Charles Henry Gadd
Given that he died in Brancepeth in 1939, it may seem odd to include him with those who were killed in the First World War. This is not morbid whimsy on my part, it accords with the doctor’s entry on his death certificate which stated he died as a result of his war injuries. It was to many doctors’ credit that they stuck by their judgements: successive British governments were keen to forget war veterans as soon as they returned. After all they were inconvenient, expensive and, in many cases, not the best advertisement for future cannon fodder with missing limbs or deformities. The cause of death also had a bearing on widows’ pensions, again a cost factor for government.
Charles Harry Gadd was born in Malvern in May 1892 and was brother to George and three other brothers who also became golf professionals.
He was assistant (official or unofficial, it is unclear) to George at Towyn-on-Sea then took up his first professional position at Aberdovey in 1913. He enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment in November 1914, and was with 2/8th Battalion, originally a Territorial force but sent to France in May 1916. Serving as a sergeant, he was wounded in October of that year with the lower part of his left leg shattered by a shell explosion.
He was invalided out of the army and, when well enough, took temporary charge, while George remained in the army, at Roehampton. When George returned at the end of the war Charles became professional at Ipswich from 1918 until a move to Brancepeth in 1924.
Despite his war wound (he could not put weight on his left leg, took a half hour to bandage it each morning and wore special boots) his necessarily modified game was extremely successful. He won every trophy of the Durham and Northumberland Golf Union multiple times and won the Northern Open at his home course in 1930.
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