Cecil Walter Challis

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Cecil Walter Challis
Personal Information
Date of Birth 14 Jun 1883
Place of Birth Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, England
Death 8 Sep 1957, aged 72
Place of Death West Perth, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 31 years old
Description 5' 4¼" (1.63m) tall ; 125 lbs
56.699 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Poultry man
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Thomas Challis
Military Information
Reg Number 6249
Date of Enlistment 12 Apr 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 20th Reinforcements, posted to B Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division.
Date of Embarkation 18 Sep 1916 ‒ 2 Nov 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Cecil was elected to the management committee of the Armadale-Kelmscott Co-operative Society in July 1915.[1]

War Service

Entering Blackboy Hill camp on 12 Apr 1916, Cecil was initially allocated to the 64th Depot Company before being transferred on 1 May 1916 to the 21st reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. Ten weeks later, on 22 Jul 1916, he was reallocated, this time to the 20th draft for the same unit. On 18 Sep 1916 his reinforcement draft boarded HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray in Fremantle for Plymouth in England where they disembarked on 2 Nov 1916. On their arrival they were sent to the 3rd Training Battalion, and after six weeks additional training at Perham Downs travelled from Folkstone to France aboard the HMT Golden Eagle on 17 Dec 1916.

In France Cecil reported to the 1st Division's Base Depot in Étaples before being sent forward to join his unit. Cecil was taken on the strength of the 11th Battalion on 17 Jan 1917 near Bresle about 5 km west of Albert during terrible weather with sleet rain falling for most of the day. He was posted to "B" Company. His records imply that he remained with the battalion trouble free for the rest of the war before enjoying a period of leave in England from 3 - 17 Jan 1919. He rejoined the battalion in France on 20 Jan 1919 and remained with them until 24 Apr 1919 after which time he returned to England via Le Havre and Southampton.

Cecil remained in England at the No 1 Group at Longbridge Deverill until 1 Jun 1919 when it was his turn to head home. He was discharged by the 5th Military District on 18 Sep 1919.

Post War

Returned to poultry farming after the war (electoral roll 1925). Cecil's first wife Flora (nee Shingfield) who he married in 1920 died on 27 Nov 1930 (suddenly) leaving him to raise a young son who was born 10 Sep 1922. His son served in the 10th Light Horse Regiment during WW2 with Regimental Number W20831.

Cecil remarried in 1933 to Amy Ivy (nee Blight). Retired to Mandurah by the 1954 roll where he died three years later.

Son Desmond Cecil is on the 1949 - 1963 Electoral Roll at "Bonneville", on Challis Road in Armadale farming (wife Alma Beatrice from 1954). In 1968 and 1972 they are at 44 Little John Rd before moving to Paulls Road in Pinjarra by 1977. Their property "Bonneville" was in the area now occupied by the Challis shops and surrounding roads.


CW Challis is shown as being expected aboard the S.S. Somali.[2]

  1. "NEWS AND NOTES.". The Daily News. XXXIV, (12,618). Western Australia. 24 July 1915. p. 6 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "COMING HOME". The Daily News. XXXVIII, (13,826). Western Australia. 26 June 1919. p. 6 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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