Before the war Charles was a miner and a pit pony driver. In the winter of 1912 he married Elsie Poxon and the couple moved to a property in Hednesford Road, Heath Hayes.
In 1915 Charles enlisted with the 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action on 27 February 1918. He left a widow and two children.
After his death his Superior Office wrote to his family saying ’Charles was one of the keenest and most hard-working soldiers I have met and he was liked by all his comrades’.
His daughter Lillian took part in the opening ceremony of the Heath Hayes War Memorial in 1927, when she presented Mrs Harrison (wife of Colonel Harrison – Chairman of Cannock Chase Coal Owners Association) with a bouquet of flowers. * Read more about the the Heath Hayes War Memorial on the ‘About Heath Hayes’ tab.
Charles is commemorated on the Heath Hayes War Memorial and the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.
After Armistice the Silver jug (pictured here) was presented to St. John’s Church, Heath Hayes. The engraving on the back reads: ‘To the Glory of God & in memory of: W. Cockin [Cockayne], W.T. Archer, A.E. Morris, E. Yates, J.H. Shirley, C.H. Clayton & J. Tooth – who died on active service in France 1914-18. Also as a thanks offering, for the safe return of sons from the war and for the blessing of Victory and Peace. May 1919′.
Although it is nearly one hundred years old, it is still used in weekly services at St. John’s Church on Hednesford Road, Heath Hayes.