Private Charles Basey, 9th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, died of enteric fever on 15th October 1916 and is buried at Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, Greece.
Enteric, or typhoid, fever was spread by the ingestion of food or water contaminated by faeces, and was a significant problem given the poor hygiene and lack of sanitation in the trenches. The ever-present vermin and flies ensured that typhoid fever was a common affliction among First World War soldiers.
Charles Basey was born in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire in 1890 and lived there until at least 1911 when, aged 20, he was a journeyman baker. His father, John Ebon Basey, a shoemaker, had died in 1910, aged 54. His widowed mother, Martha (née Medlicott) continued to live in Bishop’s Castle until her death, aged 86, in 1954. Charlie, as he was known, was the couple’s only son. He had two sisters – Henrietta (“Hetty”) (1887-1986) and Annie (born 1891). All three children attended Bishop’s Castle Sunday School and were awarded prizes in 1902. Charlie was also singled out in 1903 for his exemplary attendance at elementary school:
Ludlow Advertiser 23 May 1903SCHOLASTIC RECORD: On Friday morning the headmaster of the Boys’ School (Mr J. Lane) intimated that one of the scholars, Charlie Basey, son of Mr John Basey, Church-street, had not missed a single attendance during his tenure at the school, nine years. He questioned very much whether any school in the kingdom could produce a similar record attendance. The lad, on Mr Lane’s initiative, was warmly cheered by the boys. Truly, this is a phenomenal record for British scholastic institutions.
Charles Basey is commemorated on the war memorial at Bishop’s Castle. He is also commemorated Berkswell war memorial but we don’t know his local connection, so would be very grateful for any information. His sister, Annie, married Ernest John Cox from Berkswell in 1921 so it is possible that some family members lived in the village for a short time after 1911.
If you have any more information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian