Second Lieutenant CHARLES VINCE BALKWILL of the 1st/5th Battalion of the London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) was killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was commissioned in 1915 (London Gazette of 14 December) having previously held the rank of sergeant.
On 1 July the battalion was engaged in the ‘diversionary’ attack on the village of Gommecourt intended to prevent the Germans switching troops and guns to face the main assault further South. The battalion lost 19 officers and 553 Other Ranks killed or missing.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
He was the son of Francis and Mary Vince Balkwill, of Forest Hill. Tragically his brother John was killed on the same day while serving with the 6th Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was educated at St Dunstan's College in Catford.
On 1 July every year from 1919 - 1925 the dedication ‘In loving and honoured memory of my two dearest pals Johnny and Charlie killed in action 1 July 1916 - Lewis’/
appeared in the In Memoriam column of The Times.
Contributed By: Andy Pepper
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