COLBRAN Charles H.

Category: Military
Rank: Private
Regiment or Ship: Royal Engineers; Army Ordnance Corps.
Service Number(s): 1511; 038195
Occupation: Carman
Date of Birth: 1888
Place of Birth: St. Leonards, Sussex
Date of Death: 1953
Place of Death: Battle registration area Address: 49 Sidley Street, Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea

Photos and newspaper articles

Family Information

Parents:          John Colbran (1847-1911) and Eliza Elizabeth Colbran, nee Hook, (1856-1894). 

Siblings:         Richard G. (1875-); Eliza (1877-); John William (1879-1960); James William (1882-1918); George Frederick (1884-1914); Thomas Frederick (1886-1949); and Rosy (1890-).

In 1901 John, by this time a widower, and family were living at 10 Arnside Road, St. Leonards, Sussex.

By the time of the 1911 census Charles was living at 53 Sidley Street – as a boarder – and in 1913 he married Alice E. Turley (1888-1931) in the Battle area. They then moved to 49 Sidley Street, Bexhill on Sea.

First World War Experience

Charles enlisted on 23rd December 1914 – just two days before Christmas Day.  He joined the Royal Engineers as a Sapper and was sent to the No. 1 Theatre of War (France).  In April 1915 he wrote a letter to his wife who passed a copy on to a local newspaper and the article reads:

“The following letter has been received by Mrs. C. Colbran of 49, Sidley-street, from her husband Sapper C. Colbran:-

‘I am pretty fair at present, but still a bit downhearted about poor G. Morris.  We are having better weather out here now, and I hope it keeps so, as it makes it better for getting about.  We have had some very hot times since we have been here, but I have been very lucky so far.  I expect you have seen that big victory we have had – the Hill 60.  There were about fifty of us in the fight, and it was awful, just like murder.’

Sometime after that time Charles was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps where he served as a Private.  This could, of course, have been after the Armistice but before demob time.

Charles was awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal, and the 15 Star.

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