Charles was born in around January 1861 in Birmingham. His mother was called Kate and they were members of the Church of England, but we don't know anything else about his early life or family.
At some point in around August 1879 Charles joined the 96th Regiment of Foot. He was given the service number 2040. At the time he joined the Regiment it was based in Manchester.
Charles served in Manchester and Aldershot with the 96th Regiment until the 11th March 1881 when they were sent to Malta. On the 1st July the 96th Regiment was renamed the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. By August 1882 Charles had been promoted to Lance Corporal and later that month he went to war in Egypt.
The Anglo-Egyptian War had broken out in June after the pro-British Khedive was deposed. Britain wanted to protect its commercial investments in Egypt, as well as the Suez Canal, which gave access to India.
The 2nd Battalion sailed to Alexandria aboard HMS Euphrates, and arrived on the 17th August. The war ended in September with the British restoring the Khedive to power, but having much more control over the country. Charles left Egypt on the 13th October for Multan in what is now Pakistan, again aboard HMS Euphrates.
The 2nd Battalion had moved to Rawalpindi in the north of modern Pakistan by September 1885, and then to in Agra near Delhi by July 1886. They moved back to what is now Pakistan in April 1890, being based in Sialkot.
Charles left the Army after 12 years in around 1891 and returned to Birmingham. That April he was running a lodging house at 82 Belmont Row in the Aston area of the city. He was married to a woman named Emily, although we don't know when they married.
On the 25th June of that year Charles joined the Militia Reserve as a member of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. A member of the Militia Reserve was willing to be called up as an individual or in a small group and to serve in a unit of the Regular Army, rather than serving with the rest of his Militia unit.
When he enlisted Charles was 5 feet 7 1/4 inches tall. He had a 'fresh' complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He had a tattoo of a 'woman, wreath, and crossed flags' on his right forearm.
We don't know anything more about Charles' life. His medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in early 1950. As well as his Egypt Medal he was also awarded the Khedive's Star for his Army service.