The AIF Project

Chester Cecil CHURCH

Regimental number635
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland
SchoolJersey College, Channel Islands, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationHairdresser
Address'St Astle', Palmer Street, Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 10"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Susanah Louisa Alpin, 'St Astle', Palmer Street, Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Royal Militia, Jersey; resigned on leaving the island.
Enlistment date2 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentLance Sergeant
Unit name30th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France
Age at death25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
116
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Augustus Mark (d. Brisbane, 1893) and Susannah Louisa CHURCH, 130 Cavendish Street, Stanmore, New South Wales. Native of Brisbane
Family/military connectionsOnly brother, Wireless Instructor in Kitchener's Army, died 2 April 1915 [? 30832 Sapper T.M. CHURCH, Reserve Signal Depot, Royal Engineers]
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Promoted Sergeant, Ferry Post, 1 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Missing, 20 July 1916.

'Identification Disc received from Germany. No particulars were afforded except that Soldier was deceased. May now be reported "KILLED IN ACTION" 20/7/16.'

Communication from Berlin (file p. 24): 'austr. Sold. Church. c. 30. Batt. Nr. 835. am 19.7.16 in Gegend Fromelles gefallen'.

Red Cross File No 730708 has statement from 289 Pte S.W. STRIKE, 30th Bn (patient. Woodcote Park, Epsom, England), 13 September 1916: 'I saw him killed by shell fire just outside his trench at Fleurbaix Fromelles.'

Second statement, 1305 Pte C.G. LAVENDER (patient, 35th General Hospital, Calais), 3 October 1916: 'Sergeant W. Fox, C. Co, 30th Battalion, saw him dead at Fromelles on the 20th July 1916.'

Third statement, 925 Pte N. McKAY (patient, Rust Hall Hospital, Tunbridge Wells), 10 October 1916: 'Informant states that Sergt. Butterworth, 30th Australians, D. Coy, had told him in Rust Hall Hospital that Church was killed alongside him on July 19th.'

Fourth statement, 1575 Pte P.J. KRESTENSEN, 30th Bn (patient, 20th General Hospital, France), 9 November 1916: 'I saw him and his platoon go into a sap where later on I saw him, with most of his men, compelled to surrender. This was at Fromelles on July 19th.'

Fifth statement, 8 Pte A. WALKER, 30th Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England) ('Eyewtiness'), 18 November 1916: 'On July 19th, at Fromelles, near Armentieres, Church was killed by shell, but could not be brought in.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CHURCH Chester Cecil
Red Cross file 730708

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