DSO GV and bar
QSA (1) CC (Lieut. C. S. Linton, Welsh Regt.);
KSA (2) (Lt. C. S. Linton, Welsh Rgt.);
1914 Star (Capt. C. S. Linton, Worc. R.);
British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col. C. S. Linton);
Delhi Durbar 1911,
DSO London Gazette 26 June 1916.
Bar to DSO London Gazette 26 November 1917:
'In the initial arrangements for an attack, which resulted in the capture of the first two objectives, as well as during the action and the consolidation after, he displayed marked ability and leadership as well as fearlessness in exposing himself when necessary.'
MC London Gazette 23 June 1915.
Charles Strangways Linton was born on 9 August 1881, the third son of Henry Piper and Julia Linton of Llandaff Place, Llandaff, Glamorgan, and was educated at Wayneflete School and Winchester College. His eldest brother, James, was also educated at Winchester. Two other brothers - not Wykehamists - fought in the Great War, one of whom was awarded the D.S.O. for gallant services in the Welsh Regiment and another who was killed in action with the Northamptonshire Regiment.
Young Charles was commissioned in the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Regiment (Militia) as a 2nd Lieutenant in April 1900 and witnessed active service in Cape Colony in South Africa (Queen's Medal & clasp; King's Medal & 2 clasps). In September 1901, he received a commission in the Regular Army with an appointment in the Worcestershire Regiment.
Promoted to Lieutenant in January 1904, he served with the 4th Battalion in Bermuda, Barbados and Malta, and as Adjutant of the Battalion in India the period November 1910 to November 1913. He was advanced to Captain and awarded the Delhi Durbar Medal.
B.E.F. 1914 - 'Retreat to Moscow'; Neuve Chapelle - wounds
Having then transferred to the 1st Battalion, Linton was embarked for Le Havre in the troopship Maidan in the first week of November 1914. He and his comrades endured a difficult winter, for battle casualties aside, the Battalion undertook what its war diary described as 'The Retreat to Moscow', namely a march in late November in which one in every four men was found to be suffering from severe frostbite. By mid-December 1914, no less than 440 ranks were similarly afflicted. The same source states that Christmas Day was 'a strange sensation … the silence seemed unreal.'
Linton was subsequently wounded at Neuve Chapelle on 10 March 1915. On recovering from his wounds - and having been awarded one of the first the M.C.s ever to be gazetted - he was posted to Army H.Q. as a Staff Captain in the Canadian Corps.
He was advanced to Major in May 1916 and was awarded the D.S.O. 'for distinguished service in the field' in the following month. A glimpse of his subsequent services in 1916 is to be found in one of the above quoted letters of condolence:
'He was one of those gallant spirits for whom there could be no other fate. I can't think how he escaped so long. We walked upon the Pozieres Ridge that Sunday and he explained to me all about his fighting there in the autumn of 1916. He was Brigade Major of the 111th Infantry Brigade.'
Battalion C.O. - second D.S.O. - sniper's bullet
In July 1917, Linton took command of the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, and gained a Bar to his D.S.O. for his fearless leadership in the battle of Poelcapelle, near the Namur Crossing, on 9 October 1917.
A few days later, on the 13th, Linton referred to the action in a letter to his sister, Etta: 'We have been through another successful battle. I wrote and told mother so I expect you have heard by this time. Got off very light considering, but lost some very good pals. The weather played its usual tricks. We are now under canvas, in mud. I shall not be sorry to see the last of Flanders, if one may hope for such a thing … no news of leave for me yet, but I am beginning to think about it.'
It was not to be. During the Battle of Cambrai on the 20 November 1917, the leading companies of the 4th Battalion pushed forward rapidly and soon reached their objective, the Lock over the canal, half a mile south-east of Masnieres. They crossed the Lock, seized the trenches beyond it near the Sugar Factory, and quickly consolidated their positions in readiness for counter-attacks. At 2.00 p.m., Linton went forward across the canal to see the situation for himself. On his way back, while crossing the Lock, he was shot dead by a German sniper. He was 36-years-old.
Gallantry awards aside, Linton had been mentioned in despatches on no less than four occasions (London Gazettes 22 June 1915, 15 June 1916, 15 May 1917 and 18 December 1917, refer).
The gallant Colonel is buried in the Fins New British Cemetery at Sorel-le-Grand.
QSA (5) Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (5698 Pte E.Bennett Welsh Regt);
1914-15 Star (S. Condr. E. Bennett S & T Corps);
BWM and VM with MID (S-Condr. E. Bennett S.T.C.);
Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (GV) (Condr. E. Bennett I.A.S.C.);
Meritorious Service Medal (GV) unnamed
“Near Doornbult on the western railway line, hearing that the line was mined, Cpl Sims (Royal Engineers) took Ptes Donohue & Moore (3rd Btn. Welsh Regt) with him and proceeded to the spot on a trolley, and though fired on from the bush, removed the mine.”
“Mentions” in London Gazette, 15 November 1901, p7381.
QSA (2) CC, Tvl (9724 Pte T. Donohue, Welsh. Regt.);
KSA (2) (9724 Pte T. Donohue, Welsh Regt.)
Edge bruising and contact marks.
Dr David Biggins
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