Son of Mr. George Denham and Mrs. Mary Ann Denham of 2, Cross Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had two sisters, Annie and Bertha Denham, along with two brothers Ernest and Fred Denham, who both served in the Cheshire Regiment. He was employed at Messrs' Hiltons Boot Store in Congleton and from there he went to Chorley where he remained for twelve months. Subsequently he went to Messrs' Hilton's branch at Huddersfield.
He enlisted at Huddersfield in 1915 in the Huddersfield Battalion. He went out to France in June 1916 and was home on leave in September 1917, leaving for France on the 3rd of September 1917.
Rifleman Charles Denham of the 1st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade who were part of 11th Brigade, 4th Division, were situated north east of Langemark, Ypres on the 1st of October 1917. Orders were received that the Battalion were to relieve the 1st Battalion, The King's Own Regiment in the front line, east-north east of Langemark. On the 2nd of October, the front line was quiet although the support Company and Battalion H.Q. was heavily shelled. The Battalion was relieved the next day by the 1st Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry on the right and the 1st Battalion the Hampshire Regiment on the left, the 1st East Lancashire Regiment in support. The Battalion moved back to Candle Trench, and The Battalion H.Q. moved to Jolie Farm. The Battalion War Diary reports no further action on the 3rd of October, so the death of Rifleman Denham may well have been caused by the shell fire or by an isolated incident. He had been in much hard fighting, being in the Somme offensive and the Battle of Arras.
Extracts from the Congleton Chronicle 1917.
Many letters expressive of sorrow and regret have been received by the bereaved family, the following being typical of the rest.
24th October 1917.
We have only just heard through our inspector Mr. S. H. Russell of the death of your son Charles on active service and we hasten to express to you the sincere sympathy of every member of our firm. He was a very good servant and we had every confidence that he would make a name for himself in the trade.
Again, assuring you of our sympathy, we remain, Yours, truly, S. Hilton and Sons.
25th October 1917.
Dear, Miss. Denham,
We are all deeply grieved to hear of the great loss you have suffered in the death of your brother. I am sure he fell doing his duty. I am glad to hear that he had kind thoughts about St Georges especially valuing the bible which he received here. It will be a great comfort to all of you to know that he now belongs to the great army of Saints above. Let us remember his name when we go to Holy Communion. I sincerely trust your mother, yourself and all the family have comfort and hope given to you to bear up bravely.
With kind regards, Believe me, Yours, sincerely, R.H. Ellis.
St Georges Men's Bible Class, Chorley.
The following letter of condolence has been received by the departed soldiers brother,
18th October 1917.
May I offer you and your poor mother and family my sincerest sympathy in your great trouble and loss. I was, indeed all of us were, shocked to the sad news and I know how grieved you must be. Charlie was a dear good chap, and well-liked by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and he will be much missed. You will all take comfort I know in the thought that his troubles are over and he has left us to go to a happier and better land than this is. I am so glad you are going to be at home to give your mother the best comfort that can be given her. Please tell her how sorry we all are.
Believe Me, Yours, sincerely, Robert Head (Junior).
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for the research on Charles.