Charles was born in Wolverhampton on 29 January 1894, the son of Alfred and Eliza Kay. In 1901, they were living at 80 High Street, Portobello, along with Charles’s siblings Enoch H. W., Emily A., Mabel E. L., William W., Alice E., and Phyllis A. By 1911 Charles and four of his siblings (Enoch, Mabel, William and Phyllis) were living at 6 New Street, Portobello. Charles was a baker and bread maker.
On 7 December 1915, Charles enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (service number 152160). His address by this date was 68 Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton, He served in France and Germany until September 1919, when he was discharged
Charles married Florence Mabel James in Wolverhampton in 1917. The couple had three children – Joyce E. (1920), Howard C. (1923) and Phyllis C. (1928). Charles died in Wolverhampton in 1974 at the age of 80.