Charles Bashford was born on 10th August 1890, one of fifteen children to James and Mary Ann Bashford. James was a fisherman, and the family lived in Field Row, a narrow lane in the centre of Worthing, West Sussex.
The seaside town was a centre of fishing activity, so it is no surprise that most of James and Mary Ann’s children went into it in some way, and Charles was no exception. The 1911 census list him as the youngest of four siblings still living at home, and three of those gave their trade as fisherman, as well as James. Charles’ older brother William was the only sibling not to, and he was working as a printer.
War was coming to Europe, and, given his seafaring experience, it is no surprise that Charles sought to enlist in the Royal Navy. He joined up on 12th August 1916 and, after six weeks’ training, was assigned to the Royal Navy Reserve (Trawler Section). During his service he would have been involved in minesweeping and anti-submarine activities, using his own boat – or his family’s one – to do so.
Little further information is available for Deck Hand Bashford. He survived the war, but passed away on 11th August 1919 at the Royal Haslar Hospital, where he had been admitted, suffering from pneumonia. He was 28 years old.
Charles Bashford was brought back to his home town of Worthing; he was laid to rest in the Broadwater Cemetery there.