Charles Dawson, Private 291167 (formerly 3724), 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 19th December 1917 in Palestine, aged 24
Charles Dawson was born in 1894, the son of Harriet and Alfred Dawson, a Sapper with the Royal Engineers, of 9 Smelt Houses, near Copper Street, Macclesfield.
In 1901, seven year old Charles was living at 9 Smelt Houses with his parents and siblings Beatrice (8) and Emily (5). Ten years later, the family had moved to 67 Saville Street, and Charles was employed as an embroiderer at Hewetson’s Albion Mills in London Road.
Charles was educated at St Peter’s School and attended St Peter’s Church and Sunday School, and the Men’s Reading Room. He was well-known as a footballer, playing for St Peter’s Football Club, and at one time was in the Boy Scouts.
On 5th November 1912, at the age of 18, Charles attested in Macclesfield to serve with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, receiving service number 11081. He was described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 109 pounds and had a 30 inch chest, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. Charles joined the regiment at Wrexham three days later, and was posted as a Private with the 1st Battalion on 14th March 1913. However, it seems that army life did not suit him, as he paid £18 to buy himself out of the army one month later on 18th April 1913.
Charles enlisted in the Macclesfield Territorials (7th Cheshire Regiment) shortly after the outbreak of war, and trained at Bedford, Cambridge and Northampton. He was sent out to Egypt in 1915 with his father, Pte Alfred Dawson, relinquishing his rank of Corporal in order to do so. Father and son served together in Egypt for a time before Alfred was transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery.
Charles took part in both battles of Gaza, and died on 19th December 1917 during the capture and defence of Jerusalem; his mother was then living at 71 Saville Street.
In 1911, Charles Mitchell lived next door at 69 Saville Street. He also served with the 1/7th Cheshire Regiment in Egypt and died on 20th December 1917, the day after Charles Dawson.
Charles Dawson was the son of Pte Alfred Dawson, brother of Pte Harry Dawson, and brother-in-law of Pte W. Staniforth, who all survived the war.