35818 PTE. C. T. GYNES. L.N.LAN.R.

 

Charles Thomas Gynes was born on 18 November 1884 in Farington and baptised at St Paul’s.  His father, William Thomas Gynes (b. 1858 in Stroud, Gloucestershire) was a foreman navvy and urban district council worker and because of his work the family lived in various locations in Lancashire including Horwich and Longridge, but by 1911 the family had moved to Tardy Gate where Tom ran the fish and chip shop which used to stand behind the Tardy Gate Inn.  He was married to Elizabeth (maiden name not known, b. 1863 in Penwortham) and they had 6 children of whom Charles Thomas was the oldest.

 

In fact, by 1911, Charles was already married: in 1907, he had married Ada Swarbrick (b. 1885 in Preston), and in 1911, they were living, briefly, in Barrowford near Nelson, where Charles was working as a domestic gardener.  When Charles enlisted on 18 September 1916, the family was living on Leyland Road, Lostock Hall and they had two children: Doris (b. 1910) and Albert (b. 1913).  He gives his occupation as labourer.  He was 31 yrs old, 5’7” tall and had a 39” chest.  He was given service number 35818 and initially joined 4th Battalion but was subsequently posted to 6th Battalion.

 

Charles remained at home for the first few months but on 3 December 1916 he embarked at Devonport for Bombay where he arrived on 3 March 1917 and transferred to Bangalore.  He left Bangalore on 30 April to join his unit, arriving in Mesopotamia on 3 May 1917.  6th Battalion had fought at Suvla Bay in the Gallipoli Campaign and then moved to Mesopotamia after the capitulation at Kut Al Amara and was heavily involved in the fighting to capture Baghdad, which fell to the Allies on 11 March 1917.  So it was in the aftermath of this fighting that reinforcements (including Charles) began to arrive and were billeted, in the torrid summer heat, at Sindiya (Qaryat As Sindiya) north of Baghdad.  There was no fighting between May and September that year.  Charles was killed on 19 August, when a bomb exploded accidentally.  A Court of Enquiry was held into the accident but the findings are not recorded in his files.  Charles was 32 years old and left a wife and two small children.

 

Ada received his identity disc and wedding ring.  She received a war pension of 22s 11d (just over £1 a week).  Ada remarried almost immediately, to a French-Canadian soldier, Sgt. Elzéar Joly (b. 1892 in Ontario), they had a daughter Eva the following year and then in July 1919 the whole family emigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal.

 

Rank:  Private

Service No:  35818

Date of Death:  19/08/1917

Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 6th Bn.

Grave Reference:  XX. A. 16.

Cemetery:  BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY

 

Charles had 2 brothers and 3 sisters.  One of his brothers served in the Army as 201404 PTE. W. H. GYNES. L.N.LAN.R. (initial service number 3899).  William Henry was born in Farington on 23 June 1892, enlisted on 26 May 1915, was posted to 1/4Bn, and discharged as an invalid on 20 December 1918.  He married Margaret Ann Brennan (b. 1887 in Kirkham) on 28 January 1919.  He died in Kirkham in 1952.

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