Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The 1911 census records Charles William living with his family at 5 Seafield Terrace, on Copnor Road, but that is the only confirmed connection between him and Portsmouth.
His father was Sidney Mills who was born in 1865 at Southwick in Sussex whereas his mother Eliza was from Emsworth, East of Portsmouth. They married in 1885 and by 1890 were living at Hove where their first three children were born. They were Sidney jnr. (b. 1890), Charles William (b. 1895) and Albert (b. 1898). They had moved to Portsmouth by 1905 when their son Leonard was born, their youngest child Reginald following three years later.
Sidney snr. was working as a bricklayer in 1911 as were his two oldest sons but this was probably not enough for Charles William who emigrated to Canada. Within a few years the Great War began and he enlisted in the Canadian Infantry and was posted to the 19th Battalion (Central Ontario) which was part of the 2nd Division. This was formed in October 1914 and sailed for England in May the following year. After training at Shorncliffe they crossed to France in September 1915. There they took part in many actions in and around the Somme.
In March and April 1916 the 2nd Division was involved in the action of St. Eloi craters which Charles William survived, but a few months later, in August, he lost his life.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Charles William Mills, Private (172259), Canadian Infantry, died 13/08/1916. Buried at Ridge Wood Military Cemetery (Grave Ref: III.T.1.). Son of Sidney James and Eliza Mills, of 5, Seafield Terrace, Copnor, Portsmouth, England.
Charles Mills is remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015