Charles Allen ALEXANDER

Regimental number5226
Place of birthWellington, New Zealand
SchoolNorth Sydney Public School, New South Wales
Age on arrival in AustraliaAs a baby
AddressMilais, 5 Fairmount Street, Petersham, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinFather, E Alexander, Milais, 5 Fairmount Street, Petersham, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed with the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, Middle Head, New South Wales.
Enlistment date28 December 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll28 December 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A16 Star Of Victoria on 31 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
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: Edward and Isobell ALEXANDER
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 14 June 1916; takern on strength, 13th Bn, in the field, 21 July 1916.

Wounded in action, 13 August 1916; admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 14 August 1916 (shrapnel wound, head); transferred to England, 16 August 1916, and admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital, Chichester, 16 August 1916; transferred to Woodcote Convalescent Hospital, 25 September 1916; to County of London War Hospital, Epsom, 18 October 1916 (deafness, both ears); discharged on furlough, 5 December 1916, to report No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 21 December 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 24 January 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 9 February 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 8 October 1917, declared fate to be 'Killed in Action, 11 April 1917'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALEXANDER Charles Allen