TILLETT, Charles Edward

No.7211, Private, Charles Edward TILLETT
Aged 28

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds presumed on Saturday, 8th May 1915

Charles Edward Tillett was born in Woolpit (Stow Q2-1886 4A:161), son of Charles and Thirza Minnie TILLETT (née LAUGHLIN).

1891 census...Aged 5, he was at Cottage, Mill Lane, Woolpit with his father Charles TILLETT [33] farm labourer born Barwell; his mother Thirza [24]; sisters Thirza [6] and Rose E [2]; brother Walter H.[1]. All except his father were born in Woolpit.

1901 census... Aged 15, shepherd's page, he was at Broom Hills, Woolpit with his parents(father now a miller's carter); sisters Rose, Florence [8], Winifred [3] and Nellie [1]; brothers Walter and Philip [5]; grandfather Thomas LAUGHLIN [75] widower, brickyard labourer born Elmswell. The new siblings all born in Woolpit

1911 census...Aged 25, a private in the Suffolk Regiment, he was at Mustafa Pasha Barracks, Alexandria, Egypt. His parents were now at Hengrave (father now horsekeeper), with his brothers Walter and Philip (both farm labourers; sisters Winifred, Alice {Nellie}, Maid [9] Catherine [7] and Queenie [4] and a cousin Reginald [4]. The newcomers were all born in Woolpit, but there is no clue as to parentage of Reginald. All 11 siblings survive.

His father's address later was Hollow Rd., Fornham St. Martin, Bury St. Edmund's.

His younger brother Walter died in France in 1917. see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
The 8th May 1915 was as a new dawn for the 1st Suffolks. At 10 am the storm broke and a determined attack began against the point of the Ypres Salient. The battle for Frenzenberg Ridge had begun. Shells, machine gun fire, mortars, gas shells, the entire inventory of destructive power available to the Germans was let loose. All communication lines were cut, roads became impassable. The enemy made a breach in the right flank and before noon the Battalion had been overwhelmed. Casualties amounted to over 400. Some time later when a draft of new men arrived from Felixstowe they were met by 2 officers and 27 men, survivors from the trenches that day, later added to by a few stragglers
CWGC show 94 killed and not one has an identified grave, all are named on the Menin Gate in Ypres

The Bury Free Press of 2nd September 1916 reported:-

Official intimation has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tillett, of Mill Road, Hengrave, that their son, Prvt Charles Tillett is now thought by the ArmY Council to be dead. Prvt Tillett had been missing since May 5th 1915, and nothing more has been heard of him until his anxious parents received the painful news last Wednesday week that is had been concluded his death took place on Mat 8th 1915. Prvt Tillett joined the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment in 1906 and soon after went to Egypt with his regiment. He returned in November 1914, and after having spent his leave at home with his parents, left England in January 1915 for the centre of hostilities in France. Prvt Tillett was much respected by all. Great sympathy is felt for his parents, brothers and sisters, who for many months had been looking for news that he might be spared to them.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Tillett is commemorated on the Menin Gate, panel 21

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details