Charles Joseph BOND

BOND, Charles Joseph

Service Number: 485
Enlisted: 1 September 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Goulburn, New South Wales, 1878
Home Town: Goulburn, Goulburn Mulwaree, New South Wales
Schooling: Public School, New South Wales; home tuition
Occupation: Bushman
Died: Died of wounds, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 30 May 1915
Cemetery: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
Plot 111, Row F, Grave 9, Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kilcoy Honour Roll, Urbenville Memorial Gates, Woodenbong and District Roll of Honor WW1
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World War 1 Service

1 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Corporal, 485, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Brisbane, Queensland
24 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 485, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC / Gallipoli, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '1' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Star of England embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note: ''
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Corporal, 485, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane


Charles Joseph BOND # 485 2nd Light Horse Regiment

Charlie Bond was born at Nadgigomar, a small farming community south of Goulburn NSW. His father, Joseph Bond, recorded that his son had attended public schools in NSW and had also been home tutored. Charlie worked on the family farm and at the age of 22 enlisted in the 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles, part of the Imperial Draft Contingent for the South African War. He served for two years before being discharged in Sydney in 1902.

Charlie probably became an itinerant bush worker after his South African experience. For some time he worked in the Kyogle district. When he enlisted in Brisbane on 1st November 1914, he gave his occupation as bushman. Charlie named his father as his next of kin and stated his age as 36 years. His previous South African experience was probably what determined his allocation to the 2nd Light Horse Regiment.

With barely sufficient time to be equipped with uniforms, weapons and saddlery, the 2nd Light Horse embarked at Brisbane on 24th September; just three weeks after Charlie had enlisted. The “Star of England” would join the other transports being assembled at Albany WA and head for the Suez Canal via Bombay. While at sea, the men would have learned that Turkey had entered the war on the side of Germany and Austria Hungary.

The first contingent of the AIF arrived in Egypt before Christmas 1914. Originally, the plan for the force was that they would progress on to England before being deployed on the Western Front. With the entry of Turkey into the war, and the increasing threat to the vital communication link of the Suez Canal, the AIF remained in Egypt. On 17th January 1915, Charlie Bond was promoted to corporal in “C” squadron.

The 2nd Light Horse was engaged in patrolling along the banks of the Suez Canal for the next few months while plans were hastily cobbled together to include the Australian Infantry in a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. That landing which began with a dawn assault on the beaches north of Gaba Tepe did not achieve anywhere near the hoped for (as opposed to planned for) objectives. The Australians had a precarious hold on the ridges above the beach-head and it was very quickly decided that reinforcements, in the form of the Light Horsemen fighting as infantry should be put into the fight.

The 2nd Light Horse landed at ANZAC in the second week of May 1915 and immediately took over the trenches at Pope’s Hill above Shrapnel (or Monash) Gully. The position was opposite a series of trenches and saps known as the chessboard. Just before the arrival of the Light Horse, the German commander of the Turkish forces had ordered a bayonet charge against the Australians all along the front. The Turkish soldiers running down hill were easy targets for the Australians and the bodies of the dead Turks piled up. The bodies were still there on 24th May when an armistice was agreed to allow the Turks to recover their dead.

No sooner had no man’s land been cleared than another attempt to drive the ANZACS into the sea was made. The Turks managed to breakthrough into the Australian lines in several places. It was during one such attack that Albert Jacka won the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to an Australian during the war. On 30th May, it was reported that Corporal Bond had received several bullet wounds to the head while manning the firing step at Pope’s Hill. The wounds were severe and he was taken by stretcher to the beach where he died of his wounds. He was buried in Shrapnel Valley. Charlie’s parents were advised of his death by telegram. Curiously the official file records that Charlie had been evacuated to the hospital ship “Gascon” where he succumbed to his wounds and was buried at sea with a chaplain in attendance. This account would ultimately be proved to be false but it may have given rise to the rumour that Charlie had survived the head wounds and was in hospital in Alexandria. Charlie’s parents were informed of this story by the brother of a soldier who claimed to have seen Charlie in hospital.

Naturally the parents wrote to the military authorities, and even a member of parliament to have enquiries made into the truth of the matter. They even supplied the name and number of the man who claimed to have seen Charlie, Private Robert Kerr #671 9th/41st Battn. Stories such as that related here were not uncommon and grieving parents provided with scant information about how and where their son died cannot be judged harshly in clutching to the faintest of hope.

There is no evidence in the official files that links Charlie Bond to the Kilcoy district but given his stated profession of bushman, it is not inconceivable that in some of his wanderings he did spend some time in the area.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Gunshot wound and compound fractured skull


Son of Joseph and Agnes Mary Bond, of "Waroona," Urbenville, Tabulam, New South Wales. Native of Nadjingomar, Goulburn, New South Wales.