The AIF Project

Charles Arthur PENN

Regimental number938
Place of birthWarwick, England
ReligionChurch of England
Address192 Wharf Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7.5"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinFather, Chas Henry Penn, 3 Back of 11 Stoney Lane, Birmingham, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 October 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll23 October 1914
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Age at death from cemetery records25
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: Charles and Lizzie PENN, 4 Leamington Road, Sharbrook, Birmingham, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 12 April 1915.

Wounded in action, 1 May 1915; admitted to HS 'Devanha', 1 May 1915 (bullet wound, head); to No 2 General Hospital, Ghezireh, 5 May 1915; discharged to Base Details, Zeitoun, 27 May 1915.

Rejoined 15th Bn, Gallipoli Peninsula, 9 July 1915.

Admitted to No 4 Field Ambulance, Anzac, 23 August 1915 (diarrhoea); transferred to No 13 Casualty Clearing Station, Anzac, 23 August 1915; to No 3 General Hospital, Lemnos, 27 August 1915; transferred to Mudros, no date stated; embarked Mudros, 18 September 1915 (enteric); to Fulham Military Hospital, London, 26 September 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, Egypt, 5 March 1916, and marched into Overseas Base, Ghezireh, the same day.

Rejoined 15th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 9 March 1916.

Found guilty, 14 March 1916, of being absent from 0700 hours parade: awarded 2 days' confined to barracks.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 8 June 1916.

Found guilty, Dieppe, 20 June 1916, of being absent from Tattoo Roll Call: awarded 1 day's Field Punishment No 2.

Admitted to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station, 13 July 1916 (not yet diagnosed); transferred to No 1 Ambulance Train, 13 July 1916; to No 14 General Hospital, Wimereux, 13 July 1916 (influenza); to England, 18 July 1916; to No 3 London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 19 July 1916 (malaria); marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 23 September 1916.

On furlough, 17 November 1916; marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 2 December 1916, and classified 'B1A'.

Found guilty, no date stated, of being absent without leave from noon, 15 February 1917, until 1700 hours, 19 February 1917: awarded 7 days' confined to camp.

Classified 'B1A2', 22 February 1917.

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

Transferred to 69th Bn, no date stated; taken on strength of 69th Bn, 23 March 1917.

Found guilty, 16 April 1917, of overstaying leave from 2100 hours, 7 April 1917, until 2300 hours, 7 April 1917: awarded 7 days' confined to barracks.

Transferred to 15th Bn, 21 April 1917, and marched into Draft Depot, Perham Downs, the same day.

Found guilty, 5 July 1917, of being absent without leave from 0900 hours, 25 June 1917, until 2100 hours, 3 July 1917: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 2, and total forfeiture of 24 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 9 July 1917; marched into 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 10 July 1917.

Taken on strength of 15th Bn, in the field, 28 July 1917.

Wounded in action (2nd occasion), 22 October 1917; admitted to No 3 Australian Field Ambulance, 22 October 1917 (shrapnel wound, arm and leg); transferred to No 10 Casualty Clearing Station, 22 October 1917; to No 1 South African General Hospital, Abbeville, 22 October 1917; to England, 31 October 1917; to Reading War Hospital, 2 November 1917; discharged to furlough, 10 December 1917, and to report to No 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny, 24 December 1917.

Found guilty, 10 January 1918, of being absent without leave from 1530 hours, 26 December 1917, until 2000 hours, 8 January 1917: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2, and total forfeiture of 43 days' pay.

Marched into Overseas Training Depot, Longbridge Deverill, 17 January 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 February 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 22 February 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 24 February 1918; rejoined 15th Bn, 27 February 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, PENN Charles Arthur

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