|Date of Birth||August 15, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Reading, Berkshire|
|Next of Kin||Beatrice Fuller, mother|
|Trade / Calling||labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 22, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||21|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 26, 1917|
|Age at Death||23|
|Buried At||no known grave/Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial|
|Plot||Panel 24 - 26 - 28 - 30|
The only son and first born child of Charles Robert and Beatrice (Litten) Fuller, Charles Herbert Fuller was on born 15 August 1894 in Reading, Berkshire, England, registration district of Bradfield. His father was from Wantage, Berkshire while his mother was from Charleton, Oxfordshire. The couple had married during the first quarter of 1894 in the registration district of Wokingham in Berkshire. For the 1901 England census the family was living in St Stephen, Lambeth, London, England, his father’s occupation given as producer lineman in a factory. Children in the household were Charles, Ethel, and Beatrice.
Robert left for Canada in March of 1907 with his destination given as Winnipeg. Beatrice and children Charles, Ethel, Beatrice, Alice, and Lillian sailed aboard the Kensington for Canada, arriving in Montreal 22 August 1908. They were joining Robert in Wabigoon where he was working as a bookkeeper at a saw mill. The family was found in Wabigoon for the 1911 Canada census and another child Sylvia had been born in June of 1909. Their sixth daughter Hilda was born in 1913 in Wabigoon. By 1915 the family had moved to Kenora where they were living at the time of Charles’ enlistment.
Charles Herbert Fuller enlisted on 22 November 1915 with the 94th Battalion. With brown eyes and brown hair, he was 21 years old. Also with the 94th, his father Charles Robert enlisted in Kenora the following April; father and son were found on the nominal rolls as having embarked for overseas together.
On May 25, 1916, the men of ‘C’ an ‘D’ Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for ‘Summer Camp’ as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic. Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, if actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front line units.’ (from the now defunct 94th Battalion website)
Once overseas Charles was transferred to 17th Reserve Battalion. Struck down with measles, he spent 2 1/2 weeks in the Moore Barracks Hospital in Shorncliffe, discharged in late August. The following January of 1917 he was on his way to France, taken on strength with the 52nd Battalion in the field on the 13th and confirmed in the rank of Sergeant. In late July/early August he spent a week in the No 2 Hospital in Camiers with a wound/injury to his left hand. Upon discharge he was assigned to base details. He rejoined the unit on 27 September 1917.
According to the CEF Burial Registers, Sergeant Charles Herbert Fuller was with the 52nd Battalion at the time of his death on 26 October 1917. Reported as killed in action, Charles ‘was in action with his company near Passchendaele, and soon after reaching forward position occupied that day, he was so severely wounded by enemy shrapnel that he died almost immediately’. With no known grave, his name is inscribed on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial. Situated at the eastern side of the town of Ypres (now Ieper) in the Province of West Flanders, on the road to Menin and Courtrai, it bears the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War.
Charles’s father returned to Kenora after the war. The family farmed in the nearby Jaffray township where Robert served as councillor for several years as well as a school board trustee. He died in 1941 and along with Charles’ mother Beatrice who died in 1952 is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Charles’ sister Alice was the only sibling to leave the area. She had been briefly married to Fred Jette and had a son Freddie but after the marriage dissolved, moved to Penticton where she worked as a secretary. She died in Penticton in 1980. His sister Beatrice never married and for many years worked at Pitt’s clothing store. She died in Thunder Bay in 1997 and is interred in Kenora. Charles’ other four sisters married (Ethel in Wabigoon), raised their families, and died in Kenora: Ethel (Arthur Sharples), Lillian (George Moon), Sylvia (Albert Betton), and Hilda (William Garrison). All are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
Sergeant Charles Fuller is commemorated on page 240 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Kenora Cenotaph, on the Kenora Legion War Memorial, and on a plaque of remembrance in St. Albans Anglican Church in Kenora.
by Judy Stockham
photograph of Charles: Lake of the Woods Museum Archives
photograph of St Alban’s Memorial: courtesy of the church
photograph of the panel from the Menin Gate Memorial: Marvin & Samme Templin on findagrave.com