Charles Edward (Charlie) Wells was born in Kent in 1899. When just 2 years old, he broke his back as the result of a bad fall. The treatment recommended at the time was for him to be kept in a fixed posture to give his spine time to heal. To do this the family made up a wooden box, so that Charlie could be laid down with his movements quite restricted. After some years, and several boxes later, the spine healed and he was able to walk again. However, his education was severely set back.
Charles Wells’ placement on Arrawatta in September 1915 would
have been with one of the tenant farmers. Charlie would get his farm training
the hard way! Charlie did learn and he continued in farm work for some years,
particularly in dairying. He had gone from being a kid with a broken back, to a
strong fit outdoor working man. He was also trusted with milk deliveries to customers
Charles changed jobs from time to time, and during 1922 was employed by
Hawke and Co, produce merchants in Inverell. On 31 October, he and a bootmaker
next door had their bicycles stolen from where they were parked outside their
shops. Police found the bicycles at Glen Innes - they had been stolen by two
men, who were already well known to the courts for their thieving.