Charles Reading Kenchatt

Charles Reading Kenchatt was born in Hendon, London in 1888 to Philip Kenchatt and his wife Phoebe Ann nee Reading. He was the fourth of nine children and the brother of fellow WW1 casualty Ralph Kenchatt.

 

Prior to the Great War, on 10th November 1904, Charles was attested into the West Riding Regiment and given the regimental number of 8369. At the time he was described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 134 pounds with an expanded chest measurement of 34.5 inches. His complexion was fresh, he had blue eyes and black hair.

 

Charles signed on with the West Riding Regiment for 9 years with the colours and 3 years in the reserve. Unfortunately for him, very shortly after leaving, as a reserve, he was mobilised back into the regiment due to the start of the Great War.

Charles was one of the "Old Contemptibles", one of the professional soldiers that went to fight on the continent from the start of the war in 1914. They were called this because, allegedly, the Kaiser, upon hearing that German forces were being held up in France while en route to the French capital, is said to have exclaimed his exasperation of "Sir John French's contemptible little army".

 

Charles was killed in action on 10th November 1914 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate as he is one of the thousands of soldiers in Belgian Flanders to have no known grave. He remains, to this day, somewhere out in the fields.

 

Charles was posthumously awarded the 1914 (Mons) Star with Clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

 

Charles Kenchatt was my 6th cousin twice removed, and was the 1st cousin of Harold Kenchatt, who was also a casualty of this war.

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