Charles Gordon Russen was born in Launceston on 9 May 1886, a son of baker Charles Russen and his wife Mary Long. He was educated at the Launceston Church Grammar School. He followed his father into the bakery business and was also a good cricketer, playing first class cricket for Tasmania. He played against South Africa in 1910-11. He saw active service in the 12th Battalion during the First World War, enlisting in 1914 and returning to Australia in 1915 after being gassed.
Charles married Bertha Caroline, youngest daughter of Edward William Sheargold, on 18 Aug 1909. The marriage took place at the bride's home 'Isleworth', Elphin Road. They had three children: Charles Edward on 16 Nov 1910; Bertha Jean on 11 Jul 1913 and Mollie. Charles died at the Fred French Nursing Home, Launceston, on 16 Dec 1969 aged 83 years. His war service is commemorated at the War Graves section of Carr Villa Cemetery. Bertha died aged 83 on 7 Aug 1970.