Charles Bonnell was the son of Walter Herbert Muirhead Bonnell and Ola Barrett White. He was in the class of 1925 of Lakefield Preparatory College School, Peterborough, Ontario.
He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for sinking a large enemy supply ship in the English Channel on 3 November 1941 while in command of MTB-218. The citation from the London Gazette of 6 January 1942 reads: “For courage and skill when an enemy convoy was attacked by our light Coastal Forces.”.
He was one of first two Canadians, both RCNVR, selected to join the very secret British two-man “chariot” training program, then just in early stages of design and development. Becoming part of a group of only 24 officers and 31 men and the only Canadians to do so, they trained and qualified as divers and on chariots. Charles Bonnell died when HMS P311 was lost, probably mined, enroute to attack La Maddelena harbour during Operation PRINCIPAL, which was to be his first chariot operation.
Charles Bonnell left a wife Eleanor and a daughter, Barbara, then aged 13. He is commemorated on the Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia, Canada, Panel 9