Charles Bartlett, Petty Officer 1st Class, Royal Navy, was born on the 13th of April 1875 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, the eldest of Elizabeth and George Bartlett’s five children. Elizabeth was born in Birmingham in 1845 and George in Bridgwater, Somerset in 1854.
In 1881 the Elizabeth and George were living in Wellington St, Clifton Place, Birmingham with their first three children: Charles, Sarah Jane and Pollie. George was a labourer In the local soap works.
Charles was only fourteen when his father died in 1889 leaving his mother Elizabeth with a family of five to take care of on her own. The youngest child was five years of age.
By the time the census was taken in 1891 Elizabeth had moved with her children to 73 Foundry Rd., Birmingham and was working as a superintendent in a laundry.
Charles Bartlett married Alice Roberts on the 16th of July 1905 at St. Chrysostom Parish Church, Birmingham, Warwickshire. Charles and Alice had two children: Charles born in 1909 and James in February 1911.
At the time of the 1911 Census Charles and his young family were living at 6 Peel Terrace, Peel street, Winson Green, Birmingham. Charles was employed as a Deckman for the London & North Western Railway. His mother Elizabeth was living with them.
He later worked at Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, a goods station in the city centre, as a loader.
It wasn’t until February 1924, seven years after Charles died, that his will was proven and his effects settled on his widow Alice who was living at 44 Ada Road, Smethwick, near Birmingham.
Charles Bartlett’s body was never found. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
Altogether 184,475 railway workers joined the forces. 21,522 of these lost their lives.
Great War Railwaymen: Britain’s Railway Company Workers at War 1914-1918 by Jeremy Higgins
Census Returns of England and Wales 1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911: The National Archives of the UK.
General Records Office UK
British Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1918. London, England: Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
CURZON STREET STATION IN 1842 by Francis Wishaw
“View of Hardwick’s structure with on the right the main entrances to the cartage yard with the main goods shed behind circa 1913. This photograph was taken some sixty plus years after its closure to passenger traffic”.