On 18 November 1917 Company Sergeant Major Charles Melville died of wounds in France. He was 21 years of age.
Son of John Melville and Margaret née Munro, Charles (known as Charlie) was born on 19 December 1894 in Dornoch, but the family moved around, from Culmaily in Golspie to Kilcalmkill in Clyne and Rovie Farm in Rogart. In the 1901 census Charles was at Lubrec, Lairg in his grandfather’s home.
It is likely that when his father settled at Rovie Farm that is when Charlie’s association with William Campbell started and that he attended Rogart School, but there is no information on his abilities. Charlie was working as a ploughman at Rovie, alongside his father in 1911, but he emigrated for Canada on the ship Hesperian in 1912.
When he arrived in Quebec in June 1912 his stated destination was Brooks, Alberta and he intended working as a stableman. It is plausible that he had been recruited to work on the Duke of Sutherland’s estates there.
Charles had joined the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Quebec Regiment) and his regimental number was 110369. He died in Rouen 9th General Hospital, France, from gun shot wounds to the chest and spine. He is commemorated on Rogart’s war memorial and St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France Grave Ref. P. III. R. 13B.
Charlie corresponded with his former teacher, William Campbell, at some length during his war service.
Grateful thanks to Ian Mackay for his research.