Charles enlisted into the Second Battalion of the Gloucesters in April 1942, and for the following, three and a half years was to see active service in India and Burma; rising in rank to platoon sergeant.

In April 1947 he was demobilised to the T Reserve but could not resettle into civilian life. Reflecting that as he had walked through India and Burma, in future service he would ride. Thus he joined the Royal Armoured Corps in August 1947 and was posted to The 8th Kings Royal Hussars.

A year later he volunteered to serve with The 4th Queen’s Own Hussars who were preparing to embark for Malaya.

On arrival at Ipoh Malaya, Charles joined the Technical Troop where his flair for administration and organisation was quickly recognised. He was soon promoted to corporal and then to technical sergeant. His former service with the Gloucesters was credited and he became one of the senior sergeants.

In 1950 he was promoted SQMS of ‘B’ Squadron who were stationed at Raub and later went on to serve in Hong Kong. The Regiment returned to England in December 1951 and ‘B’ Squadron took up duties as Demonstration Squadron at the School of Infantry Warminster. In April 1952 he was Mentioned in Despatches for his distinguished service in Malaya.

In June 1953 Charles was transferred to ‘HQ’ Squadron where he was to serve as SQMS until 1955 when he was promoted to WO2 and returned to ‘B’ Squadron as SSM.

In 1957 he was appointed TQMS of The 4th Hussars, a position that he filled until the amalgamation of the 4th and 8th Hussars.

Unfortunately, he did not serve with The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars but was seconded to the North Irish Horse and was stationed at Londonderry Northern Ireland until August 1961.

It was while attending hospital in Ireland that Charles contracted an infection, which was to prematurely end a very promising military career.

Charles was an extremely loyal soldier, quiet, imaginative, with a sharp mind that seemed to anticipate requirements. He also possessed a keen sense of humour. Those who were privileged to serve with him will remember the high standards that he set himself and by his example a standard for others to follow. He was a very special person, and in every sense of the word, a true friend.

He died peacefully on June 1 2001 after a long illness borne with dignity, courage, and humour.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Malaya 1948-51