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Charles Northall was born in Dudley in 1895, the son of Francis Bertram and Emma Northall (nee Hemmings). In 1901 they were at 8 Brooke Street, Dudley, together with Charles’s sisters Agnes and Emma and brothers Frank and William. Charles had moved to Wolverhampton by 1911, to “Adelaide Villa”, 273 Dudley Road, where he was living with his grandmother, Naomi Hemmings, his aunt Mary Jane Lowe, his mother, and siblings William and Emma. By this date, Charles was a clerk in an insurance office, and at some point he worked as a clerk in the Wolverhampton Corporation Borough Accountant’s department. Also known as Charlie, he was a member of the Wolverhampton Amateur Comedy Society and belonged to St Peter’s Church.

Charles enlisted in the 1st/6th battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3461) and became a Corporal. He served in France from 5 March 1915 onwards, but was killed in action on 13 October 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, as well as on the memorials at St Luke’s Church, Blakenhall, St Peter’s Church, Queen Street Congregational Church, and the Lady Chapel in St Peter’s Church. There are further details on his life on the Black Country Territorials site.

Charles and William were mentioned in the Midland Counties Express on 30 October 1915. The photograph shows the two brothers (right and centre) along with Percy Waddams. All three men were from Blakenhall and worked for Wolverhampton Council.