Very little is known about the life of Charles Elmhirst. It seems he lived most of his life at Elm Housein the village of Thorne, near Doncaster, from where he exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Cambrian Academy, the Allied Artists Association (in its inaugural 1908 exhibition), and the Yorkshire Union of Artists, the latter of which he was elected a member of the Council. The artist is recorded as having helped organise a collection of eggs in Thorne to help the war effort during WWI. He was reputedly a fried of Lionel Crawshaw, a fellow Doncaster artist. He joined the Staithes Art Club in 1907 in its final year of existence, and died in Thorne in 1937.