Charles Moreland Montague DARE DSO, MiD-2

DARE, Charles Moreland Montague

Service Numbers: Commissioned, Officer, V4176
Enlisted: 21 September 1914
Last Rank: Colonel
Last Unit: 14th Infantry Battalion
Born: Moreland, Victoria, 27 May 1888
Home Town: Brighton, Bayside, Victoria
Schooling: Carlton College
Occupation: Architect
Died: Lorne, 29 April 1971, aged 82 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Lorne Cemetery, Victoria
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

21 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, SN Commissioned, 14th Infantry Battalion
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, SN Commissioned, 14th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HMAT 'A38' Ulysses from Melbourne on 22nd December 1914.
26 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 14th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli
27 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Major, 14th Infantry Battalion
20 Feb 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 14th Infantry Battalion, Had been appointed Temporary Lieutenant Colonel on 8th December 1915
13 Feb 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, SN Commissioned, 14th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HT Marathon from Plymouth, England on 13th February 1917, disembarking Melbourne on 8th April 1917 for Staff Duties in Australia.
22 Apr 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, SN Commissioned, 14th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

3 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Colonel, SN V4176

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Moreland Montague Dare DSO VD

Charles Moreland Montague Dare was born on 27th May 1888 in Coburg Victoria. He was the only son to Montague Charles Dare and Annie Charlotte Mason. He had an elder sister, May Gladys Dare, who had been born in 1886 in Coburg too. Montague and Annie had married on 24th September 1879 at St. Pauls Melbourne. Montague had been born in Camberwell, London in January 1852 to John George Dare and Mary Ann Clarke and had migrated to Australia in 1859, with his family (his mother died in St. Kilda in 1886). John worked as a land and estate agent in St Kilda, where they lived. Montague worked in his father’s business. Purchasing farmland with a partner in 1882 near to Sydney and Moreland Roads, they wished to establish a prestigious subdivision on it, naming it Moreland Park Estate. The land was subdivided into residential lots (a few larger ones), parkland and some small shop allotments along Sydney Road. Purchasers were offered architecturally designed 3 bedroom homes, constructed of brick or wood. Twenty-four homes had been built by 1890 (most were owned by Montague) and he built Moreland Park Buildings on Sydney Road. Due to financial difficulties in 1896, he sold most of the properties, but kept his own 10 acre home “Moreland Park” by Merri Creek. Annie was killed in a tragic riding accident there in August 1904 and Montague died in 1919 of pneumonia. They were buried in Coburg Cemetery. Charles was educated at Carlton College, Victoria; Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and the University of Melbourne. At school, Charles passed the Junior Public Examinations in six subjects, one of which was a distinction.

Design Plan - Moreland Park Estate

He was a registered Architect, an Architect with the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (ARAIA) and had a Diploma of Architecture from the University of Melbourne. In the 1912 and 1914 Electoral rolls, Charles was living at home with his father at Nicholson Street Coburg and was listed as a student.

Charles was given the provisional rank of 2nd Lieutenant on 16th July 1907 with the 5th Squadron 10th Light Horse and was supernumerary to establishment. His rank was also confirmed that year. He was then transferred to the Victorian Rifles, supernumerary to establishment, on 19th May 1908. In 1909, his form of commission was signed and on the back is listed his record of promotion. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 3rd May 1909 and was brought on establishment on 16th November 1909. Charles was posted to 51st Battalion on 1st July 1912 and made provisional Adjutant on that date also. He was promoted to Captain on 10th September 1912. He was a Militia Adjutant for about 4 years. While in the Military Forces, he attended various Schools of Instruction during 1908 to 1910 and passed them all, some with honours or distinction.

On 21st September 1914, Charles was appointed as Captain in the 14th Battalion AIF. His application for a Commission in the 14th Battalion AIF was dated 8th December 1914. On it, he stated he was single, a British subject, lived at Moreland Park, Moreland Victoria and his next of kin was his father Montague C Dare of the same address. Charles was 5 foot 6½ inches tall, weighed 10 stone, had a chest measurement of 38 inches and had 6/6 eyesight in both eyes. (Another application form has his height as 5 foot 6 inches, 34 inches chest measurement, weight of 9 stone 6 pounds stripped and normal eyesight). His present civil employment was as a warehouseman.
He embarked as Captain and Adjutant of the 14th Battalion on 22nd December 1914 on HMAT A38 Ulysses at Melbourne.

As part of the 14th Battalion, he took part in the landing at Gallipoli in 25th April 1915.

On 5th May 1915 he was admitted to the 4th Field Ambulance at Gallipoli with influenza, and returned to duty on the 7th. Charles was the 14th Battalion war diarist.
He was promoted to Major on 27th May 1915. He blew the whistle that started the attack at Australian Gully for the 14th Battalion on 21st August. The Battalion suffered heavy casualties. On 28th August 1915, he assumed command of the 14th Battalion, due to two previous commanders becoming invalided in quick succession.
On 8th October 1915 he was sent to Alexandria, from Mudros, and returned to duty at Dardanelles, ex Alexandria from Brigade Duty, on 8th November 1915. He was granted the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on 8th December 1915.

With the Battalion, he was evacuated from Gallipoli in December, arriving at Alexandria from Mudros on 6th January 1916 on the Cardiganshire. He had served with the 14th Battalion on Gallipoli continuously from their landing to evacuation without absence from wounds, sickness or leave (according to a newspaper article, but not quite correct).

Charles was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel on 10th January 1916 in one entry and another has Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel on 20th February 1916.
On 28th January 1916 he was Mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton’s Despatches of 11th December 1915, which were published in the London Gazette page 1209 (Supplement No. 29455 of 28th January 1916) as a Major in the 14th Battalion (Victoria) AIF. Base Records advised his father, Montague Dare, of the award on 27th April 1916. His conspicuous service was in connexion with operations mentioned in the Despatch above.

On 18th April 1916, he married Dorothy Violet Moss at Ismailia in Egypt. She was a daughter to Isidore Henry Moss and Alice Frances Mabel (May) Wilson, who were married on 10th March 1887 in Melbourne. Alice was a women’s activist and suffragette, and was the president of the National Council of Women. Isidore was a grazier and involved with the Victoria Racing Club. Her address was noted in his service records as c/o E S & A Bank, 38 Lombard St, London, so she must have been living there while he was in France.

Charles arrived in France on 8th June 1916 after departing Alexandria on the 1st, and took part in the Battle of the Somme.

In the London Gazette of 3rd June 1916, Charles was listed in the King’s Birthday Honours to be a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) under the Australian Imperial Force section as Major Charles Moreland Montague Dare, 14th Battalion. The award was noted in the Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) on Monday 5th June 1916 as one of four thousand soldiers rewarded in connection with the King’s birthday.

He was Mentioned in Sir Charles Munro’s Despatches of 6th March 1916 which were published in the London Gazette (4th Supplement No. 29964) on 13th July 1916 as Major/Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel in the 14th Battalion AIF. Base Records sent his father a notification of the award on 4th December 1916. That notification, however, has the date as being released on 11th July and the despatch on 10th April. Montague wrote back on 7th December 1916 from Moreland Park, saying that “I am much gratified by the receipt of your communication”, “informing me of the mention in Despatches of “Distinguished Service” of my Son”.
A newspaper article said he “is possibly the youngest colonel fighting for the King. Colonel Dare, who left Australia as a Captain and adjutant of the battalion, has yet to see his 28th birthday. Six months ago, he had not seen active service, but he had a reputation for enthusiasm and thoroughness, which has been more than justified through long months if incessant fighting.”

His former commander, Lieutenant-Colonel R E Courtney paid tribute to him, saying “He was my adjutant, and one of the best soldiers who ever cheered the heart of and overworked commanding officer. He is a born solider, whose instinctive understanding of the practice of warfare has been sharpened by the most assiduous study and performance. His unruffled demeanour covered a wonderful competence and swiftness of thought. He never got rattled, and decided quickly and surely. I can never over-estimate the debt I owe to him. He set the standard for the junior officers of the regiment, and though it was a high one, they played up to it finely.”

He had commanded the 14th Battalion from August 1915 to December 1916. On 2nd December 1916, he handed over command of the 14th Battalion to Major N D Feathers at 3pm and reported to Battalion Headquarters for court of enquiry. Part of his service record stated he left his unit on 4th December with instructions to report for future disposal. He was to report to AIF Headquarters in UK and a letter was posted giving instructions for his employment there. On 5th December 1916, he was posted for duty at AIB Depot in England from 14th Battalion in France as per AIF Orders. Charles was then to be returned to Australia for employment by Defence.

Charles was still listed in the 1915 and 1917 electoral rolls as a student living at Nicholson Street Coburg.
General John Monash wrote him a reply on 7th July 1916, apologising for distressing him with his note that he took “in the wrong way”, but saying that “not only was the action which you took in a difficult situation perfectly correct, but the report which you sent was a very good one on the whole.” He wanted to make Charles “wise in the art of keeping criticisable matter out of a report wherever possible. Of course, you must not read this to mean that I would encourage you to falsify the real facts.” He pointed out that General Cox still had a high opinion of him, and his comments only criticised “the action of the Company Commander or whoever acted for him, and the action of the people who took men of your reserve Company out of your control.”

On 11th January 1917, he received a reply from J M A Durrant, who became a Commanding Officer of the 13th Battalion, thanking him for acknowledging his award of the DSO. He goes on to say “You had very bad luck in getting let down by Henry in that simple manner, and I feel very sorry for you.” The whole Battalion wished him well. John Monash sent him another letter on 16th January 1917 while he was at No. 3 Group Headquarters at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. It was a reply to a letter Charles had sent him in late December. In it he said he “was extremely sorry to hear that you had had the hard luck to be sent back to ENGLAND to the Training Centre for the particular reasons stated in your letter.” He said that many men would be glad to have a spell that way and at the same time render valuable service. Charles felt that it was connected with a matter for which he was to blame (according to what the authorities thought). General Monash saw it as an opportunity and a privilege to look after “the training of reinforcements in the light of the valuable experience of actual fighting at the front.” He also was sympathetic to the view that Charles suffered due to the actions of a “foolish subordinate” and that the only way to seek redress would be for an enquiry, which may not lead to satisfactory results. General Monash would not write to other Generals on his behalf, as it could be “regarded as unwarranted interference in a matter which was no concern” of his. He advised Charles to “leave things as they are. You have made a great record, have put in solid service, and have obtained a coveted distinction. I only wish that I could obtain more restful employment after all the hard times I have been through, than my present duties involve upon me.”

He left Plymouth on HT Marathon on 13th February 1917. His next of kin was informed of his return on 20th March 1917. Charles arrived in Australia on 8th April 1917 (in the 2nd Military District), for staff duty in Australia (approved by the GOC AIF) and his appointment was terminated on 22nd April 1917. He was promoted to Major on 1st May 1917.

He was called up for Home Service at Broadmeadows on 7th May 1917. Charles commanded the 3rd District Guard and Domain Camp from 28th July 1917 until 30th December 1918.

His form of warrant of his commission was received on 14th November 1917, and he signed for it on the 26th.
The Singleton Argus of Thursday 12th April 1917 carried the following article: - “AUSTRALIA’S YOUNGEST COLONEL Lieutenant-Colonel Dare, D.S.O. After completing practically two years, continuous service at the front, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Montague M. Dare, D.S.O., the youngest officer of his rank in the Australian Imperial Forces, arrived back in Melbourne yesterday (says Monday’s “Melbourne Age”). Although now only 28 years of age, Colonel Dare has commanded a battalion since the latter part of 1915. He left Australia as adjutant and captain of the 14th Victorian Infantry Battalion. A few months after the landing at Gallipoli, in which he was a participant, he gained his majority, and before the end of the year he was awarded the D.S.O. and promoted to the supreme command of the battalion. From Gallipoli he want with his unit to France, and remained in charge right up to the time of his leaving for Australia, a short while ago. Snipers, shell fire, and bombs have no terrors for Colonel Dare: at least, that is what his comrades in arms say. “Dare by name and dare by nature” is the opinion formed of him by those who have served alongside him in the firing line. It would seem that he bore a charmed life. Men standing next to him have been struck down by bullets or bursting shells, but Colonel Dare, despite his almost continuous service in the firing line, has never once received a scratch. He arrived back yesterday as well, if not better, than the day he left Australia. To see him and to talk with him makes it almost impossible to believe that one is meeting and conversing with one of the veterans, of the war - a soldier who has been fighting and enduring hardships for well nigh two years. Few would imagine that Colonel Dare was a day older than 25 years. He is fresh-faced, slight of figure, and in height a little below the medium. Campaigning has not hardened his features. There is nothing of the grim warrior about him. On the contrary, he presents rather the appearance of an unaffected dashing young subaltern. The only visible signs of his rank are the star and crown worn on the shoulder straps of his tunic, and these are of miniature design, which makes them less conspicuous.

Colonel Dare smiled broadly when an interviewer approached him yesterday. "Was he glad to be back?" Well, yes, but he did not like leaving the boys over there. "You know," he said, his manner growing suddenly serious, ''there is a great need for men over in France. Things have been a little bit quiet, of course, during the winter, but every man we can put into the field will be needed, now that the great push has commenced. Drive that fact home if you can. It is the only one that matters.

“He spoke with quiet earnestness, and as though to emphasise his important point he mentioned a little later that at times his own battalion of 1000 men had been reduced to barely 300 pending the tardy arrival of sorely needed reinforcements
"It's just the luck of the game," he remarked when reference was made to his rapid promotion. "I just missed the bullets, and that's all there is to be said about it." He let slip the interesting fact that he was the only officer who had not been put out of action at some time or another. Colonel Dare has a poor opinion of the German infantry. "The Boche himself," he said, "is not much good. It's the guns - the machinery behind the men - which has enabled the enemy to accomplish so much." As to the ultimate result of the war Colonel Dare, has no doubt, but he declared that the Hun has still plenty of fight left in him. The last impression which he brought away from France was that the Allies would have their work cut out to finish the war this year.
Colonel Dare has returned to Australia on special staff duty, and it is understood that he is to be given a position by the defense authorities where his energy and resourcefulness can be utilised to the full.”

He was mentioned in the book “War Services Old Melburnians” numerous times, as follows:-
From R E Courtney “CHARLIE DARE has been appointed Lieut.-Colonel. He rather shrinks from advertisement, but it would be very churlish to hide even any little honour that may reflect glory on the good old School.”

Keith Officer wrote “There are O.M.’s all round us - …..(including) C. M. DARE”.
Clive Williams noted “CHARLIE DARE is, I understand, a lieut.-colonel. I believe he is the youngest in the Australian Army. I never ran up against him in Cairo.”

War Notes on 14th December 1914 read “Mr. W. R. HOGGART, who has been in charge of the cadets for a number of years, and who had charge of Ross House, has been made a Captain in the 14th battalion. This battalion is officered to a large extent by O.M.’s. During the term Colonel R. E. COURTNEY, Captain C. M. DARE, (Adjutant), Captain W. R. HOGGART, Lieut. A. G. BENNETT, Lieut. A. P. Henry, Lieut. R. COX, Lieut. A. R. Cox, visited the school, and amidst great enthusiasm one after the other came forward on the platform and addressed the boys assembled in Big School. The School has “adopted” this battalion, and has given it $50 from the School Patriotic Fund, which is being spent in purchasing whatever may be necessary to make the men in the battalion as efficient as possible. Colonel COURTNEY thanked the School for the gift, and asked, further, that the battalion might take as its motto that of the School, “Ora et labora.””

“CHARLES MONTAGUE DARE, who was recently described as the youngest Colonel in the British Army, has received the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.). He did wonderful work on Gallipoli, and when the health of his Colonel (R. E. COURTNEY) broke down, he had to take charge of the regiment. He is now in France.”
On 1st October 1918, he was appointed to 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment and on 1st April 1919 he was to temporarily command the 5/14th Infantry Regiment. The Repatriation Department wrote to Base Records in 1919, asking them to forward a confidential report in connection with an application for assistance lodged by Charles. Base Records had no details of him being married, they stated he joined the AIF as a single man and returned to Australia on 8th April 1917.

His father, Charles Montague Dare, died on 27th November 1919. At the time, he was Managing Director of Brooks, McGlashan and McHarg, warehousemen in Flinders Lane.

Dr Randolph Mathew (Gunner 38517 8th FAB) had some of his reminiscences published in the Coberg Historical Society newsletter of February 1977, which included the following: - He “remembered the Dare family, “Monty Dare” lived in a house fronting Ronnie Street, Dare’s house was the only house in Ronnie Street, between Barrow Street and Merri Creek, his home was called Moreland Hall and is still to be seen in Ronnie Street. Charlie Dare a son went to the First World War and rose to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel.” He also mentioned that his neighbour on Crown Portion 132 was MacGregor who married Miss May Dare. Their house was known as Glengyle. Further along was “a man named Courteney who had been in the military forces in Gallipoli, he and Colonel Dare had laid out a field telephone between their two homes.” He was Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Edmund Courtney (surname misspelt), the first commander of the 14th Battalion and who Courtney’s Post is named after. They obviously maintained their friendship after returning to Melbourne. Courtney returned due to heart strain in 1916 and died in December 1919.
The 1919 electoral roll has him and Dorothy living with his parents at Moreland Park, Rennie Street and he was listed as a student. His application for war service gratuity was passed on 25th March 1919. His oak leaves were sent to him on 28th April 1920, and he signed for them on 28th August 1920 with his present address as 25 Bay St, Brighton. He was also made substantive Lieutenant-Colonel on 1st July 1920. Two certificates for his Mention in Despatches were sent on 28th May 1921, and he signed for them on 31st May 1921. He signed for his British War Medal on 30th August 1921, and Victory Medal on 26th April 1922. In 1923, he applied for a refund of his wife’s passage from England to Australia.
He was placed on the unattached list on 31st March 1921. On 1st August 1923, he was to command 60th Battalion supernumerary to establishment of Lieutenant-Colonels, with pay and allowances of Major. From 1st May 1924 to 31st October 1924, he was to temporarily command the 15th Infantry Brigade.

By the 1924 electoral roll they had moved to 25 Bay Street at Brighton and he was an architect. On 31st March 1925, Headquarters of the 15th Infantry Brigade at Brunswick wrote to Base Records to get particulars of AIF service of Lieutenant-Colonel Dare, as required in connection with him applying for the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration. They dispatched the records back on 7th April. The 1927 roll recorded the same details. From 1st July 1927 until 31st December 1927, he was on special leave, without pay. By 1928 they had moved to 26 Tennyson Street in St. Kilda and he was still an architect. His appointment to command was extended by 1 year, from 1st August 1928 to 31st July 1929. He relinquished command of the 60th Battalion on 31st July 1929 and was transferred to the unattached list on 1st August 1929. Charles was made temporary Colonel on 1st May 1930, when he was transferred from the unattached list and was to command the 4th Infantry Brigade, and he was made substantive Colonel on 1st December 1930. The 1931 roll shows Charles to be by himself at Riverdale Crescent, Mount Eliza in Frankston with the same occupation. He was transferred to the unattached list on 1st May 1934. Major-General Blamey wrote him a letter on 13th April 1934, thanking him for his valuable service to the Militia Forces as Charles was relinquishing his command of the 47th Infantry Brigade. He also acknowledged the personal assistance he had received from Charles. He wrote “The high standard of discipline which you have insisted upon and maintained in the troops under your command has been noted.” He apologised for not considering that he would like to be involved in the Centenary Celebrations, as he would have extended his appointment.

In September 1934 the divorce between Charles and Dorothy was finalised. The Argus of Friday 14th September has the following entry in the divorce decrees “Charles Moreland Montague Dare, aged 46 years, architect, of Mount Eliza, from Dorothy Violet Dare, aged 42 years, Orchard street, Brighton, on the grounds of desertion. The parties were married at Ismailia, Egypt, on April 18, 1916, and there are three children.” He was sent a medal to be worn in commemoration of “Their Majesties’ Silver Jubilee” on 6th May 1935.
The 1936 and 1937 rolls still have him living at Mount Eliza by himself. In 1937 he married Minetta Wilma Leach Humphris in Victoria. There are no other details on the wedding. The 1939 electoral roll has both of them living at Nyora, Riverdale Crescent in Mt. Eliza with his occupation as architect. He was transferred to the Reserve of Officers on 1st May 1939.

On 3rd July 1940, Charles signed up as V4176 at Royal Park. He was discharged at the same place on 22nd October 1940 with the rank of Colonel of 2 R R D at Royal Park. He commanded the 4th Infantry Training Brigade at that time. As his service records for WW2 are not online, not much else is known about his service then. He was part of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, but resigned in 1941. The 1942 electoral roll has them at Riverdale Crescent and he is back to being an architect. The same is for the 1946 roll.

Charles was promoted to Honorary Brigadier on 16th January 1948, and was placed on the retired list. On 18th August 1948, Base Records replied to a letter by Charles on the 13th, stating that according to his records, the reason he returned to Australia was Staff Duties in Australia. They also noted the ship he returned on, when he disembarked and when his appointment was terminated. He was living at “Goodrest” Lorne at the time. The letter Charles wrote stated “I have been informed by a person who inspected the records of the 14th Bn. A.I.F. 1914/18, that my record show that I was returned to Australia “Services no longer required.”” He asked how the error occurred, as he had been sent back to Australia with other officers to replace Permanent Staff Corps Officers. This was arranged by General Birdwood, and he was personally informed of this by General Griffiths before embarking. He wanted to enquire if it was as stated, how it could be corrected. Note the reply referred to his records, not those of the 14th Battalion. The battalion record for December 1916 is noted above, but makes no other mention of anything.

By the 1949 roll, they have shifted to Smith Street, Lorne. In February 1950, they departed Sydney on the Himalaya, and arrived in England on 30th March 1950. On 12th October 1950, they departed London on the Strathaird, and after a stop in Colombo where they departed from on 3rd November, they arrived in Fremantle on 7th November, bound for Melbourne. In the 1954 electoral roll they are back at their usual address and occupations. In March 1956, they departed Sydney on the Orsova and arrived in London on 9th April. They departed Liverpool on the Empress of Britain on 24th August 1956.
The 1963 and 1968 electoral rolls show them still living at Smith Street, Lorne and he was still an architect. He was a member of the Naval and Military Club, the RACV, and Victoria Racing Club. He enjoyed golf, motoring and hunting. He also rode in Hunt Club Point-to-Point Steeplechases, gaining two firsts, three seconds and one third (in Australia).

On 29th April 1971, Charles Moreland Montague Dare passed away. The index to his will, probate and administration record is kept with the Public Record Office of Victoria under file number 724/865 and shows he was retired and living in Lorne. He was buried at Lorne Cemetery on 1st May 1971 in LRN-SECT-5-807-525.
Minetta stayed at the same address until her death on 22nd August 1977. She was buried in the same grave as Charles on 24th August 1977.

His first wife, Dorothy, died on December 1984 in Brighton. She was cremated at Springvale Botanical Cemetery and placed in Renowden Chapel, Section B, Niche 24.
Charles and Dorothy had three children, Phyllis May born on 16th September 1917, Keith Howard born on 17th April 1919 and Gordon Kenneth born on 16th June 1920. Not much is known about Phyllis, except she was educated at Fairbank Church of England Girls School in Brighton, returned to Australia from England by herself in 1935 and crossed from Canada to USA in 1939. Keith was educated at Brighton Grammar School and died on 18th July 1936 in Brighton Victoria, but the circumstances are not known. Gordon was educated at Brighton Grammar School and Scotch College, was a clerk who had been in the militia for 4 years when he was mobilised in the Infantry Training Battalion at Royal Park as Private V83565. He then enlisted in the AIF on 8th August 1940 as Private VX38610 in the 2/24 Battalion. He was captured at Tobruk on 1st May 1941and spent some time as a POW in North Africa and Italy, before escaping in Italy on 8th August 1943 after the Italian Army capitulated. After trying, but not succeeding, to get to Switzerland, he joined Italian partisan brigades and then in 1945, the British Military Mission. At the end of the war, he returned to Australia, lived in St. Kilda and died in 1976.

Charles’ sister May, departed Australia in November 1916, and arrived in London on 10th November on the Osterley. Her education included time at Fairholm Ladies College at South Yarra. She went there to marry William MacGregor, who was an officer in the AIF. With the 6th Field Artillery Brigade, he left Melbourne on HMAT Persic A34 on 22nd November 1915. He was listed as a Captain and Veterinary Officer. They married in England on 30th November 1916. He was recommended for a Military Cross and Mention in Despatches, but was only awarded the MiD. After the war, May employed a Joseph Georgelin, whose family was from Jersey. He had served as Private 7016 in the 14th Battalion AIF and had worked for her father on Moreland Park before the war as a gardener, so he continued in that occupation. He was also witness to Captain MacGregor signing for his British War Medal in 1921. They had one son, William Gregor MacGregor, born on 16th September 1919. In 1933, they divorced and in 1934 she married a Cecil Charles Taylor. They moved to England and she died in London in 1970.

Charles’ medals are Distinguished Service Order, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal with oak leaf, Silver Jubilee Medal 1935, 1939-45 War Medal and Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration.

Showing 1 of 1 story