Captain Charles Edward Koebel was born on the 24th Jan 1878 in Croydon, Surrey and his attachment to Bishopsteignton came through his parents (father Oscar and mother Emma) who had moved to Murley Grange. He was a professional soldier with the 1st Royal Surreys and was wounded at the ill-fated landing of Suvla Bay in the Dardenelles leading a company of the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers. He died three days later and was buried at sea.
Charles Edward Koebel was born on the 24th Jan 1878 in Croydon, Surrey. He lived at various addresses around London. His attachment to Bishopsteignton came through his parents (father Oscar and mother Emma) who had moved to Murley Grange.
The Koebel family were of German descent through Charles’ grandfather Frederick, an East India merchant from Wurtenurg, who had moved to London in the early 19c and established a trading company in Jute. It is likely therefore that they knew the Cable family (of Lindridge) well and there may be an association for them moving to Bishopsteignton. Oscar, Charles’ father, lived in Croyden and bought Murley Grange at an unknown date but they were resident by 1901. Although Charles appeared in one census (1901) at Murley Grange, he was not resident here and appears to have resided in and around Lambeth.
He was a professional soldier (like his two brothers) with the Queen’s 1st Royal West Surrey Regiment with which he passed out as a lieutenant at Sandhurst in May 1898 and was promoted to captain in Sept 1903, a rank he surprisingly stayed at until his death, despite noted service in the Sudan. He appeared to have served in the middle east and Africa and sailed to Aden on SS India in Dec 1903.
Death and Burial
He was wounded at the ill-fated landing of Suvla Bay  in the Dardenelles leading a company of the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers and died of his injuries three days later on the 24th August 1915, to be buried at sea. Unmarried, he left £264 to his father, who erected a handsome memorial in St John’s parish church, Bishopsteignton.
It is interesting to note that his parents seem to have moved to Bishopsteignton with their London based household of servants. One wonders how the villagers regarded a family with a German name not offering employment. Incidentally there seems to be a misprint in the booklet Bishopsteignton; Villages and Lanes where it refers to Mr O’Koebel buying the house. This could refer to Oscar, Charles’ father. 
Do you have any more information about this family or any of the servants that worked at Murley Grange? Do let us know.
References and credits
This article is co-authored by Ian Roberts and Jessica Gibby
- Bishopsteignton; Village and Lanes. Cleland, W.D. p.28. reprinted 1993.
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