Charles Edward Webley

Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Date of death 
13 April 1918
Age of death 
69 Dyer Hall Road
Postcode Unknown
Address source 
1918 Probate
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1888 at Almondsbury Gloucestershire, son of Edward (Royal Navy Engineer/Fitter) and Julia Ann Webley. 1891: With his parents at Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire. 1901: A Scholar with his mother at Broad Street, Mangotsfield. 1911: A Schoolmaster for the County Borough of Devonport, living with his family at 2 York Terrace, Keyham,  Devonport.

He left Devonport and became a teacher at the Infant Orphan Asylum at Wanstead, later the Royal Wanstead School where Snaresbrook Crown Court now operates.

During 26th August 1915 he married Eva Maud Webster at Holy Trinity Church Hermon Hill. Addresses associated with his at this time were 9 Carlton Villas, Ashford Road, South Woodford, and 49 Chester Road, Forest Gate. Having enlisted at Bexleyheath on 7th December 1915, he was mobilised to join 29 Royal Fusiliers in May 1916. He went to France with them on 26th August 1916 and was immediately allocated to 11 Royal Fusiliers. He was serving with them on 12th February 1917 when he sustained a gunshot wound to the face. On recovery he transferred to 7 Royal West Kents at Etaples on 10th September 1917.

It is not clear when he received the wounds which led to his death in 41 Casualty Clearing Station at Names-au-Val, as the War Diary contains no record of any sort concerning non Officer casualties. His widow was contacted at their home, 69 Dyers Hall Road, Leytonstone.

The Battalion was in the line at Gentelles on the Somme, and made an attack on 2nd April in the face of machine gun fire in order to straighten the front line. They were heavily bombarded by trench mortars on 3rd April, and on 4th April were again bombarded by the mortars before facing a ground attack at 06.30. This was driven back by Lewis gun and rifle fire, as was a further assault at 15.00. At 17.00 an attack to the left succeeded in breaching the line which forced a withdrawal. A number of casualties were incurred that day. There was further shelling on 9th April and 11th November, while a strong evening attack on Hangard and the inevitable counter attack on 12th April took a further toll on the Battalion.

Charles Webley is commemorated by a Roll of Honour on the wall of the old school chapel within the Snaresbrook Crown Court estate.  

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian