Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2.3.2.1.1. Charles Findlay (1912-1986)

Charles Findlay was born on 25 April 1912 at 9 George Street in Hamilton Parish, Lanarkshire. His parents were Charles and Isabella Laird (Muir) Findlay and he was at least the fourth in a long line of Charles Findlays who named their son Charles.

On 7 January 1938 he married Mary Ann McDermott at St. Joseph's Church in Blantyre. St. Joseph's was a Roman Catholic church. Mary Ann was 28 years old and three years older than Charles. Her parents were John and Mary Ann (Boyle) McDermott and they lived at 45 Nursery Place, Blantyre.

At the time of their marriage, Charles was serving as a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Scot Fusiliers. He was stationed at North Camp in Aldershot, England, some 30 miles southwest of London. I have not been able to locate details of Private Findlay's military service during World War II, but the 2nd Battalion served with 17th Infantry Brigade. The brigade was sent to France in late 1939 as an independent unit to join the British Expeditionary Forces and had to be evacuated from Dunkirk. Many men were captured and spent the rest of the war in German prisoner of war camps.

Those from the brigade that escaped Dunkirk then joined the 5th Infantry Division and spent the next two years performing home defense duties.

British troops under fire on the beaches Dunkirk; photograph of
Wikipedia

The brigade was detached from the 5th Division and sent to Africa where they fought in the battle of Madagascar. They rejoined the division and next saw service in Italy, participating in the fierce and bloody fighting at Anzio in 1944. In July of that year they were transferred to Palestine to refit. In early 1945 they were sent to Belgium to join General Barnard Montgomery's 21st Army Group. They participated in the invasion of Germany near the end of the war.

Charles Findlay worked as a steel worker in the 1950s. He lost his wife, Mary Ann, in 1952 and never remarried. He died at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow of renal failure and hypothermia on 27 January 1986 at the age of 73. He was a retired cleansing laborer and lived at 101 West Graham Street in Glasgow before his death.

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Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1912 Findlay, Charles (Statutory Births 647/00 0581)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1938 Findlay, Charles - McDermott, Mary Ann (Statutory Marriages 624/00 0014)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, Extract of an entry from the Register of Deaths in Scotland 6512324 CE
UK, British Artillery Attestations, 1883-1942, Findlay, Charles, Army No. 1434223

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