BRITTEN, Charles Matthew [of Farndon]

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53307 Corporal, 9th Machine Gun Corps

Died Aged 21 in 1918

Son of Charles Matthew & Amelia Britten of 112 Beacon Hill Road, Newark.

Buried in Newark Cemetery


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This page was added by Website Administrator on 03/07/2014.
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Corporal Britten is one of the many who so nearly made it through to peace time. Tragically he died of wounds on August 22 1918, 10 weeks or so before the Armistice which ended the war. His father was also Charles Matthew and his mother Amelia and the family lived on North End. As a boy Corporal Britten attended the village school when it stood on School Lane. At one time he was a patrol leader in the Scouts and was I the church choir. Like Sergeant Harrison he stares out at us from a photograph in the church vestry.  After his school days he was employed by William Rippon Brockton one of the biggest of the Farndon landowners, but early in November 1914 he enlisted in the 2/8 Battalion Sherwood Foresters which was sent out to Ireland to combat the Irish rebellion. On the church War memorial he appears as Private C M Britten 8 Sherwood Foresters. However, part way through his service in Ireland he was discharged and re-enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps. The rest of his war service was spent in the Machine Gun Corps. He trained with them in Belton Park and his name appears in the Corps Book of Remembrance in the Parish Church in Grantham. He served with distinction throughout the war until his tragic and needless death in 1918. On July 19, together with an officer, he went over the parapet to go to the machine gun emplacement, but they came under heavy German fire and returned to the trenches. At this point the officer in question realised he had left some items of equipment behind and Corporal Britten volunteered to retrieve them. Whilst in the open he was shot in the back and seriously wounded so that he had to be rescued. Britten was transferred to Base Hospital at Boulogne and thence to King George’s Hospital in London for treatment, but to no avail. He died on August 22. His body was brought back to Newark and since in the meantime his parents were living on Beacon Hill his body was buried with full military honours in Newark Cemetery rather than in Farndon.

By George Harper
On 05/05/2015

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