Charles received his medical education in Middlesex, qualifying L.S.A. in 1881, and M.R.C.S. in 1882. He became employed as Honorary Physician at Middlesex Hospital.
He joined the R.A.M.C. at the rank of Surgeon Captain on 4th August 1883, gaining promotion to Major on 4th August 1895. Between 1900 and 1902, he saw active service in the South African War, then was further promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 4th August 1903. On 26th January 1913 he gained the rank of Colonel. Charles was stationed in Woolwich when war was declared. He embarked for France on the 24th August 1914 as Assistant Director of Medical Services for the Fourth Division. The Fourth Division first arrived on the front lines at Le Cateau, however no field ambulances were present, and the only medical support available were those with the regimental units and the medical staff of the division - which consisted of Charles and his D.A.D.M.S. Major Ensor, along with R.A.M.C. clerical staff. Charles waited at Braistre on 25th August listening to the sound of guns drawing closer from the direction of Valenciennes. By 6 a.m. on the 26th, the enemy attacked the bivouacs of the division at Haucourt and wounded were taken to a farm-house at divisional headquarters where their wounds were dressed. Orders were received to retire and those fit to travel were placed on the wagons of divisional headquarters and taken to Selvigny. Charles went with them to Selvigny to collect more transport, obtaining fourteen farm carts. As the wounded gathered the carts were loaded and sent off to the west, providentially escaping enemy cavalry and reaching Peronne, where they were put on the railway.