Driver Charles Horner

This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
Charles Horner was in the Clarendon Street Children's home which was attached to the Keighley workhouse in 1911. He would certainly have known Richard Horner (not related) and Fred Firth who were there at the same time.

Driver Charles Horner, 110 Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Service number 81076.

Early life:
Charles Horner was born in late 1896 and registered at North Bierley, to parents Samuel and Hannah Horner née Davey.
In 1901 he was living at 44, Ada Street in Saltaire with his mother, six sisters and two brothers. His father Samuel was in Keighley on the night of the census, staying with an uncle.
By 1911 he was aged 14 years and living at 18, Clarendon Street, Keighley which was a children's home under the care of the Keighley Guardians and he was working full time as a Worsted frame doffer in a Worsted spinning mill. The head of the household was Ellen Uttley aged 47 and there were five other boys of similar age living in this house. Charles' father Samuel was living at Bingley Street, in Keighley and working as an Iron turner at this time.

After the outbreak of war, Charles attested at the age of 19 with the Royal Field Artillery at Northallerton on April 4, 1915 for his occupation was Farm labourer and gave his address as 18, Chelsea Street, which is next to Clarendon Street in the Lund Park area of Keighley and he was living there with his brother Harold. After training as a Driver at no. 1 Depot R.F.A. at Newcastle, he was posted to France with the British Expeditionary Force on August 17 and he served throughout the war. During this period he was granted leave home to England for the first two weeks of 1917. He was admitted to no. 22 Field Ambulance on April 15 of this year and then to no. 44 Casualty Clearing Station with a lymph gland infection which turned out to be tonsillitis and he spent some time in a convalescent depot with this before returning to the ranks at the end of May.
In August 1918 he was reported for inattention at drill and using obscene language to a non-commissioned officer and he received ten days field punishment no. 2, which meant he spent time shackled but able to move around, during the ten days along with being made to do all the dirty and hard jobs that his superiors could think of and it certainly wouldn't have been a pleasant time for him.
Later in the year Charles was given further leave to return home to England via Boulogne for 14 days on November 23, 1918. This was just two weeks after the armistice was signed. He was then sent to GHQ 23rd Echelon on January 19, 1919 for his eventual demobilisation to the Class Z reserve on March 31, 1919. He was 23 years of age and had served a total of 4 years and 346 days.
He received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his war service.

After the war:
In 1920, Charles emigrated to Canada. This was paid for by the 'Overseas Settlement Committee' and he arrived in Quebec from Liverpool on June 13, 1920 on SS Melita, a liner which had been used as a Canadian troop transport during the war. Charles gave his father's address as Keighley and his intended occupation as simply 'Farmer' and included on his statement that he could read and write. His final destination appears to have been Toronto, for which he had a rail pass.

Source information:

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.

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