Born in Harefield, Middx he enlised in Didcot.
Son of William and Mary Lay of The Bell, Sotwell. Charles Montague’s father William was himself born in Brightwell and as a police constable, and then sergeant, had moved around quite a lot with his family - Long Crendon, Willesden, Harefields. When he retired from the force,he became a licensed victualler and in 1911 had taken over The Bell, at the top of Bell Lane. Charles was an apprentice joiner at that time. In 1919 when living at Orchard View, Sotwell (as it was then), William Lay signed a receipt for his son’s few possessions – identity disc, letters, photos, watch, keys and scissors.