William Augustus CHALLEN

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CHALLEN, William Augustus

Service Number: 3902
Enlisted: 25 August 1915, Claremont
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hildenborough, Kent, England, 11 August 1891
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Hildenborough.
Occupation: Footman to the late Governor of Tasmania, Sir William Ellison Macartney.
Died: Killed in action by enemy shell-fire, France, 19 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Memorials: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)*
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3902, 12th Infantry Battalion, Claremont
24 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 3902, 12th Infantry Battalion, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
24 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, SN 3902, 12th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
19 Aug 1916: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 3902, 12th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was the eldest son of George and Blanch Margaretta (nee Blaxall) Challen, of Fern Bank, Hildenborough, Kent. She was the daughter of the late A. S. Blaxall, of London.

He was unmarried.

He was killed in action by enemy shell fire between 19th and 22nd August 1916, [instantaneous death], Mouquet Farm, near Pozieres. Aged 25.

 

Born 11 August 1891 in Hildenborough.

He enlisted 12 August 1915 in Hobart, Tasmania.

Eldest son of George and Blanch Margaretta (nee Blaxall) Challen, of Fern Bank, Hildenborough, Kent. She was the daughter of the late A. S. Blaxall, of London.

 He was unmarried.

 

 No known grave.

 

Educated Hildenborough.

After being employed in his native village and in London, he emigrated to Hobart 4 April, 1914  to become Footman to the late Governor of Tasmania, Sir William Ellison Macartney.

He trained in the camp at Melbourne  and was shortly afterwards promoted to  Lance Corporal. He  left for Egypt Dec. 1915 ; from there he went to France in March, 1916 ; killed in action at the Monquet Farm. Pozières, 22 Aug. 1916. Buried there but grave not found.

 Captain Newland, commanding his company, wrote to his mother: “The company of which he was a member attacked successfully, and captured a line of enemy trench, and it was during the time that he was holding the position that he was killed outright by the enemy's Ore. The position that we occupied gave us very little shelter, and before we had time to put it into order we were subjected to considerable shelling... It is only with the assistance that can be rendered by those with the soldierly spirit, as displayed by Corporal Chalice, can we hope for the successes we have met with being continued." A comrade wrote that on 22 Aug. they were ordered to charge the enemy trenches, and Challen reached them in safety, but whilst holding the same was shot in the head by a sniper.
 

He is remembered on the Hildenborough war memorial which stands at Tonbridge Road in Hildenborough. It takes the form of a two-stepped base surmounted by a plinth, shaft and cross. It was originally unveiled on 5th October 1920; the designer was Mr H Burke-Downing.

 

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