Charles Daniel Helm was born around 22 September 1844, in Zuurbreck, South Africa. He was a member of the London Missionary Society.
He did missionary work together with his wife. He and his wife travelled by ship from Europe to the Cape (Cape Town) and later on, spent months travelling by wagon to Matabeleland. Daniel Helm and his wife Elizabeth Eduardine nee Von Puttkamer (she was a German baroness and her father had a castle in Germany), arrived in Matabeleland (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) in 1875 and served at a mission station called Hope Fountain, which was situated close to the royal residence of Lobengula, the Ndebele King. The couple spent about 40 years as missionaries in Bulawayo.
Helm was well respected and trusted by King Lobengula, and was used by the King as his interpreter and adviser. Helm witnessed the Ndebele uprisings, which led to the destruction of the original buildings at Hope Fountain.
Helm is thought to be the man who brought two dogs to his mission at Hope Fountain. These he bred to produce the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
He died on 14 January 1915 at Hope Fountain in Bulawayo and was buried there.