Private Charles Henry Flemington
1/5th Bn. The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)

Town Memorial World War II


Service Number 6102735
Died 17/09/1942
Aged 27
1/5th Bn.
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Son of Mrs. K. Flemington, of Leatherhead, Surrey.
Location: Egypt
Cemetery/memorial reference: XXIX. A. 26.

Queen´s Royal West Surrey 1940 Enlistment Register, Book 26: 6102735
Name: Charles Henry Flemington
Event Date: 15 Aug 1940
Regiment Number: 6102735
Regiment: Queen's Royal West Surrey

[notation] Killed in accident 17.9.42

image source: Ralph McLean

Surrey Advertiser

Saturday 14 November 1942
War Office casualty lists include the following; —The Queen’s Royal Regt.—
... Died: Corpl. E. W. Wells, Ptes. J. W. Filkins, C. H. Flemington.

The circumstances of Charles Flemington's accidental death are not known. He had enlisted during the height of the Battle of Britain.

His death occurred between the major actions of Alam El Halfa, which ended about 6th September 1942 and Deir El Munassib on the night of 30 Sep/1 Oct 1942. The Royal West Surreys website gives the overall picture:

On the 15th the 1/7th Queen’s relieved the 2nd Rifle Brigade on a wide frontage behind Nuts and May minefields. Patrols had established that the enemy was holding the Munassib Depression as a key position in the defence of the January and February minefields, and the new commander of XIII Corps, Lieut-General B.G. Horrocks, decided to capture the area for extra artillery deployment in future operations. 131 Brigade was detailed for this task. Consequently the Brigade was relieved by the Greek Brigade on the 23rd September and went back into reserve in order to train for this operation, codenamed “Braganza”.

The depression resembled a wide, irregular river-bed, with precipitous sides which dropped about fifty feet below the surrounding desert. Near the south side of the depression there was a ridge within the depression about 1,200 yards long, with two spot-heights on it, Points 94 and 92. Just beyond the Points 94 and 92 ridge and external to the depression was a low hill, Hill 101. Both these features were held by the enemy, thought to be elements of the Trieste Division. On the north side there were two minefields, the nearest in an area known as The Pimples, and another about half a mile further west beyond a re-entrant and a spur in the depression’s lip. The Brigade’s plan was that 1/6th Queen’s would attack on the right along the northern lip, with its final objective as the spur and re-entrant between the minefields, whilst 1/5th Queen’s on the left was to capture Points 94 and 92, and Hill 101. 1/7th Queen’s was to be in reserve at the eastern end of the depression. A full rehearsal was carried out on the 28th and went smoothly.

His life

He was born on 13 February 1915 and baptised (as Henry Charles Flemington) on 18 February 1915 at St Mark's, Marylebone Road.

His mother was Kate Flemington, a Cook, living at 38 Great Pultney Street. John William Polidori (1795-1821, poet & novelist, author of The Vampyre was born & died there.

Kate's was the only parental name on the births register entry. She would have been about 38 years old. According to a 1911 Census Summary Book, that address was described as a nursing home, 10 females, occupier Mrs Ruspini. Possibly it was for single mothers.

Clara Kate Flemington was born 26 January 1877 and baptised in the parish of Sanford Orcas, near Sherborne, Somerset on March 1 1877. Her parents were Charles & Pamela Flemington.

In the 1881 Census, when she was 4, her family were enumerated in the civil parish of Fawley near Southampton, the address simply given as Stone [Cottages], annotated Redbridge. Her father Charles (38) was a Shepherd, born in Tarrant Monkton near Blandford Forum. Her mother, Pamela, was born in Farnham, Dorset. Her siblings at that time were Louisa (10), Mary Ann (8), Harriet (6) and Alice (2 mo).

By the 1891 Census Clara, now aged 14, was a Farmhouse Servant (Domestic) at Langley Farm, Fawley, Hampshire, England. The other occupants were Samuel Wright (65) Farmer, Elizabeth Wright (28), Charles W Wright (24) and Ellen Wright (5).

Now described as a Cook, she was enumerated with her parents who were still at Stone Cottages, Fawley at the time of the 1901 (when 24) and 1911 Censuses (when 34).

Following her in the Electoral Registers she has a series of employments, probably as a Cook, in well-to-do households in the Leatherhead area. It is not known until he himself appears in the Electoral Registers where her son Charles Henry Flemington was living or being educated:

1930: Frensham House, Headley Road, Leatherhead: for Harry & Mercedes Wood
1933: 5 Epsom Road: for John & Margaret Carter
1934: Rowhurst Hill, Oxshott Road, Leatherhead: for Mary Haynes
1937 & 1938: The Warren, The Warren Ashtead: for Lady Maud Duckham
In the 1939 England & Wales Register Kate is listed as a Cook in the household of Joan B Martins, a Social Worker at Broom Cottage, Broom Close (off Claremont Lane), Esher.

Charles appears in the 1937 Electoral Roll for the Epsom Constituency at 29 Woodbridge Avenue, Leatherhead, the home of Howard George and Gladys Amelia Bass.

In the 1939 England & Wales Register he is listed at 3 Long Shaw, Leatherhead, the home of Charles Thorpe (27) and Ivy Thorpe (20). Charles was aged 24 and worked as a Butcher's Roundsman.

After the war his mother Kate (Mrs K Flemington) appears to have taken in lodgers judging by the Electoral Rolls. She lived at 21 Clinton Road, Leatherhead (eg 1945-55) and at 20 Sole Farm Avenue, Bookham (eg 1958-62).

Her death was registered in the first quarter of 1966 (Mid E Surrey 9G 84).

Charles Henry Flemington is remembered on these memorials
Leatherhead RBL Roll of Honour, Leatherhead Parish Church
Leatherhead Town Memorial

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him and of any recollections of him

last updated 28 Jul 20