Charles Whiting

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Number: 20466            Unit: 1st Lincolnshire Regt.

Rank: Pte.                          Commemorated:
                           Soissons Memorial, Aisne, France

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PERSONAL DETAILS.

Born in Tetford, Charles was 22 years old when he died.  The son of Edward Whiting of Hillside Farm Tetford, Charlie was one of 11 children.  He was not a keen soldier and was called to the colours as a result of the Conscription Act enacted by Parliament.  After the war, his father could not manage Hillside Farm and a smallholding was purchased at East Keal, Spilsby.  Of all those named on the memorial, this is probably the saddest story of all.  One can see that Charlie’s name has only just been added to the memorial within the last 3-4 years.  Once notified of his death, Charlie’s father could not accept this fact and would have no more to do with the whole sorry story.  In his mind Charlie was gone and there was no more to do.  This remained the case until Charlie’s sister, Maud, saw to it that her brother was remember as he should be.  His name was duly added - Maud was then 97 years old. She saw his name inscribed and sadly died some 3 weeks later.   

SERVICE DETAILS.

After enlisting at Horncastle, Charlie was to find himself with the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment.  This was a pre-war regular battalion and was part of 9th Infantry Brigade, the 3rd Division, an element of the original British Expeditionary Force.  At the end of April 1918, Haig placed at Marshall Foch’s disposal 5 Divisions, one containing the 62nd Brigade of which the 1st Lincolns formed part. Early May saw the transfer of the 62nd Brigade from Flanders to the Romigny area.  The front line ran generally between the Aisne-Marne canal and the famous route 44, the Rheims-Laon-Cambrai road. At 8pm on the 26th May the 1st Lincolns were warned of a large scale attack which was to take place the next day. So it was to be, on the 27th May, the Battle of the Aisne commenced.  For the next 3 days the battalion withstood the onslaughts of vastly superior numbers and beat them again and again.  When they finally withdrew at 7pm on the 29th, they numbered only 8 Officers and forty-two other ranks, the remainder of the battalion having either been killed wounded or missing. The average size of a battalion at this stage of the war was 800-900 men of all ranks. Charlie died in the early stages of this action.  

 

Charles’ Death Scroll

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