Born at Strand in London on 1 October 1891 Charles enlisted with the RNAS in early December 1914. His occupation given on his service record is chauffeur. The census for 1911 shows a Charles O’Connor living with his parents at 4 Devonshire Street, Bloomsbury with his occupation listed as motor fitter improver.
Charles was on active service on the Royal Navy’s first aircraft carrier Ark Royal in October 1915 (probably in the eastern Mediterranean), and, according to his service record, also took part in many land operations – with 34 Naval Parties listed.
Charles was promoted to Chief Petty Officer III on 3 August 1917 and became Chief Mechanic on 1 April 1918, the day of the formation of the RAF.
Service numbers: F2460/202460
1911 Census source: Class RG14, Piece 1199