The Men from Hyde – Charles William Gray

Charles William Gray joined the Territorial Force before the start of  WW1 and was enlisted into the 4th Battalion the Hampshire Regiment – he was allocated the number 4/2206 (the 4 stands for 4th Battalion); he was later reallocated the number 200349.

The 4th Battalion were on their annual camp on Salisbury Plain and because of high recruited were split in two to form 1/4th and 2/4th and were sent to India where the Territorial battalions took over garrison duties from the Regular battalions.  Although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has he being listed as being part of 1/4th Hampshire, according to the Medal Register is was 2/4th Hampshire.  Having landed at Karachi on 11th January 1915 the 2/4th proceeded to Quetta where they were stationed.

In October 1915 the Battalion sent 5 officers and 230 men to the 1/4thHampshire in Mesopotamia and I strongly suspect that he was one of them.  His medal index card lists him as qualifying for the 1914/15 Star as well as the British War Medal and the Victory Medal – had he stayed with the 2/4th he wouldn’t have got the 1914/15 Star as you only qualified for a medal when you entered a theatre of war and the 2/4th stayed in India until 1917.

The CWGC has him being in D Coy so it is most unlikely that he was not holed up in Kut el Amara and more likely that he was involved in the battle of Umm el Hannah which took place on 21stJanuary.  The War Diary states that 124 were wounded on that day, which would be consistent with him dying of his wounds on 30th January.

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