Charles Samuel TUCKER MM

Poppy

TUCKER, Charles Samuel

Service Number: 1069
Enlisted: 3 March 1915, Served with Militia, 63rd Regiment, as Bandsman.
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 22nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Perth, Western Australia, February 1893
Home Town: Balaclava, Port Phillip, Victoria
Schooling: No. 1479 State School, St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Book-binder
Died: Killed in Action, Mouquet Farm, France, 26 August 1916
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Pozieres British Cemetery (Plot IV, Row D,Grave No. 22), Ovillers-La-Boisselle, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

3 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1069, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Served with Militia, 63rd Regiment, as Bandsman.
3 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1069, Broadmeadows, Victoria
10 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1069, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1069, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
19 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion
26 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1069, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm
26 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Promoted to tCpl on this day, confirmed as Cpl by general orders.
14 Dec 1916: Honoured Military Medal, Pozières, originally recommended for the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal).The recommendation for Tucker and three colleagues reads: "For conspicuous gallantry as stretcher-bearers on 25th July at Pozieres when they worked continuously for over 20 hours under heavy fire, carrying more than 50 cases to the aid post. They again distinguished themselves on the 4/5th August by their devotion to duty in carrying wounded men through the Pozieres barrages."

Charles' Letters

When the old family home was sold in 1998, and before it was demolished, at the back of a cupboard was found, a very old leather bound journal, which no-one knew had even existed. It contained all my Great Uncle Charlie's letters home, from the day he left in May 1915, until the very last letter before his death at Mouquet Farm, August 26th 1916. Every one of his letters was transcribed into this now very fragile journal by my great grand mother in her beautiful cursive script. It also includes newspaper clippings from the day, including the reporting of his death which occurred within two weeks of the death of his cousin Cyril.


What is also extraordinary and incredibly touching, is the glimpse of my Great Grandmother, as the tears she shed in the transcribing are captured on those pages as they made the ink run, and stands as testimony to a woman's love of her son and her heart-breaking grief. She looks so strict and upright in those faded family photos, the care and love in compiling that old diary, whispers much to me about her too, the heart of that woman behind the stoic, stern face.

Due to the fragile nature of the original book, my mother and I embarked on a project of transcribing them yet again. Mum read each letter and I typed furiously, so together we have come to know Uncle Charlie, his gentle eloquence and his dry wit, his warmth, his love of family, a myriad of characters, his mates, his boredom, hardship and his despair, his whole war service story. It is an incredible tale, he writes from transport ships, the trenches of Gallipoli (including his version of the famous exit), his time in Egypt (there is a funny letter where he wilfully goes AWOL in Cairo, all for the want of a hot bath, clean sheets and a bed), the horror of The Somme...

How he could write such witty repartee whilst living some kind of man-made hell on earth I do not know.

The purpose of this site is not to glorify war. It is to honour the life of a young man, felled all too soon, by honouring his own words. All families have rich tapestries of oral histories, stories of the minutia of family life and characters, funny and foul . The Great War robbed this young man of an ordinary family life, thus we wish to present this to all his family so his story lives, woven through ours. It is an intergenerational labour of familial love which began with the beautiful cursive script of my Great Grand Mother, and continued by us, my Mum, my brother and myself.

Rest in Peace, Uncle Charlie

Lest we forget.

Lynn

(Great niece)
These letters and many photos can be seen at a site dedicated to honour his wish to his mother that they be published https://www.forunclecharlie.com/

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Biography

"...1069 Private Charles Samuel Tucker, 22nd Battalion, holding a clarinet. A bookbinder of St Kilda, Victoria, he enlisted in May 1915. Promoted to Temporary Corporal on 14 August 1916, he was awarded a Military Medal for services rendered during the fighting at Pozieres. On 26 August 1916 he was killed in action, aged 23." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout, Australia and NZ in WWI

Today, it is with great gratitude and respect, standing here, on the battlefields of the Somme, that I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Corporal number 1069 Charles Samuel Tucker who fought and who served as stretcher-bearer and bandsman in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, B Company, and who was killed in action 104 years ago, on August 26, 1916 at the age of 23 on the Somme front.
Charles Samuel Tucker was born in February 1893 in Perth, Western Australia, and he was the son of Charles Marcus and Annie Maria Tucker, of Peate Avenue, Camberwell South, Victoria. Charles was educated at State School number 1479, Brighton Road, St Kilda, Victoria.Before the outbreak of the war he was single and he lived at 64 Brunning Street, East St Kilda where he worked as a bookbinder and served with Militia, 63rd Regiment, as a bandsman.

Enlisted on April 3, 1915 at Broadmeadows, Victoria, at the age of 22 in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Head-Quarters Staff, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on May 10, 1915 and sailed for Egypt where he arrived on August 30, 1915 in Alexandria then he was sent to the Gallipoli peninsula where he was disembarked on January 4, 1916 and where he served with great courage for two months before being evacuated to Egypt, to Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force and he embarked with his battalion on March 19, 1916 for France.

Charles was disembarked in Marseilles on March 26, 1916 and was sent to the Somme front and marched with his battalion to face the terrible battle of Pozieres where he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on August 12, 1916 then to the rank of Temporary Corporal two days later and was awarded the Military Medal for service and bravery on the battlefield,he was originally recommended for the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal).The recommendation for Tucker and three colleagues reads:
"For conspicuous gallantry as stretcher-bearers on 25th July at Pozieres when they worked continuously for over 20 hours under heavy fire, carrying more than 50 cases to the aid post. They again distinguished themselves on the 4/5th August by their devotion to duty in carrying wounded men through the Pozieres barrages."

Unfortunately, Twelve days later, on August 26, 1916, Charles was killed in action during the capture of Mouquet Farm in Pozieres, he was 23 years old.
Today,Corporal Charles Samuel Tucker rests in peace with his friends and comrades at Pozieres British Cemetery.

Charles, it is with the greatest respect that I want to thank you, you who have lived through the horrors of the battlefields as a stretcher bearer, unarmed hero, you fought and served with bravery to save the lives of your friends, to give them your comfort, running through no man's land to help your comrades who were lying in the mud, unable to move to hope to see the dawn of the next day but who saw in you, the light and the hope of one day more to live, wounded but still alive thanks to you who put your heart and your energy to save as many lives as possible by risking yours on the battlefield on which so many young lives were lost but many were saved thanks to you, in this hell, you were the light and the hope of your comrades who needed support, who needed to speak to someone about their fears and their inner wounds which are expressed only through the heart, you were for many, a heartwarming presence through the hell of battle, like a guardian angel you looked after your friends and comrades who were tired, broken by this outburst of violence in which you lived day after day, you did so much for your comrades while you were so young and today we bow to your grave with the greatest respect but also with a deep and sincere admiration because the courage that you have shown is for me, a source of inspiration which will always burn in my heart just like the flame of Remembrance which will never cease to shine, your courage , your acts of bravery and your name will live on forever so that your memory and the history of the men who fought by your side are never forgotten and know, Charles, Sir, that just as you watched over your friends, I will always be present to watch over you and your comrades who rest in peace here so that you can live eternally through us, in our hearts, you will never be forgotten.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them. 

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