Challoner, Chas. H.

Charles Henry Chaloner’s name does not appear on any memorial although there is an index card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. He had served for 4 years, been awarded campaign medals and survived the war  He met his death, however, as the result of a dreadful accident in 1919 – just 4 months after his discharge.

I believe that Charles Henry Chaloner was born about  1884 in Crewe, Cheshire (CR/77/084), the son of James & Mary Chaloner. The 1891 census records them living at  1, St. Martin’s Court, Chester.  James was 30 and was a Railway Porter, born in Chester. His wife Mary  29 had been born in Crewe, Cheshire. Their children were Mary E. 8, Charles H. 6, Amelia, 4 and Alfred 2.

Mary died, I believe in 1900 age 38, (CAT/71/67). The 1901 census lists James (now a Coal Carter) as a widower.  He was living at 6, St. James Street, Chester with his children Charles H. 15 was an Errand Boy,  Amelia, 14, was a Shirt Machinist, and  Alfred, 12, was still at school.

Charles served in the Army. There is a medal roll card for him accessible on which tells us that he had been awarded the Victory, British War Medals and 1915 star.His first Theatre of War was France and he had  entered it on the 30th July 1915. He was discharged as Class Z  Nothing else was written on the card.

As long as the Military Service Act was enforced, all men  liable for service under the Act not remaining with the colours in the regular army; or who had not been permanently discharged; or who were not on a Special Reserve or Territorial Force Reserve engagement were discharged into Class Z Army Reserve and liable to recall in the event of a grave national emergency. His designated place of rejoining was shown on his Protection Certificate and Certificate of Final Demobilisation. 

Taken from the Long, Long Trail. (

Charles’s Flintshire Roll of Honour card in the County Record Office in Hawarden was completed by his Aunt, Martha McHugh. He had been living with her at the time of his death. Although he hadn’t lost his life in the war, he had served 4 years. He was not included on the memorial in Saltney Ferry or anywhere else but we are proud to remember him on this website.

After his discharge from the army in February 1919 Charles managed to get back to work quite quickly but was sadly killed whilst walking to work on Friday the 13th June 1919.

At 7.20am, he was walking along a private railway embankment with 2 other men, 3 a-brest. Charles was in the middle of the track and they were walking together for the sake of conversation, as the wind was very hard to their faces and they couldn’t hear each other. The other two men walked either side of the railway line. One of the men William Broadfield, happened to turn his head round and saw some wagons, loaded; right on them. He shouted “Lookout” and tried to seize Chaloner, but it was too late. The wagons knocked him down. Before anything could be done 27 wagons loaded with ashes and an Engine passed over the body of deceased.
Broadfield, stated that he did not hear the train approaching. The wind was too strong. It was difficult to get along. There was plenty of room to get along on either side of the railway track. It was not necessary to walk in the 4-foot-way.
A man on the engine & wagons saw them and told the driver to stop, but there was grease on the rails and the engine and wagons didn’t stop, the whistle was blowing all the time.

The wagons were travelling from the Marsh Mills to the New Jetty.

His body was taken to the Ambulance Room at Hawarden Bridge Ironworks.

Charles’s aunt Martha McHugh, with whom Charles had been living, identified his body
and made a statement when the Inquisition was held the next day, the 14th June 1919, in the same Ambulance Room. – Martha McHugh, 6, Cambrian View, Saltney – “I live at 6, Cambrian View, Saltney, Chester. I have seen the body and I identify it as that of Charles Henry Chaloner. He was 34 years. He was single. He had no dependents. He lived with me at 6, Cambrian View, Saltney in the City of Chester. He was employed as an Iron Worker at the Hawarden Bridge Iron Works. He came from the Army since February. The hearing of the deceased was all right as far as I have noted.”

Witnesses at the Inquest were :- Martha McHugh, 6, Cambrian View, Saltney (Identification), William Broadfield, 36, Sea View, Chester Road, Flint, Shunter, Thomas Groffiths, 156, High Street, Connah’s Quay, William Stuart, Hawthorn Cottage, Caergwle and Arthur Bradley, 43, Sydney Street, Flint.

Fatality on Hawarden Bridge Line

Fatality on Hawarden Bridge Line

Post Script

Martha McHugh had a son John McHugh who survived the war in the Army ( Flintshire Roll of Honour index card Saltney Ferry L140), his address was given as 6, Boundary Lane, Saltney.

There are  other McHugh index cards in the Flintshire Roll of Honour  and as yet I don’t know the connections


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