Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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17237   Private William Charles Anderson
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 30/12/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 09/08/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 19
Summary      
William Charles Anderson was the son of James and Elizabeth Anderson. William was born in Clabby, County Fermanagh, about 1897. The 1911 census records that his mother was a widow. Charles Anderson was living in Fivemiletown when he enlisted in Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. Private William Charles Anderson was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action near Ypres on 9th August 1916. Private Anderson was 19 years old.
Further Information
William Charles Anderson was the son of James and Elizabeth Anderson (nee Irwin). William was born in Clabby, County Fermanagh on 21st May 1897.
Family: Elizabeth Anderson, James Anderson, Samuel Irvine Anderson (born 19th January 1896), William Charles Anderson (born 21st May 1897).
The 1901 census lists Charles as age 2 living with the family at house 12 in Ramalia, Clabby.
The 1911 census lists William C as age 14 living with the family at house 14 in Clabby Town, Fermanagh. His mother was a widow and William was still at school.
Charles Anderson was living in Fivemiletown when he enlisted in Tempo, Co. Fermanagh with the 11th Inniskillings.
Medal card
Charles trained at Finner Camp before moving to Randalstown. In an undated letter from Randalstown he wrote:
‘A Company, 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, No 3 Ridge Camp, Randalstown, County Antrim. Dear mother, I write a few lines to let you know I received the bread all right yesterday (Friday), for which I thank you very much. I got inoculated on Monday with a lot of other fellows. It is against enteric or typhoid fever. We got three days off duty and I was very sore the first night but I am all right now. George got done on Thursday and he is nearly all right again. I suppose Sam will be at home before you get this letter. We are all getting weekend passes now; that is from early on Saturday morning until 9 o’clock on Monday night. We can get home next Saturday I expect, but you will have to forward a couple of shillings for train fare as we have to pay half. I hope grandma and yourself are quite well and all the Clabby folks. With best love, I remain your loving son, Charles Anderson. Write at once.’
Charles went to France with the 11th Battalion on 5th October 1915. He later transferred to the 1st Battalion.
The Fermanagh Times dated 27th July 1916 reported that he had been wounded.
Private William Charles Anderson was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action near Ypres on Tuesday 9th August 1916. Private Anderson was 19 years old. It is believed he died as a the result of a gas attack.
Private William Charles Anderson is interred in Potijze Chateau Wood Cemetery in Ypres. His inscription reads: ONLY "GOOD-NIGHT" BELOVED, NOT FAREWELL
From the CWGC Potijze Chateau Wood Cemetery information:
On 9th August 1916, as the Somme offensive raged further south, the first and second battalions of the Hampshire Regiment spent ten days in trenches just east of the Chateau. As they were preparing to leave the Germans staged a surprise attack using a potent form of phosgene gas. Both units were caught unawares and although no ground was conceded the regiment suffered over 240 casualties, about half of whom were killed. The 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were stationed on the same stretch of front and also suffered numerous gas casualties. Over 60 men who fell in the attack are buried in rows A, E, and F of Chateau Wood Cemetery.
Private Anderson is buried beside Private Barrett, who enlisted in Dungannon. He also served with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and who died the same day. He also died as the result of gas.
William's brother, Private Samuel Anderson, enlisted on 6th November 1914 (No 17582). He became a lance corporal in the 9th Battalion. When Charles was killed the War Office that Samuel be transferred to the Home Guard and brought back from France. He survived the war.
The CWGC record William Charles Anderson as the son of James and Elizabeth Anderson of Clabby, Fivemiletown, County Fermanagh.
William Charles Anderson is listed on page 190 of the Fermanagh War Memorial book and page 36 of the Fivemiletown War Dead book.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Clabby, Fivemiletown Fivemiletown Census listing in Clabby, Fivemiletown 54.399948 -7.368422
2 Fivemiletown Fivemiletown Lived in Fivemiletown when enlisting 54.377908 -7.315536
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
19/01/1896 B Anderson Samuel Sibling U/1896/116/1013/10/214
21/05/1897 B Anderson William Casualty U/1897/116/1013/10/383
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Anderson family Lists Charles as age 2 living with the family at house 12 in Ramalia, Clabby, Fermanagh
2 1911 Census lists Anderson family Lists Willliam C as age 14 living with the family at house 14 in Clabby Town, Fermanagh
3 FindAGrave.com Photo of William Charles Anderson gravestone
4 Forum discussion (GWF) Ypres Gas attack on 9th August 1916
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
6 Private David Barrett Buried in next grave (F-2), also killed in gas attack
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of William Charles Anderson gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021