Topic: Rifleman Charles William Henderson

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action during the Somme battles.

Rifleman Charles William Henderson - 23/168  

Charles was born in Wellington on 17 July 1887, son of Thomas and Maria Theresa Henderson. He was 5 ft 8inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had an appendix scar as well as a scar on his left knee and a deformed left collarbone, the result of cycle accident. He was also a skilled light weight boxer in the Canterbury Amateur championships. He spent his early years in the Oxford district, afterwards purchasing a chaff-cutting plant at Kirwee. He was an engine driver, not of a train but a chaff cutter engine. He sold this business so that he could enlist. He took a keen interest in sport, and was a member of the Kirwee Sports Committee, Courtenay A. and P. Association, and Oxford Oddfellows, and was described as being of a most kindly and generous disposition.

Charles enlisted 28 May 1915 and was assigned to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He had measles whilst in camp and was hospitalised in Palmerston North. He recovered enough to embark on 9 October 1915 for Suez. Whilst in Egypt he took part in the in the Christmas Day battle with the Senussi sect of Islam. The 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade were sent to strengthen the Allied advanced base. Later the Rifle Brigade were sent to France and he embarked with them on 6 April 1916. He was killed in action on 10 September 1916, aged 29, as the Rifle Brigade took over the front line from the junction of Peach and Tea Trenches to Sap "A".  He was buried in the Quarry Cemetery, Montauban. Charles is remembered on the Malvern County Memorial.

 Researched and written by L M Seaton

 CWGC Cemetery locale history: Montauban is a village about 10 kilometres east of Albert. 5 kilometres from Albert on the D938 (Albert-Peronne).Historical Information: Montauban village was taken by the 30th and 18th Divisions on 1 July 1916 and it remained in Commonwealth hands until the end of March 1918. It was retaken on 25 August 1918 by the 7th Buffs and the 11th Royal Fusiliers of the 18th Division. Quarry Cemetery was begun (at an advanced dressing station) in July 1916, and used until February 1917.  At the Armistice it consisted of 152 graves in the present Plots V and VI. It was then increased when graves (almost all of July-December 1916) were brought in from the battlefields surrounding Montauban and small burial grounds. Quarry Cemetery now contains 740 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 157 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to seven casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate 19 soldiers buried in Quarry Scottish Cemetery, Green Dump Cemetery and Caterpillar Wood Cemetery No.2, whose graves could not be found on concentration. The cemetery also contains 16 war graves of other nationalties. The cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

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Rifleman Charles William Henderson


First Names:Charles William
Last Name:Henderson
Date of Birth:17 July 1887
Place of Birth:Wellington
Date of Death:20 May 1917
Place of Death:Messines, Belgium
Memorial or Cemetery:Kandahar Farm Cemetery, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Age at death:30
User Name:L. M. Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farm Labourer
Marital Status:Single
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:28 May 1915
Parents or Next of Kin:William and Mary Henderson, NOK given is Brother F. H. Henderson, of 969, Colombo St., Christchurch, New Zealand.
Service Number:21680
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:23 September 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Pakeha
Theatres of War:Europe
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Rifleman Charles William Henderson by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License