The AIF Project

Charles William HOLDEN

Regimental number1909
Place of birthEnnis Crone, Co Sligo, Ireland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressMount Morgan, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 7.75"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Sarah Jane Holden, Elphin, Ireland
Previous military serviceServed for 2.5 years in the 3rd (PC) Infantry.
Enlistment date14 February 1916
Place of enlistmentRockhampton, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name52nd Battalion 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/69/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A46 Clan Mcgillivray on 1 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll42nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1918
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
135
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria for England, 6 August 1916; disembarked Southampton, 16 August 1916, and marched into 13th Training Bn, Rollestone.

Found guilty, Rollestone, 2 September 1916, of overstaying leave from 1 am to 6 pm, 2 September 1916: awarded 4 days' confined to camp, and forfeited 1 day's pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 4 December 1916; found guilty, 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 20 January 1917, of falling out of the line of march, 19 January 1917: forfeited 1 days' pay; taken on strength, 52nd Bn, in the field, 25 January 1917.

Admitted to 8th Australian Field Ambulance, 12 April 1917 (exhaustion); transferred to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 16 April 1917; to No 2 Convalescent Depot, 16 April 1917; to 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 27 April 1918; rejoined unit, in the field, 23 May 1918.

Wounded in action, 7 June 1918

shrapnel wound, left arm), and admitted to 1st New Zealand Field Ambulance; discharged to unit, 9 June 1918; rejoined unit, in the field, 13 June 1917.

Married Winnifred Ellen MATTHEWS, spinster, aged 27, Register Office, St Pancras, 17 June 1918.

Found guilty, 13 September 1917, of being absent without leave, London, from 7.30 am, 3 September, to 11 September 1917: forfeited 21 days' pay; total forfeiture of 30 days' pay.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 25 September 1917 (shrapnel wound, face), and admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 16th General Hospital, Le Treport, 26 September 1917; to No 3 Convalescent Hospital, 5 October 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 7 October 1917; rejoined unit, in the field, 1 November 1917.

Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 15 November 1917 (influenza); transferred to 22nd General Hospital, Camiers, 21 November 1917; discharged to No 6 Convalescent Hospital, 24 November 1917; to No 5 Convalescent Depot, 13 December 1917; to 3rd Australian General Hospital, Abbeville, 20 December 1917 (bronchitis); to England, 2 January 1918, and admitted same day to Boscombe Military Hospital. Transferred to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 2 February 1918; discharged on furlough, 5 February 1918, to report to No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 19 February 1918.

Admitted to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Southall, 24 April 1918 (gastric enteritis); discharged to duty, 30 April 1918.

Found guilty, 13 August 1918, of, in London, conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline to wit: disposing of a hat, tunic, breeches and puttees, the property of the public, to an Imperial soldier: awarded 28 days' detention.

Admitted to Lewes Detention Barracks, 16 August 1918; unexpired portion of sntence (4 days) remitted, 8 September 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 September 1918; transferred to 42nd Bn, 16 September 1918; taken on strength, 42nd Bn, in the field, 18 September 1918.

Killed in action, 29 September 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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