Charles Edward Vassie was born on 15 May 1895, the son of Henry James and Mary Ann Vassie, of The Standards, Boat House, Dunbar in Scotland. His name appears as a first year Arts student in the Easter term of 1914 at St Chad’s Hostel in Hooton Pagnell, near Doncaster: he benefitted from the Wakeford Bursary, and was also supported financially by H.D. Horsfall. Upon the outbreak of war he quickly enlisted in the Royal Scots Greys, on 31 August 1914. He was posted to 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment but was discharged on 19 October as “not likely to become an efficient soldier” due to his poor eyesight. He was then welcomed back at the hostel, where he gave his fellow students the benefit of his training by overseeing their company drill on the lawn in the afternoons. He went up to Durham in Epiphany term 1915 as a Theology student at St Chad’s Hall, and studied Arts (in litteris antiquis) for the following Easter and Michaelmas terms of 1915. During this time he was Treasurer of the college library, served on the committee of the University Mission to Central Africa, and was Sacristan, keeping the register of services at the college. He then re-joined the army, more successfully this time, being commissioned (on probation) into the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on 8 January 1916. As a second lieutenant in its 9th battalion he arrived in France on 16 June, just before the great Battle of the Somme. The battalion had already suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Loos in September-October 1915, and over a third of its men would be killed in action or die of wounds in the five-month Battle of the Somme. Vassie was killed on the very first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, as the battalion attacked towards Fricourt. He was twenty-one years old. He is buried in Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle, in France, and is commemorated on the parish war memorial in Queen’s Road, Dunbar, and the reredos in St Chad’s College chapel. Charles’ brother, Alex Marcus Vassie, a sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, 72nd Heavy Battery, also died later in the war, on 21 March 1917, aged thirty-one, and is buried at Basra War Cemetery in Iraq.