The AIF Project


Regimental number2589
Place of birthBroken Hill, New South Wales
SchoolGilles Street Public School, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
AddressParkside, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 4.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Curgenven, 121 Sturt Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadet Corps.
Enlistment date4 January 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 25 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal (altered to Military Medal )

Recommendation date: 22 November 1917

FateKilled in Action 19 June 1918
Place of death or woundingFrance
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Esther CURGENVEN, 128 Sturt Street, Adelaide

Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 110
Date: 25 July 1918

Family/military connectionsBrother: 2344 Corporal William Frederick CURGENVEN, 27th Bn, returned to Australia, 5 March 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength of 32nd Bn as a supernumerary, Ferry Post, 24 May 1916; absorbed into the strength of 32nd Bn, Moascar, 30 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Promoted Lance Corporal, 20 January 1917.

On leave, 20 January 1917; rejoined unit, 7 February 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 18 April 1917.

Proceeded to England, 28 May 1917; attached to 8th Training Bn for duty, Hurdcott, 2 June 1917.

On Command at Bomb School, Lyndhurst, 15 July 1917; rejoined 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott, 28 July 1917.

Admitted to Hurdcott Camp Hospital, 13 August 1917; rejoined 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott, 18 August 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 2 October 1917; marched into 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 4 October 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 6 October 1917; rejoined 32nd Bn, 9 October 1917.

Detached to No 15 Field Ambulance, 16 October 1917; rejoined unit, 27 October 1917.

Admitted to No 14 Australian Field Ambulance, 3 February 1918, and transferred to 5th Australian Divisional Rest Station the same day(dermatitis); discharged, 13 February 1918; rejoined unit, 14 February 1918.

Admitted to 5th Australian Divisional Rest Station, 25 March 1918, and transferred to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station the same day (fissure in anus); to No 26 Ambulance Train, 28 March 1918; to No 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital, 28 March 1918; to No 7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 29 March 1918; discharged, 4 April 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 7 April 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 17 April 1918; rejoined 32nd Bn, 10 May 1918.

Wounded in action, 23 May 1918, and remained on duty.

Killed in action, 19 June 1918.

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CURGENVEN Charles

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