- Name: Charles Thomas HARRIS
- D.O.B: 16th Mar, 1883
- D.O.A: 16th Mar, 1883
- D.O.D: 28th Jan, 1972
- Award: Edward Medal translated to George Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Acting Sergeant, Corps of Royal Engineers, 1/4 Kent (Fortress) Company
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
Faversham, Kent 2 April 1916
2 April 1916
The First World War 1916
On 2 April 1916 a fire broke out at Filling Factory Number 7 of the Explosives Loading Company at Uplees Marsh near The Swale, north-west of Faversham. Troops from neigh- bouring installations rushed to assist but, after attempts to fight the fire and contain the situation failed, George Evetts, the factory manager, ordered the site to be evacuated. At this point a magazine packed with TNT and amatol detonated, leaving a massive crater and setting off sympathetic detonations in four buildings of the adjoining Cotton Powder Company’s plant. More than a hundred people were killed in what was the worst disaster to date in the history of the explosives industry in Britain. Seventeen non-commissioned military personnel who helped fight the fire were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1917 and one officer and four men were subsequently awarded the EM, of whom only Acting Sergeant C T Harris and Acting Bombardier A F Edwards lived long enough for their EMs to be converted to GCs.
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Edward Medal to:–
Lieutenant John Morley Stebbings, Corporal Charles Ashley, Bombardier Bert Dugdale, Acting Serjeant Charles Thomas Harris, and Acting Bombardier Arthur Frederick Edwards
on account of their gallant conduct in assisting in the rescue work on the occasion of the explo- sion which occurred at Faversham on 2nd April, 1916.