Corporal 10270 William Charles Southern

Killed in Action on Monday, 23rd April 1917, age 21.
Commemorated on Bay 3 of Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

'D' Company of 11th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 112th Brigade of 37th Division.

Son of Charles and Emily Southern, of 16 Eagle Street, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 31st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1654032/

Genealogical Data

Birth of William Charles Southern registered March quarter 1896 in Dudley.

1901 Census …… Surname was incorrectly written as Surrey.
29 Scarborough Street, Walsall, Staffs.
Charles Southern (33, Journeyman Painter, born Tipton), his wife Emily (29, born Tipton), and their 3 children: Joseph (8, born Tipton), Charles (5, born Tipton) and May (9 months, born Walsall).

1911 Census
16 Eagle Street, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Southern (45, House Painter, born Tipton), his wife Emily (40, born Tipton), and their 3 surviving children of 5: Joseph (18, House Painter, born Tipton), Charles (15, Boot Polisher, born Tipton) and May (10, School, born Tipton).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The 11th Battalion Royal Warwicks were in action at the very start of the Battle of Arras from 9th to 13th April 1917, and returned to action on the 23rd April in what became known as the Second Battle of the Scarpe. They assembled at 3.30am and marched to the front line ready for an attack at 4.45am which after some initial success, stalled. A German artillery barrage continued all day, but at 3.50pm the orders were given to attack and take a German position on Greenland Hill.

Following a 30 minute artillery bombardment, the Warwicks began their attack following behind a creeping barrage. A German machine gun firing from the disused Chemical Works at Roeux caused the attack to fail, the Warwicks had gone no more than 100 yards before they were forced to 'dig-in' and find what cover they could.

Charles Southern lost his life on this day, from either the German artillery or machine gun fire. His body was never identified, and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald June 2nd 1917
Amongst the deaths of Tipton men reported officially is Lance Corporal W.C. Southern.