Dover Express 23 Jul 1915
We regret to learn that Mr. C. J. Howard, who resides at 2, Beach Street, has received a final letter from the War Office informing him there can be no longer any hopes of his son, 10256, Lance-Corporal William Alfred Howard “C” Company, 1st Battalion The “Queen’s” Royal West Surrey Regiment, being alive. He has been missing since October 31st last, at Ypres, and although his father has made every effort to obtain news of him, he has not been successful. On March 28th his name appeared in the list as a “prisoner of war, previously reported missing.” Now the War Office admit that this was an error of theirs, owing to the similarity of his name and that of his brother, 10168 Lance-Corporal Albert William Howard, “D” Company, of the same Battalion, who was taken prisoner the same day, and is interned at Suderzollhaus, Schleswig, previously at Gustrow. The war office have forwarded extracts from three German reports, showing that he was killed on November 27th and buried at Gheleevelt, but this date does not agree with facts, and the War Office admit the German report as to date may be incorrect, but they have grave reason to believe he is dead. The deceased was not quite 20 1/2 years of age, and enlisted in the “Queen’s” at the age of eighteen. His father, who is well-known in Dover, being the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company’s police-constable at the Harbour Station, has two other son’s serving their King and country, one, Sergeant A. G. Howard, 2nd Battalion The “Queen’s,”having already been at the Front, being sent with his Battalion from Pretoria in September, was invalided home, and is now awaiting orders to go out again; the other being Private C. J. Howard, 2nd Battalion West Yorks, who formerly served in the 2nd Middlesex for eight years, and is still in the firing line. The deceased and his brother, Albert, went out with the 1st Division on August 12th, and were in action at Mons, through the retreat to the Aisne, and the advance up to Ypres, where in the fighting on October 30th and 31st the two Battalions fought side by side, and together lost 624 officers and men, the enemy having pierced the line of either side of the “Queen’s,” who were isolated and surrounded and there the “Queen’s” fought and died.
Charles James Howard married Eliza Charlotte Jane Aldrige (my 3rd cousin 3x removed) on 13 Apr 1884 at St Andrew, in Buckland, Dover. They had nine children, my 4th cousins 2x removed – 7 boys and 2 girls.
Charles James became a Sergeant/Acting Company Sergeant Major in the 2nd Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment and also served in the 2nd Middlesex and Labour Corps 238th Company.
Arthur George was a Sergeant in the Queen’s Regiment, 2nd Battalion and survived the war.
William Alfred is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Albert William is detailed in the article.