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Oswald Chorlton

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Oswald Chorlton
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Personal Information
Date of Birth c1891
Place of Birth Heaton-Mersey, Manchester, England
Death 17 Oct 1918
Place of Death Abbeville, France
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 2 months
Description 5'3¾" (1.63m) tall ; 139lbs
63.049 kg
; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Motorist
Religion Church of England
Address c/- Mrs. Seddon, Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr. Chorlton
Military Information
Reg Number 250
Date of Enlistment 6 Mar 1915
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, B Company
Date of Embarkation 9 Jun 1915 ‒ 2 Jul 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A11 Ascanius
Fate Killed accidentally 17 Oct 1918
Monument Gosnells War Memorial
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

The third of six children born to Samuel Chorlton and Abert Amelia Stokes. By 1905 Oswald was employed at Messrs. Melland and Coward's Mill, Heaton Mersey as a Plaiter in a cotton finishing works in the bleaching section and was still employed in the same role in a cotton finishing and bleaching section in 1911. Oswald embarked from Liverpool on 21 May 1913 on the White Star Line ship the “SS Belgic,” bound for Fremantle.

War Service

Oswald entered Blackboy Hill camp on 6 Mar 1915 and was initially allocated to 'D' Company of the 24th Battalion. At some point later, this was changed to 'B' Company of the 28th Battalion when it became apparent that the 24th could be filled without taking on Western Australians. He embarked in Fremantle on 9 Jun 1915 aboard HMAT A11 Ascanius for Egypt, arriving there on 2 Jul 1915. The 28th Battalion undertook further training before being sent to the Gallipoli Peninsular through Alexandria, where they boarded HMT Ivernia on 4 Sep 1915. On 10 Sep 1915 he transferred to the HMT Sarnia for the journey from Mudros harbour to Anzac Cove.


Promoted Temporary Corporal on 24 Nov 1915 on Gallipoli, the rank was confirmed on 18 Feb 1916 after their return to Egypt. The voyage back to Alexandria harbor from Lemnos was aboard HMT Ausonia arriving in Alexandria on 10 Jan 1916, disembarking on 11 Jan 1916. The battalion was then sent to Ismailia where they took part in the major reshaping of the AIF.


The 28th Battalion were back in Alexandria on 16 Mar 1916 by rail from Moascar, and they boarded HMAT A32 Themistocles for Marseilles in France, arriving there on 21 Mar 1916 at 3:30pm. On 22 Apr 1916 Oswald was transferred to the 7th Light Trench Mortar Battery, and on 6 May 1916 in England, Oswald married Elizabeth Gwendoline Evans, a 20 year old from Eccles in Lancaster. Given the short time he spent in England we might assume she was well known to him before he emigrated to Australia. A daughter Lucy was born in 1918.

On 1 Oct 1916 he was attached to the 1st ANZAC School of Instruction, and Oswald was promoted to Sergeant Instructor from 24 Jan - 28 Apr 1917 before being placed on the Supplementary NCO List. Relinquishing the rank on 25 Apr 1917 he returned to his unit the 7th Light Trench Mortar Battery. Oswald was transferred to the 1st ANZAC School of Instruction on 15 Jun 1917 as a Corporal Assistant Instructor, and on 13 Oct 1917 he was detached as a Sergeant to the GHQ Bombing & Trench Mortar School. On 13 Apr 1918 he was detached as a temporary Sergeant to the Imperial Division in Rouen, France.

On 17 Oct 1918 Oswald Died of Wounds (bomb wounds to neck & fractured right humerus) in the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbeville. His wounds resulted from a training accident reviewed by a Court of Enquiry on 17 Oct 1918. The Court of Enquiry held in the field on the same day reported that whilst instruction was being given at Light Trench Mortar School on 17 October 1918, a premature burst occurred with a German “Pineapple” grenade, causing above injuries. All necessary precautions had been taken against accident, and no one was to blame. The Court found that the casualty was to be held as accidental.


  • Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension
  • Oswald's grave location

Notes

Although Oswald can not be directly associated with Gosnells it became clear after the war of his links via the newspaper notices mentioning his friendship with Henry Seddon. For further information on this soldier, or for more information about the history and heritage of the City of Gosnells, please contact the Heritage Coordinator on 9391 6011


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