“Charles Harding” (full name John Charles Douglas Harding) was born in 1890 in the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, England. He came to the United States with his family in 1902 and settled in Villanova, where his father Alfred (a landscape gardener) had secured a position on a local estate. “Charlie” attended Radnor High School from 1905-1907. He played on the football team and appears in team photographs published on this website. He and his family subsequently moved to Trappe, Montgomery County, where he presumably completed high school.
Harding went on to attend West Chester University where he captained the football team and earned a teaching degree. In the spring of 1917, and while still a British citizen, he interrupted his teaching career to enlist in the U.S. Army and served as a sergeant with the 17th Field Artillery Regiment, Second Division, in France. He participated in all the major battles in which the U.S. was involved, and won the Silver Star for gallantry in action. After the war, he became an American citizen, continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, married and had a child, and secured a teaching position as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Delaware. He died in 1937 from medical complications consequent to his service in the war, aged 47 years. He is buried in Evansburg, Pennsylvania.
Contributed by Eric Umile, Harding’s Grandson