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sadlerCharles was born in Wolverhampton in 1897, the son of Richard and Hannah Sadler. In 1901 they were living at 89 Shepherd Street, Wolverhampton (Charles is listed simply as “Bernard), together with siblings Annie, Harry, and Clarence. By 1911, they are at 13 Ashland Street, with additional siblings Agnes, Mildred, Olive and Mabel. Charles attended Great Brickkiln Street School, “and was a most enthusiastic footballer, playing left back and being captain of the school for some years.” He had also played with Wolverhampton Old Boys, as well as playing for South Staffordshire against the R. A. M. C. at the Molineux Ground. Before the war, he worked at the Clyno Motor Cycle Works.

At the age of only 17 years and four months old, Charles enlisted at Wolverhampton in the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3751). He first served in France from 5 March 1915. He spent his 18th birthday in the trenches. According to Soldiers Died in the Great War, he was killed in action on 9 September 1915 in France. However, an article in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917, stated that he was wounded while proceeding to the post of duty, and died in hospital the following day. His Medal Roll Index Card also states that he died of wounds. His captain wrote home “stating that he regretted the death of this young man, who was always willing to do the duty nearest to hand, and was indeed ‘a thorough soldier’.”

He is remembered at the Railway Dugouts Burital Ground (Transport Farm), in Belgium. He also appears on the St Chad and St Mark’s Church War Memorials.

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