Rank: Private 36424
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Died: 11 December 1918
Beer Memorial Cross, St Michael's Church Tablet, Beer
Other Memorial: Upanga Road Cemetery, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania [Google]
PDF Download: GUSH Charlie Cleaver
Charlie Gush was born in Beer in 1891. His parents were James Wills Gush, who was a butcher in the village, and Elizabeth Frances Gush. They lived at Marine Cottage, Fore Street, and he attended Colyton Grammar School.
Charlie left his name on several sections of stone in the Beer quarry.
However, at the time of the 1911 Census, he was working as a teacher at a private school in Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire.
He joined the Army in 1914, becoming a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). He was posted to Egypt, arriving there on 4 June 1915. He fell ill in Alexandria in early 1916, and was sent back to England in February that year. At Christmas 1916 he was posted overseas again, this time to East Africa.
Charlie survived the war, but died of complications following influenza on 11 December 1918, aged 27, and is buried in the Upanga Road Cemetery, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This followed closely the death in Italy of his younger brother Archie on 17 November, also of influenza.
On 24 December 1918, the Pulman’s Weekly News commented on the fact that Charlie’s death followed:
“...so closely on the demise of their other son, Corporal A. W. Gush, a Military Medallist, who succumbed to influenza in Italy at the end of November. The poignancy of the family’s grief is accentuated by the fact that their sons have died after the conclusion of hostilities, when there was the prospect of their anticipated early return to England, and these sudden blows have been overwhelmingly great."
The Pulman’s Weekly News on 7 January 1919 recorded a visit to Charlie’s mother by his former commanding officer:
“Mrs Gush has lately received a visit from an officer who was with her son in German East Africa. Private Gush was the only ‘medical’ in charge of the 3rd Nigerian Battalion, and showed exceptional ability. The colonel of the West African Medical Corps desired him transferred to his regiment, but his officer placed too high a value on his services to allow this to be done.”
So both sons survived the war, only to die of influenza within a month of the Armistice.
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I am a descendant of Charlie Gush. My cousins are staying in Beer & visiting the Caves this weekend. I hope to do the same in the not too distant future.