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Charles was born in Wolverhampton on 5 November 1896, the son of Emma G. and Thomas H. Lack. In 1901 they were living at 30 Paradise Street, Wolverhampton, with Charles’s sister, Emma. From 1906 onwards, Charles attended Dudley Road Primary School, and from 1907 until 1909 he was at Causeway Lake School. By 1911, they were at 5 Bromley Street, Wolverhampton, with an additional three children – Edith, John and Lily. Charles was working as an errand boy for a grocer.

In 1913, he enlisted with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers at the age of 17 (service number 11627). In 1916, he joined the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment (number 19083). At some point he also transferred to the Royal Defence Corps (number 45200). Charles died on 12 November 1918 in Wolverhampton, and is buried in Wolverhampton Cemetery. He is also remembered at St John’s Church.