Today we are taking the opportunity to pay our respects to Kingham Hill School alumnus Charles Turner, who was at the Hill in Bradford House. He joined the school in 1905 the day before his seventh birthday.
Originally from Clapham in south London, Charles came to Kingham after his father, who was a machinist in a factory, died leaving a widow and two children.
Having left the School in 1913 at the age of 14, records next pick up 18 year old Charles in the trenches of the Somme, just outside the village of Guillemont on 16th August 1916, 47 days into the battle of the Somme. Charles was a private, an ordinary soldier, in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.
Our guns shell the enemy all day and at 5 pm commence intense fire on the position the Battalion is to attack. At 5.40 pm attack begins, 24th Division are on our left, the King's Liverpool Regiment are on our right. X and Z Companies lead the attack but are met with intense machine gun fire. Both company commanders were killed as soon as they crossed the parapet and all other officers were killed or wounded. The attack failed in spite of the splendid efforts of all ranks. Total killed and wounded of Other Ranks 156.
Account of 16th August 1916 from the battalion war diary
Charles was killed in this attack. He is buried at Guillemont Road Cemetery on the Somme. A wreath was laid at his grave by our boarding pupils on our trip to the battlefields three weeks ago.
- Kingham Hillians
- Kingham Hill Remembers