Stone – Gunner Charles Edwin

4 February 1889 – 29 August 1952:-

Charles was born in Ripley, Derbyshire and worked as a miner, first at New Denby Hall Pit and then at Salterwood near Ripley. In September 1914, he enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery at Sutton-in-Ashfield. He was attached to C Battery, 83rd Brigade which was part of the 18th (Eastern) Division. In 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal for helping to man the guns during the Passchendaele battle when his usual job was in the wagon lines.

On 21st March 1918 at Caponne Farm, France, after working at his gun for six hours under heavy gas and shell fire, Gunner Stone was sent back to the rear with an order. He delivered it and then, under a very heavy barrage, returned with a rifle to assist in holding up the enemy on a sunken road. First lying in the open under very heavy machine-gun fire and then on the right flank of the two rear guns he held the enemy at bay. Later he was one of the party which captured a machine-gun and four prisoners.

Following his award, Charles was honoured by the people of Ripley and Belper. He received a gold watch and war bonds. He was demobbed in January 1919 and went back to the mines at Salterwood Colliery, where he worked for a few more years and took a keen interest in the local athletic club at Heage, a nearby village. He later moved to Ashbourne and worked at Heywood Farm. It was during this time he saved the life of a fellow worker when her clothes caught fire and he smothered the flames with his jacket.

He went on to work for Roll Royce where he worked in one of the foundries which was nicknamed “Dante’s Inferno”.

Upon his death he was buried with full military honours. His medals were bequeathed to the Royal Artillery Museum, Salisbury.

Filed under: WW1