Charles Arthur Howe

From towers to trenches, we remember Charles Arthur Howe

Following a boundary change during the 1970s, Linslade moved into the Central Bucks Branch. Prior to this Linslade was part of the North Bucks Branch so it is fitting that we remember the life of Charles Howe who was a guild member from 1913-1915.

Pte C Howe
Courtesy of The Ringing World

An extract from The Ringing World on the 11th June 1915 says it all “Another ringer who has given his life for his country is C. Howe, of Linslade, Bucks, a member of the North Bucks branch of the Oxford Guild. His parents received an intimation from Boulogne Hospital stating that he had been admitted there, having been shot through the eye on May 22nd. Later they received a telegram that he had passed away on May 29th, without having regained consciousness.

On Tuesday evening, June 1st, the St. Barnabas ringers, with the help of Messrs. W. Seabrook, F. Dedman and W. Jeffs, rang the bells of Linslade Parish Church, half-muffled, when 336 and 210 Grandsire Triples among other touches, were brought round.

The deceased commenced ringing in 1910 at a time when the St. Barnabas’ band was very short-handed through several of the older members leaving the parish on account of slackness of work in the neighbourhood. He made good progress, and was soon able to ring the treble in Grandsire Doubles, while, as the band improved, he made a good ringer in the method on eight bells. At the outbreak of war he got permission to enlist in the Bucks Territorials, being at the time engaged on the L. and N. W. Railway as a telephone operator and train booker at the Leighton Buzzard Station. Of a quiet and unassuming disposition, he was ever ready to help in any church work.

Charles was born in Rugby and baptised on 10th November 1895 at St Andrew’s church in the town. In 1901 the family lived at 123 Cambridge Street, Rugby where father Alfred originally from Barby Northamptonshire was employed as a Railway Guard. By 1911 the family were residing at 49 New Road, Linslade where Alfred was employed as a “foreman” by the LNW Railway.  Charles was employed as telegraph messenger and his 14 year old sister Lilian was employed as a nurse maid. The 3 remaining children were presumably at school or still at home, the youngest Margaret who was born in Linslade was just 4 years of age.

The 12 February 1915 edition of The Ringing World advises that there were three ringers from St Barnabus serving in the forces “From St. Barnabas, Linslade, Bucks, the following are serving with the Bucks Territorials:- J. Child, now at Chelmsford, W. Bacchuss, now at Northampton. and C. Howe, now at Northampton.

On the 30th March 1915 the Bucks Territorials were mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne. Two short months later Charles lost his life and was buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, plot VIII. A. 54. His father paid for the words “He’s reached the ransomed joyful band whose home is in the better land” to be added to his headstone.

Information sources

Census records for 1911, 1901

Commonwealth war graves commission

Buckinghamshire remembers

The Ringing World