Bombardier 91146 Charles Whitehouse

Whitehouse Charles 96 339x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 26th October 1917, age 25.
Buried in Grave E. 11. at Neuville-Bourjonval British Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 36th Trench Mortar Battery, ‘Y' Company.

Son of Mr and Mrs W Whitehouse, of 22 Canal Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 28th November 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/275389/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
31 & 32 Park Lane West, Tipton, Staffs.
William Whitehouse (49, Ironworks Labourer, born Tividale), his wife Eliza Whitehouse (45, born Tipton) and their 6 children: Mary A. (23, Domestic Servant, born Tividale), Isaiah (21, Tallow Chandler, born Tividale), Horace (18, Pump Fitter, born Tipton), Bertie (10, born Tipton), Charles R. (8, born Tipton), and Eva (5, born Tipton).

1911 Census
24 Park Lane Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
William Whitehouse (59, Blacksmith's Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Eliza Whitehouse (57, born Tipton), and 4 of their 8 surviving children of 10: Isaiah (31, Tallow Chandler, born Tipton), John William (23, Engineer's Clerk, born Tipton), Bertie (21, Printer's Compositor, born Tipton), and Charles R. (18, Machine Minder at Printers, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Before enlisting in September 1914, Charles had worked for 8 years in a local printing office. His 2 brothers Jack and Bertie also served in the army, but both were to survive. Charles was a member of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, a friendly society, most likely because of his employment in the printing industry.

After Charles' death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £18/5/3d (18 pounds, 5 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his father, William, in February and March 1919. His War Gratuity was £15/0/0d (15 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Charles had enlisted in August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 36th Trench Mortar Battery was in 36th Brigade of 12th (Eastern) Division. The 12th Division had a long involvement in the Battle of Arras, and from May through to 19th October they were near Monchy le Preux, to the east of Arras. They seemed to avoid most of the large-scale battles, but were involved in a successful major raid on 14th October. Just 5 days later, on the 19th, they were relieved from the line to prepare for the impending Battle of Cambrai in November 1917.

Charles Whitehouse was killed in action in this period between the 12th Division withdrawal from Arras, and their introduction to the Battle of Cambrai in November. Charles is buried in Neuville-Bourjonval Military Cemetery

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald December 8th 1917
Bombardier Charles Whitehouse, who was serving with the Trench Mortar Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action October 26th, age 25. He was the son of Mr and Mrs W. Whitehouse, 22 Canal Street, Tipton Green. He was one of the patriotic band of Englishmen who in the first few startling days following the outbreak of war, offered his services to King and country for he enlisted in September 1914, and had seen three years continuous service with all it meant. He proceeded to France in September 1915, and was wounded early in the campaign. He had only had one leave from France. At the time he met his death he was expecting to receive leave. The deceased's two brothers are also in the army, one in France and the other in hospital in England. The latter is Signaller B. Whitehouse, of the 2/6th South Staffs Regiment, age 29 and married, and in civil life was a printer, working in Birmingham. The other brother, Sergeant Jack Whitehouse, is engaged at the headquarters of an infantry brigade in France. Before the war he was employed as a clerk at Messrs. Lee Howl and Co., Tipton. (Editor note: both survived).
The late Bombardier Charles Whitehouse, almost up to the outbreak of war, had worked in a local printing office for eight years.
The officer commanding "Y" 36th Trench Mortar Battery, in writing to the mother sounds a high note as to the worth of their son:- "I am writing to sympathise with you in the loss of your son, who was killed in action two days ago. His death is deeply felt by officers and men in the battery, and his noble spirit and sense of duty, won the admiration of all who knew him."
The parents have also received the following resolution of condolence passed at the meeting of members of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, as follows:- "It is with deepest regret and heartfelt sympathy that the officers and bretheren of Peploe Wood Lodge of Oddfellows have learned of the death of your son, Charles. I can assure you that he was held in the greatest esteem by us all, and by his death we have lost a most conscientious and useful member."