The AIF Project

Charles Robert SINCLAIR

Regimental number5182
Date of birth14 August 1895
Place of birthMarrickville, New South Wales
SchoolMarrickville West Superior Public School, West Marrickville, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationEngineer
AddressHill Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height6' 1"
Weight144.5 lbs
Next of kinAunt, Mrs M. Bushby, Hill Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Previous military serviceParticipated in Compulsory Military Training, Sydney.
Enlistment date5 October 1915
Place of enlistmentHoldsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT SS Makarini on 1 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of death or woundingMorlancourt, France
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
161
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Jane SINCLAIR, Marrickville, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 1 April 1916; disembarked Suez, 2 May 1916.

Marched out of 1st Training Bn, 20 May 1916; marched into 14th Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 20 May 1916, and allotted to 55th Bn Reinforcements.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Taken on strength of 55th Bn, 15 August 1916.

Admitted to No 5 Field Ambulance, 10 December 1916 (trench feet); transferred to No 36 Casualty Clearing Station, 25 December 1916; to Ambulance Train, 26 December 1916; to No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 27 December 1916; to England, 5 January 1917; to No 2 Southern General Hospital, Bristol, 6 January 1917; discharged to furlough, 30 January 1917; marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 15 February 1917.

Marched into No 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 16 February 1917.

Marched out of No 4 Command Depot, 13 March 1917; marched into No 3 Command Depot, 14 March 1917.

Classified 'B1A3', 3 April 1917.

Classified 'B1A4', 22 April 1917.

Transferred to 63rd Bn, 27 April 1917, and taken on strength of 63rd Bn, Windmill Hill, the same day.

Marched out of 63rd Bn, 19 September 1917, and transferred to 55th Bn on marching out; marched into 61st Draft Bn, Fovant, 19 September 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, no date stated; marched into 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 15 October 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 16 October 1917; taken on strength of 55th Bn, in the field, 26 October 1917.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Note on file: 'Received from Germany per War Office. One envelope (sealed) containing:- 1 note book, photos, wallet, unit colours, badge.'

Note on file: 'Identification disk [sic] handed over by Intelligence Officer of the 2nd Army Headquarters Staff through S.1. Central Office for Deceased Estates. Australian Soldier C.R. Sinclair, Identification Disc 5182, 55 Bat. fell on 4/7/18 about 2 kilometers [sic] North of Sailly-Laurette. Confirmed Berlin, October 29th 1919.'

MBV Note, Red Cross File No 2510209J: 'Killed in Action 4.7.18. Cert by German Death list 17.10.18. Disc was sent through Central Office for Personal Effects without further details 10.9.18 ... No effects received from Germany.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death4 July 1918
SourcesNAA: B2455, SINCLAIR Charles Robert
Red Cross File No 2510209J

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