Charlwood – no deaths, but still a heavy price

All five of the Charlwood ringers who went to war returned home, but two of them at least were permanently changed. Sidney Herbert Ellis received a gunshot wound to the chest in France, leading a later medical board to rate him as 25% disabled. Arthur Knapp had the misfortune to be sent to the Salonika theatre of war, where like so many of the allied forces there he contracted malaria. In his case it lead to blindness in one eye and recurrent attacks of malaria until at least 1921 (when the available records stop), he was rated 30% disabled. George Ellis was luckier, breaking a wrist in an accident in Italy while serving with the RAF, but this doesn’t seem to have long term effects – in fact he rejoined the RAF reserve in 1938 as the Second World War approached.

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