Charles Cecil STODART MC, MiD

STODART, Charles Cecil

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 26 December 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 2nd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Toowong, Queensland, Australia, 8 February 1886
Home Town: Coorparoo, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Geelong College, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Station overseer
Died: Natural causes, Brisbane, Queensland, 22 April 1961, aged 75 years
Cemetery: Privately Cremated
Memorials: Coorparoo Roll of Honor, Geelong College WW1 Roll of Honour, Ilfracombe District Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

26 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, Brisbane, Queensland
8 Apr 1915: Involvement Lieutenant, 2nd Light Horse Regiment
8 Apr 1915: Embarked Lieutenant, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
28 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC / Gallipoli
4 Aug 1916: Honoured Military Cross
28 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Major, 2nd Light Horse Regiment

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Biography contributed by Daryl Jones

STODART, Charles Cecil MC (1886-1961)

Charles Cecil Stodart was born on the 8 February 1886, the son of James Stodart, MLA, and Elizabeth Henrietta Noble, nee Gair.

He was entered at Geelong College as a boarder in 1903 with an address at enrolment of Market St, Brisbane, Queensland.

He was working as a station overseer when he enlisted in the AIF during World War I. He embarked with the 4th Reinforcemnt group on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8 April 1915 and served in Egypt and Palestine with the 2nd Light Horse. He was involved in the Battle of Romani on 4 August 1916 where he was awarded the Military Cross. The award was gazetted on 25 November 1916, the citation reading:
'For conspicuous coolness and courage in the defence of an outpost at Romani from 3 to 8 August 1916. The post was an important one and was heavily attacked by superior numbers.'

He was Mentioned in General Sir Archibald Murray's Despatches, gazetted on 1 December 1916. War historian, H S Gullett recounted Stodart's involvement at Ramleh in the 'Official History' :
'At about 2 o'clock Bourne (Lieutenant Colonel G H Bourn) threw in the last troops of his reserve squadron under Captain C Stodart, The Turks, many of whom had discarded their boots to increase their speed over the loose sand, were then fiercely assailing Mount
Meredith and, although still held, were fighting at point-blank range in overwhelming numbers upon the light horsemen. At the same time substantial enemy forces began to cross the front towards Hod el Enna; and it became clear that, obstructed on his first line of approach, he was aiming to outflank the Australian right and strike for the railway by way of Mount Royston. All ranks of the light horsemen were fully conscious that the safety of Romani and the whole British advanced force was in their hands. The old Gallipoli spirit was again aflame, and every man was resolved that the Turk, if he gained ground, must pay a heavy price for it. Romani was in its earlier and most critical stages almost entirely a soldier's battle.'

Gullett again mentioned Stodart's work on the 15 November at the Clearing of the Maritime Plain:
'On the morning of November 15th, when a squadron under Major Stodart, of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment, penetrated the town (of Ramleh), both Arabs and Christians seized the stirrups of th Australians, kissed their dusty boots, and hailed them with a tumultuous show of feeling which, if insincere in the Arab, was a very convincing piece of mob acting. While Stodart searched the town, the 1st regiment pushed rapidly through the olive groves toward the ancient town of Ludd, three miles further north.'

At the end of the war he returned to Australia, embarking on 13 March 1919.

A portrait of Major Stodart, by George Lambert is held in the AWM Art Collection, as is a watercolour by the same artist painted near Khurbet Sihan, showing part of the Turkish front line, with three graves in the foreground, 'Major C C Stodart, MC, 2 Light Horse Regiment looking at them after the Second and Third Battles of Khurbet Siban'. (The watercolour was reproduced on the dustjacket of Affleck's book.)

Pegasus reported his death in June 1961:
' Charles Cecil Stodart died at Brisbane on April 22, after an illness lasting some weeks. He served in the First World War, with the rank of Major, in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment. Mr Stodart spent his life in the Queensland pastoral industry, and managed a station at Cloncurry for 25 years. He then retired, and spent the last 12 years of his life at Brisbane.'

Source : The Geelong College -