Private Charles Henry (Harry) Coleman
Reg. No. 34880 (1st Battalion Essex Regiment)
Killed in Action: 18 May 1917
Commemorated: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 7.
Charles Coleman (1890-1917)
Charles was born in Bletsoe, the son of William Coleman (1857-1916) and Eliza (1858-1906). Both his parents had died by the time he was killed in the war; his next of kin is shown as being his brother, Joseph William (b. 1878) who was living in Sharnbrook at the time. He had two other siblings - Frederick and Clara.
Both Charles and his father were Farm Labourers and living on the High Street in Thurleigh at the time of the 1911 census, William having been widowed some five years earlier.
Charles was killed in action on 18 May 1917, just a month after his fellow soldier from Thurleigh, Thomas Holley, who is also commemorated at the Arras Memorial. It is possible that he was killed at the 2nd Battle of Bullecourt, which was part of the overall Battle of Arras and lasted from 3 - 17 May 1917.
Charles is named on the Arras Memorial, which commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918.