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Charles was born in Bilston in 1878, the son of Elizabeth and Samuel Tetstall. They moved to Birmingham, and in 1901, they were living at 82 Garbett Street, Birmingham, together with Charles’s sister, Florence. Charles was working as a brass polisher. By 1911, Samuel had died, so Charles and Florence were living with their widowed mother at 10 Cavendish Place, New Spring Street, Birmingham and Charles was working as a metal polisher.

Charles enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service number 18126). He died on 3 September 1916, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.