He was born in Wheatley in 1881 and baptised at St. Mary's Church at the same time as three siblings, on 7 August of that same year. His parents were William Munt, an agricultural labourer born in Wheatley in 1849, and Rosina nee Southam born in 1848 in Bath, Somerset. In 1902 the family were living at Bell Vue Cottage on High Street. Charles was an agricultural labourer working for a family called Fawcett in Valley Farm, Deighton in Yorkshire in 1901. The following year he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, enlisting on 28 January at Oxford and proceeding to Fort Rowner, Gosport. Attested as a Gunner, he then moved to Canada and is recorded as in Halifax, Nova Scotia in September 1902. He earned a Canadian Army certificate of education, 3rd class, by February 1904. He deserted in Halifax in December 1904, but claimed the benefit of the King's pardon under Board 5, Army Order 129 dated 1 June 1910, and was granted a Protecting Certificate on 21 June.