For Remembrance Sunday

Charles Homer Bosworth was my great grandfather. He lived in Codford in Wiltshire. Born in 1888, he served in the First World War and gets a mention in the Codford Roll of Honour:

Charles Homer Bosworth served in the British Army during World War 1 and spent time in Russia as part of his service.

Until a couple of months ago, that was as much as my sister and I and our cousins knew about his first World War Service. Then we got in touch with our Dad’s cousin in the US and he was able to tell us some more details. Apparently, Charles’ time in Russia involved being captured by the Bolsheviks and held in a cattle train car. Thankfully, he and his colleagues managed to escape, otherwise I would not be here today.

Charles Homer Bosworth continued to serve this country, joining the RAF. By the time World War 2 broke out, he was 51 years old and could have retired. Just two weeks in, he was one of 519 people killed after HMS Courageous was torpedoed off the course of Ireland.

From the Codford Roll of Honour again:

The Royal Air Force Muster Roll for 1918 records a C. H. Bosworth, Rigger (Aero) with the New Rank from Air Mechanic 2 to Air Mechanic 3 from 1/2/1918.

Charles Homer Bosworth, while serving with R.A.F., was posted to Egypt for 3 years.

When World War 2 was declared, Homer Bosworth was serving on H.M.S. Courageous with the rank of Flight Sergeant, in charge of a Maintenance Crew and was about to retire after 20 years service. He was among the R.A.F. personnel seconded to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and was part of the ship’s compliment aboard H.M.S. Courageous.

Flight Sergeant (237295) Charles Homer Bosworth was serving aboard H.M.S. Courageous when she was torpedoed and sank on 17th September, 1939 by German U-Boat 29. He was one of around 518 crew members that did not survive & was aged 51 years.

I know that my Grandma felt the impact of losing her Dad at such a young age, at just 19. Her younger sister, my Aunt Doreen, was just 18. She also lost her fiance later on in the war.

So many families have stories like this to tell.  Remembrance Sunday gives us a chance to reflect on those who lost their lives in conflict,  and to remember  those who have suffered life-changing physical and mental injury as a result of their service.  It’s a day to think about the impact of every single loss to a family, to friends, to their communities.

We will remember them.

Please use the comments to tell the stories of people close to you who were killed in war.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • My family was fortunate: one grandfather spied for the British in Greece, and the other operated the telegraph service to India in Bandar Abbas, Persia. My partner, on the other hand, has had her life profoundly affected by what happened to her grandparents. One was invalided out of the army after serving in Mesopotamia: he suffered from unknown diseases picked up in the marshes around Kut and was in ill-health for the rest of his life leaving him unable to work most of the time. The other was from rural Oxfordshire, lied about his age, and at 15 was picking up the dead, wounded and body parts from the battlefields of France. He became a very hard man who had six children: he may have been respected, but he was not loved. The consequences of the Great War, I hope, stop with our generation.

  • innocent Bystander 11th Nov '18 - 9:01pm

    My own father was born just before the First War and told us of the shadow it cast over the nation during the twenties and thirties. He said people didn’t greet each other with talk of the weather. The common question was “Who did you lose?”.
    I fear for the world again. Economic meltdown is now guaranteed because all the ideas to revive Western economies are simple minded, ineffective and desperate.
    Worse still, there is rising anger and distrust everywhere and intemperate language in our own supposedly civilised political arena. We need a MLK or a Mandela.

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