Three of the West children died in childhood, with Charles dying in particularly tragic circumstances.
Charles West was born in June 1884, the same year as his neighbour Joe Shipp, who was living at number 4 Smythe Cottages, Barrack Row, Thorpeness. It is likely that the boys grew up together, went to school together and were the best of friends.
In September 1896, when Charles was just 12 years of age, the two boys were playing in the Aldringham sandpit during their lunch hour from school. They were throwing clods of dirt at each other, Joe threw one that hit Charles on the back of his head. Charles cried out ‘Joe' and fell to the ground.
He was taken home by school staff and put to bed, where his father George found him at 6pm when he came home from work. Charles died just a few hours later. This tragic accident must have been devastating, not only for his family, but for little Joe as well who had accidentally killed his playmate. The West family, to demonstrate their compassion and forgiveness to Joe, commemorated him on Charles funeral card.
The Ipswich Journal reported on the inquest into Charles' death.