Collection date: Apr 1911
Charles Smith at Coates (3 miles W of Cirencester) Glos: age 49, 4 songs 10 Apr 1911: Charles Smith was born c1862 in North Cerney just north of Cirencester, son of Thomas Smith. For some reason he was brought up by his grandparents James & Charlotte Smith and went to sea as a young man. He was a ‘Gunner Royal Marine Artillery’ at Portsea in 1891 census. He had married Jane Kenting in October qr 1885 at Portsea and they had 5 children. The family was in Portsmouth in 1901 (RG13/989 f10 p14).
By 1911 Charles and Jane had moved to Daglingworth where Charles drew a Navy pension and worked as a postman. He was the leader of a Mummers group in the village and this drew the attention of Mrs Laura Swanwick, with whom Sharp was staying that Easter at Coates. It was a short cycle ride for Charles to get over there to tell Sharp of his Mumming exploits and to sing his 4 songs (FT2577ff). In 1927 Charles wrote to Maud Karpeles about his memories of Sharp’s visit (MK/5/53). It’s not known when he died.