Baxenden Lads: Hambling CB

21st March 1918

PTE. 282469 CHARLES BUCKINGHAM HAMBLING of the Lancashire Fusiliers died of wounds sustained on March 21st 1918 on the first day of a surprise German offensive and advance.

Charles was aged twenty six and was Ben’s older brother. He lived with his parents at 575 Pilling Terrace, Manchester Road, Baxenden, until his enlistment in September 1916. Before then he was an overlooker at Alliance Mill, Baxenden, and he also, with his brother, attended St. John’s Baxenden Church and Sunday School.

Charles is buried in the village of Templeux-le-Guerard Communal Cemetery Extension. The village is some sixteen miles east of Peronne in the area of the Somme. The extension was started by British forces in April 1917. The Germans captured the village on March 21st 1918 and they buried forty British prisoners of war there. This means that Charles was almost certainly captured by the Germans and died of wounds whilst in their care. The Germans would report the deaths to the International Red Cross in Switzerland for transmission to England. This helps to explain the long period which elapsed before Charles’ parents received the news in June 1918.

There are 120 war graves in the extension. Like most war cemeteries in that part of France, it is enclosed by a rubble wall and planted with cherry trees and dwarf cypresses.