BISHOP, Charles Henry

No.G/18883, Private, Charles Henry BISHOP
Aged 42

6th Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Killed in Action on Monday, 14th May 1917

Born on 24th September,1876 in Snailwell [Newmarket 3b:526] 3rd son of Ebenezer ( CWGC and De Ruvigny have Nathan) and Susan BISHOP(née MOLE) of The Street, Snailwell. He was baptised on 3rd December 1876 in Snailwell Church.

1881 census...Charles [4] was at 2 Needham Pins, Needham Street, Gazeley with his father Ebenezer[32], farm Labourer, born Snailwell; his mother Susan [31], born Exning; sisters Eliza [11] and Hannah [10], and brother George William [8], all born in Exning and brother John Alfred [6] and sister Rose Lilian [8 months] both born in Snailwell.

1891 census...Still at Needham Pins Charles [16] was a shepherd, like his father and brother George. His sisters Eliza and Hannah and brother George appear to have left home, but there are new siblings, 4 sisters, Mary A [8], Kate [6] Annie [2] all 3 born in Snailwell, and Ethel [10 months} born in Gazeley. Also there was Charles' niece Beatrice BISHOP [1] born in Newmarket but so far unable to identify her parents.

He married Harriet Phoebe ROWE [5-5-1880] [20] from Thurston in Q2-1900

1901 census...Charles and Harriet Phoebe are living in Needham Street, Gazeley.

1911 census...Charles [36] and Harriet [32] were at Six Mile Bottom, and have 4 sons, Frederick Charles [1-2-1902] born Gazeley, Ernest Edwin [21-12-1904] born Kentford, George [26-3-1906] born Bottisham and Herbert Ronald [20-11-1908] born Six Mile Bottom and a daughter Kathleen Phoebe [1-11-1910] born Six Mile Bottom.

The CWGC have Harriet at 33 Lowther Street, Newmarket

The pension card has Harriet still at 33 Lowther Street, with their children; Frederick Charles (b.1-8-1902), Ernest Edwin (21-12-1904), George (26-3-1906) Herbert Ronald (20-11-1908, Kathleen Phoebe (1-11-1910), Jack 21-12-1912 and Frank (14-4-1914). The pension for all these was 36 shilling 3 pence (£1.81).

His entry in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads:
"BISHOP, CHARLES HENRY. Private No.18883 (Service) Battn, The Buffs (East Kent Regt.) s.of Nathaniel Bishop, by his wife, Susan, dau. of William Mole: b.24 Sep t.1876: educ. at Suffolk: was a Shepherd: enlisted in July 1916: served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the following Oct .,and was killed in action 14 May ,1917. He m. at Thurston, co.Suffolk, Harriet Phoebe (33 Lowther Street, Newmarket, co.Suffolk). dau. of Alfred Howe, and had seven children: Frederick Charles,b.1 Aug, 1902; Ernest Edwin, b.21 Dec.1904; George, b. 26 March,1906; Herbert Ronald, b.20 Nov. 1908; Jack, b. 21 Dec.1912; Frank, b.14 April.1914 and Kathleen Phoebe, b. 5 Nov.1910"

The war diary has:-
"Gunpits 14-5-17 -Hostile shelling considerably less. A "Chinese" bombardment was carried out at 3 pm. The enemy barrage opened on our trenches in 4 minutes. A prisoner caught by the Div on the right said that the enemy had had orders to retire to the WOTAN line that evening. A patrol under 2/Lt GUNTHER went forward to reconnoitre. Enemy movement appeared normal and an enemy MG was observed firing from a shell hole in front of their line"

They were in the area of Roeux and the River Scarpe. The WOTAN line was the northernmost sector of the Hindenburg Line. A "Chinese bombardment" was a feint attack, lots of noise and smoke to hopefully draw the defenders out to defend their parapets.

photo: Rodney Gibson

No known grave - Charles is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France Ref: Bay 2
and is also commemorated on Roll of Honour in St Mary's Church, Newmarket
also on the war memorial at Newmarket

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