Private Charles Lythe, miner and KOYLI soldier

Charles Lythe was born in Normanton, Yorkshire in 1896. His father James was in business on his own account as a mineral water manufacturer when Charles was little but by the time he was 15 his father had become a miner at the nearby colliery. Charles followed him down the pit, becoming a pony driver working underground. He lived in Pontefract Rd, Normanton Common with his father, Mother Mary Jane and little sister Eva.

During the First World War Charles joined the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) as a Private and saw action at the front. He was wounded in October 1918 and was sent to Grayling Hospital, Chichester to recover. The Regimental Museum of the KOYLI in Doncaster has some of Charles’ belongings from the First World War in its collection. These include a postcard and purse from the hospital and a Vesta match case which shows the bullet mark from when he was wounded.. They also have his belt, a cigarette case and his British War and Victory medals,

After the war Charles returned to Yorkshire and got married in 1927 to Heather Ingram. By 1939 they were living in Dewsbury and had a daughter called Margaret. Charles had left the mining life behind him and was now working as a bus driver. He also did voluntary work for the Ambulance Auxiliary Service in Ravensthorpe.

He died in Ravensthorpe in 1977.

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