Charles Wilson BIRD


BIRD, Charles Wilson

Service Number: 3042
Enlisted: 16 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hindmarsh, South Australia, 10 November 1895
Home Town: Lockleys, City of West Torrens, South Australia
Schooling: Thebarton Protestant School, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Horse Driver
Died: Wounds, aged 22, France, 27 February 1917, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, New Thebarton Lodge No 23 U.A.O.D. Roll of Honour, Torrensville New Thebarton Lodge No 23 U.A.O.D. Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

16 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3042, 12th Infantry Battalion

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

Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

His Brother, Private 508 Albert William Bird of the 27th Battalion was killed in action on 5 November 1916.

Biography contributed by Charlie Nietschke

Charles William Bird has no recorded birth date, but it can be assumed that he was born in January 1896 in Hindmarsh. Charles was raised in Lockleys, South Australia and went to Thebarton Protestant School. His parents were Wilson Bird and Annie Louisa Bird and his one known sibling, Albert William Bird, served in the 27th Battalion and died on the 5th of November 1916. Charles was a Methodist.

Before applying to join the army on the 19th of July 1915, Charles had worked as a horse driver at Harris Scarfe and Co. and had served in the Citizen Military forces for three years. When he enlisted, Charles was 19 years and 7 months old, was 5 foot 8 inches and weighed 133 pounds. Once joining the army, he was enlisted into the 12th Infantry Battalion. At Alexandria on the 4th of December 1915, he was “taken on strength”, which means he was added into the unit/battalion giving him the service number 3042.

After almost a month of what would have been military training in Egypt, Charles learnt how to use a gun and fight in the war. On the 6th of January 1916, Charles disembarked from the “Lake Michigan” to join the British Expeditionary Forces (B.E.F) at Marseilles on the 29th of March 1916. On the 5th of April 1916, he arrived at the front lines in France with the 12th Battalion. After some time in battle, Charles was ‘wounded in action’ with a gunshot wound to the neck in France on the 24th of July 1916. He was then transported to the general hospital in Le Tréport, and later to the Convalescent Depot on the 31st of July 1916 for his rehabilitation to get him back to fighting form.

After his time at the command depot, Charles was “taken on strength” on the 3rd of August 1916 and located at Etaples behind the lines. Until the 20th of August 1916, Charles was absent without leave and was punished with 7 days of Forfeits and docked 11 days pay. After this, he continued to work behind the lines.

On the 4th of September 1916, he proceeded to the unit and on the 16th of September 1916 re-joined the unit. After fighting on the field in France for a few months, he suffered a gunshot wound to the back on the 26th of February 1917. He then, sadly, died of wounds on the 27th of February 1917.

Charles Wilson Bird was known to have “sterling qualities” and was one of the many Australian soldiers to die in World War 1. His family later received a medal.

Charles Wilson Bird was buried at Dernancourt by Rev. C.F. Newell and is also located in the Adelaide National War Memorial, underneath the 12th Battalion.