Charles Reginald CHALKLEY

CHALKLEY, Charles Reginald

Service Number: 2585
Enlisted: 10 July 1915, Enlisted at Beaufort in Central Victoria and assigned to the 6th Reinforcements of the 24th battalion.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 24th Infantry Battalion
Born: Maryborough, Victoria, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Creswick, Hepburn, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Letter carrier
Died: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 4 August 1924, cause of death not yet discovered, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: Bendigo Civil Cemetery
Died from effects of the war in 1924 aged 30.
Memorials: Creswick Honor Roll, Hawthorn Postmaster General's Department Victoria 1
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World War 1 Service

10 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2585, 24th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Beaufort in Central Victoria and assigned to the 6th Reinforcements of the 24th battalion.
27 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2585, 24th Infantry Battalion
27 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2585, 24th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne

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

Biography contributed by Jack Coyne

Charles Reginald (REG) CHALKLEY


Place of birth: Maryborough, Victoria

Religion: Roman Catholic

Occupation: Postal employee

Address: Havlin Street, Bendigo, Victoria

Marital status: Single

Age at embarkation: 21

Next of kin: Father, Thomas Chalkley, Havlin Street, Bendigo

Enlistment date: 27 July 1915

Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll: 10 July 1915

Rank on enlistment: Private

Unit name: 24th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement

Embarkation details: Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 27 October 1915

Rank from Nominal Roll: Private

Later Unit from Nominal Roll: 2nd Divisional Signal Company

Fate: Returned to Australia 15 May 1919                 

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Date of death: 2 August 1924

Place of burial: Bendigo Cemetery, Victoria


The Ballarat Star reported on July 22Thu 22 Jul 1915: - FAREWELL PRESENTATION. Creswick Wednesday.

Two Creswick boys leave tomorrow morning to go into camp. A send off and presentation was made last night to C R Chalkley, who has enlisted. Re was a popular young, man, a prominent footballer, and employed as a letter carrier at the  Post Office.[1]

Two days later the same paper took the opportunity to promote enlistment efforts and used Reg's enlistment in Creswick as the focus of the Patriotic efforts in a local country town. 


'Mr Reg Chalkley, who leaves on Monday for camp, was on Tuesday evening tendered a farewell social by his friends when he was presented with a wallet, military brushes, pipe, and tobacco pouch, Every available effort is being made in this district on behalf of the Australian wounded soldiers. Men, Women and children have combined their energies in making up articles that may be of service. The boys of the sloyd ? class at the school are making splints, crutches, etc, and a large assortment of wearing apparel is being made each week by the ladies connected with the Red Cross movement.'[2]


Reg's parents were advised that Reg had been admitted to the the First Australian General Hospital in Heliopolis, a wealtyhy suburb of Cairo. (see photos) 

Although not specifically mentioned in his service record the entries suggest Reg did serve at Gallipoli prior to the evacuation in Mid December. He was 'Taken on Strength' (from Reinforcement into the Battalion) on October 13, 1915 with the next report that he was being treated in Cario suffereing from NYD. (Not Yet Diagnosed)   NYD was the code used by medical officials to indicate a soldier was suffereing from later bacame known as 'shell shock'. Reg would recover and be fit enough to travel with his battalion to the Western Front.

The Australian War Memorial details the experience of the 24th Battalion: -                                                                                   'The 24th Battalion was raised in a hurry. The original intent was to raise the fourth battalion of the 6th Brigade from the "outer states", but a surplus of recruits at Broadmeadows Camp in Victoria lead to a decision being made to raise it there. The battalion was formed during the first week of May 1915, and sailed from Melbourne at the end of that week.                                                                     Training shortfalls were made up in Egypt in July and August, and on 4 September 1915 the Battalion went ashore at Gallipoli. It spent the next 16 weeks sharing duty in the Lone Pine trenches with the 23rd Battalion. The fighting at Lone Pine was so dangerous and exhausting that battalions rotated every day. While the bulk of the battalion was at Gallipoli, a small party of 52, trained as packhorse handlers, served with the British force in Salonika.                                         The Battalion was reunited in Egypt in early 1916 and proceeded to France in March. It took part in its first major offensive around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm in July and August 1917. The Battalion got little rest during the bleak winter of 1916-17 alternating between the front and labouring tasks. When patrolling no-man's land the men of the 24th adopted a unique form of snow camouflage - large white nighties bought in Amiens.'(3) 

Nearly two years lapsed before news of Reg Chalkley was reported in Bendigo where his family lived. The Bendigo Advertiser,on Tuesday July 3 1917 p 5 Article: BACK IN THE TRENCHES. WOUNDED SOLDIER'S EXPERIENCES.

Corporal C. R. Chalkley, writing to his sister, Miss Doris Chalkley of Havlin-street, Bendigo, says:- "I have just arrived out of the trenches after a long stay of nineteen days. We had a pretty rough time of it, as there were a good many of Fritz's shells flying about, but I managed to escape them. I suppose by the time this reaches you, you will have read about it in the papers, and think Fritz is just about done. He seems glad to be taken prisoner."                        Corporal Chalkley was wounded at Pozieres in August last. He was sent to tho hospital at Boulogne, suffering from a perforated wound in his chest and also wounds in his right arm and leg, which were stated to be severe. He was subsequently in East Leeds War Hospital for four and a half months, and then returned to France, where he is again "doing his bit." The fact that one man should thus be called upon to take part in the great fights, despite previous wounds of a severe character, should convince eligible men in Australia that there is a great demand for their services. You can help to comfort the soldiers in their trying work by giving one shilling to the Overseas Club Tobacco Fund. Subscription list at the "Advertiser" oflice.(4)

The Tribune of Melbourne on Thursday  26 October 1917 further reported on  CORPORAL C. R. CHALKLEY.                                        'Great sympathy was expressed on all sides when news arrived that Corporal C. R. Chalkley was wounded, as Reg. was a great favourite with all before enlisting. He was employed as letter carrier at the local post office, and was a member of St. Augustine's choir. Latest reports are — He is wounded in arm, leg, chest, and is in East Leeds War Hospital. He is the eldest son of MR T Chalkley, of Bendigo, and received his education at St. Augustine's Catholic School. His many friends wish Reg a speedy recovery and safe return to his native land.'[5]

Unfortynately Reg did not fully recover from his wounds from the Great War and his death was reported in The Argus (Melbourne) on Wed 6 Aug 1924. He was just thirty years of age.   

Family Notices:                                                                           Charles Reginald (Reg), eldest son of Thos. Chalkley, loving brother of Mollie (Mrs. Vitnell, Traralgon), Tom, Doris (Mrs. Brennan, Wodonga), Nance, and Frank, aged 30 years, late P.O., Creswick, and G.P.O., Melbourne; also 2nd Division Signallers, 24th Battalion, A.I.F.  R.I.P [6]

[1]Ballarat Star reported on July 22Thu 22 Jul 1915: - FAREWELL PRESENTATION. Creswick Wednesday.
[2] Ballarat Star Sat 24 July 1915 CRESWICK PATRIOTIC EFFORTS.

(3)AWM website

(4)Bendigo Advertiser,on Tuesday 3 July 1917 p 5 Article: BACK IN THE TRENCHES.
[5] The Tribune of Melbourne on Thursday  26 Oct 1916  Page 7  CORPORAL C. R. CHALKLEY.                                                           [6] The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)  Wed 6 Aug 1924  Page 1  Family Notices