TURNER, Charles

No. 290185, Private, Charles TURNER
Aged 34

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly No.3044, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 22nd March 1918

Charles Turner was born in Fordham on 15th March 1884 (Newmarket Q2-1884 3B:561), baptised on 1st June 1884 in Fordham, son of Henry and Charlotte TURNER (née SARGENT).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Church Street, Fordham with his father Henry TURNER [36] farm labourer; his mother Charlotte [40]; brothers Harry W. [14] farm labourer, George [12] farm labourer, William [11], Walter [9] and Arthur [2] and sister Ellen [5]. The entire family were born in Fordham.

1901 census...Aged 17, a farm labourer, he was still at Church Street, Fordham with his parents, brothers George (sewerage labourer), Arthur and Edward [6] and sister Ellen.

In 1907, in Bury St. Edmunds, he married Edith Amelia LEVITT [24-1-1885].

1911 census...Aged 27, a labourer, he was at 14 Mustow Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his wife Edith [26] born Bury St.Edmunds and their sons James Charles [28-9-1908] and Frank Edwin [16-9-1909] both born in Bury St Edmunds. A further son, Stanley Claude was born 4-8-1914, still at Mustow Street. His parents and brothers George, Arthur and Edward were at Church Street, Fordham All the men were farm labourers.

He was an elder brother of Arthur Turner who died in Iraq in 1917 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.
Charles was killed on the 2nd day of the Kaiserschlacht, the German Spring Offensive.
The 11th Suffolks were in the Sensee valley and by nightfall on the 21st the Germans had broken through to St Leger. The enemy continued to advance and the battalion were ordered to withdraw from Croiselle front line which had been the old Hindenburg support line. The engineers endeavoured to destroy the tunnels. From dawn to dusk on the 22nd the 11th Suffolks strove to defend Henin Hill but at dusk they began to give way and battalion HQ and 2 companies fell back to the 3rd line just in front of Boyelles.

The 11th Suffolks had 50 killed that day and none has an identified grave, all are named on the Arras Memorial.

The Bury Free Press of 3rd May 1919 reported:-

Official news has been received by Mrs.Turner of 14 Mustow Street, Bury St.Edmunds, that her husband, Prvt.C.Turner,290185, 11th Suffolk Regiment, who was reported as missing on March 21st or 22nd 1918, was killed on that date. Private Turner was last seen by his comrades at Croiselles on the second day of the great German offensive.He was the fifth son of Mrs. H Turner, of Church Street, Fordham, Cambs and to the bereaved widow and mother much sympathy is extended.

photo; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Turner is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, bay 4
also on the Bury St.Edmunds roll of honour

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