Charles Glyn Firns

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Charles Glyn Firns
Firns Charles Glyn.jpg
Western Mail 24 Dec 1915, page 23
Personal Information
Date of Birth 3 Apr 1897
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 16 Mar 1978
Place of Death Mt Pleasant, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 7 months
Description 5'5½" (1.66m) tall ; 179 lbs
81.193 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Mill hand
Religion Methodist
Address Serpentine, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Charles Firns
Military Information
Reg Number 1703 A
Date of Enlistment 16 Jun 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Jul 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A64 Demosthenes
Date of Return 16 Jan 1919 ‒ 22 Feb 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A64 Demosthenes
Fate Wounded in Action 12 Oct 1916, Belgium
Wounded in Action 2 Sep 1918 Mont St Quentin
Returned to Australia
Monument Mundijong School Roll of Honour
Mundijong Honour Roll
Serpentine Roll of Honour
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Attended school at Buckingham's Siding, Mundijong, and Serpentine between 1904 and 24 Jan 1906.

War Service

On entry to Blackboy Hill camp, Charles was allocated to the 2nd reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion, and travelled with them to Egypt aboard the HMAT A64 Demosthenes embarking in Fremantle on 22 Jul 1915. On 11 Oct 1915 along with 192 other members of the 2nd and 3rd reinforcements he joined the 28th Battalion on Gallipoli, with the men allocated to the Rifle Companies the following morning. His individual records have no entries for his time on the Gallipoli Peninsular, but he would have left Gallipoli on 12 Dec 1915 for Mudros harbour aboard the HMT Osmanieh. On 10 Jan 1916 he disembarked from HMT Ausonia in Alexandria, ex Mudross, having left Anzac Cove on 28 Dec 1915 or earlier for Mudross.

A brief period of retraining and guarding the Suez Canal at Ferry-Post, was followed by a return to Alexandria on 16 Mar 1916. The battalion boarded HMAT A32 Themistocles in Alexandria and sailed for Marseilles in France at 5:30pm on 16 Mar 1916, arriving there at 3:30pm on the 21st. Soon after arriving in France Charles spent time in hospital (August 1916), before being wounded in action for the first time on 12 Oct 1916. He was one of two members of a raiding party that were wounded during an attack on enemy lines in Belgium. The party captured two members of the 106th Saxon Regiment. Admitted to the 5th Field Ambulance on 12 Oct 1916, he was quickly passed on 14 Oct 1916 to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station and then on 15 Sep 1916 to the 14th General Hospital in Wimereux. On 15 Oct 1916 he was embarked on HMHS St Denis at Boulogne for England where the next day he was admitted to the Eastbourne Military Hospital with a gunshot wound to his left elbow and shoulder, deemed to be severe. By way of contradiction, in the view of the unit War Diary, his injury was said to have not been "serious".

Regardless it was a year later before he again embarked for France through Southampton, rejoining his battalion on 20 Oct 1917 at Steenvorde where they were resting. In January 1918 Charles was granted leave in Paris. In late March 1918, Charles spent three days in 7th Field Ambulance in France with scabies. He was wounded in action a second time on 2 Sep 1918, receiving multiple gunshot wounds when the battalion attacked German positions east of Mount St Quentin. Seen by the 14th Field Ambulance and then the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station on 2 Sep 1918, he was placed on a Ambulance Train and sent to the 9th General Hospital in Rouen. From there he was transferred to England on 5 Sep 1918 aboard HMHS Western Australia and admitted next day to the 1st Southern General Hospital on Dudley road Birmingham. Repaired, he was discharged from hospital on 14 Oct 1918 when he was granted a fortnight's furlough.

On 23 Nov 1918 he had his second brush with military law, being charged with having been AWOL from 9:30pm on 12 Nov till 9:00am on 13 Nov 1918. He was admonished and fined a day's pay. His earlier brush had occurred during the time he was recovering from his first injuries at Stourbridge where he had entered an area out of bounds to other ranks. For this misdemeanor he had been awarded 10 days confined to barracks. As a 1915 enlistee he was one of the earlier ones to be shipped back to Australia, in his case aboard the [[HMAT A64 Demosthenes, the same ship that had carried him to England. He boarded the ship on 16 Jan 1919, and was disembarked at Fremantle on 22 Feb 1919. Charles was discharged by the 5th Military District on 20 Apr 1919.

Post War

In Fremantle during 1922 Charles married Myrtle Annette Box. Myrtle died 11 Sep 1969 in Melville.

Electoral Roll entries - 1922 Serpentine, mill hand; 1925 farmer at Koorda; 1936 - 1937 a miner at Paddington; 1943 at 80 Lyall street, Hannans, miner; 1949 at 65 Addis street, Kalgoorlie, miner (Reginald Glyn Lourdes also); 1963 - 1968 at 11 Halse crescent, Melville, retired ; 1977 Charles and Reginald only at 3 Ventnor avenue, Mt Pleasant.


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