Albert Henry Charman

Date of birth: 1899
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Warwickshire
Battalion: 2/6th
Rank / Service No: Private, 263031
Died: 19th April 1918, aged 18 years
Buried: St Venant-Robecq Road British Cemetery, Robecq, France (Plot I, Row E, Grave 19)

 

Before the War

 

Albert was born in 1899 to Albert Henry (1872) and Edith Rose Charman (nee Southwell 1876 – 21/04/1939). His parents were married in Southampton in 1898.

Albert’s siblings were:

 

Dorothy Rose (1898 – 1967)

Dorothy married Ernest Alfred Simmons (23/11/1891 – 1892 – 1965), in Southampton in 1918. Ernest served in the Merchant Navy during the war and was awarded the British War and the Mercantile Marine medals.

 

Ernest Ralph (04/04/1902 – 16/11/1987)

Ernest married Violet Annie Heasman (31/01/1904 – 1969), in Horsham in 1923.

 

Cecil Reuben (1903 – 1903)

 

The 1901 census shows that Albert was living with his parents and sister Dorothy in Wilton Street, St Marys, Southampton.

When the 1911 census was taken the family had moved to 42 Grove Street, Southampton. Albert’s father was employed as a Hotel Waiter. Albert and his brother Ernest were recorded on the 1911 census as visiting at 38 James Street, Southampton. Also living here was the head of the household, a Mary Edwards Clarke, widow, and her grandson William.

 

 

Military History

 

Albert enlisted in the 2/6th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The 2/6th was formed in Birmingham in October 1914 as a second line battalion, was re-designated as 182nd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division, and landed in France on 21st May 1916.

 

The village of St. Venant and Robecq had remained practically undamaged for much of the war, but this was to change during the Battle of Lys.

 

In April 1918 civilians from Robecq were being evacuated as a German attack approached. Units of the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division had just arrived to reinforce the area. This attack was the Battle of Lys and took place between the 9th and 29th April 1918. Both the British and Germans suffered heavy losses during this battle.

 

Albert was killed in action on 19th April 1918, probably in this battle.   He left his personal effects to his mother Edith.

Albert was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

 

Albert’s headstone reads: ‘Our thoughts are always with you. Mum and Dad’

 

The cemetery is located on the east side of the main road between St. Venant and Robecq. It was started about the 12th April 1918 and contains 479 burials and commemorations from World War One, of which there are 85 unidentified.

 

 

Researcher: Jackie Chandler
Published: 28th October 2016
Updated:

 

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