Peacock, Charles Henry

No.G/21260, Private, Charles Henry PEACOCK
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
formerly 10994, East Surrey Regiment.
Killed in Action presumed on Friday, 26th October 1917

Charles Henry Peacock was born in Wickhambrook (Risbridge Q4-1892 4A:646), son of Henry and Catherine Susan PEACOCK (née RUTTER).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was at Molehill, Wickhambrook with his father Henry PEACOCK [37] farrier/horsekeeper; his mother Catherine [40]; brothers Freddy [10] and Alfred [1]; sisters Ethel [13] and Florence [3]. All were born in Wickhambrook.

1911 census...Aged 18, a farm labourer, he was at Attleton Green, Wickhambrook with his parents; brothers Freddy (farm labourer) and Anthony Alfred [11]; sisters Ethel and Florence May.

Brother Anthony was mobilised in the Bedfordshire Regiment in 1918, transferred to Agricultural Coy, Labour Corps in Bury St Edmunds in late 1918 and demobbed from Bury St Edmunds in 1919

He enlisted at Bury St Edmunds in May 1916 in East Surrey Regiment.
The 2nd Queen's were part of the battle of the Menin Road near Basseville Beek in October 1917. The war diary shows :-
The weather on 26th was overcast, turning to rain at zero hour 05:40. The barrage appeared to start simultaneously down the line and at 06:10 the observation post reported by runner that the attack appeared to be progressing well.
Very shortly after the O/P was hit by a shell which buried or stunned the garrison who returned with information that the advance had suffered a check and there was much disorganisation amongst the advancing troops apparently due to battalions of the left and the right converging on LEWIS HOUSE. As a result of the congestion it was not possible for the Stokes guns to fire in reply to the signal and the enemy Machine Guns in LEWIS HOUSE were presented with a target of confused units. By then all the officers except the CO s of "A" and "D" Coy were casualties.
These two officers tried to organise attempts to outflank the concrete structure constituting LEWIS HOUSE and when unsuccessful established themselves with a composite party from all regiments in posts about 200 yards from LEWIS HOUSE. This left gaps in the line which were filled as far as possible with troops who had drifted from their original alignment and bringing in reinforcements from the Manchester Regiment and 2 machine gun sections. By dusk the original front line was re-established.

CWGC records show that 99 of the 2nd Queen's were killed, only 12 have known graves.

approximate area of operations

Charles Peacock is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, panels 14 to 17, 162 162A

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