Charles Mayes.


Charles was a Sergeant & drill Instructor of E company of the 1/1st Hunts Cyclist Battalion.   Information from the HCB Gazette, Spring edition 1915 indicated that he was one of five Sergeants in E company of the 1/1st HCB.-

Company Sergeant Charles Mayes was the Grandfather of Derek Mayes who has kindly supplied the following entry of his death from  a hand-written specific entry in the war diary of the 1st Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment.Written by Lieut. J P Gent Assistant Adjutant.  '25-3-18 = FERDAN HOUSE (A Coy’s HQ) was shelled during the morning.  CSM Mayes and 2 OR’s [OTHER RANKS] (1 Signaller and 1 Off. servant) were killed and 4 OR wounded. The defence of POEL CAPPELLE POELKAPELLE] [was properly organised and the systems of defences were carefully mapped out. Weather very good. Patrolling was kept up every night, specially along the SPRIET ROAD. 2nd Lt. Kiesham’s patrol killed a man but were unable to reach the body owing to intense MG fire. Battn HQ and FERDAN HOUSE shelled during the day'.

C. S. M  Mayes is buried in Cement House Cemetery Langemark.

He was mentioned in a poem in the spring issue of the HCB Gazette 1915, he was a Colour Sergeant in E Company 1/1st HCB

“ The Sergeants’ Mess ”

                Sergeant-Major Blake                                                    Q. M. S. Hall  

                Makes all Filey quake                                                     Provides rations for all,

                With his 6 am. pill                                                              And for stale bread and 'Scrag'

                Of physical drill.                                                                 The A. S. C. gets  'Snag'.

                                 A.                                                                                            B 

                Colour Sergeant Walton                                                     Colour Sergeant Mayes

                Said "Don't put salt on                                                        Is said to wear stays,

                The tail of that rabbit,                                                          We think that he must

                Just pot it, then grab it".                                                     From the shape of his bust.

                                 B.                                                                                            F

                 Colour Sergeant Buckley                                        Colour Sergeant Chesterfield,

                Didn't Kill himself, luckily.                                  Bantam-weight, dressed, or peeled,

                His temptation you see                                                       Sometimes lets fly

                Is now to shoot B.                                                               At F Company.

                                 C.                                                                                            G.

                 Colour Sergeant Dawson                                                    Colour Sergeant Baxter

                Said " Chilly night draws on,                                             Said " I haven't axed her,"

                The way to outflank it                                                         When a parent enraged

                Is-get under the blanket ".                                                  Asked " Are you engaged ?"

                                 D.                                                                                            H.

                 Colour Sergeant Buck,                                                        Colour Sergeant Wiles

                Full of beans and pluck,                                                      Has the quietest of smiles

                The great thing to see                                                         But H has not found him

                Is Buck drilling D.                                                                Soft enough to get round him.


"Snag" was the name the men called the H.C.B headquarters in Yorkshire.

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. . Martyn Smith ©