Charles Edwin DEACON

DEACON, Charles Edwin

Service Number: 256
Enlisted: 1 January 1900, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry
Born: Allora, Queensland, 15 January 1878
Home Town: Allora, Southern Downs, Queensland
Schooling: Brisbane Grammar School
Occupation: Switch attendant
Died: Natural causes, Allora, Queensland, 4 May 1957, aged 79 years
Cemetery: Allora Cemetery, Qld
Memorials: Allora Boer War Memorial, Brisbane Grammar School Boer War Honour Board
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Private, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry
1 Jan 1900: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Private, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, Brisbane, Queensland
2 Jan 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Private, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry
22 Feb 1900: Promoted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Corporal, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry
1 Mar 1900: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Corporal, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, transport Duke of Portland, Pinkenba (Brisbane)
16 May 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Corporal, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, Relief of Mafeking
4 Aug 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Corporal, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, Elands River
10 Dec 1900: Promoted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Sergeant, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry
21 Jun 1901: Discharged Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Sergeant, SN 256, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, Disembarked at Sydney on transport Morayshire on the 7 June 1900 and arrived in Brisbane where the Regiment was disbanded

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

'News in Brief.

C. E. Deacon and G. Hutton, of Allora, are members of the Coronation contingent.' from Warwick Examiner and Times 30 Apr 1902 (

'The Relief of Mafeking.

The only Australians at the relief of Mafeking on May 17th 1900 were all Queenslanders - four officers and 100 other ranks with Major C. W. Kellie comanding. The town had been under seige for seven months, stoutly defended by Colonel R. S. S. Baden-Powell, Commander of British forces, Mafeking District, on the western Transvaal Border.

Part of the journey to Mafeking for the Queenslanders was a 280 mile trip in coaches drawn by mules, horses and bullock teams from Marandellas to Bulawayo. There were as many as 20 men and their equipment on each coach with fresh mules, horses and oxen each 12 miles or so.

The journey from Port Beira to Mafeking for Major Kellie and his Queenslanders acting as escorts for a six gun Canadian artillery unit, had taken a tiring 23 days - the last 80 miles on foot. As one trooper of Major Kellie's wrote "... we shall not be sorry to see our horses, as we have had enough walking to last us a lifetime..." LINK (

'Coronation of King Edward VII.

On 18th March 1902, British authorities invited Australia to send a contingent of troops to the Coronation of King Edward VII in Westminster Abbey on 26th June 1902. The Australian Government agreed to send mounted troops chosen from those who had exceptional service in the war in South Africa or were still serving in South Africa.

The contingent comprised men from all states of the Commonwealth and departed from Sydney on the passenger ship Rome, 30th April, 1902, arriving in London 17th June 1902. Prime Minister the Honorable Edmund Barton and Mrs Barton were also on board along with many other civilian passengers.

Those men still serving in South Africa were sent direct to England to participate with their colleagues.

Officer Commanding was Lieutenant-Colonel C. St. C. Cameron CB, 1st Tasmanian Mounted Infantry. Official records of members of the contingent are incomplete, but it is known that in excess of 150 men were despatched.

King Edward suffered an attack of appendicitis on 25th June, 1902, and the Coronation was postponed. The Commonwealth contingent was invited to remain in England, but some Australians with other commitments had to return home. The ceremony eventually took place on 9th August 1902. The Australian contingent returned on the liner Arcadia, departing London 21st August 1902.

Known Queensland members of the contingent were - Lieut. R. M. Stodart, RSM. J. J. Walker, Sgt. F. J. Hockey, Sgt. L. Donkin, Farrier Sgt. C. Luxton, Sgt. A. A. Harris, Sgt. E. H. Shadforth, Corp. A. P. Deshon, Pte. H. H. Missing, Pte. G. L. Hutton, Pte. W. A. Chamberlain, Pte. W. G. Strong, Pte. F. Schy, Pte. H. Barnes, Pte. G. French, Pte. C. E. Deacon, Pte. H. W. Lindley, Pte. P. Lake.' LINK (


Major C. E. Deacon and staff visited Warwick on Wednesday last in connection with recruiting for the Australian Remount Unit, which will proceed to Egypt to take charge of horses there, and thus release the men now engaged in that work to proceed to the front. About twenty men offered in Warwick, and the following were accepted :- D. Pugh, W. Eedy, J. Ranahan, E. Gleeson (rough rider), T. A. Hall, G. Desbois, and R. Lamb. W. Eedy already has four sons at the front. The above will go into camp at Enoggera on the 29th inst.' from Warwick Examiner and Times 16 Oct 1915 (


In connection with the above, Major C. E. Deacon will attend at the Murwillumbah Drill Hall to-day, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and to-morrow from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, for the purpose of enrolling horsemen. The class of men required range from 40 to 50 years, but these must not necessarily be good riders, as long as they have good experience with horses, in the capacity of groom, stableman, etc. Men under forty years of age may apply, providing they are capable rough riders. The men will be examined and sworn-in at Murwillumbah, and then drafted straight into camp. No further examination will be made in Brisbane. There are many capable horse
men on the Tweed and a number that would take a lot of shifting out of the pigskin from the most unruly of outlaws. Therefore, we predict a good enlistment at the Drill Hall to-day and to-morrow.' from Tweed Daily 29 Oct 1915 (

'Urgent Recruiting Notice.

MAJOR C. E. DEACON, Recruiting Officer of the Australian Imperial
Remount Unit,

Will be at the Drill Hall, Casino,

from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. on TUESDAY, 2nd NOVEMBER, to ENLIST MEN for that Unit. The class of men required are good, steady, reliable men amongst horses.
Lieut.-Colonel.' from The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser 29 Oct 1915 (


MAJOR DEACON, of the Australian Imperial Remount Unit, will be pleased to receive applications from men willing to serve in Egypt, ages forty to fifty years. Any under the age of forty years must be rough riders. Medical examination not severe. Final examination at Grafton.
E. A. MAY, Secretary,
Recruiting Association.' from Daily Examiner 2 Nov 1915 (


Major C. E. Deacon (advises our Allora correspondent) has just received official notification from headquarters that he has been promoted to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel, and has been given the command of the third division of mounted troops which will consist of a Light Horse Regiment, organised in quotas from the various States This is in regard to the recent offer made by the Commonwealth Government to supply 50,000 men for active service at the front.

Lieut.-Colonel C. E. Deacon is a Allora native, born and has risen from a private to his present high rank. He was a member of the 3rd. contingent who fought in the Boer war, his office being then a Sergeant. He was at the Relief of Mafeking, and the siege of Elaands River. He was also present at the King and Queens's Coronation. Up to the present he was Commanding Officer of No. 2 Squadron of Light Horse with head office at Warick.' from Darling Downs Gazette 12 Feb 1916 (


Among other appointments, promotions, etc. in connection with the 11th. (Darling Downs) Light Horse Regiment mentioned, in military orders recently it is mentioned that Major C. E. Deacon is transferred to the unattached list as from 1st. February, 1919. Major Deacon was in command of 'B.' Squadron, 11th Light Horse Regiment, with headquarters at Warwick.' from Darling Downs Gazette 26 Feb 1919 (



Another South African veteran, Mr. C. E. Deacon, also of Allora, who saw the letter, recalled having known Mr. Donkin while he was in the district. Mr. Donkin had quoted the initials of six separate military organisations with which he had been connected in the campaign, but Mr. Deacon explained that early in 1900, after the First and Second Queensland Contingents had been in action, the military commanders thought the war would fizzle out, and officers advised the troops to join one of the various units engaged in police work. The Third Contingent, of which he was a member, entered the war zone by way of Portuguese East Africa and Rhodesia, and participated in the Relief of Mafeking. After that the column moved down to the Eland's River district, where it was engaged for another 18 months, incidentally capturing Pietermaritzherg. Mr. Donkin, he conjectured, had transferred to the South African Constabulary which took the place of the other smaller police units. In the Great War, as indicated in his letter, Mr. Donkin was a district commandant on the Instructional Staff.

Mr Deacon also recalled having met the late Mr. Edgar Wallace, writer of sensational novels, who at that time was a war correspondent. Edgar Wallace was then a slim young man and an excellent rider, who had a difficult task keeping in touch with all parts of the column to prepare his copy for various London and South African newspapers.' READ MORE, from Warwick Daily News 26 Jan 1935 (


Mr. Charles E. Deacon, valuer of the Federal Taxation Department, was farewelled by the staff on Friday on the occasion of his retirement. He commenced duty with the department in October, 1913, and has been stationed at Allora for many years. A veteran of the Boer War and the Great War, Mr. Deacon will continue to reside at Allora, where he has pastoral interests.' from The Courier-Mail 2 Jun 1942 (