A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES BATSON BORN IN GRIFFYDAM IN 1888
William Batson was landlord at the Travellers Rest in the 1901 census and was given as a beer retailer and coal miner hewer. He had also previously been landlord at the Rising Sun from mid 1886 to mid 1893.
William was born in 1850 in Hardwick, Bucks and his wife Susan was born 1851 in Long Sutton, Lincs. They had three children born in Breedon; Mary born 1877, William John born 1882 and Eliza born 1884. After moving to the Rising Sun, they had another three children there; Jemima born 1886, Charles born 1888, and George born 1889.
In 1901, Charles Batson then aged 13, was employed as a coal miner (hewer u/ground) and residing at the family home, The Travellers Rest, with his parents and sibling Jemima.
In the 1st W.W. Charles enlisted with the “Battalion - 1/5 Unit - Leicestershire Regiment Section at Ashby de la Zouch. During the fighting in France on the 14th of August 1917, in the morning a Battalion raiding party left Noyelles and marched up to the line. On the march up through Vermelles 11 men of B Coy were killed and 14 wounded by one shell.
Charles died from his wounds on the 17th of August 1917. His burial place is Vi C 11, Bethune Town Cemetery and his burial commemoration is Bethume Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. His name is on the War Memorial Plaque in Holy Trinity Church, Ashby de la Zouch
For much of the First World War, Bethune was comparatively free from bombardment and remained an important railway and hospital centre, as well as a corps and divisional headquarters. The 33rd Casualty Clearing Station was in the town until December 1917. Early in 1918, Bethune began to suffer from constant shell fire and in April 1918, German forces reached Locon, five kilometres to the north. The bombardment of 21 May did great damage to the town and it was not till October that pressure from the Germans was relaxed. Bethune Town Cemetery contains 3,004 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, including 26 men of the 1/8th Manchester Regiment who were killed by a bomb on 22 December 1917 while marching to rest billets. Second World War burials number 19. There are also 122 French and 87 German war graves. The Commonwealth section of the cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.