Sunday, October 19, 2014

WR/259151 Sapper Charles John Pateman, Royal Engineers

Charles John Pateman was one of three Chailey brothers who served during the First World War.  A fourth brother, Ernest Pateman, attested under the Derby Scheme but was medically unfit and did not serve. 

Charles Pateman was born at Chailey in late 1876 or early 1877, his birth registered at Lewes in the March quarter of that year.  By the time the 1891 census was taken, the family was living at North Common, Chailey and comprised Charles Pateman senior (head, aged 39, working as a traction engine driver), his wife Susannah (aged 35) and their six children: Charles (aged 14, working as a farm labourer),  Thomas Pateman (aged 12, also working as a farm labourer), Elizabeth A Pateman (aged nine), Emily A Pateman, aged six, Alfred Pateman (aged two) and Ernest Pateman (aged one). 

The 1901 census shows the family still living at North Common.  Charles Pateman senior (now aged 48) is listed as a thrashing engine driver.  His wife Susannah is aged 45 and their sons, Charles junior (aged 24), Alfred (aged 12) and Ernest (aged 11), are all still living at home.  Charles, like his father, is working on heavy machinery and noted as a steam roller driver.  Elizabeth Pateman was working as a cook for a domestic household in Hove, Sussex while her sister Emily was working as a kitchen maid in Brighton. 

Chailey Parish Magazine first mentions Charles Pateman in its October 1916 issue, noting that he is a sapper with the Royal Engineers in England.  He appears to have served throughout the war and appears in the final, published roll call in July 1919 as Pateman, Sapper CJ, RE.  His son, Mick Pateman states that his father used to drive a railway engine used to take ammunition to the front and this certainly ties in with his peacetime occupation. 

His medal information card at the National Archives in Kew shows two army numbers: 194146 and WR/259151, both of these listing his rank as sapper and his regiment The Royal Engineers.  Charles Pateman’s cousins, Percy and Walter Pateman, also served their King and Country during the First World War.

Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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