Sunday, October 18, 2015

Private Charles Jenner 390th Labour Company, Labour Corps

In December 1916, Chailey Parish Magazine notes, Jenner, Private C, Queen’s Royal West Surrey but by July 1918 he has transferred to The Labour Corps and the 390th Labour Company remaining with them until the end of the war. 

C Jenner is Charles Jenner who was born at Chailey on the 31st August 1889 and whose birth was registered at Lewes in the September quarter of that year.  He appears on the 1891 census of England and Wales as one year old infant living with his family at South Street, Chailey.  The household comprised: Martin Jenner (head, married, aged 36 and working as a postman), his wife Charlotte (aged 40) and their three children: William Ernest Jenner (a seven year old scholar), Nellie Marion Jenner (aged four) and Charles. 

Ten years later (with the exception of Nellie who was working as a nursemaid at 44 Walsingham Road, Aldrington), the family was still at South Street.  Martin Jenner was still working as a postman and William is noted as a grocer’s assistant. 

Charles' step-grandson, Derek Bird, fills in information on the 390th Labour Company: 

"The 390th was a Home Service Labour Company stationed at Hythe, Kent; although the group photographs I have were taken in front of the Lewes Workhouse in June 1918 (and by a forebear of a Lewes photographer who still has the original negatives!) – it is always possible that they were over in Sussex on training or working. Unfortunately the records for all the Home Service Companies were destroyed during WW2. As Charles Jenner does not feature anywhere on the online medal rolls it appears that he only served at home, and it could be that his service with the Queen’s Royal West Surrey’s was with one of their 30 Infantry Labour Companies, most of which served overseas (and would have been entitled to medals), although those not fit would have been transferred to a Home Service Company. These units were all absorbed into the Labour Corps when it was formed in 1917. 

In 1916 Charles married Rose Beatrice Smythe in Brighton.  Rose was a member of Sussex 54 VAD and her biography also appears on this site.  Their marriage was registered in Brighton district in the September quarter of 1916.  Two years later a son, Bernard C Jenner, was born. 

Rose Jenner died of consumption (TB) in 1927.  Her death was registered in the Ticehurst (Sussex) district in the September quarter of that year. A few years later, probably in the early nineteen thirties, Charles Jenner married Harry Bird’s widow (Harry had died in 1927 and is buried at St Peter's Church, Chailey).  The couple had no children between them but together they brought up the three children from their previous marriages.  Like his father before him, Charles Jenner worked as a postman.  His brother William Jenner also served during the First World War. 

Charles Jenner died in the 1969.  Mabel Jenner died in 1972.

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