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But my excitement at finding these cards was short-lived.On the card for the 1914 Star is written ‘DOW 29/8/14’.The unit war diaries have to be one of the most amazing record series at The National Archives (they are certainly one of the most requested in our reading rooms).Kept by officers, they give firsthand, daily accounts of action with each diary entry varying in length from a few sentences to whole pages.Now that I know when Charles died, I am eager to find out whether he saw action in that famous battle on 28 August 1914 or suffered his wounds on a previous day.I also want to find out about his military career between 19.With the approaching centenary, at no time has it been more fitting to discover the people behind those old photographs and medals.As the person overseeing this series, I thought it only fair to be the first to post. I joined The National Archives in July this year and am a keen (but very amateur) family historian.
Inside was a treasure trove of photographs, birth certificates, death cards and all manner of trinkets dating back as far as the mid-1800s. And helpfully, he signed his name on this photograph so I knew who he was. The uniform in this second photograph also helped me to identify him as a Private in the 12th(Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers.Charles is one of only 12 Commonwealth servicemen buried in this local graveyard and he is buried beside another man from his regiment, Private WW Totman.I was surprised that although Charles’ First World War experience lasted only 11 days, I was able to find so much information in The National Archives to help me understand where he was and what he did.Major Charrington also records Charles as having been killed in action on 23 August 1914 rather then 29 August.These inconsistencies can be frustrating but it is always a good idea to find a constant.