Many thanks to David Thomas of Kresen Kernow for drawing our attention to Charles Henry Toghill of Camborne who was born in 1879. We have had Toghill in our records as ‘Toyhill’ as that is the name published in The Cornishman on 22 April 1915 when he wrote back with news from India. In fact the surname is Toghill and Charles lived on in Camborne after the war, dying in 1961.
He knew the Dolcoath miners who signed up in the 25th Field Ambulance well. However, when he had signed up in the Territorial Army two years earlier he was attached to the 6th Battalion, Devon Regiment for six years. He had said he was willing to serve overseas so when the Regiment was sent to India in October 1914, Coghill accompanied them as a medical orderly.
He writes back with some regret that he is not on the Western Front:
” I always get the Cornish post sent out every week from home and it is truly a letter from home which tells how things are going at home and how Camborne boys are getting on at the Front. I am very pleased to see that the Dolcoath ambulance men are doing so well at the Front. It makes one feel proud of the boys, as well as our own Corps with Staff Sergeant Olds and Captain Blackwood.
“I only regret that I am not there with them, but I am doing my duty here for my King and Country. I am not here of any choice. I signed up about two years ago to be ready at 24 hours’ notice for anywhere I should be wanted, and being attached to the 6th Devon Regiment for six years, when they were ordered to India I had to go with them.
“Here I am ready and waiting if I am wanted elsewhere they like to send me.”
Toghill survived the war and lived to a considerable age. In November 1950 he was the oldest member of the Old Contemptibles at Remembrance Day in Camborne and laid a wreath at the Memorial.