Charles was born in Wolverhampton in 1885, the son of Charles W. and Mary J. Dorrington. In 1907, he married Elizabeth Jane Guthrie in Burnley, and by 1911, he was living in Burnley and working as a carter for a laundry. The couple had a son, Samuel, born in 1912.
He enlisted as a Private in the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (number 11054), and he first served in the Balkans from 15 June 1915. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on 9 August 1915. He is remembered at the Helles Memorial in Turkey.