Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

Search
Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 21618 Charles Albert Riley

  • Age: 23
  • From: Bootle
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 21st November 1916
  • Commemorated at: Warlincourt Halte Brit Cem
    Panel Ref: III.G.8

Charles Albert Riley was born in 1893 in Bootle and resided in Liverpool and was the son of William and Hannah Riley, 13 Jermyn Street, Princes Park, Liverpool.

The 1911 Census shows the family living at 6 Well Opening Great Yarmouth. His father, William James, is aged 46, born in 1865 in Bootle and is Secretary to the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. Charles' mother Hannah Matilda is aged 47, born 1864 in Walton, Liverpool . They have been married for 22 years and they had seven children of which two had died, all of the children were born in Bootle. William aged 20 born 1891 is a Book keeper, Thomas Arthur aged 19, born 1892 is a shipping clerk,  Charles Albert aged 17, is a clerk, Percival aged 12, born 1899 and Eric Edward Septimus  aged 8, born 1903 are both at school.

Charles enlisted on the 11th September, 1914 in Liverpool joini g the 19th Battalion as Private 21618. He gave his age as 21 years and 60 days and his occupation as a Draughtsman. He was described as being 5 feet six and half inches tall, weighed 138lbs, had a fresh complexion, brown eyes, brown hair and gave his religion as Baptist.

Formed in November 1914 the 20th Battalion were originally billeted at Tournament Hall, Knotty Ash before on 29th January 1915 they moved to the hutted accommodation purposely built at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 19th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. 

His records show;

03.08.15: Late on parade at 09.10am, three days confined to barracks.

17.10.15: Absent from church parade, punishment award: admonished

07.11.15: Embarked for France with his Battalion.

He was killed in action after receiving a shell wound to the abdomen  on the 21st November, 1916 aged 21. His colleague Private 51681 A. E Jefferies was also hit by the shell, in the right arm and leg, and later died of his wounds on the 24th November.

Charles' personal effects were sent to his mother and included one farthing, one cent piece, one purse, one National Reserve ?.., one pipe, one pouch, one watch, one chain, one pair of spectacles, two shoulder plates , one Imperial badge, one pocket knife, one book, one small book, one pair of gloves and letters and photographs.

Reports on his death appeared in the Evening Express and in the Liverpool Echo on the 1st December 1916.

"Private Charles Riley, K.L.R., who has died of wounds in a hospital in France, is the third son of Mr. W.J. Riley, secretary of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society.Private Riley, who was 23 years of age, joined the Liverpools in September, 1914, and has been serving at the front since October of last year, having recently been transferred to the machine gun section. He was formerly employed by Messrs. E.F. Blakeley and Co., Vauxhall Ironworks, Birkenhead. An old boy of Bedford-road School, he was associated with Prince's Gate Baptist Church, and was a worker in the Sunday school and children's service. He is the first member of the church to be killed in the war.

 His father as received a most sympathetic letter from a chaplain, who adds: "I buried him this afternoon in a quiet cemetery close by where many another brave man lies in his last sleep." 

He now lrests at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, France.

He is also commemorated on the following memorials:

Bedford Road Council School,

Bootle War Memorial.

 

The family suffered a second grievous loss when another son, William Parkinson Riley, also fell. He was serving with the Duke Of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) as Sergeant G/100520 in Russia on the 2nd January, 1919 aged 29 and is commemorated at the Murmansk New British Cemetery. He is also commemorated on the Bedford Road Council School, Bootle War Memorial.

He enlisted on the 17th July, 1918 giving his age as 28 years and three months.

After his death in Russia, a Court of Enquiry was assembled at Kola Railway Bridge to investigate and report on the death of Sergeant Riley who had been found dead after drinking whiskey with colleagues. The verdict of the Court on the 4th January, 1919 was that he died of alcoholic poisoning and to which no blame can be attached other than to himself.

 

 

Killed On This Day.

(104 Years this day)
Monday 27th November 1916.
Pte 51893 James Arnold
38 years old