The Huxstep Trilogy ~ Part 1
Private Charles Stephen Huxstep Royal Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Regiment
1914-18 British War Medal
The Man Charles Stephen Huxstep was born in the third quarter of 1888 in Wouldham, Malling in Kent, son of Edward, a Labourer and cement worker and Sarah. He was one of seven children, Frances born in 1877, Edward born in 1879, John born in 1881, Matilda born in 1883, George Arthur born in 1891 and Arthur born in 1892. By the time of the 1901 census Charles, now aged 12 was living with his family at Number 1 Burke Place in Wouldham. By 1912, Charles’ father had died and he was, together with his brothers, a cement labourer living in Factory Cottages in Rochester. Charles enlisted into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment prior to World War 1 as a Private with service number 651. He entered France early in the war as part of the British Expeditionary Force and was promoted to Acting Corporal. He later transferred into the Northamptonshire Regiment number 201492 and was awarded the 1914 Star with 'Aug-Nov' clasp, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He returned as a cement worker following the War and lived at 2 Perrins Cottages, Wouldham in Kent. Sadly two of Charles’ brothers died during the Great War, George, a Private in the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) service number S/9463, who died of wounds received on Sunday 7th January 1917 and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France. Grave Reference IV.H.3. Also John who served in the 22nd (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment (7th City) who was killed in Action and fell during the final throes of the Battle of Delville Wood, part of the greater Battle of the Somme on Saturday 2nd September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11C. They are both commemorated on the War Memorial at Wouldham Church in Kent. On 9th August 1919, aged 32 Charles married Lily Collins in the Parish Church, Paddington in London, the service was officiated by the Reverend P A Scott. They had four children, Lilian M born in 1921, John Charles (1920-35), Arthur Stephen (1923-74) and Edward William (1927-91). The marriage sadly did not last and Lilian left Charles during the late 1920 taking all four children with her and they becoming estranged. During the second quarter of 1930 aged 41Charles re-married, in Woolwich to Doris Elizabeth Hurry who was 18 years his junior aged 23 at the time. They had one child, Alan Charles, born on 17th April 1932 and who was Killed in Action as a Corporal in the Army Service Corps, during the Canal Zone incident in Egypt on 27th April 1952 aged 20. He is buried in Moascar Cemetery in Egypt. Charles passed away during the last quarter of 1962 aged 74, and Doris 22 years later on 20th November 1985 aged 77. As the 14-15 Star and Victory Medal are missing this is a broken group.
The Story This is one of those stories within this collection that continues to develop and began with the acquisition of Charles Stephen Huxstep’s single British War Medal in July 1997. It was given to me by a colleague at Conoco, where I worked at the time and following an article the company had run on my medal collecting interest in their magazine Conoco World. Click here to read the magazine article. It was not for another 15 years, in 2012, that any research was undertaken, and then it was only Charles’ World War I Medal Index Cards from the National Archives in Kew, London, confirming the award of the 1914 Star and clasp and Victory Medal in addition to the War Medal. A year later in 2013 following a subscription to Ancestry.UK, it was possible to piece together more detail, allowing a brief biography to be completed. I thought that would be the end of the research, however as is often the case, this was not to be so. In December 2016 - 19 years after the acquisition of the medal, Charles’ Grandson, Steven Huxstep, who lives in Australia, made contact via this web site. Following numerous e-mails more detail was added to Charles’ biography, also revealing his wife Lilian, had left him during the late 1920s. He had then re-married in 1930 and had a fifth child, another son named Alan Charles who ‘had died in Egypt in the 1950’s’. Further research showed that Alan had been killed in action whilst serving in Egypt during the Canal Zone Incident in 1952. With Steve’s help and Ancestry.UK it was possible to complete a brief biography for Alan and to claim his General Service Medal with clasp ‘Canal Zone’ and a named Elizabeth Cross and memorial scroll. It was also discovered that Alan’s name is on the National Memorial at Alrewas. During the exchange of correspondence, Steve also asked for copies of his Father’s, Arthur Steven Huxstep (Charles’ son by his first marriage and Alan’s half-brother), service records to be requested from the MoD. These revealed that Arthur had served in the Royal Artillery during World War II and had also been awarded a group of medals. Coincidentally, Arthur had also worked for Conoco before his death in 1974, and one cannot help but wonder if Charles’ British War Medal had been passed to someone else working there, albeit 23 years before I acquired it? With Steve’s permission and help his Father’s story was added to this collection making up the ‘Huxstep Triolgy’ encompassing Father and two sons. A tribute to three men who served their country, one making the ultimate sacrifice, and their names now remembered for posterity.
- 1914 Star: Missing.
- 1914-18 British War Medal: 651 A.CPL. C.S.HUXSTEP. R.WAR.R.
- Victory Medal: Missing
Page last updated 28 Sep 17