31st.

A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery, 1914 (c).

A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery
towed into position on the Western Front,
1914 (c).

An 18 pounder field gun and its crew being pulled by horses across a field in France or Belgium, 1914 (c)-1915 (c). One of 193 British and Allied Official photographs taken on the Western Front during World War One, mounted on card, some with their original captions. The 18-pounder was the main British artillery weapon of the First World War. With a crew of ten men, it could fire 18-pound shrapnel, high explosive or smoke shells up to six kilometers (over 6,500 yards). In August 1914 the British Army was equipped with 1226 of these guns. During the Battle of the Somme (1916) the British fired over 15 million shells. Of those, some 10 million were fired by 18-pounders. With an experienced crew and in good conditions, the 18-pounder could fire at a remarkable 30 rounds a minute.

©www.army.mod.uk

There were many changes once in France which meant that after 31st August 1916, with transfers from the 126th, Charles Wilson's 124th Brigade now consisted of 3 x six gun batteries of 18 pounders (A, B, and C) and one Battery of 4.5 inch Howitzers (D Battery).

Charles died aged 22 on 22nd November 1916 from wounds received on 19th November. We cannot be sure how Charles was wounded but the date falls in with the 37th Division having taken part in the Battle of Ancre, the final stages of the Battle of the Somme.

His medals the 1914 - 15 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal were received by his Stepmother, Mary.

Record Details for Charles Wilson

First Names:Charles
Initials:C.
Surname:Wilson
DOB:Circa
Age:22
Death Date:
Family Info:Stepson of Mrs. M. J. Wilson, of Burton Stather, Scunthorpe, Lincs.
Rank:Gunner
Service Number:34457
Service:British Army
Regiment:Royal Field Artillery
Battalion:"C" Battery, 124th Brigade
Grave:Couin British Cemetery - VI. B. 9. Map
Awards:

Map

Use the interactive map to view the location of Charles Wilson's Grave. You can view all the graves, memorials and benches by downloading our KML file which can be viewed in Google Earth and other mapping software.

Sources

  1. UK Census
  2. British Army WWI Service Records
  3. British Army Medal Index Cards
  4. www.longlongtrail.co.uk
  5. www.army.mod.uk

Remembered with Honour.

Last updated

© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group