history

THE VILLAGE POSTMAN - Charles Howes

Researched by Irena White

Charles was born in Pershore,Worcestershire in 1876, the 2nd son of William and Emma Howes . His father was an agricultural labourer and the family lived in various places - Denbigh, Pershore, then Rushock  and later in Stone in Staffordshire .

In the 1891 census, age 15 Charles was at home in Shenstone Worcestershire

On the 15th of April 1895 in Stone Worcestershire Age 19 he married Harriett Lousia Davis, their first child Elsie Maud being born the next year in Stanlon, Worcestershire. By 1898 he had taken up the post of Mail Cart Driver in Ruyton XI Towns and was living in what is now, Clock Cottage in Church Street.    His son, Charles Lawrence Victor, was born there in February 1898. By 1901 he had moved to Park Cottage, Brownhill along with a second daughter Irene May born in March 1900.  Here he was to stay until 1919 . His growing family then consisting of another daughter Doris, born 1902, and sons Harold Augustus born 1906, Wilfred Horace born 1908, William Allen born 1911 and, their last child Walter Thomas born 1912.                                                                                                                                                                     

The 1911 census shows Charles as Postman and Mail driver.   As Postman he would have had to look after the Mail Cart horses which were stabled opposite ‘The Cross’ at the junction of School Lane and Church Street.   The Ruyton Post Office having moved from Compton House School Road,and was now situated  just around the corner onto Church Street, at the side of the newly built Cross Villas.  

WW1 started in August 1914 at which time Charles Howes was 38 and would not have been called up due to his age and his marital status.   

 In 1915 the campaign in the Dardanelles (Gallipoli) which had started in February was resulting in mounting Allied casualties and in early November Kitchener visited the region and agreed to the evacuation of the remaining allied troops this started on December 7th 1915 and the last troops left on January 9th 1916. Before this decision had been made there had been a circular memorandum dated September 30th 1915 calling for recruitment officers to select men who were specifically used to working with horses-grooms, horse-keepers and so on, specifically for this Theatre of War.

Charles enlisted in the Royal Army Veterinary Corp (RAVC) in the first week of November 1915 for the duration of the War, with a service number of SE12751, (the prefix SE being ‘Special Enlistment’). His posting, with the minimum of training, was to serve in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Leaving on 22nd November 1915 for Alexandria where they arrived on 11th of December 1915. These additional troops intended for the Dardanelles campaign arrived just after the decision was made to evacuate, and so landed in Alexandria, then onto Cairo which was their base      

It would appear   that Charles would have stayed in Egypt for about 7 months before moving to Salonika in July 1916,  there to serve in the fighting of Macedonia  in the Balkans  .

Joining as a Private soldier, the medal records show that he was an acting Sergeant on his discharge in 1919. The record of the medals awarded to Charles show him as being an Acting Sergeant.

Charles returned to Ruyton and joined in the Peace Celebrations during which he was one of the 130  returnees who were presented with a welcome home  gift  of their choice , he chose  a card case and his son Charles Lawrence, a wallet.  He was then offered a promotion within the Postal Service and moved with his family to the Post Office in Bridgnorth where he worked  until his retirement in 1936.

He died in 1948  at the age of 71

Survived by his wife, 4 sons and 3 daughters.

It should also be noted that his eldest son Charles Lawrence Victor Howes, also an employee of the Postal, enlisted. He was 16 at the outbreak of War also employed by the Postal Service with his father. His regiment was the ‘Tank Corp’, a new branch of the modern army which he joined in 1916. The first tanks being used in September 1916 and on a more regular basis in July 1917.

 

 

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