Charles Walter Budds was born in Sheffield on September the 4th 1895.
His parents were Charles Frederick Budds, a clerk in a Steelworks and Lizzie. He had a younger sister, Kathleen Elizabeth.
In 1911 the family were living at 167 Rock Street, Sheffield but later moved to 3 Burngrove Place, Sheffield.
Charles was educated at the Central Secondary School, Sheffield and upon leaving there took up employment as a Bank Clerk at the Sheffield Savings Bank.
Central Secondary School
On the 10th September 1914, Charles enlisted into the 12th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment – the Sheffield City Pals – as Private Number 12/885. He was placed in ‘D’ company.
Charles has signed the private bible of his friend 12/847 Pte Walter ALFLAT.
BUDDS would feature a number of times in the private diary of 12/847 Pte Walter ALFLAT as follows:-
Egypt, El Ferdan
Friday 11th February 1916
Orderly room at 8.30am, crime losing 2 straps from equipment, told verdict would be held over until Sat. Line orderly from 11am, jolly lucky to get it as rest of company on hard fatigue until 1pm. Afternoon free. All our tent detailed for Bastian guard at 5.15 but Budds, Appleby. Bastian guard is just simply manning the trenches for a full night. My turn for guard 6 to 7.30pm. Next turn on Major comes along and nearly catches me talking to Skidmore, narrow escape from Field punishment as talking whilst on guard is forbidden, fairly comfortable night on the whole. Lt Beal in charge along with Sgt Everett, but they didn’t trouble us at all beyond giving us our instructions.
Aboard HMT Briton en route to France
Saturday 11th March 1916
Fetched out of our hammocks at 7am. Felt very groggy and spent all day on deck and not a little, half over the side sea running pretty high – uh! Lots more in a similar condition and made worse by seeing those not affected come from canteen cramming their faces. After tea Budds and Appleby came up on deck to visit me and I told them to fix my hammock ready for jumping in, this done I took a deep breath, dashed below, sprung in hammock, clothes, boots and all and summoned all my strength to go to sleep before “it” came on again, managed it alright, not troubled until next morning. Oh what a sensation to be sea sick, where’s the pail.
Monday 13th March 1916
Mess orderly today with Rolley, felt bad again, Rolley worse and retired under the table, had to do his work and mine, fetched grub but rather green. Woodward Too Rolley’s place as orderly, he stuck it for 10 minutes and then he broke down. Finally I was given Budds for assistant and then things started to hum, set about things fine and were the first orderlies to finish out of over 30. Alarm goes again at 5.30pm and we all turned out again but it was only practice. As soon as it goes each man dashes to his place, orderlies shut the iron portholes and the roll is called, all to be done in 5 minutes, guess it’s some smart work. After tea a party of us made up a card set and played till lights out 8pm.
Thursday 16th March 1916
Spent all night sleeping under a table with Budds, got up at 5am, had brecca on board at 6am, fell on parade at 7am. Disembarked and marched to station. On the way there we saw hundreds of German prisoners working in the docks, and fine looking chaps they looked too. Entrained and left Marseilles at 11am. Spent all the day in the train as one would, travelling. The rub came at night when we wanted more room, I slept on the floor which, by the way, was one sheet of metal with steel nuts stuck out here and there and what with the jolting of the train and cramp, guess I’ve had some funny sleeping quarters since joining the Army but this one, the less said the better about
Monday 27th March 1916
Battalion turned up and started off on the march again at 7.30am, did another 13 miles or so and reached Vignacourt at 1.30pm, here we are billeted again in barns etc. All about stony broke but Taylor bought a “new” French loaf and gave us some, how beautiful it tasted after our usual fare of dried biscuits. Retired very much fatigued at 8pm, had a very good nights rest but woke up once by Budds who was next to me, he tried to put his arm round me , evidently thought he was with one of his lady friends in Sheffield’s country lanes. Poor chap but I envied him his dream, would all have given a lot for the sight and voice of an English maiden, these awful French girls, all scraggs and feet, don’t laugh it’s fairly true..
These entries have been transcribed and generously provided by the grandson of Pte ALFLAT – John ALFLAT. Thank you John.
In the book Sheffield City Battalion by GIBSON and OLDFIELD Charles is mentioned on page 103. It reads ‘ Vignacourt proved to be good for one thing at least, there were eggs and real bread for dinner. That night Pte ALFLAT was shocked to wake up with 12/885 Pte C.W. BUDDS wrapping his arms around him. BUDDS was apparently having a pleasant dream, thinking that ALFLAT was his girlfriend! Sadly BUDDS was killed in September 1918 serving as an officer with 5 KOYLI ‘
In 1917 he successfully applied for a commission and was posted to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, serving first with the 5th Battalion and then with the 9th.
He was killed in action on the 8th September 1918 whilst serving with the 9th Battalion and is buried in Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.
His parents were notified by telegram thus: ‘Mr. Chas Fred C. Budds, 3 Burngrove Place, Pitsmoor, Sheffield. KOY18 AAA regret 2nd Lt C.W. Budds, 5 KOYLI was killed in action 8.9.18. Viscount Milner expresses his sympathy.’
A letter written on the 12th September by his commanding officer – T.H. Walsh (?) expressed the following sentiments:
‘I am writing to express to you my deep sympathy in the loss of your son who was a fine soldier, he was killed whilst gallantly leading his men to the attack, his end was not painful as he was killed instantly, being shot through the head. I feel that no words of mine can be of very much consolation at a time like this but it is a consolation to know that the boy died a hero’s death & in such a glorious cause. Please accept the sympathy of all ranks in this Bn. Your son’s effects will be forwarded to you as soon as possible.’
On the date in question, the battalion took part in an attack on a trench system called ‘LOWLAND TRENCH’ in the Equancourt area. They met with considerable resistance from Machine Guns, Trench Mortars and bombs but after hard fighting the final objective was reached and held.
At the time of his death, he was just 23 years of age.
Charles is remembered on the following local memorials. Christ Church Pitsmoor Roll of Honour, Institute of Bankers Roll of Honour and the Central Schools Roll of Honour.
Charles battalion bible surfaced in February 2018, very generously donated to be reunited with the group by Mr Kevin JEPSON and his mother Ellen JEPSON who cared for the bible for so many years.