Thursday, 13 October 2016

Charles Walter Blackall (1876 - 1918) – British poet, writer, actor, soldier

Born in St. Albans , Hertfordshire, England, Charles's parents were Major Robert Blackall, an Irish land-owner and his wife Mary Emily.  Charles had two brothers – Edward b. 1872 and Algernon b. 1880. The family lived in Elham, Folkestone, Kent in 1881.

Charles joined the Army - The Buffs Regiment - in 1900 (3rd Battalion) and served during the Boer War.

In 1910, Charles married Alice Evelyn Feutrell Briscoe in Chelsea, London.  They lived in Bouverie Road, Folkestone, Kent and at Coolamber Manor, Co. Longford, Ireland and had two children – Charles Walter and Alanon J.

Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in December 1915, Charles was sent to command the South Staffordshire Regiment on the Western Front.  Mentioned twice in Despatched, he was killed leading his men on 25th March 1918.   He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in France, Bay 2.

One of Charles’s poems was included in the WW1 Anthology “From the front:  trench poetry.” Edited by Clarence Edward Andrews, New York, Appleton, 1918 - 220 pages.
And his own WW1 collection “Songs from the trenches” was published by The Bodley Head, London in 1915.  (Catherine Reilly, p. 57).   This is available to read as a free down-load on Archive: http://www.archive.org/stream/songsfromtrenche00blacrich/songsfromtrenche00blacrich_djvu.txt

NOTE:  The British Army Regiment “The Buffs” were the infantry regiment The Royal East Kent Regiment, formed in 1572 and previously known as the 3rd Regiment of Foot.  They recruited men from East Kent and were based at Canterbury.
Sources:

Find my Past;  Catherine W. Reilly “English Poetry of the First World War A Bibliography” (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978) and


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