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  • Christina Drummond

Sergeant Major Charles Stone, M.S.M. "C" Company, (Leigh) Essex Volunnteers

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Sergeant Major Charles Stone, M.S.M, “C” Company, (Leigh) Essex Volunteers, was killed during an air raid on Liverpool Street Station in London.

After leaving school he served in the Navy for a while, then spent twenty-one years with the 3rd Dragoon Guards, Prince of Wales’ Own, during which time he saw action in India, Egypt and South Africa. For part of that service he was aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts VC. In 1912 he returned home to England, having been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and later serving with the Natal Police. At the outbreak of the Great War he volunteered as a drill instructor with the (Leigh) Essex Volunteers, and in June of 1915 was appointed Recruiting Warrant Officer at Southend.

On the day of his death he had travelled to London on a Medical Board train, his purpose being described as “engaged on secret duties.” A German Gotha dropped three bombs on the station, one failed to detonate, one hit a passenger train which was about to depart, and the third fell on Platform 9 at which Sergeant Major Stone had just arrived. Twelve other people were killed that day. He could only be identified by his clothing and personal possessions; and he is buried in the Leigh-on-Sea Cemetery.

Charles, of Neatheravon in Wiltshire, was 58 years old and married with a son and three daughters.

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