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Edward Charnley was born in Coatbridge in January or February 1890, one of 8 children (Joseph, Colin, Agnes, Mary, James, Esther and Lizzie) of Jane (née Jamieson Mcphail) and Joseph, an iron worker. Charnley attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1911 to 1912 as an evening student of drawing and painting while working as a rivet maker. During the First World War, Charnley served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves with the Clyde division, as an ordinary/able seaman. Charnley is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.
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