Charles Fielder

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Charles Fielder
Fielder Charles.jpg
Courtesy Phil Brough
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1883
Place of Birth Croyden, London, England
Death 23 May 1970, aged 87
Place of Death Nedlands
Age at Enlistment 32 years, 9 months
Description 5'9" (1.75m) tall ; 138 lbs
62.596 kg
; slightly dark complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Bushman
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Ellen Fielder
Military Information
Reg Number 1909
Date of Enlistment 17 Feb 1916
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 51st battalion, 3rd Reinforcements / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 18 Jul 1916 ‒ 9 Sep 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A48 Seang Bee Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 4 Jan 1919 ‒ 21 Jan 1919
Ship Returned On HMHS Nevasa
Fate Wounded in Action 9 Jun 1917 Messines Ridge
Wounded in Action 24 Apr 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Armadale panel)
Armadale Congregational Church Honour Board
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

While the family lived in Armadale, Charles in 1916 signed his enlistment documents in Dwellingup, giving his Postal Address as Armadale.

War Service

Entering Blackboy Hill camp Charles undertook early training as a member of the 52nd Depot Company before 4 Apr 1916 when he was allocated to the 3rd reinforcement draft for the 51st Battalion, travelling with them to England. Disembarking in the UK, he was sent to one of the many training battalion on the Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire.

After 11 weeks extra training, Charles was transported on 28 Nov 1916 aboard the SS Princess Henriette to France where he first spent some time in the 4th Division's Base Depot at Étaples before he joined the 51st Battalion at Buire near Meaulte south of Albert, on 14 Dec 1916. Charles was one of 91 reinforcements arriving that day.

On 2 Apr 1917 Charles was appointed Lance Corporal and in June 1917 the 51st Battalion was in the line near Wytschaete (Wijtschate) in Belgium about 10km south of Ypres during the Battle for Messines Ridge.

Charles was one of 107 casualties suffered by his unit during the five days that they were in support to the 49th and 52nd Battalions during the battle. Receiving a gun shot wound to his right arm and hand, he was treated first by the 77th Field Ambulance, and the 1st South African General Hospital in Abbeville before being evacuated to England on the HMHS Grantully Castle, and admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital on 15 Jun 1917. Granted furlough from 25 Jul until 8 Aug 1917, he then reported to the No1 Command Depot at Perham Downs.

On 12 Sep 1917 he had recovered well enough to join the Overseas Training Brigade, then also based at Perham Downs, and on 14 Oct 1917 he proceeded overseas from Southampton. A week was spent in the Divisional Base Depot before he was sent to rejoin his battalion.

Charles rejoined the 51st Battalion in France on 22 Oct 1917. On 12 Apr 1918 he was promoted Corporal. Less than a fortnight later he was wounded a second time with a bullet wound to his left elbow on 24 Apr 1918 during the battle for Villers-Bretonneux. Treated by the 2/3 HC Field Ambulance, the 5th Casualty Clearing Station, and the 20th General Hospital at Dannes Camiers before being evacuated to England on 27 Apr 1918 aboard HS Ville de Liege where he was admitted to the Central Military Hospital in Chatham for treatment on 28 April 1918.

He was transferred to the Kingswood Park Hospital in Tunbridge Wells on 11 May 1918, and on 28 Jun 1918 he was released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford. Granted furlough from 3 - 17 Jul 1918, he then reported to the No 4. Command Depot at Hurdcott. On 30 Aug 1918 he was well enough to join the Overseas Training Brigade which was then based at Longbridge Deverill and his recovery continued such that on 4 Oct 1918 he proceeded overseas to France from Dover.

After a short stint in the 4th Division Based Depot he rejoined the 51st Battalion on 10 Oct 1918 when they were in Guigenemicourt near Amiens. Here they remained, refitting and reorganising until the eve of the armistice, when they set off towards the front lines again through St Quentin for Roisel.

Charles was one of the early returnees to Australia, returning to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth from France on 1 Dec 1918. On arrival home in Australia he enjoyed some time with his family before being admitted to the 8th Australian General Hospital at Fremantle on 12 Feb 1919 for treatment to his injury before being released on 26 Feb 1919. Charles was discharged by the 5th Military District on 5 Apr 1919

"Enlisted 17th February, 1916; sailed 20th July with the 3rd Reinforcements for the 51st Battalion. Arrived in England September 1916. In camp at Salisbury Plains. Two of his five boys belong to the Armadale Scouts".[1]

Chas. Fielder had been wounded for a second time.[2]

Post War

Electoral Roll entries - 1921 to 1937 with wife Ellen in Harvey, a foreman; 1943 Charles is a manager in 62 Stirling street, Bunbury. In 1954 Charles had retired to 167 Beechboro road Bayswater where Ellen died on 25 Aug 1954 aged 71. Charles was still living in Bayswater in 1958, but given the suburb of death, he may have died in Hollywood Repat Hospital. Buried Guildford Cemetery. Children Daniel George (1910 - 86); Robert Edward ( 1910 - 1992); Thomas Victor (1913 - ); Charles Horace ( 1914 - 1946); Jean Agatha (1920 - )


Buried Guildford Cemetery

  1. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIV, (5,040). Western Australia. 31 May 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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