7th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Attached 48th Trench Mortar Battery)
Killed in Action, 16th August 1916,
From Ballina, Co. Mayo,
Charles was born in Ballina, Co.Mayo in late 1896. He joined the 7th Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles, of the 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division, in early 1915, before departing for Le Havre on the 20th December 1915, the division concentrated in the Bethune area.
August 1916 saw Charles & his pals in action during the Battle of the Somme. Charles was at this time attached to the 48th Trench Mortar Battery. Often the focus of infantry grumbling – for a front-line trench mortar was certain to draw enemy fire – the TM Batteries played an important part in gaining the ascendancy in both attack and defence.
Trench mortars were used in a variety of defensive and offensive roles, from the suppression of an enemy machine-gun, sniper post or other local feature, to the coordinated firing of barrages.
On the 16th of August whilst in action with his battery, employed in giving covering fire from Leipzig Redoubt for the infantry attack on Mouquet Farm and also long range fire towards Thiepval Village. Charles was killed instantly at his gun. He was killed alongside Rifleman James Duggan from Dunmurry. Co.Antrim.
Below is the Ballina Herald of August 24th detailing Charles’ death.
Charles was one of 4 brothers who fought during the Great War. He was the only one who did not return…
He is buried at BOIS-CARRE Military Cemetery, Haisnes
DUTY NOBLY DONE”