During his long professional career Bertie Charles produced scholarly catalogues of a large number of archive groups comprising mainly deeds and documents from the mediaeval and early modern periods. At the National Library he earned deep respect as an accomplished palaeographer, witty raconteur and dedicated pioneering trades union official. He also applied himself with vigour to his research work, completing a number of ambitious research projects. Until 1953 he published a number of articles in academic journals. In 1967 there appeared the Calendar of the Records of the Borough of Haverfordwest, 1539—1660, published as volume XXIV of the distinguished University of Wales History and Law Series under the auspices of the University's Board of Celtic Studies. The records had been deposited at the National Library in 1948 and subsequently listed by Dr Charles. Six years later, in 1973, Dr Charles's retirement year, there appeared the magisterial tome George Owen of Henllys: a Welsh Elizabethan, the final product of decades of research, re—thinking and re—writing, and refined synthesis. In retirement he pressed on with his researches with renewed energy. In 1982 the Pembrokeshire Historical Society undertook the publication of his The English Dialect of South Pembrokeshire: Introduction and Word—List, a short monograph running to fifty—four pages. Dr Charles's most substantial work The Place—names of Pembrokeshire, published in 1992 when its compiler was aged 85 years of age, ran to two substantial volumes, totalling no fewer than 867 pages. It was undoubtedly a monumental labour of love and truly a lifetime's work. Outside his work, Dr Charles's main pastime was playing golf, an interest which he shared with his devoted wife May. They had two daughters, and made their home at Tresinwen, Cae'r Gog Terrace, Aberystwyth. Mary Charles died in 1998. B.G. Charles died in Cwmcynfelin Home 19 August 2000 and was cremated at Aberystwyth Crematorium.
Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2009