Charles Edward Westbrook
Buried in St Peter & St Paul's Churchyard, Ewhurst??
CHARLES EDWARD WESTBROOK was born in Medstead, near Alton, Hampshire
in 1874, the son of Joseph an Mary Westbrook, and brother to Emily Kate
(b1873), Eva Mary (b1877), Edwin C L (b1882), William J (b1884),
Gertrude E (b1887) and Hilda M (b1889) (2). Between 1874 and 1877
the family moved to Preston Candover, Hampshire, where Charles's father
was an estate carpenter and later a farm bailiff. By 1891 Charles had
left education and become an agricultural carter.
Charles married Charlotte Emma Dalton (b1879 Islington) in 1905 (registered in Farnham). In 1901 the couple had been boarding in Battersea, London, where Charles was a general road labourer. His landlord and lady were George and Emma Mapp, Emma having being born in Cranleigh. Presumably they had alluded to already being married for the purpose of convention. Charles was a very tall man for the period, at 6ft 1inches.
In 1911 Charles and his wife were living at The Old White Hart, Ewhurst, and Charles gave his occupation as that of domestic gardener (3). With the commencement of the First World War he enlisted on 7th September 1914 in Cranleigh, at the age of 40 and gave his occupation as that of a retired police constable (Metropolitan).
He became Private 3908 of the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment. This battalion was formed at Kingston-upon-Thames in August 1914 as a Depot/Training Unit and moved on mobilization to Plymouth (Devonport). Charles was mentioned in the Surrey Advertiser on 26th September 1914 as having joined the East Surrey Regiment. In June 1915 the battalion moved to Saltash, and then on to Felixstowe in September 1917, to serve with the Harwich Garrison. Charles therefore remained in the UK throughout the war.
Charles was diagnosed with cancer December 1916, and following the battalion’s move to Felixstowe he attended multiple Medical Review Boards at No 4 T.M.B, Felixstowe. On 20/11/1917 he was graded B2, 18/02/1918 graded B2, 30/04/1918 graded B3.
At some stage he was transferred to the Labour Corps, becoming Private 279455 in No 581 Employment Company, and then was discharged as no longer fit for war service on 14 December 1918. He died of his illness on 08/02/1920.
Charles Westbrook is omitted from the Ewhurst Memorial Plaque in St Peter & St Paul's Church, presumably due to his death in 1920. His name has been subsequently added to the war memorial (east face) and matching Memorial Plaque in the Ewhurst Baptist Church (see below). Presumably he was a member of the church's congregation. The Book of Remembrance incorrectly states that Charles "Died at Ewhurst of wounds incurred during the war". It would appear that he did not undertake active service and died of illness diagnosed during the period of the war.
No record of his service has been found via the Soldier's Medal Cards or the CWGC.
War Memorial Plaque, Ewhurst Baptist Church showing Charles Westbrook Subsequently added.
Other information from Soldiers Pension Records
Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey