GILLINGS, Charles William

No. S/6258, Corporal, Charles William GILLING
Aged 26

8th Battalion, Black Watch (Highland Regiment)
Killed in Action on Sunday, 18th July 1916

Charles William GILLINGS was born on 24th April 1890 at Orford in Suffolk (Plomesgate Q3-1890 4A:861, son of William and Phyllis Marguerite GILLINGS (née TURNER).

1891 census...Aged 11 months, he was at The Police Station, Euston, nr Thetford, with his father William GILLINGS [37] police constable born Debenham; his mother Phyllis Marguerite [36] born Thelmnetham; brothers George R.H.[13] born Coddenham, Philip A T [10] born Copdock; sisters Marguerite P [8] born Copdock and Laura E [7] born Dunwich.

1901 census...Aged 10, he was at The Street, Eriswell with his parents; brother Philip (horseman on farm) and sister Ruby C [8] born Euston.

1911 census... Aged 20, he was an assistant gamekeeper at Burghley House, Stamford, Lincs, boarding with gamekeeper Robert PEPPER and his family. His parents (father now retired) were at Wilde Street, Beck Row, but moved later to Great Barton, where they are buried. Two of his mother's eight children had died.

My thanks to his great nephew, Nick Garnham for confirming and adding to the family details

For more details of the life of Charles Gillings after joining the Grantham Borough Constabulary in 1912, click here for more details The Bury Free Press of 26th August 1916 recorded :-

Amongst the heroes of the Black Watch who recently fell in action was Charles W.Gillings, who some years ago was a gamekeeper on the Elveden estate, and whose father was formerly a respected police constable in the district. We have from time to time during the war published letters home from the deceased soldier, and now we have the melancholy duty of inserting letters relative to the great sacrifice he has made. Deep sympathy, we are sure, will be extended to the bereaved parents. The deceased joined the Black Watch, Royal Highlanders, the oldest Scottish regiment, soon after the outbreak of war, and went out to France in May 1915. One of the first hundred thousand, he was wounded twice, firstat Festubert in June last year, and again at Loos in September. Each time he was treated in hospital in France. The only leave he had was eight days, last November. Before joining the police force he was gamekeeper for Lord Iveagh at Elveden, then on to the Duke of Somerset, and lastly on the the Marquis of Exeter's estate.
"Die we may all, yield we will never;
Steady, Black Watch, then all charge together

Then followed extracts from letter received from his Colonel, Captain ad Adjutant, Chaplain and H.M.Kerslake, Chief Constable, Southend on Sea.

Charles Gillings is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial 1C/2A
and on his family gravestone in Eriswell churchyard and also in Euston churchyard

and on the Roll of Honour of Southend on Sea and also the memorials of Southend Borough Southend Police station.

click here for more details

and on the gravestone of his brother in law, Albert ALECOCK, in Euston, nr Thetford churchyard.

click here for more details

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