Mitchell, Charles

Charles Mitchell, Sgt 290339, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 20th December 1917 in Palestine, aged 21

 

EARLY LIFE

Charles Mitchell was born in 1895, the son of Ellen and Reuben Mitchell, a cotton weaver of Saville Street, Macclesfield.

In 1901, five year old Charles was living at 52 Saville Street with his parents and siblings John William (22), James (20), Wright (16), Ellen (13) and Alice (9). Ten years later, the family had moved a few doors down to 69 Saville Street, and Charles was an embroiderer at Hewetson’s Albion Mills, finding employment there after leaving school.

Charles was educated at St Peter’s School and was connected with St Peter’s Church and the Men’s Reading Room. He was a tall man of 6 feet 2 inches, and was well-known as a footballer, playing for St Peter’s Football Club.

 

WW1 SERVICE

Charles enlisted in the Macclesfield Territorials (7th Cheshire Regiment) just before the outbreak of war, receiving service number 1999, and was mobilised at the start of hostilities. He trained at Bedford, Cambridge and Northampton, and volunteered for active service in France with another battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, but was not allowed to transfer because of his age.

In 1915 Charles was sent out to Egypt, gaining promotion from Private to Corporal within three months, and was further promoted to Lance Sergeant four months later. Charles took part in both battles of Gaza and was wounded on 17th December 1917 during the capture and defence of Jerusalem. He died of his wounds three days later on 20th December 1917; his his death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 4 January 1918:

ST PETER’S FOOTBALLER – DIES OF WOUNDS IN EGYPT

Mr and Mrs Mitchell, 22 Windmill St, Macclesfield, have been officially notified that their son, Lance-Sergeant Charles Mitchell, Cheshire Regt, died in Egypt on December 20th of wounds received in action in the fighting near Jerusalem three days earlier.

Lance-Sergeant Mitchell was a native of Macclesfield and twenty-one years of age. He was of fine physique and stood six feet two inches in height. The deceased soldier attended St Peter’s School as a boy and was connected with the Church and the Men’s Reading Room. He was a well-known footballer and played for St Peter’s Club. Lance-Sergeant Mitchell was formerly employed by Councillor A W Hewetson at the Albion Mills, having been in his service since leaving school. He enlisted in the Macclesfield Territorials just before the outbreak of war and was mobilised at the beginning of hostilites. Lance-Sergeant Mitchell trained at Bedford, Northampton, Cambridge and other places, and volunteered for active service in France with another battalion of the Cheshire Regt. On account of his age, the deceased soldier was not allowed to transfer, and he was sent out to Egypt in 1915. He took part in both the battles of Gaza, through which he came unscathed. Lce-Sergt Mitchell was promoted from private to corporal three months after going to Egypt, and four months later was advanced to the rank of Lance-Sergeant.

 

COMMEMORATION

Sgt Charles Mitchell is buried in Grave Ref. R.72 in Jerusalem War Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Sgt Charles Mitchell, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Sgt Charles Mitchell is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Peter’s Church war memorials.

 

NOTES

In 1911, Charles Dawson lived next door at 67 Saville Street. He also served with the 1/7th Cheshire Regiment in Egypt and died on 19th December 1917, the day before Charles Mitchell.

 

SOURCES

GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

Macclesfield Times: 4 January 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)


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