PEMBERTON, Charles Oliver

Lieutenant, Charles Oliver PEMBERTON
Aged 57
Royal Defence Corps
Suicide on Tuesday, 4th July 1916

Charles Oliver Paget Pemberton was born in Birmingham (Birmingham Q3-1859 6D:118), son of Oliver and Anna PEMBERTON (née HARVEY).
Husband of Florence Mary PEMBERTON (née GROVE), married 7th July 1906 in Westminster, later of "Twynham", Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

He died in Icklingham. His address was given as "Twynham" Bournemouth and his administrator (with will) was spinster Evelyn PEMBERTON.

From the Bucks Standard of 15th July 1916 :-
At the village of Icklingham, in Suffolk, on Tuesday, July 4th the lifeless body of Lieutenant Charles Oliver Paget Pemberton, of the Territorial Defence Corps, was found by the side of the river near to his billet. There was a bullet wound in the mouth and a revolver lying at his feet, and it was a pathetic story of depression through physical disability which was told to the deputy coroner for the Liberty of Bury St. Edmunds and a jury, who investigated the circumstances leading to the officer's death.
Captain Percy G. D. Winter, of the 403rd Royal Defence Corps, said that he had last seen the deceased alive at 10.30 on Tuesday morning. He was billeted with him, and when he failed to arrive for lunch he and Lieutenant Challice made a search, and found him lying by the side of the river. There was blood on his arm, and life was extinct. He had known Lieutenant Pemberton since October 1914, and had never heard him threaten to kill himself. In fact his temperament was very jovial, but he was worried that he could not fulfil his duties due to his bunions. Indeed, this had much depressed him, and it was the witness's opinion that the deceased had not been accountable for his actions for the past few days.
Police constable Edward Sladden, stationed at Icklingham, said that at about two o'clock on Tuesday afternoon he had been called to the Water Garden, at Icklingham Hall, and there saw the body of the deceased, who was lying on his back. There being no sign of a struggle, a bullet wound was evident to the mouth and also at the back of his head, and of the six-chambered revolver lying at his feet, five chambers were loaded, with a cartridge case in the sixth. He then removed the body to the laundry at the Hall.
Dr. E. Glasier said that he had been consulted about three weeks ago by Lieutenant Pemberton, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. His feet were distorted, making it painful to walk, and he seemed very worried that this disability would affect his work, thus increasing the load on the other officers.
A verdict of "Suicide whilst of unsound mind" was returned.
Lieutenant Pemberton was buried with full military honours in Icklingham churchyard on Thursday last week, and there was a large congregation to pay their respect. Covered by a Union Jack, the polished oak coffin was preceded to the church by a firing party with arms reversed, and following were the bereaved widow and relatives, and the officers and a large contingent of men of the 402nd and 403rd Companies Royal Defence Corps. As the cortege entered the church the organist played Holloway's "March Funebre," and then, as the coffin was being removed to the churchyard, the Dead March in "Saul." At the graveside, at the conclusion of the service the firing party, numbering about 40, rose smartly to attention, and fired three volleys. Four buglers of the Royal Defence Corps then sounded the "Last Post," while the firing party remained with glittering bayonets fixed, presenting a very impressive spectacle. Floral tokens were sent by Mrs. Pemberton and other relatives, and the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the 402nd Company Royal Defence Corps. The late Lieutenant Pemberton had been well known in the Newport Pagnell district, where for 3 years and 8 months - from March, 1910, till November, 1913 - he had held the responsible position of resident agent for the Tyringham Estate. His genial and kindly disposition won him the high regard of all who knew him, as testified on the eve of his departure from Tyringham when Mr. F. A. Konig, whose interests he had served so well, presented him with a beautiful malacca cane with heavy gold mount. The tenant farmers on the estate gave him a clock, the household and estate servants a solid silver cigarette box, and the Newport Pagnell Unionist Club an inkstand with an inscribed silver plate.
On volunteering for service, during the early days of the war Lieutenant Pemberton was appointed to the command of the Bournemouth Company of the National Reserves, and later had the honour of commanding the "Old Brigade," who formed the guard of honour for the King on his visit to Aldershot.

The Bury Free Press of 8th July 1916 reported on his funeral, but gave no details of his death.

Charles Pemberton is buried in Icklingham (St James) Churchyard West end - New Ground

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

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