|Identified on this photograph's reverse side simply as "Charleton" I was able to identify this soldier with information
found in two books - The Journal of the C.V.I in South Africa (1901) by Major-General W. H. Mackinnon and The
H.A.C. in South Africa (1903) edited by Basil Williams and Erskin Childers. The first lists all members of the City
Imperial Volunteers who served on South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, E. Charleton of the Honourable Artillery
Company is mentioned. In the second volume Gunner E. Charleton is listed in the Nominal Roll of the City Imperial
Volunteers Battery. Here he is listed as "Late R.H.A.". A bit more research led to Charleton's service papers that
related his brief tenure with the Royal Horse Artillery as well as other details of his life.
Ernest Charleton was born at Plymouth, Devonshire around 1876 the son of Peter Charleton, a photographer and his
wife Margaret. Ernest Charleton attested with the Royal Horse Artillery on 23 October 1895 at Newbridge. At the
time of his enlistment his trade was listed as that of a photographer. Charleton served at home for a total of 1 year
254 days when he purchased his release on 3 July 1897 for the sum of £18. While no reason is given for his decision
to leave the service it could not have been a dislike of military life since he enlisted with the Honourable Artillery
Company in London soon afterward.
With the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War Charleton volunteered for overseas service and joined the City Imperial
Volunteer's Artillery Battery. He was attached to the D Sub-Divison as was Trumpeter Henry Hollington Sawyer
featured elsewhere in this section. Charleton seems to have served with the CIV Battery during that units entire
deployment to South Africa which extended from February to October 1900. The Queen's South Africa medal roll of
the City Imperial Volunteers shows No. 1389 Gunner E. Charleton being entitled to that medal with the following
clasps: "Wittebergen", "Cape Colony" and "Transvaal".
Charleton must have left the service for the final time sometime after returning from South Africa. In The Historie
Booke: A tale of two worlds and five centuries (1903) edited by Justin H. Smith, an included roster of all the then
serving members of the Honourable Artillery Company makes no mention of Ernest Charleton so one assumes he
had resigned from that volunteer unit sometime before that 1903 publication date.
Ernest Charleton returned to his pre-war vocation of photography with the family firm of Charleton & Son which
seemed to have made military subjects something of a specialty. Charleton & Son kept a studio for some time at
Curragh Camp, Ireland and many of his images appeared in books and other publications from the early 1900's
Arthur Weston - Photographer
52 & 53 New Gate Street, London, E.C., England