Charles Henry Barlow was born in Wantage, Berkshire, England on 8 July 1881. Little else is known about his early life but he appears to have been the son of Thomas Barlow and the former Martha Haines, both of whom nothing is known. He had a brother, William (b. 1883).
He joined the Royal Navy on 20 October 1899, first serving aboard the Duke of Wellington II. Other ships he served aboard included: Resolution, Victory, Hermes and Brilliant, amongst others, before he was discharged on 2 November 1908, his last ship being the Victory. With descriptions of his conduct running from fair to very good, he was described as standing at 5' 7½", with brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He then joined the Royal Fleet Reserve on 3 November 1908.
Barlow was married in Southampton in late 1905 to May Nelson1 (b. 1 March 1881) but it is uncertain as to whether they had any children.
When he signed on to Titanic on 10 April 1912 Barlow gave his local address as 10 St Mary's Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Kildonan Castle and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.
Charles Barlow died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His widow waited in vain for news about him but heard nothing.
"I should love to hear or see his name as dead or alive, as my dear loved one was on the eight to twelve watch... the eight to twelve watch seems to have suffered the same as the engineers." - Daily Mirror, 1 May 1912
His widow May was remarried the following year to Alfred Scammell (b. 1887), a docks worker and with whom she had a son, Frank (b. 1915). She died in Southampton in 1953.