Contributed by: Shaun Garratty, on 2008-11-11
|Year of Birth||1898|
|Year of Death||1918|
|Regiment||Royal Northumberland Fusiliers|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Sheffield, South Yorkshire|
In memory of Pte 51305 Charles Slack, Northumberland Fusiliers
Charles was born in Sheffield in the summer of 1898. In 1914 at the age of 15, he and his older brother Thomas (17) joined the Northumberland Fusiliers. They had tried to join a local Regiment, but were declined due to their age, and so travelled some 100 miles to 'sign - up'. Both Thomas and Charles ('Charlie') were deployed to France in November 1915. Thomas saw his first major action in the battle of the Somme, where he was one of the first soldiers to be badly injured by Mustard Gas. As Thomas was being evacuated as a casualty from the front, he saw his brother Charlie going forward. A brief exchange of words took place - Thomas told Charlie he was going into Hell on Earth. That was the last time anyone saw or heard of young Charlie. For many years it was always assumed by his family that Charlie had been killed in the battle of the Somme, however it later transpired that young Charlie was actually killed (missing presumed dead) on the 21st March 1918 at the age of 19 Years! For a period of nearly three years, young Charlie and his Regiment (Northumberland Fusiliers - part of 34 Division) had fought in almost every major battle of WW1. On the day young Charlie died, his Regiment was positioned near the Village of Croisilles, just South East of Arras. They were at the very front where the final major assault made by the German Army (I beleive to be called the Keisers Battle) took place. From the age of 16 to 19, Young Charlie had spent his life living in the trenches and on barron lands, fighting in some of the heaviest battles of the war, moving with his Regiment from battle to battle along the front lines!