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Charles was born on 31 January 1875, the son of Edward or Edwin and Jane Bowyer. In July 1907, he married Emma Tonks at Wolverhampton Registry Office. They were living at 1 Church Street, Wednesfield, in 1911, along with their son, Edwin Thomas, and Charles’s step-son Samuel Charles Tonks. On the 1911, the following is written under Charles’s occupation: “out of work at Present Labourer or miner or Boatman that his [sic] what I get my living at”, but this is crossed out, and replaced with “Labourer (General)”. The couple had three further children between them – Jack (1911), Emma Jane (1913) and Stanley (1917).

On 13 August 1914, Charles enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 10146), but was discharged as being medically unfit on 1 February 1915. On 22 February 1915, Charles enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery (number 7900). By this date his address was 24 Bennett Street, Portobello, Willenhall. His trade is now given as “town carter”. He served as a Gunner and as a Bombardier, before being transferred as a Private to the Labour Corps (number 402252) in October 1917. During 1919, he spent timw in both the Worcestershire and Hampshire Regiments, before being discharged on 5 December 1919. On 9 July 1920, Charles enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4904278), where he served in the Territorial Force for a year.

By 1939, Charles and his wife were living at 18 Baker Street, Wolverhampton, and Charles was now a road trench labourer. Charles died in Wolverhampton at the age of 77 in 1951. In recognition of his service, his name appears on the war memorial at Portobello.