Private Charles Haines, 4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, died of pneumonia on 7th March 1919 at the University War Hospital, Southampton. His death certificate gives his age as 22, but his grave in Knowle churchyard gives his age as 21.
He was born in Solihull in 1898 and was one of 13 children (seven boys, six girls) of whom two had died by 1911. His parents, Edwin (a carpenter) and Elizabeth (née Eden) had married at Solihull on 19th November 1881. Elizabeth gave her address on the marriage register as Shirley and her father as Thomas Eden, labourer. Edwin was living in Solihull and gave his father as Nathan Haines, watchmaker. The family was living in Mill Lane by the time of the 1881 census, moving to Drury Lane by 1891.
By 1911, the family had moved to Tredegar in Wales and it seems that Charles was still living there when he enlisted with the South Wales Borderers. His service record doesn’t appear to have survived, but it’s likely that he was called up for service around the time of his 18th birthday in 1916.
One of his brothers, Nathan (1891-1953) is known to have served in the First World War, volunteering with the Royal Field Artillery from 14th August 1914 until he was demobilised in Edinburgh in January 1919.
Some members of the family are known to have returned to Knowle and Birmingham and some relatives still live locally today. The Commonwealth War Graves website gives Charles’ next-of-kin as his parents, and their address in the 1920s as Kenilworth Road, Knowle. This is, presumably, why Charles was buried in Knowle churchyard. He is also commemorated in the Soldiers’ Chapel, Knowle and on the new war memorial in the village, dedicated in November 1918.
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