|1. Memorial:||Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial||Panel 12 and 14. Flanders|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.128|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||35D GQS|
Awards & Titles:
Family :Husband of Emily J. Laing, of 6, St. Mark's Court, Abercorn Place, St. John's Wood, London.
- The Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, South Africa.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit :||2nd Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)|
|Action :||The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres)|
CHARLES WILLIAM LAING 2/LIEUTENANT, 2/THE BUFFS (EAST KENT REGIMENT) Commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 12, and on St. Mary the Virgin parish church war memorial as well as on the Canterbury, Kent civic war memorial. Charles had served as Lance Corporal, 5706, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) during the South African Campaign (Second Boer War), and on 10 March 1900 had been wounded at Driefontein when Captain A.R. Eustace and 20 other ranks were killed, and Charles was amongst the 79 other ranks who were wounded, in addition to 3 officers. Following this action 102 Boer dead were counted. Amongst the 3 officers wounded that day was Lieutenant James McBain Ronald, who fell the day before Charles on 23 April 1915, whilst they were again serving in the same battalion, at which time James was a 39 year old Captain, he too is commemorated on the Menin Gate. The 2nd Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) had returned to positions at St. Jean, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium on 21 April 1915, and took part in the fighting around Wieltje between 23 and 27 April where Charles lost his life. Having risen to the rank of Colour Sergeant in the regiment, Charles had only recently been commissioned in 1915 shortly before his death. It would seem almost that it was pre-ordained for Charles to be a soldier, and follow in the footsteps of his Crimean War veteran father, who at the time of the 1881 census was serving as a Staff Sergeant in the Militia, and Mary N & St John Hospital, Kent.
A notice of his death appears in the Dover Express on the 7th May, 1915: "Killed in action on April 27th, Charles William Laing, Second Lieut., 2nd Battalion The Buffs, youngest son of the late David Laing, of the 93rd Regiment, and of Canterbury."
A memorial notice appears on the 21st April, 1914, again in the Dover Express LAING - In loving memory of Charles William Laing. Second Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, The Buffs, the beloved husband of Emily J. Laing, killed in action April 23rd, 1915.
And they that live shall honoured live,
And they that fall, to them we give,
Proud-hearted, while we weep,
A worthier homage than our tears,
The deathless memory of years,
To crown their glorious sleep."
22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Military Jubilee No. 2195 E.C.||East Kent|
26th February 1913
12th December 1913
9th January 1914
Charles was recorded as a Sergeant of the 2nd Bn. The Buffs when he was initiated into Military Jubilee Lodge, aged 33, at Dover, Kent. His contribution record does not show his war service, but ends with "Killed in Action July 1915." He was raised in Brownrigg Lodge of Unity No. 1424.
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley