Service Numbers: 165, Officer, Q185001
Enlisted: 4 September 1914, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 1 Garrison Battalion (QLD)
Born: Toowoomba, Queensland, 18 May 1893
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Toowoomba Grammar School
Occupation: Jeweller
Died: Natural causes, Toowoomba, Queensland, 28 May 1971, aged 78 years
Cemetery: Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery, Queensland
Plot: FWD4-B16
Memorials: Toowoomba Gordon Gymnastic & Athletics Club Honour Board, Toowoomba Grammar School South African Honour Roll, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 Bravery Deeds, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 Honour Board, Toowoomba Grammar School Wall of Achievement, Toowoomba Queen of the South Lodge, Toowoomba Roll of Honour WW1
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Private, 165, 7th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse

World War 1 Service

4 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, Toowoomba, Queensland
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 9th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Omrah, Brisbane
24 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, 9th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '9' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Omrah embarkation_ship_number: A5 public_note: ''
1 Feb 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 9th Infantry Battalion
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 9th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
20 May 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 9th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, GSW (lower-part of right chest, right forearm, left thigh and right abkle)
3 Jun 1915: Honoured Military Cross, ANZAC / Gallipoli, "From 25th to 29th April 1915, during operations near Gaba Tepe, for conspicuous gallantry..."
12 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 49th Infantry Battalion
3 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, 49th Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm
14 Sep 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Major, 49th Infantry Battalion
21 Oct 1916: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Mouquet Farm, "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He commanded his company with the greatest courage and skill..."
26 Feb 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Major, Officer, 49th Infantry Battalion, AIF appointment terminated

World War 2 Service

22 Sep 1939: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant Colonel, Q185001
22 Sep 1939: Enlisted Q185001, Brisbane, Queensland
23 Sep 1939: Involvement Q185001
21 Jun 1944: Discharged Lieutenant Colonel, Q185001, 1 Garrison Battalion (QLD)

Help us honour Charles Fortescue's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Fortescue was the nephew to 502 Private Victor Joseph Sanders (/explore/people/143387) who was killed in action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.



There can be no two opinions as to the bravery of the men produced by the Northern State. It is 'superb.' Of such quality was the feat performed in the now famous landing on the Gallipoli peninsula by Lt. Charles Fortescue, of Toowoomba. An official message to his parents on June 3 made them acquainted with the fact that their son has been rewarded for his valor with the Military Cross, a distinction second in merit only to the Victoria Cross. Of the details of his deed we at present know nothing, but if it shone out above the general conduct of the rest of his fellows, then it must indeed have been worthy of such high honor.

Lieut. Charles Fortescue, who was 22 years of age on May I8 last, received his early education at the North State School, and from there went to the Toowoomba Grammar School. His schooldays terminated when he was about 18. Whilst a pupil at the Grammar School he was a member of the Cadet Corps, and his liking for military subjects subsequently led him to enter and pass the examination for a lieutenancy. Upon the outbreak of the war he enlisted with the First Expeditionary Force, and went into camp at Enoggera, where he remained for about a fortnight before proceeding with the 9th Battalion to Egypt.' from Sunday Times 13 Jun 1915 (

'Colonel C. Fortescue. To Raise Garrison Battalion.

A distinguished Queensland soldier is likely to command the Garrison Battalion for this State. He is Lieutenant-Colonel C. Fortescue. D.S.O., M.C., V.D. Colonel Fortescue, it was officially announced to-day, has charge of the raising of the battalion, which will take over guard and other security duties, and will probably be appointed commanding officer.

It was in 1912 that Colonel Fortescue was first commissioned — with the 11th Darling Downs' Regiment. He was appointed second lieutenant with the 9th Battallion on August 28, 1914. In March, 1916, he was transferred to the 49th Battalion with the rank of captain and in September, 1916, was promoted to major. He retired from the A.I.F. in 1919.


He was in the operations on Gallipoli from April 25 (the landing) until May 17, 1915, when he was wounded. Then he was in Egypt and took part in operations with the Egypt Expeditionary Force. Later he went to France and Belgium, and saw active service from June, 1916, until September, 1918, when he was wounded again. He was mentioned in despatches in 1915 and again in 1917, and was awarded the Military Cross in 1915 and the Distinguished Service Order in 1917.

Colonel Fortescue commanded the 25th Battalion (Militia) from 1921 until 1926, when he was transferred to the unattached list. He was appointed to command the 11th Light Horse Regiment in 1931, and was transferred to the unattached list in 1932 and to the reserve of officers In 1934.


Apart from the country districts, about 550 men have already applied at the headquarters of the R.S.S.I.L.A. for enlistment in the Garrison Battalion. As soon as full particulars have been received about rates of pay and other conditions of service, actual enlistment, which will involve medical examinations, will begin.' from The Telegraph 27 Sep 1939 (