Capt. Charles Augustus COBBOLD

Born1871 Sutton, Surrey
Died1915 Loos, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Killed in Action at Loos
FatherAlan Brooksby COBBOLD (1830 – 1901)
MotherHarriet Parker Valentina BARTHOLOMEW (1838 – 1903)

Biography and Notes

Charles was educated at Cheltenham College and became a director of Ind, Coope and Co Ltd He is said to have travelled exstensively in the Arctic Regions of Alaska and N W Canada, and was District Commissioner, Boy Scouts, in S London. He served 20 years with the 3rd Bn the Lincolnshire Regt (M) and on 4th September 1914 he applied for and obtained temporary Captaincy in the 7th (Service) Bn the Suffolk Regt. He was immediately posted to that unit at Shorncliffe and subsequently appointed to command A Company in the 7th Bn. On 20th February the whole of 12th (Eastern) Division concentrated at Aldershot for collective training. He was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal but his widow was disallowed from taking possession of them because she had re-married. He is commemorated on panels 37 & 38 on the Loos Memorial and the Trust has been given his Death Plaque. The 1912 Directory shows him and his wife at The Bungalow, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Suffolk.

The following is an account of his last few months:

On 30th May 1915 the battalion entrained for Folkstone, later crossing the Channel by half battalions in the ships Invicta and Queen, reaching Boulogne the same night. By 1st June 12th (Eastern) Division, complete with all supporting units, had crossed the Channel and there followed 3 long days marching in great heat to reach the RV in Northern France, so as to undertake a prolonged period of training in the techniques of trench warfare. This was completed on 23rd of June.

On 15th July the 35th Infantry Brigade took over a trench system North-East of Armentieres, stretching through Ploegsteert Wood and soon afterwards the Divisional Front was extended all the way to the town of Armentieres which meant that three Brigades now shared a frontage of 7,000 yards. That the months of August and September were reported 'quiet' despite 'killed and wounded' averaging 450 per month says a lot about the fearful conditions our troops endured without even engaging closely with the enemy.

On 13th October 1915, 7th Bn The Suffolk Regiment made a carefully planned attack on the so-called 'Hairpin' trenches which faced them. A Company, commanded by Captain C A Cobbold, led the way with two bombing parties, one from his battalion and another from the 7th Norfolks, and attacked up the left 'arm', whilst D Company, under Captain Henry attacked the right 'arm'. From the very start the enemy resisted with tremendous firepower. Shortly, Captain Cobbold was killed instantly and later 2nd Lt D C Smith was also mortally wounded.

Anthony Cobbold (using research carried out by Lt Col (Retd.) V H Ridley MBE, QGM).

(Commemorated on a Memorial at Kelsale, Suffolk).

Life Events

1896Married Theodosia Agnes SINCLAIR in Toronto, Canada
1901Death of father Alan Brooksby COBBOLD
1903Death of mother Harriet Parker Valentina BARTHOLOMEW

Registered Charity No.1144757.|A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 7783492|All content is Copyright to The Cobbold Family History Trust © 2021