Giles’ school was located on the corner of Rhode and Best Street. Charles Dickens attended with his sister Fanny and was required to wear a white beaver hat. William Giles, the son of the Baptist minister, was about 23 years old and a recent graduate from Oxford.
His two younger brothers, John and Samuel, were particularly close to Charles Dickens. Forster wrote: "They were no strangers to each other, when they rambled together through the same Kentish fields, and mingled in the same sports."
Miss Giles (William’s sister) remembered Dickens as 'a very handsome boy with long curly hair of a light colour and a very amiable, agreeable disposition.’
Dickens enjoyed parties, fifth of November celebrations and also played a game, which involved talking in a foreign language with his friends to confuse passers-by. William Giles junior never forgot his pupil Dickens. Whilst he was writing the Pickwick Papers, Giles sent him a silver snuff box with the inscription to ’the inimitable Boz’.
William Giles’ school in Rhode Street, Chatham (Medway Archives Centre CHA/EDU/SCH1/13)