The AIF Project

Charles EASLEA

Regimental number3291
Place of birthTenterfield, New South Wales
SchoolState School
AddressReid's Creek via Gayndah, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 5"
Weight115 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Martha Easlea, Lacey's Creek, North Line, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 March 1917
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name42nd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/59/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 14 June 1917
FateKilled in Action 31 August 1918
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
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: Harry and Martha EASLEA, Lacey's Creek, Dayboro, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: Pte Robert Easlea, killed in action.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 14 June 1917; disembarked Liverpool, 26 August 1917; marched into 11th Training Bn, Larkhill, 27 August 1917.

Admitted to Group Clearing Hospital, Fovant, 21 October 1917 (influenza); marched out of No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 2 November 1917, and marched into 11th Training Bn, Fovant, the same day.

Marched into 9th Training Bn, Fovant, 5 November 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 January 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 2 January 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 4 January 1918; taken on strength of 42nd Bn, 14 February 1918.

Admitted to No 10 Australian Field Ambulance, 14 February 1918 (abscess); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 22 February 1918; discharged, 2 March 1918; rejoined unit, 4 March 1918.

Wounded in action, 26 May 1918; admitted to No 11 Australian Field Ambulance, 26 May 1918 (gassed); transferred to No 9 Casualty Clearing Station, 26 May 1918; to No 49 Casualty Clearing Station, no date stated; discharged, 28 June 1918; rejoined unit, 15 July 1918.

Killed in action, 31 August 1918.

Buried Sh 62d HW C66.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, EASLEA Charles

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