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100 Years on

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Occasionally over the next four years I will record the actions of some of my ancestors during the First World War.


100 years ago today, on the 7th August 1814, a great great Uncle of mine, Charles Robert Stephens, enlisted with the Royal Engineers (Territorials) in Falmouth aged 42.

He was comfortably employed in the Family rope making business and enlisted the second day after Great Britain declared war on Germany without telling his brother and business partner. This probably caused some tension between them because Charles was the company Engineer and in addition the family was prominent amongst the Cornish Quaker community.

After building defensive positions around Falmouth his unit was attached to the Hampshires and Wiltshires and served in France building bridges and water supplies for trenches and hospitals.

He was awarded the Military Cross in June 1917 having been twice mentioned in dispatches.