Charles Alexander Wann

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Charles Alexander Wann
Wann Charles Alexander1.jpg
Wann wedding.jpg
'Alex' & Charlotte wedding photo
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1883
Place of Birth Canobolas, Orange, New South Wales
Death 30 Sep 1918
Place of Death St Quentin Canal, France
Age at Enlistment 32 years 10, months
Description 5'7½" (1.71m) tall ; 160 lbs
72.575 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address NOK Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Charles Wann
Military Information
Reg Number 2901
Date of Enlistment 16 Oct 1916
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
Date of Embarkation 29 Dec 1916 ‒ 3 Mar 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A34 Persic Fremantle to Devonport
Fate Wounded in Action 12 Oct 1917 at Passchendaele
Killed in Action 30 Sep 1918 at St Quentin Canal
Monument Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entry 1906, Bullsbrook, farm labourer ; 1917 labourer. Parents in Seventh road Armadale 1903 - 1925, father a sleeper cutter. Charles was a widower with his wife (Charlotte Warren 1891 - 1912) and baby son dying in childbirth during 1912.

War Service

Address on enlistment was Bullsbrook. Three weeks after entering Blackboy Hill, Charles was allocated to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion and travelled with them to Devonport in England aboard HMAT A34 Persic, disembarking on 3 Mar 1917. On arrival in England he spent a week in Sutton Mandeville before joining the 11th Training Battalion at Larkhill. Training completed three months later, he proceeded overseas to France via Folkestone on 2 Jul 1917, and was taken on strength of the 44th Battalion on 18 Jul 1917 near Messines.

On 8 Aug 1917 Charles was appointed Temporary Lance Corporal, and this was confirmed on 30 Aug 1917. On 12 Oct the 44th Battalion were in reserve east of Ypres where the Australians were being asked to attack the Germans at Passchendaele in appalling weather conditions. During October, the 44th Battalion suffered 337 casualties, Charles being one of them on the 12th near Poperinghe. He was first seen by the 11th Field Ambulance with a gunshot wound to his right eyebrow, before passing back to the 46th Casualty Clearing Station and then admitted to the 2nd Convalescent Depot in Rouen on 14 Oct 1917. On 22 Oct he was transferred to the 11th Convalescent Depot before being discharged to base units on 5 Nov 1917.

On 17 Nov 1917 he was able to rejoin the 44th Battalion which was in "Bulford Camp" a rear training area south-west of Hazebrouck. He remained with them until 5 Jul 1918 when he reported ill with a septic right knee that needed treatment, and was seen first by the 13th Field Ambulance, and then passed back in succession to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station, the 5th General Hospital in Rouen, and on 9 Jul 1918 to the 72nd General Hospital in Trouville. Recovered, he returned to the 44th Battalion, finding them on 12 Sep 1918 at Doingt on the southern outskirts of Péronne. On 29 Sep 1918 the 44th Battalion took part in the second phase of an attack on the St Quentin Canal sector. As the first phase carried out by American troops had failed to make safe the start point, the battle broke down into desperate battles between small groups of Australians around enemy strong points. This continued for 3 days, and it was during a counter attack by the Germans that Charles was killed.

  • Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
  • Section of 44th Battalion panels 2015 photo


Memorialised at VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL. WANN, Lance Cpl Charles Alexander, 2901, 44th Bn. 30 Sep 1918. Age 36. Son of Charles and Mary Ann Wann of Armadale, Western Australia. Born at Canobolas, NSW

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