Within two weeks of war being declared Charles was in France. The fighting did not go well for the British at the start of the war and Charles was involved in the retreat from Mons. At this time, on 18th September, he was severely wounded. In being wounded at that time he was reported by the Thetford and Watton Times to have been the first Brandon man wounded in the war. He was so severely wounded that the military sent him back to England to be treated and recuperate. During this time, in the spring of 1915, he married to Ella Elizabeth, nee Whitehead in Islington, London. Charles listed her as his next of kin.
Upon recovering from his wounds he was returned back to active service but was transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment, and given a new service number 25017. With his new unit he was sent overseas to India. In October 1918, just a month before the end of the war the Thetford and Watton Times reported that he had died.