LANCE CORPORAL 18576 2ND BATTALION HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT
KILLED IN ACTION ON FRIDAY 7TH JANUARY 1916 AGED 31YRS
REMEMBERED WITH HONOUR ON HELLES MEMORIAL, TURKEY.
(PANEL 125 – 134) or 223-6, 228-9
Charles Parker Saunders was born on 6th March 1885 at Newland Street, High Wycombe. He was the son of Benjamin & Mary Ann. He was baptised on 2nd April 1885 in High Wycombe. He was possibly one of twelve children. His known siblings were Henry, Ann, William, Allan, Alfred, Edgar, Joseph, Rupert, Albert, Benjamin and Mary Jane. His father worked in a saw mill as a “saw sharpener” and a wood turner.
On the 1891 Census the family lived at 20, Temple Street in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
By 1911 Charles had been married to Edith nee Howard for one year and they were living at Flackwell Heath. Charles is listed as a general labourer.
Charles enlisted in Oxford and he had served with the Oxford & Bucks light infantry before the outbreak of WW1 (service no17850) and later became a Sergeant. He enlisted again on February 10th 1915 and was soon sent out to France. He returned within weeks and was transferred to the 2nd Hampshire Regiment which were sent to the Dardenelles. He was involved in heavy fighting and was killed during the final evacuation stages from “W” Beach Lake Helles where the 2nd Battalion had landed on 25th April 1915. The evacuation from the Gallipoli Peninsula was completed on 8th January 1916.
Charles Saunders was a popular resident of Flackwell Heath village and was a playing member of the local football club for about seven years. During this time he helped the club to win the Wycombe and District Combination Cup in seasons 1910 – 1911 and 1912 - 13.
He earned the respect of his opponents for his fair play and was greatly admired by his team mates. He played for two seasons on the left wing partnered by W Gibbs who also died in the war.
Charles’s death was reported in the Bucks Free Press on February 18th 1916. He is also remembered on the Little Marlow War Memorial and on the Wycombe Hospital plaque.