Note: This page is more than usually unfinished

Chapter 1: Early Years

Unlike Emily, Charles, it seems, did not keep letters. His attitude to family memorabilia was shown dramatically when his Aunt Irene died in 1966. Her bungalow had been full of mementoes, portraits, cases of medals, a piece of leather with a slash through it, that was said to have saved an ancestor's life in battle, and so on. Charles made a bonfire of most of these things. So we know less about his childhood than about Emily's.

We do know that he was suffering from measles when his little sister Emily Evelyn was born on 20th June two years later. We also have several pictures of him, his hair looking for all the world like a little girl's, with golden curls.

From his mother's diary:
June 13th: Darling little Charlie's birthday. We had some presents in the afternoon. We were going to drive to the cliffs but it rained for an hour just as we were going, so we played very happily in the house. It was a very quiet but I think and hope a happy one in a quiet way for him.
Charlie and Emily paddling making a sandcastle with Emily He used to go for walks by the seashore in Wicklow - there was water only a couple of hundred yards from his home, but for real playing in the sand the favoured spot was The Silver Sands, a little south of the town. There the beach consisted of very fine sand, ideal for making sandcastles.

Charlie's father shooting on the beach His father, being a keen shot with the rifle, even took his weapon on the beach and set up a makeshift target.

When he was six Charlie was taken to England to visit his grandmother in Stapleton, Bristol, and he was photographed there with Emily and a dolls' teaset.

While he was there, his father sent him a picture postcard announcing his latest successes in rifle competitions:

Daddy won a prize in the Ardilance Competition, another in The Lady members Competition, a third the N.R.A. Medal Match for Service rifles and a fourth at 800 yards with open sights. So we will have something more to put in the glass cupboard.

the picture on the other side is exactly like the man and car drove me ??? to the rifle range.

Your fond Daddy.

Because Charlie's father was a keen photographer, we can see Charlie growing up in the family home. Sometimes - often - the photos look posed, and the children at least look ill at ease, but we do see what Charlie wore, his sailor suits, all the rage at the time, and later his formal tweed suits. We can even see one of his occupations, met-making. What seems clear is that he spent much of his time with Emily in the garden of Wentworth house. Brother and sister were always very fond of each other.
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Cycling with Emily
Photographs taken as Charlie grew show him turning into a serious boy. His father's engineering background clearly influenced him greatly, and he enjoyed his father's large tricycle and his own bike.

Charlie playing croquet with Emily on the Wentworth House lawn
Digging in the sand
Digging at the seaside
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By the seaside
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Hockey player
With Emily by a cromlech By the seaside Digging on the beach
Under the clematis

Pictures show him playing croquet with his sister on the grass of Wentworth House, and posing as part of a hockey team - the picture of his face is taken from this group photo.

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