Charles James Tilsley

Charles James Tilsley was born in 1897 in Stoke-on-Trent to Frederick and Esther Tilsley. Frederick was born in Hanley and Esther in Cheadle. Esther died in 1900 and according to the 1911 Census, Frederick had remarried a woman called Mary in around 1903.

Charles had two elder sisters and brother, Lilian, Mabel Lizzie and Frederick Arthur.

In 1901, according to the Census, they were living at 22 Derby Street, Burslem and by the 1911 Census, 33 Heaton Terrace, Porthill. Charles is listed as being a ‘Hairdresser’s Lather Boy’.

Charles’ army record, along with 70% of those from WW1, do not survive as they were destroyed during a bombing raid in WW2. All we do know about his service is that when he was killed, he was Acting Bombardier Charles James Tilsley 313446, 2nd/1st (North Midland) Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He died age 20 on 10th September 1917.

Tilsley 17 November 1917

Charles Tilsley in the Weekly Sentinel Saturday 17th November 1917 1

The Weekly Sentinel Saturday 17th November 1917

Died of Wounds

Brothers Tilsley and Instructor Walton, Porthill

Official news has reached Mr. and Mrs. F. Tilsley, 17 Sparrow Terrace, Porthill, that their son, Bombardier C. J. Tilsley, Royal Garrison Artillery, has died of wounds received in action. Prior to his enlistment in January 1915, he was employed by Mr. G. T. Wood, hairdresser, Lichfield Street, Hanley. His captain writes: “Everyone of the officers and his comrades in the Battery very keenly feel the loss of such a plucky soldier.” Sergt. F. A. Tilsley, a brother of Bombardier Tilsley is in training at a Cadet School. He enlisted at the beginning of the war, and has been serving in the East with the Staffs. Imperial Yeomanry for two years. A brother-in-law, Instructor F. Walton, of Newcastle, is on active service. 2

Charles James Tilsley was awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. He is commemorated and buried at the Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery and Extension in Belgium and on our Memorial.

Tilsley_T_J (Medium)

Charles Tilsley’s Grave at Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery and Extension (note the damage will have been repaired) 3

At the time of his death, his family were living at 17 Sparrow Terrace, Porthill.

  1. Sentinel photo courtesy of Geoff Mayer
  2. Sentinel clipping courtesy of Geoff Mayer
  3. Grave photo courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project