The AIF Project

Charles Henry Montague ADAMS

Regimental number4982
Date of birth26 November 1878
Place of birthBirmingham, England
SchoolEnglish Boarding School, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressAdelaide, South Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation41
Height5' 3.25"
Weight120 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Esther Adams, 257 Gouger Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 March 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board A45 Bulla on 24 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 November 1916
Place of death or woundingNo Man's Land, France
Date of death5 November 1916
Age at death42
Age at death from cemetery records41
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
109
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Emily ADAMS; husband of Esther ADAMS, GLEN OSMOND, South Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 23 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 24 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 September 1916; taken on strength, 27th Bn, in the field, 2 October 1916.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 10 October 1916 (trench feet), and transferred to 2nd Division Rest Station; discharged to duty, 13 October 1916.

Reported missing, 5 november 1916.

Now, 17 March 1917, reported 'Killed in Action, 5 November 1916'.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 00202059, 845 Pte C.F.H. BERTRAM, 9th Light Horse Regiment, att. 27th Bn, 5 February 1917: 'Witness says he saw the soldier wounded in the chest by a bullet, in a charge at Fleurs [sic], near Bapaume. He fell when about half way across. An hour later, witness was returning with wound in leg, and saw his friend lying in a shell hole. He asked if he could help him, but was told to go on, as soldier said he was done for, and nothing could be done for him. Our forces were pushed back, so the only remote hope is that soldier is a prisoner.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ADAMS Charles Henry Montague
Red Cross File No 00202059

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