|Date of birth:||1887|
|Place of birth:||Stourbridge, Worcestershire|
|Rank / Service No:||Lance Corporal, 241283|
|Died:||11th October 1918, aged 31 years|
|Buried:||Tehran War Cemetery, Iraq (Plot IV, Row C, Grave 11)|
Charles was the oldest of 6 siblings born to Charles Elsom and Florence Eleanor B. Green (nee Newey), who married in Dudley in 1885.
The family moved from the Midlands to Lymington in the early 1890’s and were in Southampton from the mid 1890’s, latterly living at 76 St. James’ Road, Shirley.
Both parents were born in Dudley, Charles in 1861 and Florence in 1866. Charles passed away in Southampton in 1925.
Lilian Florence b. 1888 Dudley d. 1976 New Forest Married Edward P. Vivian in Southampton in 1911.
Marie (Dolly) Louisa b. 1893 Lymington d. 1970 Southampton Married Frederick G. Woodcock in Southampton in 1915.
Sydney b. 1897 Southampton d. 1968 New Forest Married Rosie M. Freak in Southampton in 1938.
Frederick Joseph b. 1900 Southampton d. ?? Married Gladys I. Garrett in Southampton in 1926.
Winifred Mabel b. 1905 Southampton d. 1961 Southampton
There is every possibility that Charles, a pawnbroker’s assistant pre war, was a member of a special platoon in the 1st/4th Hampshires.
The 1/4th battalion was formed at Winchester in August 1914, part of the Hampshire Brigade in the Wessex Division.
They landed in Karachi on 11 November 1914 but sailed for Mesopotamia in early March 1915, arriving at Basra on 18th with the 33rd Indian Brigade.
The battalion was to remain in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war.
The Battalion HQ and one Company were captured at Kut-el-Amara on 29 April 1916 and the remainder formed a composite battalion with the 1/5th battalion, the Buffs, and – attached to the 35th Indian Brigade – transferred to the 14th Indian division.
The battalion then transferred to the 36th Indian Division in November 1916.
In 1918 a British mission (“Dunsterforce”) was set up by Major-General Dunsterville, with the purpose of organising the forces of the Transcaucasian Federal Republic (comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) to enable them to withstand a Turkish attack.
The British element of the force comprised the 39th Brigade of the 13th (Western) Division, and this included a platoon of the 1st/4th Hampshires.
Eventually Dunsterville’s force, with the help of 1,000 British infantry, occupied Baku in August 1918 to prevent the port and oil-fields falling under Turkish control.
The occupation of Baku lasted 1 month, before an evacuation was necessitated by the arrival of superior numbers of the Turkish force.
The cemetery in Tehran was built in 1962, the same year as the original crosses were replaced by headstones.
It now holds 412 Commonwealth WW1 burials.
Charles’ headstone reads: “By the mercy of God, may his soul rest in peace.”
|Published:||4th August 2016|
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