Charles Fraser MUNRO 1823-1884

Wrexham Cemetery 17/09/2018

CHARLES FRASER MUNRO 1823 – 1884

JANE MUNRO c 1829 -1902

Charles Fraser Munro was born on 1 August 1823 at Clunie, Aberdeen; he was the son of Alexander Munro and Margaret Brodie.

On 14 October 1841 he joined the army at Glasgow, and his records confirm he was born at Clunie, but it’s later been found he was underage and at that time he was a labourer.

His Military Records show that about July 1842, he began his first foreign service, with 9 years 11 months in Canada.

He didn’t have an unblemished career as he was imprisoned for 10 days from 15 to 24 April 1843 but was promoted to Corporal four years later 6 June 1847. He was promoted to Sergeant on 20 March 1848 and again to Colour Sergeant on 1 April 1853 but seems to have got into more trouble and was deprived of Colour on 25 April 1853 and was reduced to Sergeant.

He also had a bit of bother in 1860, when he was in arrest for 4 days from 22 to 25 June 1860 when he was demoted from Sgt down to Private for a month before regaining his rank of Corporal. It was 2 years until he regained his position of Sergeant in 1862, which he held until his discharge in 1863. There is nothing in his records about his misdemeanors.

His discharge papers dated 15 September 1863 at Winchester show he was a Sergeant in the Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion.  He was discharged when he was 39 years old and had been a Sergeant for 13 years 6 months, a Corporal for 2 years 2 months and a Private for 5 years and 8 months. His reason for discharge was that he had completed his service. His character was noted as Very Good. His description shows he was 5’, 7″ tall, with black hair, black eyes and a dark complexion.

His Foreign Service states that he was in Canada for 9 years 11 months, Crimea for 2 years 5 months and in India for 5 years.  Out of his total service from the time he joined up, his Home Service was only about 4 years 7months.

He had 4 Good Conduct Badges when he was promoted, which had he not been demoted, he would still have had.

He was in possession of the Crimean Medal, and clasps for Alma & Sebastopol, also Turkish Medal and Indian Medal and French War Medal.

He was twice charged by Court Martial, but there is no record of him in the defaulter’s book. No wounds or Injuries were noted.

There were several British garrisons in British North America, one of which was at Kingston. Imperial (British) troops were deployed at the site of Fort Henry from 1813 to 1870. British garrisons included the Royal Regiment of Artillery, 24th Regiment of Foot, Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Royal Welch Fusiliers. It`s not known when or where he married Jane McDonald who was born in Argyle,  Scotland ,  but she  was also in Kingston and their daughter Elizabeth was born there about 1852, she returned to  Clunie, Aberdeen  for the birth of Charles Fraser junior  on 14 June 1854. It must have been a tough journey to make with a small child.

In 1861 while he was still in the Army, Jane was in Winchester, where she was working as a laundress, her two children Elizabeth and Charles Fraser were with her.  In the summer of 1862, her husband returned home, to finish his last 1 year, 3 months of service.  On 2 September 1863 his discharge process began and   on 15 Sep 1863 he was fully discharged.  His intended place of residence was to be Denbigh Militia, Wrexham.

By 1864 they were in Rhosddu, Wrexham and Jane gave birth to a son, James on the 7 October 1864, sadly he died before the end of the year.

The Gresford Annual Fete and Sham Fight` was held in the summer of 1869.

A music and military display drew many people to the area. The first large arrival by rail was by train, which brought several volunteers and sightseers; including the Chirk, Ruabon, Llangollen, and Wrexham companies, who were marched to the scene of action where they took up arms. Some took a lounge on the banks of the Alyn, while others ran up the hill to the “Griffin” to get a refresher. The Gresford company, next marched down the hill; then followed the Gwersyllt company, headed by their band, and commanded by Sergeant Munro. The next arrivals were the Buckley Engineers (formerly called the Hope company) their commander was Captain Hignett.  The sham fight was  to commence at 3 pm and Gresford was to be attacked by an army of about three hundred riflemen , and defended by a mere handful of men, the Buckley Engineers with a cannon planted on a height near the church, covered by a few picked men of the Royal Denbigh Militia. Captain Hignett pointed out the valuable ancient relics and treasures they had to defend. The church, which had just been restored at great cost, was in danger and the enemy should they succeed, would likely carry away the eight Knights templar’s and statue of Henry VII. The remains of Gronow ap Iorwerth ap Dafydd, would likely be disturbed and perhaps thrown into the river. The monument of the ancient warrior, Llewelin ap Gruff. would be carried away in triumph but worse than all, the enemy would be sure to carry captive the fair daughters from the different mansions that were dotted around them.

A great battle commenced, and when it was over Gresford having fallen to rise again in all it`s beauty next year, Colonel Price congratulated the volunteers on the way they had gone through their work. The different companies were then marched down to a meadow adjoining Gresford Mill.  Here they bivouacked, every man being supplied with refreshment in the shape of a veal pie and a pint of beer.

It all sounds very good fun! Wrexham Advertiser 3 July 1869.

They were living in Springfield Terrace by 1871 and Charles Fraser was now a pensioner, they later moved to Greenfield Terrace and his son was now a secretary for the Gas and Water Company.

In June 1882 Charles Fraser Munro junior married Katie Rogers, the youngest daughter of Henry Rogers of Wrexham Fechan.

Charles Fraser senior died on 7 January 1884, and his daughter Elizabeth died in April 1888, she was only 36.

Jane moved from Wrexham, she was employed as  a nurse for a family in Prenton, but she came back to Wrexham to live with her son and his family at 18 Caia Road, it was there that she died on 4 August 1902 aged 73. Charles Fraser junior died in October 1930 and was buried with his parents and his sister Elizabeth.

Wrexham Cemetery 17/09/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 17/09/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 17/09/2018
Wrexham Cemetery 17/09/2018

Annette Edwards. Military help from “Ambly”. September 2018. Gravestone photographs by Graham Lloyd.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery E-01095.

 

Headstone transcription:

E-01095

TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF SRJT. MAJOR CHAL E. MUNRO, (2ND BATTN, RIFLE BRIGADE). HE DIED JAN 7, 1884 IN THE 60 YEAR OF HIS AGE.

(I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT).

ALSO JANE MUNRO, THE FAITHFUL WIFE OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED AT 18 CAIA RD, WREXHAM, AUG 4, 1902 IN THE 73 YEAR OF HER AGE.

(AS THY DAY THY STRENGTH SHALL BE).