Charlie Arbon

Service number: 6286428 | Rank: Private | Regiment: 2nd Battalion, The Buffs (Royal West Kent Regiment)

Died, April 23, 1943.
Buried at MEDJEZ-EL-BAB WAR CEMETERY, Tunisia. 8.H.7.

Aged 24.  Son of William and Maria Arbon; husband of Jane Ann Arbon, of Methwold, Norfolk.


Charlie’s birth was registered in Mildenhall in the third-quarter of 1917, and it seems he was born in Eriswell, Suffolk, just a few miles away from Brandon.  His mother, Maud, does not seem to have had much involvement in his upbringing, so it appears he was brought up by his grandparents at Wangford.  His grandparents, William and Maria, had ten children according to the 1911 census, with the youngest just a few months old at that time.  So despite being in their fifties they, or more likley Maria, would not have struggled in raising Charlie.  After leaving school Charlie worked on Lord Iveagh’s estate, at Wangford, where his grandfather had worked before retirement.

It appears Charlie was a career soldier and was one of the first to go to France when war was declared.  It was reported by the Bury Free Press that he was one of those evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk in the May-June 1940.  Charlie would have spent time on the British mainland with his unit, being re-trained and re-equipped in readiness to go back into the war, and it was during that time, in 1942, he married Jane (Jean?) Ann Gilchrist, who came from Scotland.  Perhaps he had met her while on various assignments in Britain?  They had a son, Alastair.  Charlie’s headstone reads …

“He made the supreme sacrifice,
To the undying memory of
A loving husband and daddy
Jean and Alastair”

Images courtesy of Tony Pringle.