The AIF Project

Charles Percival Yule CAITHNESS

Regimental number2385
Place of birthQueenscliff, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressQueenscliff, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 8.25"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Ann Caithness, Mercer Street, Queenscliff, Victoria
Previous military service69th Infantry; Served in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date1 June 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll8 June 1916
Place of enlistmentGeelong, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name46th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/63/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A15 Port Sydney on 7 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll46th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death25
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
Son of Ann CAITHNESS, 'Hillside', Learmouth Street, Queenscliff, VIctoria, and the late Charles CAITHNESS
Family/military connectionsNil
Other details

War service: Western Front

Marched into 12th Training Bn, Codford, England, 16 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 December 1916; marched into 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 22 December 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 25 January 1917; taken on strength of 46th Bn, in the field, 27 January 1917.

Posted as missing in action, 11 April 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 November 1917, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, 11 April 1917'.

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 4 July 1917: 'Private A.H.Joy, No. 3807, 29th Battalion, has written to this soldier's brother as follows: "I hardly like to mention it but of course long before this you would have heard that poor Charlie has made the supreme sacrifice for his country. Yes it was right on the front. I was talking to a mate of his I know in the same Battalion as Charlie. It was in a "Hop over" rushing Fritzs [sic] lines on Easter Wednesday that it happened. The enemy was alive with Machine Guns at the start and evidently Charlies was among the unfortunate.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsThird given name incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as Yale.
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAITHNESS Charles Percival Yule
Red Cross File No 0670503L

Print format    

© The AIF Project 2024, UNSW Canberra. Not to be reproduced without permission.