Charles Beresford

South Wales Borderers

Unit/Regiment South Wales Borderers
Battalion 2nd
Rank Private
Service Number 15174
Theatre of War first served in Balkans
Date of entry therein 10/05/1915
Age at Death 38
Date of Death 21/08/1915
Burial/Memorial Reference Helles Memorial Panel 80 to 84 or 219 and 220
CWGC Family Details Husband of Minnie Ellen Beresford, of 7, Park Grove, Park Rd., Hockley, Birmingham
SDGW – Where Born Birmingham
Enlisted Newport, Mon
How Died Killed in action
Theatre of War Balkan Theatre
Medal Entitlement 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Notes Malcolm Stevens' article about Charles Beresford - The Ghosts of Gallipoli
Commemorated on the Celynen Collieries Roll of Honour
Novel dedicated to Charles Beresford - Wales Online

Charles Beresford's Story

South Wales Borderers cap badge


Charles Beresford was born in Birmingham in 1875, the first child of Christopher and Elizabeth Beresford. In 1881 the family was living at 25 Barr St. West in Birmingham and the six year old Charles had a baby sister Clara.

By 1891 the family had moved to 390 Lodge Road, Birmingham. Charles and his father were both working in a brass foundry whilst his mother was a draper, Clara was still at school.

Charles was married to Minnie Ellen Pugh in 1897 and Harry Arthur, their first child, was subsequently born in 1898. In 1901 the family were living at 163 Hunters Road in Handsworth, Birmingham and Charles was still employed as a brass founder.

Whilst in Birmingham, Charles and Minnie had a further two children, Ellen Elizabeth and Elsie May.

By 1911 the Beresfords had left their native Birmingham and moved to 27 Celynen Terrace, Newbridge, Mon. where Charles took a job in the local colliery working as an underground labourer. Whilst in Newbridge they had another daughter Minnie Irene who was born in 1912.


Charles Beresford enlisted in the army and served as a Private (15174) with the 2nd Bn. South Wales Borderers.

The 2nd Bn. South Wales Borderers was a regular battalion and in August 1914 it had nearly completed its two year tour of duty at Tientsin in northern China. On 12th January 1915 the battalion returned to the UK and joined the 87th Brigade of the 29th Division billeted in and around Coventry.

It was at some point after their return to the UK that Charles Beresford was posted to the battalion and he arrived in the Balkans on 10th May 1915. Two weeks previously, as part of the 29th Division, the 2nd SWB took part in the historic ‘Landing at Helles’ on 25th April 1915.

The 2nd Bn. served throughout the rest of the Gallipoli campaign taking part in the efforts to advance from Cape Helles in May and June. In August it moved round, with the rest of the 29th Division, to Suvla Bay to support five fresh Divisions from England who had been fought to a standstill.

In one final effort the 29th Division made a gallant, but unsuccessful , attack on Scimitar Hill (Hill 70) in which the 2nd Bn. suffered nearly 300 casualties. One of these casualties was Private Charles Beresford.

In 1984, Charles’ grandson, Malcolm P. Stevens, visited the battlefield and wrote the following:

“The last major battle of the Gallipoli campaign took place on the afternoon of August 21 an assault on strategic high ground called "Scimitar Hill." Through an unseasonable gray mist that obscured the topographical details of their objective, the British troops advanced, and as darkness settled in, they went charging over the crest of the hill. Before the night was over, however, they had been forced to withdraw with the South Wales Borderers losing a third of their men, among them Private Charles A. Beresford, my grandfather.”
Malcolm P. Stevens was the son of Charles’ third daughter Minnie Irene Beresford, he wrote a novel “Evan’s War” which he dedicated to Blodwyn and Evan John Evans and “to the to the memory of my maternal grandfather, Charles Beresford, late of the South Wales Borderers, killed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, August 21, 1915”