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681615 GNR. C. L. EGLINGTON.  R.F.A.


Charles Leslie Vivian Eglington (known by the name of Leslie) was born in the second quarter of 1898 in Worcester.  His father was George Eglington (b. 1875 in Coseley, Staffordshire), a motor car salesman.  His mother was Alice Emmeline Jackson (b. 1874 in Ystalyfera, Glamorganshire).  Alice and George were married in 1898 and Leslie was born later that year.  The couple had two more children: Hilda (b. 1900) and Jack (b. 1902).  In 1911, the family was living at Noel House, St Jude’s Road, Wolverhampton.  They shared the house with Alice’s parents and two of her siblings, and the household also had a domestic servant.  At the time, Leslie was still at school.


Leslie was still only 17 when he enlisted in 1915.  He was assigned service number 681615 and posted to “B” Battery of 286 Brigade.  I’m not sure what the Brigade’s connection with Wolverhampton is, but there are about 30 men with service numbers 681595-681625 who all lived in Wolverhampton and enlisted there.


After training, the Brigades left for France in early 1917 and were involved in the heavy fighting to defend the town of Armentières, on the French-Belgian border.  In July 1917 they suffered their first attack by the new mustard gas.  In late September the Brigade was relieved from the front line and withdrew for a period of training, and returned to the line at Langemark about 35km north of Armentières, not far from the small village of Passchendaele, which would be the scene of some of the bloodiest battles of the War.  On 9 October 286 Brigade returned to action engaging in harassing and destructive fire on enemy strongpoints, but also suffering their heaviest losses of the war so far, with many soldiers being gassed.  Leslie was killed in action on 15 October 1917.  He was 19 years old.


286 Brigade was to lose over 300 men before the end of the month, killed and wounded – almost half their full complement. 


Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  681615

Date of Death:  15/10/1917

Age:  19

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, "B" Bty. 286th Bde.

Grave Reference:  I. G. 1.


Additional Information:  Son of George and Alice E. Eglington, of 17 Northumberland Place, Teignmouth.

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