Charles McEachran

 

Lieutenant; 1/4th Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment

Killed in action: 3rd February 1917, Mesopotamia (Iraq)

Charles McEachran was born in Cardiff on 20th September 1888 John Jonhson and Jean Rennie McEachran. Both his parents were from Campbeltown in Scotland and had moved to Cardiff after his father found work as a shipbroker and coal exporter. The family lived on 193 Newport Road and after finishing school young Charles went to work for his father as a coal exporter. Prior to the war they moved to Newlands on Station Road in Llanishen, which is now the site of a block of flats.

Charles enlisted in 1914 and soon gained a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. He went out to Egypt in 1915 and after seeing action there was then attached to the 1/4th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment for service with the Indian Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). He served in this battalion as a scout officer and was popular among his men and fellow officers.

At the beginning of 1917 the British were involved in heavy fighting around the town of Kut-el-Amara. On 3rd February Charles’ battalion were part of a force that was ordered to cross the Shatt-el-Hai river near the town. The Turks were dug in across the riverbank and as the battalion moved forward they were faced with a hail of machine-gun and rifle fire. Charles led his men out of the trenches and into their forming-up position despite being wounded. He encouraged them forward and, noticing two Gurkha soldiers who were holding back, went over to usher them on. As he did so, he was shot in the chest and killed instantly. Charles was 28 years old.

He was buried in Amara Cemetery in Mesopotamia and is also commemorated on the memorials in St Isan’s Church.