Harding, Charles Alfred

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Harding, Charles Alfred

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Charles Alfred Harding was born on the 12th of July 1887, the only son of Florence Annie Harding and Charles Alfred Harding (Snr.), a fleet engineer for the Royal Navy.

Charles (Jnr.) was educated at The Glasgow Academy and articled to the firm of Salmon, Son and Gillespie, aged 17, from 1904 onwards. Whilst residing at 34 Ancaster Drive in Anniesland, Glasgow, Charles began attending evening classes at The Glasgow School of Art from 1904 to 1911 as a part-time student of architecture under the tutelage of Mr. McGibbon and, in later years, Professor Eugene Bourdon. In 1907 to 1908, the family moved home to live in 46 Kersland Street while Charles continued his studies at The GSofA as an Architect's Apprentice.

According to his entry on the Dictionary of Scottish Architects, Charles had "notable successful in winning prizes and scholarships, being the Glasgow Institute of Architects President's prizewinner in 1905 and travelling student in 1907, maintenance bursar in 1909 and Whitelaw Silver Medallist, also in 1909."

In 1909 to 1910, Charles took time away from Salmon, Son and Gillespie to undertake his postgraduate diploma at the Glasgow School of Architecture which he attained in May 1910. In this same year, he won a travelling scholarship which allowed him to study in France and Italy where he is thought to have spent time at the British School in Rome. In 1911, he completed his studies at the Glasgow School of Art, passed the qualifying exam and was admitted ARIBA in December that year.

Moving to London, Charles became chief assistant of Thompson & Walford before taking up a position at His Majesty's Office of Works in 1912. Between 1912 and 1914, Charles continued working at HM Office of Works and London County Council, eventually settling to live in Wallington, Surrey.

Charles served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves for five years and was drafted into serving in the First World War in August 1916. He embarked on the S.S. Viper at Southampton on the 1st of December that same year. Disembarking at Le Havre, Charles served in France until he was invalided back to England with what was described as a "simple fracture of the radius".

Serving overseas once more in 1917, he was eventually to be discharged to his former rank of Sub-Lieutenant within the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves in April 1917.

After the war, he married Christina Catherine Fraser, of 12 Harrowden Road Inverness, on Christmas Day, 1919, at the West United Free Church in Perth. The couple then moved to 16 Highbury, Newcastle upon Tyne, where Charles worked as chief assistant for Percy L. Browne & Glover. The firm made him a partner in 1925 and he attained FRIBA status in 1932.

Drypoint engravings made by Charles were exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute every year from 1948-1951 with the following titles: Bamburgh Castle; Cromarty Firth; Night in the Old Town; In Claremount Place; May Morning - Bridge of Earn; The Cathedral, Lyons.

Latterly residing at 54 The Grove, Gosforth, Charles died at the General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1959, aged seventy-two.

Charles Alfred Harding is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour as well as on the Glasgow Institute of Architects Roll of Honour (Associate)

If you have any more information, please get in touch.

Sources: the Dictionary of Scottish Architects: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk; Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.; Ancestry.co.uk; Find My Past: http://www.findmypast.co.uk; The Long Long Trail: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/; The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts: Volume 2 (E-K) by Roger Billcliffe.


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