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OLDAKER, Charles Martin (1885-1977) – Gloucestershire Regiment

Private Charles Martin Oldaker (1885-1977) moved to Wickhamford after his period of service in the war.

Charles was the son of Charles and Sarah Ann Oldaker who lived at Upper Farm, Alston, Tewkesbury in 1911.  When Charles enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. (No 35736), on 26 October 1916, he gave his occupation as a farmer from Upper Farm, Evenlode, Moreton-in-Marsh. (He stated on his enlistment papers that he had previously served in the Grenadier Guards for 6 months; one note on his record mentions that he first joined for duty on 30th December 1914 at Chelsea.  He may have been rejected for service in a Guards Regiment.  There is no mention of this on his Medals Record card).

He went to France on 24 November 1917, and was transferred to the 13th Battalion on the 27th; he spent 69 days in hospital in 1918 (14 June – 22 August) suffering from trench foot.  At some point he was transferred to the 424 Company of the Labour Corps (No 426196).  He was transferred to the Reserves on 22 March 1919 and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Charles married Una M. Collett, in the Alcester area, in 1919 at the same time as he left the Army.  He came to Wickhamford to run Field Farm, probably in 1927, as it was up for sale at this time.   He was certainly there in 1938, as he allowed the newly re-formed Wickhamford Football Club to use a field on his farm as a pitch.  His farm details were recorded by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1941 when he grew cereals, potatoes and vegetables, had an orchard and kept cattle and other livestock.  He left the farm after World War II and died in Hereford in 1977.