CHARLES FRANCIS SERGEANT
killed in action 2nd July 1916 aged 19
240937 Private, 1/5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Charley was born in 1896 at Redbourne, the son of Joseph Thomas ('Joe'; a farm foreman from Goxhill) and his third wife Ann ('Annie'; nee Clare of Padgate near Warrington). Their other children were Alfred Edward, Annie and George Henry. His older step brothers and sisters were Selina, Ethel, Harold, Walter and Laura Kate (died 1895).
The family lived at Northorpe Grange and by the start of the Great War had moved to Woodhouse Cottage, Scotter.
Charley enlisted at Grimsby in 1915 and on 15th October took part in the famous 'charge of th 5th Lincolns' at the Hohenzollern Redoubt. He received a 'severe shrapnel wound in the head' and returned to England to recover at Norwich Military Hospital. The 'Gainsborough News' reported he was 'doing well' and later that he returned home in December. At the end of 1915 he was listed in the Scotter Roll of Honour published in that newspaper.
The assault at the Battle of the Somme began at 7:30am on 1st July 1916. General Rawlinson's Fourth Army were used to attack Gommecourt as a diversion from the main aims of the Allies with the 1/5th Lincolns held in reserve. By 8am it was clear only a few British companies had reached the enemy trenches and the Germans started to eliminate them. After a few hours the remaining men returned to their own lines to misguidedly say others were still holding out. As darkness fell Charley's battalion were sent to try and help any remaining soldiers. They too were halted by machine guns and barbed wire...
Later that month he was reported missing and 'as the family heard nothing more about him they did not lose hope, but still trusted their son would be restored to them when peace days came.' They were not told of his death until April 1917.
Private Charles Sergeant is buried at Gommecourt Wood New Cemetery in Foncquevillers, France.
His brother Alfred Edward also served and is listed on our monument.