WISEMAN, Charles

No.202238, Private, Charles WISEMAN
Aged 30

1st/1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
formerly 5427 Suffolk Regiment
formerly 3080 Hertfordshire Yeomanry
Killed in Action on Thursday, 22nd August 1918

Charles Wiseman was born in Woodditton (Newmarket Q3-1888 3B:515), baptised in Woodditton on 20th May 1888, son of Matthew George and Ada Emily WISEMAN (née CHAPMAN).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at Ditton Green, Woodditton with his father Matthew G [34] a farmer born in West Wratting; his mother Ada E [26] born in Woodditton; brother George [4] and sister Gwendoline [11 months] both born in Woodditton.

1901 census...Aged 13, he was still in Ditton Green with his parents, sister Gwendoline and three new siblings, born in Woodditton, Donald [8], Ernest [5] and Nora Ethel[4].

1911 census...Aged 23, he was still single, a draper's assistant in a store at 14=15 Market Square, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. His parents, sisters Gwendoline and Norah, brothers Donald (ironmonger's assistant) and Ernest, and new brother Alan F.[7] were at The Beeches, Woodditton.

He enlisted in Northampton.
There is some confusion as the number given for his Suffolk Regiment appears to be one from 1900 and of course he was too young then. "Soldiers Died" has him as previously in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry but not his medal index card. Quite possibly he was one of the 419 transferred in May 1918 from the 7th Suffolks to the Cambridgeshires, in the 35th Brigade of the 12th Division.
One famous anecdote about the Cambridgeshire is the report that:
"An incident illustrating the fighting spirit of the 1/1st Battalion occurred at the end July 1917, during the offensive at St Julien. C Company had attacked and captured Border House, its objective, beyond the Hanebeek but, at a later stage, the position was outflanked and the survivors of the Company were ordered to fall back. A Runner with a bandaged head brought this message to Battalion Headquarters;
'I received a message by Orderly to retire, but as Capt Jonas, before he was killed, said we were not to retire without written orders from the CO, I am holding Border House. There are only three of us left alive and two of those chaps is wounded. I am holding Border House until I get written orders to retire. (Signed) Private Muffet. 7.30 pm.'

Charles and 36 others of his battalion died on the day that Albert was re-captured in the 3rd battle of the Somme. The Cambridgeshires were attacking the Bray-Meaulte Road on the 22nd.

photo: Michael Pettitt

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Wiseman is buried in Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension - grave 1:G:4

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