Walter Charles Sparey was born on 3rd Aril 1890 in the Somerset town of Frome. He was a twin, and was one of a total of seven children to Walter and Susan Sparey. Walter Sr was a plasterer and tiler and the family lived on Culver Hill, to the south of the town centre, and next to the Girl’s Asylum Institute.
When he left school, Walter Jr – who was known as Charles, to avoid confusion with his father – found work as a grocer’s porter, while his twin, Henry, was employed as a labourer for the local brewery.
Europe was on the brink of war and, while full details of Charles’ military service are not available, some aspects are clear. He enlisted within weeks of war breaking out, joining the Somerset Light Infantry as a Private. By July 1915, he fond himself on the Western Front in France.
Private Carey was caught up in the fighting and, on 3rd April 1916, received gun shot wounds in the back and shoulder. He seems to have recovered, but was dogged by lung and heart afflictions afterwards, and did not return to active duty. He was eventually discharged from military service on 15th August 1917.
Charles returned home, but the effects of his injuries eventually proved too much. He passed away on 1st March 1918, aged just 28 years old, and was laid to rest in the graveyard of Christ Church in his home town of Frome.