Charles Frederick Ient

Charles Ient

Charles Ient, was born in Paris, France on 16 October 1883, the son of Karl Gottlob (later known as Charles) Jent and his first wife Franzista Margaretha Henrietta von Felton.

He died in 1964, aged 81. For more information about him & his family see: below & Charles & Nellie family history (not documented yet).

Picture of Charles Ient taken in Lucknow, India, between 1901 (end of Boer War) and 1905. The medal he is wearing is from the Boer War.

Charles grew up in London and served as a soldier in the British army in the Boer War, in India and in WWI.


We do not know why Karl and Franzista were in France at the time of Charles' birth; it may be that they were visiting Franzista's parents or that Karl had gone to Paris to find work. However, naturalisation papers obtained by Charles in 1922 confirm that he left France at the age of four months.

When Charles was just over two years old his mother died and he was, for a time, bought up by his father, but in April 1894 Karl married Julia Ann Thurley Hemmings (my grandmother). Charles went to a London School Board school in Latchmere Road, Battersea. After he finished his education he started work as a stonemason, the same profession as his father, but aged 17 years and 3 months he joined the British Army.

On 14 December 1900, Charles joined the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry as a private. In the 1901 census, Charles Ient (written as Jent but not by Charles) was found to be a soldier (private) based in Oxfordshire, born in Paris, France in 1883. What followed was a long and distinguished military career which spanned 19 years and 8 months. He saw service in South Africa during the Boer War, India and Ireland (Cork). He was ‘mobilised’ for war service on the 5 August 1914 by the British Army. During World War I (the Great War), he was based in Portsmouth (Cambridge Barracks) from 5 August 1914 until 29 July 1917 apart from a period when he was posted to Ireland. This was probably due to the armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916 (know as the Easter Rising, or Easter Rebellion).

On the 29 July 1917 he was posted to France with his regiment. Whilst in France, Charles was wounded (we do not know the details at this time) and returned to England on 28 March 1918.

Charles was eventually discharged from the army, as a result of a wound received during the Great War, on 14 May 1919, having reached the rank of company quartermaster sergeant (senior warrant officer). However Charles did not leave His Majesty's service totally; he became staff sergeant in the City of London Reserve of Police, where he remained until 1922 when he applied for a job as a clerk in the Civil Service (War Office).

Charles married Ellen Beatrice (Nellie) King on 17 September 1910 at Christ Church, East Sheen. They went on to have five children: Frances Emily, born in Marylebone on 7 June 1911; Ernest Leonard, Battersea, 19 August 1913; Charles Henry, Portsmouth, 10 April 1917; Reginald Frederick, Battersea, 24 September 1920; and Katherine Mary in 1922. Frances, their eldest daughter, unfortunately contracted tuberculosis and died in 1931.

In May 1922, whilst living at 144 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11, Charles started proceedings to obtain naturalisation. This was because he has been born in Paris. To get a pension he needed to prove he was a British subject. One could say this is somewhat ironic since he serviced in the British Army for over 19 years and in a number of conflicts around the world including World War I. Eventually all the necessary papers were filed and approval received from the Home Office on 21 November 1922.


Much of the above is taken from the naturalisation papers found at the national archives. However, after 1922, when these were made out, I have very little information. All I know is that Charles was well liked in the family.

Dennis Young (his nephew) recalls a conversation with Uncle Charlie where Charlie said that Granddad (Karl Ient) was paid £70 for the erection of a sculptured figure of Prince Albert above the entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Dennis also recalls Uncle Charlie saying that he was taken by his dad to meet his relatives in Paris. We don't know when this was.

A furhter historical note:

Margaretha (known as Margie or Rita) Alexander (daughter of Frederick and Florence) wrote to Thomas Ient (Charles' brother) on 2 July 1988 about her memories of World War I. She said:

'It was August 4th 1914. I was being carried by my dad and we were on our way to catch a tram to the zoo when we met Charlie and talked for a bit and he said he was on "reserve" and had been called up. I recall he spent the afternoon at the zoo with us and the elephant pinched the bun I was eating and I cried.'

Rita (Margie) also recalled that Charles was musical and could have been a bandmaster (this is not verified).

The Ient Brothers with Granny

The Ient Brothers with Granny (Julia) Ient in the early 1950s.

From left to right:

Back row: Tom, Phil, George, Albert

Front row: Charlie, Granny, Fred

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