Charles Stephen Haughey

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Charles Stephen Haughey
Haughey Charles Stephen.jpg
Both photos courtesy Louise Smyth
Haughey Charles Stephen grave marker.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 27 Mar 1892
Place of Birth Waragul, Gippsland, Victoria
Death 30 Jan 1917
Place of Death France
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 10 months
Description 5'6½" (1.69m) tall ; 133lbs
60.328 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; black hair
Occupation Clerk
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Bourke street, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr. Daniel Haughey
Military Information
Reg Number 1659
Date of Enlistment 1 Feb 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement allocated to D Company, 11th Brigade / 3rd Brigade
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic
Fate Died of accidental wounds
Monument Mundijong School Roll of Honour
Victoria Park Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Arrived in WA aged 6, and was educated at the Mundijong and Armadale Primary Schools, before going to the Perth Technical School. Worked at the Armadale Post Office under Miss Beasley, before leaving to work in the Lands Department. When he left Armadale he was presented with a silver watch and chain valued at £6. He had a Western Australian Government Railways card indicating he was employed as a Cadet in the Traffic Department on a salary of £50 per annum commencing in May 1910.

War Service

Almost immediately on entering camp, as a result of his clerical background, Charles was sent to signal school from 3 Feb 1916 until 15 Mar 1916 before undertaking more general training with the 44th Battalion.

During the voyage to England aboard HMAT A29 Suevic, Charles had need of the ship's hospital on two occasions, from 12 - 23 Jun 1916 with bronchial catarrh, and from 4 - 20 Jul 1916 with Measles.

On arrival in England he was sent to join the 13th Training Battalion at Rollestone. From 14 Oct 1916 until 9 Nov 1916 he attended the Signals School "C" Group HQ at Tidworth, and rejoined the 44th Battalion at Larkhill a few weeks before they entrained on 25 Nov 1916 for their embarkation at Southampton. They arrived at Le Havre, France at 6:30am on 26 Nov 1916, and the next day entrained for Bailleul, before marching to Steenwerck where the battalion was placed in reserve.

On 30 Jan 1917 Charles was accidentally wounded, receiving gun shot wounds to the arm, back and abdomen (penetrating). Treated initially by the 10th Field Ambulance, before being forwarded to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station where he died the same day.

A Court of Enquiry was ordered by the General Officer Commanding the 2nd British Army and was held in Armentieres, France the day after his death. It found that the soldier had been injured by an explosion caused by tampering with the nose-cap portion of an unexploded shell - which he had considered to be exploded. It was brought to his billet by No 875 Cpl Bennett A.S., against whom disciplinary action was being taken.

An ironic footnote, dated 5 Feb 1917, reads "No action necessary against Pte Haughey C.S."

Charles' Red Cross file [1]. held by the Australian War Memorial provides further details relating to his death.

""Haughey died of wounds received as result of an accident. he was a signaller. One of the Corporals (preferred not to give his name) brought in a German nose cap of a shell to his billet in Armentieres. The signallers were gathered in a room and were playing with it. Haughey was hitting it with a hammer and it went off. I saw him on a stretcher after the incident. I was in the next room and heard the shell explode. Haughey was conscious when I saw him, he lived for two or three days. 737 Pte J. McCubbing.

"He was admitted on 30th January last suffering from injuries caused by the explosion of a "mills Bomb". His wounds were numerous and serious as the following will show: - Multiple wounds of front of trunk - one penetrating abdomen and causing 9 perforations of the small bowel. Compound fracture of ulna (right)- the principal blood vessels were severed. Unfortunately no hope of his recovery could be entertained and he died on 30.1.17, a few hours after his admission. O.C 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

His file at Australian Archives contains a heartfelt letter setting out his life story by his mother following his death. Family history has it that he enlisted after receiving a white feather.

  • Trois Arbres Cemetery Steenwerck
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


The photo above hung on the Honour Wall in the Lands Department, Perth.

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Charles Stephen Haughey". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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