214312, Pte Charles Christopher Quinn was born on 24th December 1887, in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, to Charles and Margaret (née Rogan) Quinn. He had an older sister, Margaret b.1885, and a younger brother, Patrick b. 1891.

By the age of 13, Charles was working as a milk boy on deliveries in Birkenhead, and at 23 he was working as a hotel waiter.

In October 1915, aged 27, Charles married Mary Mathews in Birkenhead, and, remarkably, on the 27th of that month, with war well under way in Europe, he sailed from Liverpool and arrived into New York on the SS Cymric on 7th November, alone. Quite what the plan was, be it for Mary to follow him later, or for Charles to make a quick fortune and return, isn't known.

However, it transpired that after settling in Detroit, Charles next appears on the records at the recruitment station in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where he attested into the 99th (Essex) Battalion on 19th April 1916.

Listing next of kin as Mary, wife, with their Birkenhead address in England, trade as waiter, with no previous military or militia experience, Charles entered the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After training, the 99th BN was sent to England on the SS Olympic (sister ship to the infamous Titanic), arriving on 8th June 1916.

On 6th July 1916 the 99th BN men were assigned to the 35th BN, and three months later batches of men were transferred to rebuild the 4th CMR after their losses in the Regina Trench action.

Charles served without direct injury for the remainder of his time in service, being transferred to the 3rd Canadian Division Pack Pony Company in June 1917, before being in and out of the Canadian Field Ambulance system with skin infections in July 1917. This saw him attached to the 3rd Division Water Detail before rejoining the 4th CMR in October 1917.

In January 1918, with his experience as a waiter no doubt in is favour, Charles was transferred to the British Army's School of Mortars to act as a Batman for a Lt Hastings. This role he served through Hastings' subsequent attachment to the Trench Mortar Battalion, until Charles was transferred back to the 4th CMR at war's end in November 1918.

Transferred to the 1st C.O.R.D. (Central Ontario Reinforcement Depot) at Bramshott, England, in early March 1919, Charles was finally struck of strength from service on 19th March 1919 in Ripon, England. All records from here seem to agree that he remained in the UK, undoubtedly to finally settle down with Mary.

It isn't known if they had a family thereafter, though the couple were living in Birkenhead in 1939, with Charles listed as a "Railway Porter - Passenger" and Mary as "Domestic Help - Daily". Both were in their early 50s by this time.

Charles Christopher Quinn passed away in Birkenhead, in February 1969, aged 81.

Biography credit and thanks go to 4th CMR researcher David Kavanagh.