When war broke out Charles was a serving soldier (Private) in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Within a few days of war breaking out the 2nd Battalion landed at Rouen as lines of Communication troops. By October 1914 they were fighting on the French/Belgian border south of Ypres and in the Battle of La Bassee, which took place between 10th October to 2nd November.
Charles was killed in action on 26th October 1914, so becoming the first Overton soldier to die.
Charles was the son of Charles & Annie Johnson, born in 1892 and he was first recorded in a census in 1901. The family was living 3 doors after the Joiner’s Shop at Knolton Bryn, Overton, Flintshire. Head of the household was Charles, 42, a Farm Labourer. His wife was Annie who was 35 and had been born in Mold, Flintshire. The rest of the family had been born in Overton. The listed children were, Alice,11, Charles, 9, Thomas, 7 Lizzie, 5 and Annie 3.
The 1911 census records the family still living at Knolton Bryn, Overton. Sadly Annie the mother had died. (She had given birth to at least 9 children by 1909) Widower, Charles, 46, was by then, a Roadman for Overton District Council. Thomas, 18 was single and out of work. Elizabeth (Lizzie) was 16, single and ‘at home’. She had filled in and signed the census form on behalf of her father. The other children listed in the household were Annie, 13, George, 9, Susan, 7, Daisy, 4 and May, 2. Charles would have been 19 and was not there. It is probable that he was already in the army.
UK, Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk includes an entry for Charles Edward Johnson. It confirms his regimental details as above and tells us his place of birth and residence was Overton. He enlisted in Wrexham.
There is an index card for Charles in The Flintshire Roll of Honour in the County Record Office in Flintshire. (Card Overton F14). It gives the address Knolton and says he was Private 10500 in the 2nd Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers when the war broke out. It confirms that he was killed in action in early October 1914. The card was not signed or dated.
The Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for Charles Edward Johnson. There were two Legatees – his father Charles and his Brother in law Joseph Stockton. They each received £8.. 5sh ..10d.