Lance Corporal Charles William Aris was born and brought up in Uppingham. He was the son of George and Sarah Aris who lived in the High Street. At the age of 13 he joined the old Volunteer Corps as a bugler, and also spent three years with the local Territorials. He rejoined his old Company of the Leicestershire Territorials in September 1914, and went to the Western Front on 26 February 1915, as part of the 5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He fought on the Ypres front, and was killed in action near Lens on 8 June 1917. Charles had acted as servant to Captain Wynne, who was killed on the same day. In his book, The Fifth Leicestershire, Captain J D Hills wrote: "At 8.30 pm the barrage opened, and the attack started. Almost the first shell exploded some ammunition dump on the far side of the slag heap, and the whole battle was lit up by the gigantic fire which followed...at Zero Captain Wynne led B Company from their trenches and advanced towards the L-shaped building. They had hardly started before their ranks were swept from end to end with machine gun fire from the houses to their left and front. Capt Wynne was killed...and the company had no officers left. Still, under the NCOs, they tried to push forward, only to meet with more losses. They were compelled to stop...Sergeant Passmore, who was acting Serjt.-Major, Serjts. Kemp, Thorpe and Hibbert were all wounded, L/Cpl. Aris and nine others killed, and more than half the Company wounded." Captain Norman Marriott, writing to William's parents, said: "He was a sound soldier in and out of the trenches .. and I have lost a soldier friend in your son." Charles Aris was a keen sportsman and played cricket and football in Uppingham. He had worked as a plumber. Charles has no known grave, and so he is remembered on Bay 5 of the Arras Memorial in France, and on the war memorial in Uppingham.
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