Matthew Mark (Joe) CHARLTON


CHARLTON, Matthew Mark

Service Number: 1109
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 3rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Junee, New South Wales, 8 April 1895
Home Town: Junee, Junee, New South Wales
Schooling: Junee Superior Public School
Occupation: Commercial traveller
Died: Died of wounds (GSW neck), Gallipoli - At sea (SS Rewa), 17 August 1915, aged 20 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Buried at Sea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Junee Memorial Clock Tower, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1109, Sydney, New South Wales
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1109, 3rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1109, 3rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1109, 3rd Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
14 Aug 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 3rd Infantry Battalion
17 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1109, 3rd Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

Great Uncle Matt

My grandfather, Alfred Andrew Charlton (21), and his brother, Matthew Mark Charlton (19), were from Junee, NSW. Alfred was in the lighthorse and his brother Matthew in the infrantry. They were separated because of the different infantrys but Alfred would ride over to see to see Matt as often as possible whilst in Gallipoli. Matt was assigned to Lone Pine. Alfred heard that Matt was injured in Lone Pine and rode over to see how he was. Alfred missed him by 2 hours as Matt was shipped home. Unfortunately Matt died from his wounds on the ship and subsequently tossed offboard. They enlisted 4 months earlier. My grandfather, Alfred, never talked about Gallipoli through his life and was a very quite person as I remember him. He died in 1971 at the age of 79. I asked him once why he never went to Anzac Day March which he replied "why would I want to re-live that". Since then I note that Matt, his brother, actually died on the 25 April on the ship.

One of the very sad stories from WW1 which I am sure are so many around the world.

I named my first child Matt unknowingly to me that my Great Uncle ever existed until my Matt was born. Vale Matthew Mark Charlton. Your name lives on in my child.....

Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Jordan D'Angelo

Matthew Mark Charlton was born in Junee, New South Wales on the 8th of April 1895. His family consisted of his parents John and Sarah and his brothers and sisters, James, Annie, Christina and Alfred. Matthew was commonly known to all his friends and family as Joe.

Matthew went to school at Junee Superior Public School, which is where his hometown was. After his schooling, Matthew became a Commercial Traveller, trying to persuade people to buy his products, to make money for him and his family.

Matthew joined the army on the 19 of August 1914 in Sydney, New South Wales and was appointed to the 3rd Battalion, A Company as a Private. An Infantry Battalion is when soldiers carry out military combat on foot.

Matthew’s brother Alfred also joined the army. They were in different units but both still stationed in Gallipoli. In October 1914 Matthew was deployed overseas on the ship HMAT Euripides, Sydney where he sailed to Egypt for extensive military training. After training his unit embarked on April 15 to prepare to fight in Gallipoli.

Just over three months after Matthew arrived, his Battalion was involved in the Battle of Lone Pine and on August 14, 1915, after many casualties, Matthew was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Matthew and his fellow soldiers lived in trenches filled with stagnant water, flies, lice, mosquitos and rats. Fresh water was not always available to drink but food was, although vegetables were uncommon.

Living in the trenches was almost unbearable and it was not surprising that disease was common. Several truces were called to let soldiers from both sides bury their dead but for most of the time the corpses were simply left to rot.

Just after Matthew was promoted he was shot in the neck and was badly injured so he was assigned to be shipped home. When his brother Alfred, who was in the Light Horse Regiment heard that Matthew was injured, he travelled to Lone Pine to see how he was, however, he missed him by 2 hours as Matthew was being shipped home on the hospital ship Rewa. Later that day on August 17 Matthew died on the ship due to his dreadful gunshot wound and was buried at sea that day by Rev VL Keelan, believed to be Royal Navy chaplain. Matthew was only 20 years old.

 Although Matthew was buried at sea his name is listed on the Lone Pine Memorial in Turkey which commemorates thousands of servicemen who died during the war. He is also on the Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour which is a monument for tribute of war service in Australia.

Ship HMAT Euripides

Lone Pine Memorial - Gallipoli



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