Charles Gaffney: A Moor mans war

Posted on 10th Nov 2022

While this websites focus has been on Cleator Moor men who died during the war there were many men  from the Moor who did their duty and returned home after 1918 to lead full lives contributing to the wider community . One such man was Charlie Gaffney whose  relatives still live in the area.


Charles was another local lad who joined  9n 1915  lived at 38 Todholes road and went to St Marys and  St Patricks schools .

He was working as a shop assistant st the Local Co-op  when enlisted in 1915 into the 5th Battalion Border Regiment and  become part of the Pioneer section ,

The  Borders were posted  to France in time to be involved in the Battle of the Somme   He took with him one particular piece of advice “Shells never fall in the same place  twice “ So during his early time at the Front he once slept overnight in a shell  crater only to wake and find he had been left by his comrades who had moved on that morning !

In late 1916 He returned to the UK in  to retrain as a signaller and transferred  to the Royal Engineers

Promoted to Lance Corporal Charlie found himself back in France in Early 1918  , which saw the German Spring offensive , during which Charlie was reported as missing in Action .

The family back home feared the worst and had started to wind up his affairs when in May of that year his family were told he had been found was no longer missing , A great relief no doubt

He survived the  war returned home in 1919 and took up his previous employment as s hop worker with Cleator Moor Co-op eventually working his way up to  Manger of their Bowthorn Store .

He married Mamie Woods in 1930 and had two daughter Nancy and Mamie . Their families still live in the area

Secretary of  USDAW union  and a Labour councillor on  Cumberland CC

Charles  Gaffney:  A Moor mans war