Charles Bunce Lea was born on 24 January 1837 according to the Register of Staff for the G. W. R Locomotive and Carriage Department. He entered service with them on 7 July '53.
He had been christened on 5 March 1837 in Tipton, Staffordshire. By 1841 the family had moved to Kidderminster and in 1851 were living in Lower Mitton to be more precise.
On 11 April 1858 he married Charlotte Chance in St Martin, Worcestershire and the new family remained in Worcester through 1861, 1871 and 1881. By 1891, however, the family had moved to Birkenhead in Cheshire where Charles remained until his death on 7 November 1909.