Born on 13th February 1894 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, he was the son of James and Mary Jane Thompson - on the 1901 Ireland census he was the 6th of 7 boys, living with their parents and elderly Aunt in Gracehill Village, Ahoghill, Antrim.
10 years later, on the 1911 Ireland census, Charles was then 17 and working as an apprentice millwright. He still lived with 4 of his brothers and his parents.
Prior to joining the service was a bread server at Messrs. McClelland's, Church Street, Ballymena and a carpenter at Lisnafilian Bleaching and Finishing Company but left their employment to join the Royal Irish Constabulary, enlisting in 1913. After training at Dublin he was stationed at Castledawson before moving to Colerain.
Charles joined the Royal Navy for the duration of hostilities on 12th November 1915, training as part of the Carpenter’s Crew, at HMS PEMBROKE II, Chatham, Kent. He remained shore based until 1st March 1916, transferring to HMS VANGUARD, his only ship, on 2nd March 1916. He was aboard during the Battle of Jutland and when on leave in the later part of the year he married Annie
He was 5’10” tall with fair hair, blue eyes and had a scar on his right thigh.
He was awarded the Victory and British medals and is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
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Ireland, Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958
1901 & 1911 Ireland Census
Ireland, The Royal Irish Constabulary 1816-1921
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 1051
Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 010 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/10; Scan Number: 0693
WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 179/0922/THO-THO
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 117