ID IYS_194 / Edwin Sparrow

TitleCharles Godfrey Bonner died 27 August 1918

Rank: Private
Regiment: Coldstream Guards 2nd Battalion. 1st Guards Brigade, Guards Division
Age 34
Date of death 27 August 1918
Service No. 21972

Charles Godfrey Bonner was born c1884, the son of Matthew and Elizabeth Bonner who in 1881 were farming in Maldon Road, Great Wigborough, probably at Rouses Farm. By 1891 they had moved to Moulshams in Great Wigborough. Charles had three older sisters - Julia, Mary J. and Deborah, and a younger brother Nelson. All five are listed in the 1891 Census as being born at Great Wigborough, Essex.
In 1910 Charles married Martha Fox age 29 who was from Derby. At the time, Charles was described as a Tailor and was living at 290 Wellington Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham. The Marriage Certificate lists his father as Matthew (deceased). It is witnessed by Herbert Bonner.
Charles enlisted at Handsworth. He was killed in action 27 August 1918, leaving a widow, Martha, and a daughter Reene Maude Bonner. Reene was born 16 July 1918 - just over a month before his death.

Many records list Charles' birthplace as Little Wenham, Suffolk.
The 1901 Census has Charles G. Bonner at 23 Head Street Colchester, Servant, Tailoring, age 17 born Suffolk Wenham.
The 1911 Census has Charles Godfrey Bonner (and Martha) at Handsworth, Staffordshire, Tailor, employer, working at home, born Little Wenham, Suffolk.

"The 2nd Battalion was a regular battalion and in August 1914 was stationed in Windsor. It was Part of the 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division. On the 20 August 1915 it was transferred to 1st Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The Second Battles of the Somme, 1918 were waged between the 21st August & the 3rd September 1918. The battle of Scarpe between the 26th and the 30th August 1918 the 2nd Battalion, as part of 1st Guards Brigade, took part in this encounter. The Brigade attacked over a frontage of over 3,000 yards, but the enemy were well prepared with machine-guns, and despite early successes the attack stalled. However, a heavy artillery barrage was put down on the enemy position and the remnants of the Brigade rushed the German trenches and took them, capturing nearly 100 prisoners. During that night and the next day the Brigade pursued the retreating Germans for nearly a mile before they were forced to stop and consolidate their position."

Charles earned the 1914-1920 War Medal 1914-1919 Victory Medal.

Charles was buried in Croisilles British Cemetery, IV. A. 24.
He is commemorated on the War Memorial in Great Wigborough Parish Church.

Read More:
Great Wigborough War Memorial

From If You Shed a Tear by Edwin Sparrow, Part 3.
12 July 2020 formatted for web by Tony Millatt.
The first paragraph was replaced to bring out the connection to Great Wigborough through his parents.

Edwin Sparrow obtained special dispensation from a number of agencies including the CWGC and The War Graves photographic project regarding copyright on their material used in "If YOu Shed a Tear". The IWM granted a non commercial licence for their material used in the book, in view of the nature of the book being commemorative rather than published for commercial reasons.

AuthorEdwin Sparrow
SourceMersea Museum