Charles was the son of Samuel & Emma Anthony of Back Lane, Stevenage. His mother died in the Winter of 1896 at the age of 41 as a result of giving birth to his younger brother, Frank. As a consequence, both he and Frank, along with their sister, Nellie, went to live with their older brother, Fred, in Alleynes Road, Stevenage. Charles joined the Kings Royal Rifle Corps on the 23rd November 1903 and served with his Regiment until his death. His description at the time was of an 18 year-old man who was 5' 3"tall, with Grey eyes, Dark Brown hair and a number of distinctive tattoos. However, records show that Charles had lied about his age as he was actually only 16 years-old. He was one of seven brothers to serve in the forces during the First World War of whom one other, Frank, was reported as Missing on the 19th January 1917. Charles was married on the 12th August 1914 in Kelso, British Columbia, Canada to Lucy Maria Gomsford and returned to England on the 8th September 1914. He re-joined his Regiment and was posted to France on the 2nd November 1914.