The AIF Project

Charles James BACKMAN

Regimental number77
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
SchoolCurrie Street State School, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionCongregational
OccupationBoilermakers assistant
Address44 Elizabeth Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 11.75"
Weight198 lbs
Next of kinCharles Backman,44 Elizabeth Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in the 10th Australian Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces; discharged on leaving the state.
Enlistment date19 August 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 August 1914
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name10th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25-29 April 1915
Place of death or woundingGallipoli, Turkey
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel No 6), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
58
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Reported wounded and missing in action, 29 April 1915.

Brother, A. BACKMAN, wrote to Minister of Defence, 5 August 1915: 'I sent yesterday to you about my Brother Sgt. C.J. Backman, trying to find out about news of him. I told you only of letters but to day [sic] I can tell you of men we have met[,] returned soldiers that met him there and tell us that my brother was in the hospitable [sic] in the next bed to one of these men[.] [T]hey tell us that he was wounded in the leg an [sic] was crawling to the trenches an [sic] his own men called halt an [sic] he never stopted [sic] an [sic] they shot him in the back[.] [N]ow I think that any thing like that we ought to have heard before now an [sic] another letter I have just got from the hospitable an [sic] states that he backman [sic] is in the hospitable with him now[.] I think it awful not to know before this as this letter was dated July 4, 1915.'

Court of Enquiry, 5 June 1916, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 25-29 April 1915'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0171004D, 752 Pte J.W. GILLETT, 10th Bn (patient, Havre Hospital, 12 June 1916): 'This man was killed on the beach at Anzac on the 1st day of the landing. I was told this by several of my pals who were there and saw Blackman killed.'

Sister, Mrs A. KEARNS, wrote to Base Records, 3 October 1916: ' ... if we do not get news one way or the other I am sure it will kill my Mother as well for it is awful waiting for news and none comming [sic].'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BACKMAN Charles James
Red Cross File No 0171004D

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