FLEET, Charles

No.6558, Private, Charles Filby FLEET
Aged 31

2/4th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales' (Royal Berkshire) Regiment
formerly 3083 Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 19th July 1916

Charles Filby Fleet was born in Isleham in 1885 (Newmarket Q1-1885 3B:590),the 4th son of Walter and Elizabeth FLEET (née SHELDRICK).

1891 census...Aged [6], he was at Human's Farm Cottages with his father Walter FLEET [42], agricultural labourer; his mother Elizabeth [45], brothers Walter [15] and James [12] both farm labourers; sisters Julia [9] and Doras [1] and his maternal grandmother Sarah SHELDRICK [76]. The entire family were born in Isleham.

1901 census...Aged 16, an under groom (domestic) he was at West Street, Isleham with his parents, brother Walter (now a shepherd) and James (farm labourer), together with sister Doris M.

1911 census...Aged 25, still single, he was groom/gardener at Haddon House, Bury Road, Newmarket for Henry Butcher, a miller. His parents were still at West Street, Soham with brother James. It was recorded that all 7 children survived.

The pension card has his parents still at West Street.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
This was an infamous night in Australian military history, their first action and a disastrous one, near Fromelles. With untried troops, both English and Australian, poor communications between the two and a very much more experienced enemy, slaughter ensued. The 410 Australian dead in VC Corner cemetery have no individual graves, two mass graves are surrounded by a wall whereon are the names of the 918 fallen Australians with no named grave in the whole battle.
5,300 Australian and 1500 British troops were killed, wounded or captured in this one night.

The 2nd/4th Royal Berkshires had 29 killed, all are buried at Laventie.

X is the position of the Australian Memorial near VC Corner and the alleged location of Corporal Adolf Hitler

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Charles Fleet is buried in Laventie Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, France - grave 3:C:20

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