Charles Ernest Hinchliffe (1894-1918)

This page is part of a project by David Verguson to research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the Lindley area.


Charles Hinchliffe was born 22 January 1894 at Sunset Terrace, Birkby, the son of Charles Hinchliffe, a police sergeant and his wife Mary Ellen. The couple already had five children, aged from two years to nine years old. Another daughter, Frances Ellen, was born three years after Charles, in 1897.

By 1901 the family lived at 5 East Parade on Trinity Street, in the town centre. Charles and his sister Frances, were both baptized on 23 October 1901 at St. Paul's, the church now incorporated into the university.

Ten years later the family was living 2 Alfred Street, a street long lost to re-development.

Charles went to Spring Grove School and eventually to the Huddersfield Technical College.

BY 1911, there were only four children still living at home. The couple had had eight children of whom one had died prematurely. The eldest at home was twenty-one-year-old Margaret, who worked as a weaver; Charles, at 17, was a "Hand Pattern weaver"; Frances Ellen, then aged 14, was "at night school". The youngest, Catherine May, at age nine, was still at school. Charles Snr had risen to the rank of police inspector.

Eventually Charles was employed as an assistant woollen designer, which may be when he attended the Technical College. The family eventually moved to 13 Alexandra Road, Lindley, not far from the Bay Horse.

Charles Edward enlisted in the West Riding Regiment on 26 August 1914 and arrived with the 8th Battalion in the Balkans on 7 July 1915, serving in Egypt and Gallipoli and transferred with the Battalion to France a year later.

At his medical, Charles was said to be 5' 10½" tall with a 33" chest, with brown hair and eyes and a "fresh" complexion. His religion was Church of England. He gave his profession as "Cloth Designer".

Promoted Lance Corporal on 17 September Charles was made full corporal a month later. On 20 March 1915 Charles was promoted Lance, or acting Sergeant and subsequently Sergeant on 10 August. While a sergeant, Charles was awarded the Military Medal and recommended for a commission.

He left the Dukes to train as an officer on 18 December 1916 and was gazetted 2nd Lieut in The Kings own Yorkshire Light Infantry on 30 May 1917.

By the time he received his Military Medal he was a patient in the Monsall Fever Hospital in Manchester, having been sent back from the Front. While in England – perhaps on leave or maybe recovering from being wounded – he met and married Hildred White of Guildford, Surrey, whose address was later given as 4 Kings Road, Guildford, now a leafy A road.

Charles was killed in action near Rheims on 20 July 1918, aged 24 and is remembered in St. Stephen's church, where was a member of the Young Men's Bible Class.

Hildred never re-married and died in Surrey in 1973. Charles's sister Frances Ellen, married in St. Stephen's in September 1920. One of the witnesses was Frank Priestley, who may be the brother of John Priestley, another Lindley casualty, and himself an ex-soldier.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

HINCHLIFFE, CHARLES ERNEST, MM. 2nd Lieutenant. 4th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Born Sunset Terrace, Birkby, 22.1.1894. Son of Charles and Mary E. Hinchliffe, 13 Alexandra Road, Lindley. Husband of Hildred Hinchliffe, 4 King's Road, Guildford. Educated Spring Grove Council School and Huddersfield Technical College. Employed as an assistant woollen designer. Enlisted as a Private in the 8th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Served in Egypt and Gallipoli. Killed in action near Rheims, 20.7.1918, aged 24 years. Has no known grave. Commemorated on the SOISSONS MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.