Private Charles Sevenoaks

 

Charles Sevenoaks was born on 30 December 1893 at Rossfad, County Fermanagh, the third of five children of English-born butler Cornelius Sevenoaks and his Dublin-born wife Elizabeth (née Merriman). His father, who had earlier worked as a waiter then a hotel manager in Dublin, was butler to Colonel John M.A.C. Richardson, JP DL. At the time of the 1911 Census Charles was living at Rossfad with his parents and his two surviving siblings, and working as a groom and domestic servant.

Assisted by Colonel Richardson, Sevenoaks enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 10 and 19 October 1914 (No. UD/49). In September 1916 he embarked for France, where he joined his squadron in the field at Flesselles.

The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron had combined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse in June 1916 to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded, its men transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Sevenoaks, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Sevenoaks was issued regimental number 41137.

At some point later that year or in 1918 he fell ill and was hospitalised. He saw no further front-line service. In 1919 he was involved in a case of alleged slander (see below).

Sevenoaks married Mary Jane O'Donnell in the Enniskillen Church of Ireland Parish Church on 14 September 1921. At the time he was working as an RIC 'Special' and living at the Castle Barracks in Enniskillen.

 

The General Advertiser, 29 November 1919