BOSTOCK, Charles

Service Number: 3019
Enlisted: 23 September 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 47th Infantry Battalion
Born: Checkley, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom, June 1880
Home Town: Lismore, Lismore Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: St Thomas' Catholic School, Tean, Staffordshire, England
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 4 December 1916
Cemetery: Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Lismore & District Memorial Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

23 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private
30 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 3019, 25th Infantry Battalion
30 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 3019, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Itonus, Brisbane
4 Dec 1916: Involvement Private, 3019, 47th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout 

Pte 3019 Charles Bostock
47th Australian Infantry Battalion,
12th Brigade, 4th Australian Division
In the fields of the Somme, silent and serene, rest in peace for eternity a whole generation of men behind the innumerable rows of their white graves between which grow the roses and the poppies which the autumn sun brings to light and who remind us through their red petals of what so many young boys sacrificed in the blood and mud of the trenches of the battlefields and who for us, for the peace and freedom in which we live, gave their today and their lives in the barbed wire alongside their brothers in arms who did and gave so much for France which will be forever grateful to them and which will ensure to keep in the light, strong and alive, the memory and the stories of these heroes over whom I would always watch with the utmost respect so that they are never forgotten and that their names and faces live on forever.

Today, it is with infinite gratitude and the deepest respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these men, one of my boys of the Somme who for our tomorrow, paid the supreme sacrifice.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 3019 Charles Bostock who fought in the 47th Australian Infantry Battalion, 12th Brigade, 4th Australian Division, and who was killed in action 105 years ago, on December 4, 1916 at the age of 37 on the Somme front.

Charles Bostock was born in 1879 in Checkley, Staffordshire, England, and was the son of Charles Bostock, of Pean Bank, Lower Pean, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Charles was educated at St Thomas' Catholic School, Tean , Staffordshire, England, and after graduation, enlisted in the Grenadier Guards, British Army, with whom he served for 12 years and fought courageously during the Boer War, and received a medal with two clasps then after the war emigrated to Australia and lived in Lismore, New South Wales, where he worked as a farmer.

Charles enlisted on September 23, 1915 at Lismore, New South Wales, in the 25th Australian Infantry Battalion, 7th Reinforcement, and after a period of three months of training, he embarked with his unit from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on December 30, 1915 and sailed for Egypt.
On March 9, 1916, Charles arrived in Egypt and was disembarked at Suez where he was transferred and taken on strength in the 47th Australian Infantry Battalion, composed mainly of men from Queensland and Tasmania. Three months later,on June 2, 1916 , Charles and the 47th Battalion joined the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in Alexandria from where they embarked the same day on board "Caledonia" and proceeded overseas for France.
After a short trip of a week on the peaceful waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Charles and the 47th Battalion arrived in France on June 9, 1916 and was disembarked in Marseilles at 1:00am then marched through Bailleul, Outtersteen, Sailly, and entered for the first time in the trenches of the western front at Fleurbaix on July 3 where they relieved the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion at 2:30am and immediately set about consolidating the trenches, the village and the defensive positions of this sector then the 47th Battalion was relieved on July 11 by the 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion and were sent to Sailly where they were billeted and the next day moved back to Outtersteene at 7:00pm, joined Candas on July 14 then arrived on the Somme front later in the day at 8:00pm, at Berteaucourt where they followed a period of training until July 26, marched for Herissart on July 27 and Vadencourt on July 29.

On August 1, 1916 Charles and the 47th Battalion were sent to "Brickfields" near Albert and on August 2, moved to "Tara Hill" and entered the trenches of Pozieres which was the first major battle for the battalion and the AIF on the front of the Somme. Initially, the battalion provided working parties and on August 4, during the attack by the 2nd Australian Division to capture the Windmill position, the 47th Battalion played a very important role in supporting and defending the terrain that was captured. On August 7, they reinforced the front line in Pozieres held by the 48th Australian Infantry Battalion in the trenches called "OG1" and "Trainway Trench" under very heavy German artillery fire then on August 12, the 48th Battalion relieved the 47th which moved back as Reserve in the front line in the "Sausage Valley", then on August 15, was relieved by the 8th Australian Infantry Battalion and moved to "Tara Hill" then marched through Warloy-Baillon, Rubempré, Berteaucourt, Hérrissart, Vadencourt, and on August 28, returned to Tara Hill where they relieved the 17th Australian Infantry Battalion and remained in reserve until September 2.

On September 3, 1916, Charles and the 47th Battalion moved to Warloy-Battaillon then marched through Herrissart, Beauval, Doullens, and arrived in Proven, near Poperinge, Flanders, and were sent to "Patricia Camp" and on September 18 marched to "Alberta Camp "then joined the front line at Voormezeele, near Ypres, where they relieved the 47th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and on September 26, were relieved by the 45th Australian Infantry Battalion and on October 14, were sent to Murrumisidgee Camp in Voormezeele where they were relieved on October 22 by the 26th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and marched for Boeschepe then Godewaersvelde (Hauts-De-France) and on October 26, were again sent to the Somme and arrived at Longpré.

On November 1, 1916, Charles and the men of the 47th Battalion marched for l'Etoile then Vignacourt, Flesselles, Dernancourt, Fricourt, and on November 12, arrived at Bernafay Wood where they relieved the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion and on November 19, moved to take positions in the Switch and Gap Trenches then on November 27, were relieved by the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion.

Unfortunately, it was a few days later, on December 4, 1916 that Charles met his fate and was killed in action in the Bernafay Wood sector, he was 37 years old.
Today, Charles Bostock rests in peace with his comrades, friends and brothers in arms at the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember them,we will remember him.