Bachelor, University New Zealand, 1940. Master of Science, University New Zealand, 1941. Doctor of Science, University New Zealand, 1952.
Doctor of Science, Victoria University, Wellington, 1967. Doctor of Science, University Auckland, 1974.
He spent the last twenty years of his life studying the evolution and systematics of New Zealand cicadas. He was active in the Save Manapouri Campaign, was a spokesperson for Native Forest Action Council and the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand. In 1974 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union.
In 1997, Trevor H. Worthy commemorated Charles Fleming in the species" epithet of the prehistoric rail Pleistorallus flemingi from the mid-Pleistocene of New Zealand.
Member staff New Zealand Geological Survey, Lower Hutt, 1940-1977, chief paleontologist, 1952-1977. Member New Zealand National Parks. Member of council National Museum, 1976-1985.
Fellow Royal Society London, Royal Society New Zealand (president 1962-1966), Art Galleries and Museum Association New Zealand Ornithologists Union, British, Ornithologists Union, American Ornithologists Union (correspondent), Zoological Society London (honorary), Australian-New Zealand Association for Advancement of Science (president 1969, medal 1972), Geological.Soc.
London (honorary), Royal Australian Ornithologists Union. Member Auckland Institute and Museum, Bishops Museum Association, Geological Society.Australia, Society for Bibliography Natural History, Paleontological Society, Paleontological Association (London), American Philosophical Society (foreign honorary), Geological Society Australia (honorary), Entomological Society New Zealand (honorary).
Married Margaret Alison Chambers, April 12, 1941. Children: Robin Margaret, Winifred Mary, Jean Sutherland.