Charles Gordon Loftus Tottenham (1888-1915) - Captain Royal EngineersCharles Gordon Loftus Tottenhamwas born in Hobart, Tasmania on the 11thOctober 1888, the youngest child of Major General Henry Loftus Alexander Tottenham and his wife Helen Winifred (nee Brown).His father had served in the British Indian Army with the Bengal Staff Corps and 38thNative Infantry until his early retirement in 1885 at which point he moved to Tasmania, where Charles was born. Henry died in Tasmania in 1896 and two years later the family – Charles, his mother, and his older brother and sister, returned to England. By 1901 the family were living in Lambeth and Charles was a pupil at Dulwich College. From here, in 1905, he applied for entry to the Royal Military Academy, graduating with a commission as 2nd Lieutenant Royal Engineers in December 1907.After two years further training at Chatham and Portsmouth he was promoted to full Lieutenant in May 1910. In July 1910 he followed his father into the Indian Army and a posting with the First Sappers and Miners (King George’s Own). This was a temporary posting however and the 1911 census finds him as Officer Commanding 2ndQueen’s Own Sappers and Miners in Rangoon.By this time his mother had moved to Trout Cottage in Barns Green where she was to live for a number of years before moving back to London at the end of the war.In October 1914 Charles had been promoted to Captain and towards the end of the year he was called back to base in Roorkee in northern India and drafted to France, arriving there on the 29th November.As a supernumerary officer most of the next three months were spent at base in Rouen waiting for a command position to arise but on 9thMarch 1915 he was attached to the 4thCompany 1st(King George V’s Own) Bengal Sappers and Miners and sent to the front at Vieille Chappelle.This excerpt from a report in the West Sussex County Times of 17th April 1915 tells the rest of the story.“It was about 5pm on the 29thMarch when Captain Tottenham went out with a working party of a hundred men and worked with them in the trenches until about 12.30 at night. On completion of his task he put his head above the parapet to have a look at the enemy and whilst doing so was shot to the head.”Charles died of his wounds the following day. Although originally buried on the battlefield his body was reinterred after the war at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery. He is remembered on Itchingfield War Memorial.For his service Charles was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. His service record survives and can be found at the National Archives in Kew.