HARRISON, Charles Edgar (of Newark)

Photo:Sgt. C.E. Harrison

Sgt. C.E. Harrison

Sherwood Foresters 8th Btn.

Born ____, Died Oct 1915

Sergeant Charles Edgar harrison was killed by the explosion of an enemy shell in the trench he was occupying.

He was the youngest son of Mr. J Harrison who was formerly headmaster of the Farndon Schools.  Prior to the First World War Charles Edgar Harrison worked in the offices of James Hole & Co., brewers of Newark-on-Trent.

In its edition of 16th October 1915 The Newark Herald noted that he first enlisted in the Volunteers, serving for eighteen years in the 4th Sherwood Foresters (later 8th Btn.), but was also one of the first from Newark to volunteer for the Boer war serving over twelve months in South Africa.

"His residence at Farndon Fields [in Newark]", continues the Herald report, "bears the name 'Bethulie' which has an interesting connection that war for it was at Bethulie he was stationed for some time, and during his stay he played Organ at the church...."

"When war broke out.... he rejoined his old regiment, the 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (T.F.) as a private, but by his skill as a signaller, and his abilities as a soldier he had worked his way up to Lance-Sergeant at the front.

"He went to France with his regiment in February [1915] where he saw some stiff fighting and came home for a few days furlough as recently as August 19th, leaving again for the scene of hostilities on the 26th.

"When home for his brief holiday, battleworn and weary, although his vision of the 'glories of war' had been shattered by the terrible scenes he had witnessed on the battlefields of France and Flanders, yet he still retained that calm outlook, and cheery buoyancy of spirit which was characteristic of him".





This page was added by Website Administrator on 14/04/2012.
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2956 Pte. Charles Harrison, 1/8th Battalion, Notts. & Derby. Regiment (The Sherwood Foresters) died on 14th October 1915 aged 19. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. The battalion was involved in the attack upon the Hohenzollern Redoubt at the time and suffered severe casualties in the process.

By Jim Grundy
On 17/06/2013

‘Charlie’, as he was known to his friends, lies buried in ‘Dud Corner’ military cemetery near Loos and is also commemorated by inscriptions in Farndon Church, the Village Memorial Hall, the family gravestone in Farndon cemetery and by a stained glass window also in Farndon Church. He was an interesting man who led a full life. He was the son of John and Fanny Harrison, the brother of Tom, the husband of Eleanor and father of a four year old son. He was a prominent figure in church life. He played the organ and had a fine singing voice – he sang in the church choirs at Farndon and Winthorpe and he appears in a group photograph hanging in the vestry in St Peter’s. He was also well known in footballing circles as the Secretary of the Newark and District League and inaugurated a knock-out competition. He was employed in the offices of James Hole’s Castle Brewery and lived in a house in Farndon Fields named ‘Bethulie’ (after a place he was stationed at in South Africa). As a young man he enlisted in the Notts. Volunteers which preceded the Territorials and served for about a year in South Africa fighting in the Boer War. On the formation of the Territorial Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters  he enlisted as a Private and worked his way up to the rank of Sergeant specialising in signalling. When war was declared he was one of the 1/8 Battalion which set out on the long march from Newark to Derby via Radcliffe and Nottingham. He trained with the Battalion in the UK and later in France preparing for the grim reality of modern warfare and took part in some of the earlier actions like Neuve Chapelle, Kemmel and the Ypres Salient. In 1915 the North Midlands Division were designated to take part in the Battle of Loos and the Foresters were to play a supporting role in an attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt. Their jumping off point was to be Vermelles where some German trenches had been captured and in early October 1915 they were engaged in altering these trenches to face the new German front line. It was at this point he was killed. To quote the official history of the 1/8 Battalion “Our only casualties were the result of an unlucky shell which fell on the morning of October5 amongst a party of signallers, killing Lance Sergeant C E Harrison, signalling sergeant, and three men”. Even before the War Memorial was created, the family had an impressive memorial window inserted in the south wall of the church which bears the inscription “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life”.

By George Harper
On 05/05/2015

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