Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project
Charles Henry GRANSDEN (of Lynsted)
b. 3rd August 1912
Gunner, Service Number 1100180
Charles Henry Gransden was born on 3 August 1912 in Milton, to Jesse, a coal merchant (originally from Bredgar), and Alice (née Tippett). Charles had an older sister, Rosa Mary, born in 1905. He also had two younger brothers, Albert Edward, born in 1920, and Laurence Wilfred, born in 1921. All three would die in WW2.
Charles attended Borden Grammar School and, on 5 October 1935, he married Alice Smith. Charles was working as a coal merchant and fruiterer. They set up home in Orchard House, Sandown, Lynsted - which the 1939 Register census records the house as "Nouds Corner Cottages". In 1937, their daughter Una was born.
Military records are scarce but we do know that Charles attestation into the Royal Artillery was on 14 November 1940. His records show that he was due for transfer into the 16th King's Regiment on 25 March 1942. Sadly just 3 weeks before this, Charles died of tuberculosis in hospital in Preston Hall Chest Maidstone on 4 March.
Charles is buried in Sittingbourne Cemetery close to his younger brother Laurence. Laurence had served as a Sergeant Navigator in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve. He died when his Wellington Bomber (Wellington X - HE751) lost power while on a fighter affiliation exercise from Lossiemouth and crashed on Elgin Golf Course on 23 January 1944. He was aged 23.
Charles's other brother, Albert, is buried at Monte Cassino, Italy, where he died on 2 May 1944 while serving with the 1/6 Battalion, Surrey Regiment. He was aged 24.
In memory of the 3 boys, the Gransden family donated an electric organ blower to Sittingbourne Baptist Church. A plaque commemorates the event.
In addition, on 12 November 2011, a ceremony was held at Borden Grammar School, to unveil a memorial to commemorate former pupils gave their lives for their country. The school's old boys' association has raised £3,000 to have three old memorial boards refurbished with more names added. The Borden School Soldiers was undertaken by Marc Stewart, a Borden "old boy" and Oxford historian.
Charles's wife, Alice, remarried in 1944.