Charles Thomas Steward

 

 

Ryburgh Remembers

 

Pte. 26115 Charles Thomas Steward

 

2nd. Battalion Norfolk Regiment

 

 

 

June 6th 1883 - September 28th. 1917

 

We believe the photograph above to be of Charles Thomas Steward who came from a long line of Ryburgh families. The information leading to this supposition can be read about on the webpage of fellow soldier Stanley Curson and is based on the photograph below taken in 1905 of the winning Ryburgh team in the newly instigated Marshall Trophy competition. The names of the team were all given in the press write-up in the Fakenham and Derheam Times and Charles Steward, then aged 22, was one of these:

He was the 6thof 8 surviving children born to Robert Steward (1840-1899) and Ann Wilkin (1851-1921) both of whom were Ryburgh-born to Ryburgh families.

He is unusual in that of the 43 servicemen we have researched, he was one of only 7 men not to die on the Western Front. What is more, he is one of the handful of these 43 not described as “Killed in Action” or “Died of Wounds.” He is also just one of three that died whilst not fighting a battle and the only one to succumb to disease whilst serving abroad. Fortunately his service record has survived which briefly charts his military career from rural Norfolk to his burial in Iraq.

He was aged 32 years 6 months when he enlisted with the Norfolk Regiment in Norwich on Dec 3rd 1915 for the duration of the War. On October 15th 1916 he embarked at Devonport en route to Sheikh Sa’ad via Basra arriving on November 21st, twelve months to the day of his enlistment.

6 months after his arrival in June 1917, there began a narrative of admissions to hospital in Baqubah, first with Diphtheria and 3 months later with Sandfly Fever which led to the Bronco Pneumonia from which he died.

The Service Record also tells us that he was 5’ 7” tall, he had married Laura Jane Hooke at Rougham Parish Church in April 1912, that when he enlisted they were living in Ryburgh, where he worked as a [Maltings] fireman and also that he was trained as a bomber with the Norfolk Regiment.

Army form W.5020., a certified statement of the living relatives of a deceased soldier, says he had no children and that his father had died, but his mother was still living. It also lists his 5 older brothers: Fred, William, John, Herbert, and Robert. Also his two sisters, Annie Balderstone and the unmarried youngest, Alice. All of this was verified by the Revd. F.H.Tatham. in May 1919. 

The Service Record also tells us that he was 5’ 7” tall, he had married Laura Jane Hooke at Rougham Parish Church in April 1912, that when he enlisted they were living in Ryburgh, he working as a [Maltings] fireman and also that he was trained as a bomber with the Norfolk Regiment.

Army form W.5020., a certified statement of the living relatives of a deceased soldier, says he had no children and that his father had died (in 1899) but his mother was still living. It also lists his 5 older brothers: Fred, William, John, Herbert ,and Robert. Also his two sisters, Annie Balderstone and the unmarried youngest, Alice. All of this was verified by the Revd. F.H.Tatham. in May 1919.

The Statement of the Services of No. 26115 C.T.Steward reads:

 

Buried Baqubah Cemetery, Plot 3, Row A, Grave No 11.

 

He was later reburied in the Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery in Plot 4 Row E Grave No 11.

His name is inscribed on the Village War Memorial and the Think and Thank screen in St Andrew's seen here in Steve Bushby's photographs:

 

 

copyright 2017


Those who served
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Webpage icon Everard Barnard Hubart Hipkin
Webpage icon Harold Douglas Palmer Comer
Webpage icon Frederick William Baldwin
Webpage icon Harry Victor Chilvers
Webpage icon Percy Henry Neale
Webpage icon Stanley Curson
Webpage icon Richard Reginald Platten
Webpage icon Robert William Barker
Webpage icon Cecil Stephen Kail
Webpage icon Herbert Walton Fox
Webpage icon Walter Francis Fenn
Webpage icon George Harry Bond
Webpage icon Ernest William Thompson
Webpage icon John William "Charles" Cremer.