Born in January 1897, Charles was the fourth of nine children to James and Clara Joys of 12 Wellstead Street, Hessle Road, Hull. A Clerk by trade he enlisted at City Hall on Monday 7th September 1914 claiming he was 19. It was the little lie, he was only 17 and not old enough to enlist. He queued with his elder brother Stanley, and both joined the 10th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, ‘The Commercials’, 1st Hull Pals.
Following training the battalion served in Egypt over Christmas 1915 and were posted to France the following March. Charles was killed in action during the small hours of 4th June 1916 during a ferocious 70 minute bombardment of their positions which all but flattened their trench. He is buried in Sucrerie Military Cemetery; a young man of 19.
Stanley survived the war and lived to the ripe old age of 81. I wonder if he could ever think of his brother, or if the memory brought with it too much of the pain of his own experiences and was buried deep in that part of our mind that protects us from ourselves?