Thame Remembers Lance Sergeant Charles Frederick Bristow GM
Charles Frederick Bristow was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire on 10th October 1898, one of three children of Fred Bristow, a joiner, and his wife Rose (née Topps). After serving during World War One with the Army Service Corps (Regt No T290003) he married Elsie Lomas at St Mary’s Church, Thame on 26th December 1924.
She was the daughter of the manager of Thame gasworks. They then went to live in Cranwell, Lincolnshire where they had three children, Rita, Enid and Annie. At the start of the Second World War Charles was recalled to join the Pioneer Corps, while Elsie and the children moved to live with Elsie’s sister Nellie Pullen (née Lomas) at 26 East Street, Thame *.
Charles was one of the last to be evacuated from Dunkirk and was thought to have died until he was spotted at Thame station by daughter, Rita. He was in a poor state not having washed or changed clothes for three weeks.
Soon after, he transferred to 22 Bomb Disposal Company, Royal Engineers, where he was awarded the George Medal in recognition of his bomb disposal work during the winter of 1940/41.
On 1st April 1942, with Lieutenant Walton, he attempted to defuse a British “Yellow Peril” balloon bomb on marshes near Great Wakering, Essex. The bomb exploded killing Lieutenant Walton instantly and severely wounding Charles in the abdomen. He died of his wounds on 4th April in St George’s Hospital, London and was buried with full military honours. He was 43 years old.
13005511 Lance Sergeant Charles Frederick Bristow GM, Royal Engineers, is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard, Cranwell, Lincolnshire. He is commemorated on the church memorial in Cranwell village and his name is to be added to Thame War Memorial.
* Note on address:
The Thame Remembers (page 167) book makes reference to his address as 23 East Street, Thame. This was a regrettable typing error and is now corrected to 26 East Street, the address where his wife’s sister Nellie was living.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to St Andrews Churchyard, Cranwell, Lincolnshire on 08th July 2017 by Ian Jones (Thame Remembers)