Royal Engineers

Charles CHESTERTON was born late 1877 and was probably already a part of a military family, the 1881 census showing his occupation at aged 3 as a Scholar but in residence at, and being part of the staff of, South Camp, Aldershot along with his Mother and Father and two younger sisters. His mother is recorded to be of Colcestrian origin. He married Alice Maud Chick at Holy Trinity Church Brompton on 23 September 1905 and they had one son, Cyril Thomas, born on 31st October 1911 (in Singapore).

Charles enlisted at London into the Royal Engineers on 17th January 1898 aged 20 years 4 months, and by 1909 had committed himself to 21 years service. Promotions: Sapper 19.1.1898, Lance Corporal 29.12.1901, Engineer Clerk Sergeant 24.12.1901? (auth 1.5.03), Engineer Clerk Staff Sergeant 1.4.1906, and Quarter Master Sergeant on 1 .4.1909. His medal roll includes the King’s South Africa Medal (2 Clasps) and Queen’s South Africa Medal (3 Clasps) in addition to the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Listed as 172 in the Register of Members of Comrades Lodge and recorded on Page 77 of the minutes that a ballot took placed for Charles to enter Comrades Lodge as a joining member on 17 June 1907 aged 29. He was previously a member of Connaught Lodge No 361 of the Irish Constitution. He is also recorded on the rare list of members on Page 109 - 20th December 1909.

There are two date annotations in the Register of members. It is annotated that a resignation took place on 16 Aug 1914, but a second date of 13th August 1913 is also recorded but no notes to say what this is.

It is evident that he was part of the British Expeditionary Force 4th Division, 5th Field Company.

During the retreat of the enemy from the Marne to the Aisne, 1527 CQMS Charles Thomas Chesterton was killed in action on 14th September 1914 in the service of his King and his Country. His name is commemorated on the memorial next to La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre bridge at the spot where Royal Engineers constructed a floating bridge under fire across the Marne on 9th September 1914.

It is also possible that the Chesterton C.T. listed on the memorial of St. Michael’s Church, Church Lane East, Aldershot is the same man.