Charles Stanley BINGLEY

Poppy

BINGLEY, Charles Stanley

Service Number: 1626
Enlisted: 24 January 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia , 28 February 1892
Home Town: Euberta, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Schooling: Euberta Public School, via Wagga Wagga , New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: SWs Chest penetration, 36th Casualty Clearing Station, Mericourt-l'Abbé, France, 2 November 1916, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Heilly Station Cemetery
Plot V, Row D, Grave No. 12
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers KIA Honour Roll, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers Who Served Abroard Honour Roll, Queanbeyan District Methodist Church Honor Roll, Sutton Public School Memorial Gates, Wagga Wagga Cenotaph, Wagga Wagga Victory Memorial Arch
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World War 1 Service

24 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private
14 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, SN 1626, 55th Infantry Battalion
14 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, SN 1626, 55th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
31 Oct 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1626, 55th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt, SW chest, penetrating DoW 36th Casualty Clearing Station, Mericourt-l'Abbé, France

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Francois Somme

Pte 1626 Charles Stanley Bingley, 
55th Australian Infantry Battalion, C Company,
14th Brigade, 5th Australian Division
 
In the fields of the Somme, silent and peaceful, millions of poppies sway in the wind, growing in green valleys that were more than a hundred years ago plunged into the darkness and the madness of a world war in which fought and fell a whole generation of young men who enthusiastically answered the call of duty alongside their friends who, in the prime of their lives, marched behind the bugles and drums that guided them on the battlefields where their hopes of a great adventure were swept away by the fury of the artillery which drowned these men under rains of metal, under tons of shells which poured death and devastation under the relentless thunder, under a mournful symphony which haunted days and night the hearts of young men who, in this hell of the Somme, became men, veterans united in the finest spirit of camaraderie and courage which gave them the strength to go over the top with with their comrades who were mowed down at a dreadful pace under the murderous fire of bloodthirsty machine guns in front of which stood thousands of wooden crosses on which are remembered today the lives and memories of exceptional men who, for peace and freedom, for their country and for France gave their today, their everything to give us a tomorrow. Today, forever young, those boys who came so far and left all behind rest in peace and still stand proud and solemn in the cities of eternity through which stand row upon row the white graves and immaculate on which I would watch until the last breath of my life to honor their memory, so that the names of these men live forever.

Today, it is with the utmost respect and with the deepest gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who fought and gave his today for our tomorrow.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 1626 Charles Stanley Bingley who fought in the 55th Australian Infantry Battalion, C Company, 14th Brigade, 5th Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 106 years ago, on November 2, 1916 at the age of 24 during the Battle of the Somme.

Charles Stanley Bingley was born on February 28, 1892 on the family farm "Woodfield", near Queanbeyan, New South Wales, and was the son of Thomas Bingley and Victoria Alberta Australia Bingley (née Rowley), of Woodfield, Amungula, New South Wales.

He was educated at Euberta Public School, via Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, and was a member of the school cadets. After completing his studies he took up a position as a teacher at Euberta Public School. The school had begun in 1912 and at the time catered for around 20 local children. Charles was still in this role when the first world war began. On signaling his intent to enlist, Bingley's sister Lily, who was also a teacher, was transferred to Euberta Public School to take over from her brother.

On December 1, 1915, Charles joined the start of the Kangaroos recruitment march at Wagga Wagga. It was the beginning of a 350-mile march to Sydney. By the time the marchers reached Sydney on January 7, 1916, their numbers had swelled from 88 to 230. The Kangaroo March was the longest of the "snowball" recruitment marches.

The Kangaroos were entrained to Goulburn shortly after reaching Sydney, and it was here on January 24, 1916 that Charles enlisted into the AIF. After his initial training he and many of those he had marched with were allocated to the 2nd reinforcements to the 55th Battalion nicknamed "New South Wales Rifle Regiment". After a training period of more than two months, Charles embarked with his unit from Sydney, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on April 14, 1916 and sailed for Egypt.

After arriving in Port Said, Egypt, on June 16, 1916, Charles and his comrades trained in the Egyptian sands until late July, when they were sent to England. Those destined for the 55th Battalion were sent to the 14th Training Battalion at Hamilton, where training followed before being sent to France at the end of August.

On September 1, 1916, Charles arrived in France and was disembarked at Etaples where he joined the 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot ten days later then was taken on strength in the C Company of the 55th Battalion on September 23 at Fleurbaix then he and the other reinforcements were sent on a one-week training course at the divisional bomb school.

While the 55th Battalion had been committed to the disastrous attack at Fromelles three months earlier, Bingley entered the front line for the first time near Fleurbaix on October 8,1916.

In mid-October, Charles and the battalion transferred to the Somme. The 55th entered the front line near Flers on October 21 and spent the next week in the line before moving back to the details camp. The 55th Battalion re-entered the front line near Flers during 30 and 31 October. Rain made the going tough, but by late afternoon on the second day, the battalion had completed its move.

Unfortunately, it was in Flers, on October 31, 1916, that Charles met his fate and was seriously hit by shrapnel from a German shell. He was immediately evacuated to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station located in Mericourt-l'Abbé, Somme, but his wound proved mortal and he died on November 2 at the age of 24.

Today, Charles Stanley Bingley rests in peace alongside his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l'Abbe, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription: "To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is not to die", and shares his grave with Serjeant number 2440 Sinclair Leitch who fought in the 5th Battalion of the Australian Pioneers and who died of his wounds the same day as Charles.

Charles Stanley Bingley had two brothers and a nephew who fought bravely in the great war.His first brother was Private number 2130 Harold David Bingley. Harold joined in January 1916 and arrived in England only two days before his brother was mortally wounded in France. Harold joined the 55th Battalion that December but illness shortened his war and in January 1918 he returned to Australia for discharge.Harold died peacefully on May 17, 1937 in Redfern, New South Wales and left behind a son, John James Bingley, and a daughter, Dulcie Catherine Bingley.

Charles' second brother was Private Number 2863 Ewan Gordon Bingley who served with the 56th Australian Infantry Battalion. Ewan survived the war and returned to Australia on February 19, 1919. Ewan was married in 1921 but he and his wife divorced twelve years later. He died in Queanbeyan,New South Wales, on the 28th July 1947,aged 51.

Charles's nephew was Private number 5448 John Reginald Rowley who fought in the 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion. Unfortunately John died of his wounds on September 2, 1918 in the Somme at the age of 23. Today he rests in peace in Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme.

Charles, courageous and resolute, determined to do what was right, it was with unwavering conviction that you answered the call of duty in the prime of your life and joined the endless ranks of your friends and brothers who all volunteered to fight overseas, on the soils of a country far from their own, far from their loved ones, in the mud and blood of the trenches, through the barbed wire of what were once silent and green valleys that turned gray under tons of shells that the artillery fire hammered relentlessly under disastrous howls which preceded deadly storms of fire and steel through the poppies of the Somme on which flowed the blood of a whole generation of men who, in the ardor and innocence of their youth, left their homes, the loving arms of their mothers thinking that they would live the greatest adventure of their lives and that they would soon return home, but on the battlefields of northern France they found only the fury, the despair and the death of a world at war which swept away their hopes and their dreams through the flames and the rains of bullets in front of which they stood with the greatest bravery.Days and nights under their slouch hat they held the front line without ever retreating despite the horrors they endured and of which they were the witnesses, they had to live haunted by death which consumed their souls and their thoughts by seeing again and again in their nightmares their comrades who were mowed down, riddled with bullets by flesh-and-blood-thirsty machine guns that rained desolation on waves of men who charged bravely across no man's land and who, one after the other collapsed under the weight of their sacks, still rifles and bayonets in hand ready to defend and preserve the peace and freedom for which they gave their young lives and lay lifeless in the shell holes, mutilated, stared, hanging silently in lines of impassable barbed wire under which mass graves were dug, symbols of an insane and appalling war which swept away in its destructive madness the future of men who had so much to give to make this world a better place and who, by their sacrifices, by their actions and their devotion not only preserved peace but also our humanity by giving what they had most precious and in the camaraderie, in the mateship, in the fraternity which guided them and brought them together, they had the strength and the courage to face death so that one day the light of peace may pass through the darkness in which they were confined in the narrow trenches, their knees deep in the rat-infested mud In the darkest hours of history but in the Somme, the young Diggers wrote the most glorious pages of the Australian Imperial Force, they showed the unfailing courage, the strength and the solidarity of all the Australian people, they spoke of the beauty of their country to their French brothers in arms who admired the young Australians, not only their courage but also their sense of humor and in the trenches was born the friendship which unites our nations for more than a hundred years, they shared the same fight, the same causes, they lived and died together for our tomorrow through the toxic gases and the walls of shrapnel which fell on the fields of death on which their white graves stand today, through the silence in which forever young they stand proud and it is also by telling their stories that I fell in love with Australia, my adopted country and in the Somme, in the cemeteries and the old battlefields, I will always watch over them with the utmost respect so that their sacrifices and their courage will never be forgotten, so that their names, so that the ANZAC spirit, through the poppies and in our hearts will live on forever. Thank you so much Charles, for everything. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him,we will remember them.

I would like very warmly and very respectfully to thank Mr. Michael Kelly for his invaluable help without which I would not have been able to write this tribute.

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