PRIVATE CHARLES HENRY GRANT

No. 13056, 9th Battalion the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regt)

Charles Grant seems to have had a tragic life. He was born in Johannesburg in 1897, but by the 1901 census, he was in Montgomery, living with his widowed mother and 1 year old brother with his grandparents, Richard and Elizabeth Davies, aged 74 and 73 respectively, at 1, Cross Houses. It is not known how his father died, or what led to the return of the family to Montgomery. By the 1911 census, there is no record of Charles’ mother, and no record of her death has been found, but his grandparents had both died, (buried in Montgomery churchyard). It is possible that his mother had re-married and moved away, but no record of a further marriage exists either. Charles had, by 1911, been adopted by a childless couple, John and Martha Brown of Retford, Nottingham. Their ages are given as 70 and 69 respectively, and they are described as retired. It is possible that they are relatives of his grandparents, given their ages, but it was not possible to prove this. In 1911, Charles, by now aged 14, was working, and his occupation in the census record is given as an apprentice engineer in a Heating Manufacturers. His younger brother was now living in West Ham, London with an aunt and uncle, so the brothers had been split up, and whilst Charles was described as adopted, his brother appears as a family member. No record exists to show when or where Charles Grant enlisted, but it is likely to have been in the Retford area, given his regiment. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 27th November 1915 aged 19, and is remembered at the Helles Memorial, panel 150 to 152. The memorial stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. It takes the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles, see picture.

In excess of 21,000 names of those who have no known grave are recorded on the Helles Memorial. The casualty total in the Gallipoli campaign is estimated at over half a million men, around 252,000 Allied soldiers, and 251,000 Turkish soldiers.