Charles Royce Battersby JOHNSON MM

JOHNSON, Charles Royce Battersby

Service Number: 4458
Enlisted: 8 November 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 3rd Australian Light Railway Operating Company
Born: Birkenhead, South Australia, 3 August 1893
Home Town: Birkenhead, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Lefevre Peninsula Primary and Birkenhead Public Schools, South Australia
Occupation: Marine Motor Driver
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 22 April 1918, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Plot 26, Row G, Grave 4
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Port Adelaide St Paul's Church Memorial Alcove
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

8 Nov 1915: Enlisted
25 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, 4458, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Shropshire embarkation_ship_number: A9 public_note: ''
25 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, 4458, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide
22 Apr 1918: Involvement 4458, 3rd Australian Light Railway Operating Company, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 4458 awm_unit: 3rd Australian Light Railway Operating Company awm_rank: Fitter awm_died_date: 1918-04-22

Fallen Hero

Sapper Charles Royce Battersby Johnson MM

Service No: 4458
Private then Sapper then promoted to T/Fitter 27th Battalion transferred 17th Australian Light Railway Operating Co.
Born O3 August 1893 at Birkenhead. South Australia
Son of John Johnson (native of Finland) and Ada Elizabeth nee BATTERSBY (English)
Of Victoria Road Birkenhead, South Australia.

Enlisted: 8 November 1915 at Adelaide, SA
Age: 22 years
Embarkation: 25 March 1916
Occupation prior to enlisting: Marine Motor Driver
Served in France & Belgium
Awarded Military Medal 07 April 1918
“For Bravery in the Field”
Wounded in Action in France
Killed in Action in Belgium: 223 April 1918
Buried: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Plot 26, Row G, Grave 4

Charles was born In the Port Adelaide district and was always known as Roy, he had eight brothers, William John Herman, Alfred Anders, Horace James, Jacob, Henry Victor, Alan Leslie, Frederick Norman, Neil Oscar, and a sister Amy Florence.
He was educated at Lefevre Peninsula Primary School along with his brothers and sister in Birkenhead. South Australia. Charles and his brothers spent every spare minute of their time on, or in the Port River, fishing, swimming or sailing, most of the time playing truant from school. On leaving school he worked as a marine motor driver on the wharves at Port Adelaide.
He was 22 ½ Years old when he enlisted in Adelaide on 8th November 1915. He stood 5’3 ½ “ , weighed 136 lbs. of dark complexion with hazel eyes and dark hair. He had tattoos on both forearms.
He was assigned to A Coy, 2nd Depot Battalion AIF on 22nd November 1915 where he remained until 15th January 1916. Charles was assigned to the 11th Reinforcements /27th Battalion on the 16th of January. After two months of basic training at the Mitcham camp in Adelaide he embarked on HMAT Shropshire on 25th March 1916 bound for the front. It is unclear from his records whether they disembarked in Egypt or England (The 27th had left Egypt in April for the Western Front) his records indicate he was in the 7th Training Battalion in England he probably arrived there in early July. On October the 14th 1916 he was sent to France and arrived at the Second Division Base Depot at Etaples on the 16th shortly after he was T.O.S. by the 27th Battalion.

On the 29th of October 1916 he was transferred from the 27th Battalion to the 48th Battalion. Charles was T.O.S. of the 48th Battalion, on the 31/10/16, he was transferred and taken on strength of the Anzac Light Railways on the 13th February 1917.

On June 1st 1917 he was admitted to the 7th Field Ambulance hospital with V.D. they transferred Charles to 9th Corps Collection Station on the 3rd of June and they in turn transferred him to No 4 A. Train on the 4th. Charles was admitted to the 39th General Hospital in Le Havre on the 6th of June 1917. His illness was designated NYD (Not Yet Determined) suspect V.D.G. Venereal Disease Gonorrhoea. He remained in the 39th General Hospital for 30 days after which he was sent to the A.G.B.D. (Australian General Base Depot) on the 6th July. Charles re-joined his unit on the 11th of July 1917. He never let his family know of his trip to hospital, his mother probably would have dropped dead as she was a deeply religious woman.
Charles was transferred, on the 17th of July 1917 to Assistant Director Light Railways 4th Army located at Coxyde. On the 29th July 1917 he was wounded with a gunshot to the head. He returned to duties on 16th August 1917. Two days later Charles was allocated to the 17th Anzac light Railway operating Company at Mimico Camp Ypres.
On December 21st 1917 Charles was awarded 18 days field punishment F.P. No. 2 by Captain W. Rogers, C.O. Anzac Light Railways Operating Company for failing to draw the water out of No. 18 tractor’s radiator on the 18th December 1917. His crime – neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. (Presumably the water had to be drained to prevent damage from the water freezing)

On 7th April 1918 Charles was awarded the Military Medal “for gallant conduct at hellfire near Ypres (in March) when during heavy shelling of the marshalling yards he and three others cleared all the ammunition and rolling stock out of the danger zone.
Charles was killed at 12 noon on 22nd of April 1918 at the Pacific Camp in the Poperinghe – Ypres area, by enemy shellfire. He is buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Belgium. Cemetery Plot 26, Row G, Grave 4.
A witness report by Sapper R. Duffy 3502 also of the 3rd Light Railway Operating Company
“Killed 23/4/18”
Statement – About this date at Pacific, just outside Poperhinge at noon, shell fell on hut he was in – we had just had lunch and I was just going into hut he was in. Was killed outright same shell killed Sapper Stewart of railways and an English soldier who was att. to us. His body was taken to Casualty Clearing Station by the adjutant Lieut. Walker. This Casualty Clearing Station is at Vlamertingre think he was buried in Military Cemetery there – I saw his cross made, but have not seen his grave. Christian name Roy.
A witness report by Cpl. J. Blackmore 2590 also of the 3rd Light Railway Operating Company

“Killed 24-4-18”
End of April – in billets at Pacific Ammunition dump near Poperinghe. At noon shell fell and blew side of one hut out. Johnson was killed outright. I saw him after on stretcher, his body was taken away on small railway track to Dressing Station. Some of the men went to the funeral. He would be buried near Poperinghe. I was not at burial. I/Cpl. Stewart was killed by the same shell. 6 or 7 other men were wounded. Christian name Roy, came from Adelaide

A witness report by Sapper J. Hilliard 645 A.I.F. 3rd Rly. Op. Coy. Australian Demobilization Base

April 24/1918
We were coming down to Provart from the Ypres Sector and were near Pacific, when he was killed by a shell which lobbed right into the hut in a Rest Camp, and he died on his way to the C.C.S. He was buried there, and a cross was put up over the grave. He came from Adelaide.

Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Charles Royce Battersby JOHNSON was born in Birkenhead, South Australia on 3rd August, 1893

His parents were John JOHNSON & Ada BATTERSBY