Unit: 5th Canadian Infantry.
Commemorated: Upton Wood Cemetery, France
Charles was born on the 8th September 1887, the son of William and Elizabeth Bannister, in Northaw Herts. A farmer by trade, he answered the call to arms on the 7th June 1915, by which time he had emigrated to Canada. He had a nephew John Hubert Bannister living in Wilkie, Sask. His family was then living at Tumby. He was nearly 28 years old when he enlisted and he chose his sister, Lucy Bannister, to be his next of kin.
After his basic training, Charles sailed for England, from Montreal, aboard the S.S. Missanabie on the 4th September 1915, arriving in England on the 14th September. By the end of 1915, however, Charles was admitted to Hospital, in England, suffering from a Hernia from which he recovered at the Canadian Hospital, Shorncliffe. Proceeding overseas, on draft, to the 5th Battalion CEF on the 7th May 1916, Charles was no stranger to Hospital life. He spent several spells in Casualty Clearing Stations and field hospitals, having twice suffered gunshot and shrapnel wounds. His last stay was at the Canadian Hospital Etchinghill, from the 23rd February 1917 until the 9th June 1917 – his illness was Gonorrhoea! Thereafter he returned to his unit fit for service.
The service papers of Charles records his being killed in action on the 10th September 1918. The battalion war diary records no casualties for that day and, it is only from the letter sent home, we see Charles was actually killed on the 1st September. On the 27th August 1918, his battalion was in billets in Arras, moving a day or so later into the front line, in an area near to Vis-en-Artois. On the night of the 31st August 1918, operational orders were received to the effect the 5th Canadians would attack enemy positions at 4.50am on the 1st September. It was in this engagement Charles would fall. Full details of the operation are recorded in the Battalion War Diary. It was a costly action, in which the 5th Canadians lost 10 Officers and 250 other ranks killed,wounded or missing.