Charles Lowe was born in Ryhall on 8 October 1877, the son of Elizabeth Lowe. He was a member of the Leicester Volunteer Regiment for seven years before he emigrated to Canada and worked as a farmer. His mother remained in England, and moved to Lincoln. Charles attested for the Canadian army on 28 August 1915, aged 37, at Edmonton and came over to Europe. He fought in the Battle of the Somme with 14th Battalion Canadian Infantry and was killed in an attack on a German trench system near Courcelette on 26 September 1916. The attack was aimed towards Kenora and Sudbury trenches, part of the strong Regina trench system. The first waves went over at 12.35pm but the element of surpise had been lost because the Canadian machine guns opened fire too early, alerting the Germans to what was happening. According to Battalion records the first objectives were taken easily but in the afternoon and night the Germans launched a series of strong counterattacks on Kenora Trench. Occupation of the trench changed hands several times before the Canadians were finally driven out. Casualties amounted to 374, killed, wounded and missing, including Charles whose body was never recovered. The commanding officer of the 14th Battalion blamed the failure of the attack on the machine guns opening up too early, the German defences being more heavily manned than expected, and problems co-ordinating the supporting artillery barrage. Sadly Charles is not remembered on the Ryhall war memorial inside St John's Church but there is a handsome family tablet to his memory on the wall nearby. Since he has no known grave, he is remembered on the Vimy Memorial.
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